Gallery features Wes Wagner’s artisan-crafted wood in Sept.

Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, NC will feature Raw Grace, Warm Beauty, works by innovative wood furniture maker Wesley L. Wagner from Wednesday, Sept. 16 through Saturday, Oct. 17, gallery owner Ginny Lassiter has announced.

 Wagner has been creating from wood since the age of 12. He was born in Concord, NC and raised in the nearby town of Mt. Pleasant, SC. While still a teenager, his family moved to North Myrtle Beach, SC where he still resides.

 Despite the fact that he has been building unique and innovative furniture for decades, Wes Wagner still considers himself a hobbyist.  “Sure, I have an eye for shape and I love the feel and warmth of wood, but I simply uncloak what is already there. In most cases, all the credit for creative beauty must go to the tree and the wood itself. It is this finding of the hidden that’s my reward for creating each piece.”

Wagner locates the timber and then fells, logs and mills it himself. The vast majority of trees come from along the Waccamaw River in South Carolina. Among his favorites are red maple, cypress, water locust, pignut hickory, water elm, cherry and persimmon.  Most of the trees are dead, wind-toppled, lightening strikes and logging casualties. The Atlantic white cedar that Wagner uses came from trees downed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  Wagner adds, “The resinous cypress in my Nakashima style benches comes from logging debris from a tree felled in 1921.”

 The exhibition at Sunset River Marketplace consists of benches, tables, wine racks, stools, and bowls.  Lassiter says, “I love Wes’s work. It’s that rarely successful combination of simple and sophisticated, and I love knowing that he uses so many local woods.”

 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. 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.