Sunset River Gallery – Reception Jan 6

Sunset River Gallery in Calabash, NC announces that its first exhibition in 2023 is New Voices, Different Directions. The show, which features works by Angie Sinclair, Shana Grugan, Chantal Tomiello, Pat Puckett, and Mary Welch Austin, opens Friday, January 6 and runs through Saturday, February 11.  An opening reception with refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres is scheduled for January 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend and meet the artists.

According to Sunset River Gallery’s artistic director, Samantha Spalti, the five accomplished artists are all new additions to the gallery. “We’re honored and excited to show their work here at the gallery,” she said. “Each of these artists brings a new, unique perspective.”

Angie Sinclair’s current body of work is all about water. She says her modern impressionist style is achieved through creating different textures and forms with innovative brush strokes that are loose, free, and dynamic. Sinclair was born on the West coast. Her family moved to New York, where she studied at the High School of Arts, the School of Visual Arts, and the Art Students League. Moving to Las Vegas in her twenties, she taught art and began working in oil. Today, she is a full-time artist in Wilmington, NC, still exploring connections between people, light and water.

Shana Grugan, Exchanging Ideas, acrylic, 40×30

Shana Grugan’s work is primarily inspired by her coastal surroundings and the many patterns found in nature. She is known for layering colors of acrylic paint with transparent medium along with masking, a process that allows her to explore her abstract subject matter as she reveals the initial layers in her composition. Born in Greenville, SC, she studied art at The University of Georgia, earning a BFA in Drawing and Painting. After continuing post-graduate studies at the University of South Carolina, she taught art in public schools, levels K – 12. She began emphatically pursuing her art in 2017, which has resulted in acceptance in juried shows and art collectives throughout the Southeast. Grugan lives with her husband and two children in Pawleys Island, SC.

Chantal Tomiello is a French-Canadian born artist who currently resides in Raleigh, NC. Working as a full-time artist for less than five years, she credits California-based artist Nicholas Wilton with helping her define her own direction. “My association with his course of study has changed everything about the way I now see my art, my life as an artist, and the direction I am heading,” she says. She goes on to explain, “Deconstruction of a realistic subject into abstraction is something that inspires me. I want to break down what I see into simple shapes in order to reveal that one thing which brings wonder and excitement to my subject.”

Chantal Tomiello, A Beautiful Mind, acrylic, 24×24

Tomiello is known for paintings that often feel raw and unfinished, ultimately allowing viewers to be part of the painting’s history. Honors include Third Place, Fine Art League of Cary 2020 Juried Exhibition and a “Denis Diderot A-i-R” Artist in Residence Grant, Chateau d’Orquevaux, France 2023. She has also been the subject of interviews in Voyage Raleigh and Canvas Rebel magazine.

With a 23-year career in interior design, Pat Puckett has always been guided by a passion for lush color, design, and the ability to see beyond the ordinary. She is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society. Interpreting the natural beauty of landscapes, seascapes and historical locales has become the centerpiece of her fine art.  Puckett’s focus is on using rich buttery oil color with bold fluid brushstrokes to capture a fleeting moment in time. Her plein air adventures have earned her many awards as they take her across the US, Europe, and Mexico. Still, her favorite place to capture on canvas is the beautiful beach and salt marsh of her South Carolina home.

Pat Puckett, Watching the Waves Roll In, oil 36×24

The artist has served on the Culinary Symphony and Visual Art Committees for the Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art, and she has chaired the Seaside Palette En Plein Air Event in Georgetown, SC. Her work has been featured in Charleston Style and Design magazine, and her painting “Morning Reflections” was recently selected into the 2022 Associate Members Online Exhibition with the American Impressionist Society. corporate and private collections across the country.

Mary Welch Austin works in both acrylic and oil. Her works express the artist’s sense of harmony and balance. Viewers should observe her keep appreciation for the magic of light and texture and the compositional dance of positive and negative spaces in nature. In Raleigh, NC, Austin’s work was accepted recently in two juried shows at 311 Gallery: “Best of the East Coast” and “Pop Art and Illustration Exhibit.” In March 2022, she presented a solo exhibit titled “Journey East at the Burgwin Wright House in Wilmington, NC. Originally from High Point, NC, she attended Salem College, the University of Georgia and earned a BFA degree in Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After a career as a fabric designer developing significant skills in color, composition, and perspective, she now enjoys focusing exclusively on her fine art.

Mary Welch Austin, Awakening, oil, 48×60

About Sunset River Gallery

Located in coastal Brunswick County, Sunset River Gallery caters to both area visitors and a growing local community of full-time residents seeking fine art for their homes and businesses. Featuring work by  North and South Carolina artists, the gallery is well known in the area for its collection of oil paintings, watermedia, pastels, photography, hand-blown glass, fused glass, pottery, and clay sculptures, turned and carved wood, unique home décor items and artisan jewelry.

There are two onsite kilns and five wheels used by the gallery’s pottery students. Art classes and workshops are currently being offered on a limited basis.

A new 20th Century Art installation features rare and valuable fine and modern art, primarily impressionist and abstract.

The gallery address is: 10283 Beach Drive SW, Calabash, NC 28467.  Hours are Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call 910.575.5999 or visit the website at Daily updates are available on the gallery’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

The FrameCenter, located within the gallery, is open Wednesday through Friday, 12 noon – 5 p.m. and by appointment. Call framer Louis Aliotta directly at 910.368.7351.


Upcoming Events

Call 910.575.5999 for details.


Friday, Jan. 6, 2023

Opening Reception

New Voices, Different Directions

5 – 7 p.m.

Meet the artists, light hors d’oeuvres. Show runs through Saturday, Feb. 11


Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023

Grand Re-Opening

12 noon – 5 p.m.

Ribbon-cutting with Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, new signage, gallery tours, refreshments, gift certificate drawings


Wednesday, Jan. 18

Paint & Party

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Gullah Gal w/shrimp


Thursday, Jan. 19

Coffee With the Authors

11 a.m. – 12 noon

Teri M. Brown (An Enemy Like Me)


Thursday, Jan. 19

Jazz Night

5 – 7 p.m.

AfterHours band


Thursday, Feb. 9

Coffee With the Authors

11 a.m. – 12 noon

Thomas Kelso (Stability Island)


Wednesday, Feb. 15

Paint & Party

5:30 – 7:30

Coffee Cup on Wood Block


Saturday, Mar. 11

Abstract Collage Workshop

10 a.m. – 4 p m.

Instructor Christiana Rioli

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Images attached:


image: Shana Grugan, Exchanging Ideas, acrylic, 40″x30″
image: Pat Puckett, Watching the Waves Roll In, oil, 36”x24″, Coastal Elegance, oil, 12×24

image: Angie Sinclair, Happy Circle, oil, 36”x60”
image: Chantal Tomiello, A Beautiful Mind, acrylic, 24”x24″
image: Mary Welch Austin, Awakening, oil, 24”x48”