Gallery features ‘A Sunset River Holiday’ show

Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, NC, is featuring an exhibition of holiday-themed rustic decor through Dec. 31. The eclectic show, which is titled A Sunset River Holiday, includes a variety of primitive pieces along with traditional Christmas pottery, hand-blown glass, paintings, holiday table runners, placemats and other items.

On a table near the gallery entrance is a trio of snowmen, which were hand-carved and painted by Roseann Bellinger, an oil painter who exhibits at the gallery. She also crocheted their scarves. Hanging on the stunning antique oak mantle are crisp linen Christmas stockings hand sewn by Mona Bendin, who also exhibits her line of pillows at the gallery. A piece of picket fencing leans against one wall. Hanging on one of the slats is a Santa-motif garden bell by clay artist Betsy Parker, whose raku pottery, clay serving pieces and wall hangings are exhibited toward the back of the gallery

Featured on the wall are two unusual folk art pieces designed by gallery owner Ginny Lassiter. One is a Christmas tree made of wood lattice wood a pier that was damaged in the October flooding. Another is an empty window frame that has been decorated with wooden candles and dried magnolia seed pods.

Says Lassiter, “We’ve had a similar show for the past couple years and people love seeing how the rustic pieces work with traditional furniture and design. We have a lot of fun putting it together. And it’s a terrific way to display the holiday pottery, which is in demand every year.” She continues, “The gallery also puts up an eight-foot tree full of hand-crafted ornaments – clay, blown glass, wood, sea glass and more. The kids love choosing their ornaments right from the tree.”

Each Saturday afternoon, during December, Sunset River Marketplace will hold an Open House with hot cider, wine, and assorted holiday treats. The public is invited at no charge.

On Dec. 12, the gallery will hold its first outdoor Holiday Art Market, in which approximately 25 of the gallery’s exhibiting artists will set up booths in the parking lot to sell pottery, paintings, wood furniture and bowls, jewelry, photography, pillows, holiday cards, and more. Lassiter adds, “We’ll even have some surfboards. This is a great idea for any last minute shoppers and we expect it to be a lot of fun.”

There will be drawings for free gift certificates during the day. In the event of rain, the event will move inside the gallery.

About Sunset River Marketplace

Since opening in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has been an active supporter of performing, literary and visual arts in the area. The 10,000 square-foot gallery features work by over 200 North and South Carolina artists. Its on-site pottery studio has two kilns and three wheels for use by students. Ongoing oil, pastel and watercolor classes are also provided, in addition to workshops by nationally known artists. The gallery’s complimentary Coffee With the Authors programs feature presentations by local and regional authors. A Paint & Party series provides a fun after-work experience for those with no previous art background. The gallery’s framing department offers full-service, on-site custom frame design for artwork, family heirlooms and other memorabilia.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive (Hwy. 179) in the historic fishing village of Calabash, N.C. just north of the S.C. state line. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Winter hours, in effect January, February and March, will be Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) For information about the exhibition, art classes, onsite framing or any other gallery events, call 910-575-5999 or visit the website: The gallery’s Facebook page, which is updated daily (, also lists special events, new artists and other happenings.

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Turned wood ornament by James “Red” Saunders
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Folk art window at the rustic holiday show
sunset river marketplace, eclectic design, calabash art gallery, pottery, betsy parker
Clay carolers by Betsy Parker at the Sunset River show
pottery, calabash art gallery, christmas, janice wyckoff
Christmas pottery by Janice Wyckoff
rustic holiday, calabash art gallery, sunset river marketplace, carved wood, roseann bellinger
Hand carved and painted by Roseann Bellinger, who also crocheted the teeny scarves
rustic holiday, calabash art gallery, pillows, mona bendin
Christmas pillow by Mona Bendin
linen christmas stocking, eclectic design, mona bendin, sunset river marketplace
Detail of linen christmas stocking by Mona Bendin, available at Sunset River Marketplace
pottery, calabash art gallery, sharon dodge
Pottery mugs by Sharon Dodge