Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash features red-themed group show

Sunset River Marketplace, the eclectic art gallery in Calabash, N.C. will feature Red Times Twelve, a collection that explores the significance of the color red in art from Tuesday, Sept. 9 through Saturday, Oct. 4. There will be a reception Saturday afternoon, Sept. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. The public is invited and there is no charge.

The color red, from rudimentary cave drawings in prehistoric times to Henri Matisse’s bold, unnatural manipulation of color in his 1911 masterpiece, The Red Room, to Warhol’s pop art, has played a major role in art, as it does in life. For this exhibition, the artists of Studio 12 each wield the power of red uniquely and distinctively.

Participating in the show are members of Studio 12, an art group that meets weekly at Sunset River Marketplace. It includes gallery owner Ginny Lassiter (acrylic); Studio 12 founder Jill Hope (acrylic); Sandra Petit (acrylic); Bryan Krpejs (watercolor, acrylic); Katherine Duckworth (acrylic); Donn McCrary (acrylic); Marsha Thomas (decoupage, mixed media); Pat Reynolds (acrylic); Ellen Flynn (watercolor); Carole Barth (mixed media, watercolor); Sally Nolan (oil); and Sue Ruopp (acrylic).

Donn McCrary’s Lady In Red features a sassy bold splash of a red dress. The viewer will feel the jaunty young woman’s joie de vivre. In Marsha Thomas’ uniquely constructed Scales Rule, a very different red dress depicts a heaviness that conveys the artist’s own often painful transformations – both physical and emotional –in her life. Swells by Bryan Krpejs features three sailboats racing through white caps and rough seas. The artist’s sparing use of red on the hull helps him express both the excitement of the race and the humbling vastness of the ocean.

Studio12 are a diverse group of artists with differing goals, backgrounds, styles and tastes. What they have in common is a sense of artistic adventure and a love of creativity.

Jill Hope founded the group in 2004. She wanted to be part of a close knit group of artists who would paint together, share art experiences, critique each other’s work and provide emotional support to each other on a personal level as well. Since then, artists have left Studio 12 and others have come to take their place, but the group still meets every Tuesday at Sunset River Marketplace to paint and explore new concepts together.

Working in acrylic or watercolor, Hope’s style encompasses mainly non-representational art. She says, “My art today comes from what I call the intuitive side of thought. My pieces reverberate with hidden meaning as the soul of the painting is allowed to emerge.”

Most Tuesdays a visitor will find all 12 artists happily ensconced at tables in the classroom at the back of Sunset River Marketplace. Lassiter says, “I value my time with this group. And I love that we never know who will be working on what. It’s a nurturing environment that encourages exploration and creativity. It just feels right to me.”

About the Artists
Jill Hope

Hope’s style encompasses abstract and nonrepresentational art and her medium of choice is mixed water media. She attended the NE Essex School of Art in Essex, England. Hope is a member and past president of Waterway Art Association. In 2004, she founded Studio 12, a group of 12 artists to meet on a weekly basis at Sunset River Marketplace to paint, share, support, and critique each other’s work. Born in Rochester, N.Y., Hope has lived in England, Denmark and Australia. She relocated in 1991 from Ocracoke Island to Calabash.

Ginny Lassiter
The Ocean Isle Beach resident and native of Wilson has always been a creative soul. She’s a potter, she paints, she sketches, and she designs fabrics. Lassiter graduated from East Carolina University with a major in art and an emphasis in interior design and whenever she has the chance she loves helping clients with their design needs. Lassiter is also the owner of Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash. Currently Lassiter works most often in acrylics and is really taken with the abstract process. “It is both freeing and challenging at the same time,” she says. “Abstract instructors Sterling Edwards and Joe DiGuilio have created a huge excitement in me and I cannot wait to get to my studio as often as possible. I love painting abstracts! Without a definite plan I let the colors lead me as they develop.”

Click here to see more images.

Sandra Petit
A graduate of the Fine Arts program at the University of N.C. Wilmington and the University of Massacusetts at Amherst, Pet has also studied at the Walter Vincent Smith Museum of Art in Springfield, Mass. and the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla. The Gloucester, Mass. native works in watercolors, mixed media and acrylics and has also won awards for her photography.

Bryan Krpejs
A native of Maryland, Krpejs grew up along the eastern seaboard and has had a lifelong love for all things nautical. He studied watercolor and acrylic painting at Maryland Institute College of Art. His primary subjects are nautical themes and architectural landscapes. His awards include a Second Place in the Silver Coast Winery Viognier label competition as well as numerous local merit awards, honorable mentions and purchase awards. Krpejs’ painting, Heavy Day, was featured on the cover of the June issue of WLM Magazine (now Cape Fear Living Magazine).

Katherine Duckworth
Duckworth has been painting since the third grade, when she received her first John Nagy charcoal drawing set. She discovered that art was her passion and began modeling for an artist’s figure drawing class in trade from lessons and art supplies. Duckworth received her BA in Fine Arts from Roanoke College, Va. and her certification in Secondary Art Education from Roanoke College in 1975. In the past she showed her work at the Southern Vermont Art Center. After visiting Sunset Beach for 37 summers, she moved permanently to Sunset Beach.

Donn McCrary
The Charlotte native enjoyed a successful career in architecture before he turned his creative talents and energy to painting and sculpting. Traveling throughout Europe, Asia, South Africa and the U.S. have given him vast resources from which to draw. He says, “Everyday life for me is a fulfillment of a dream living on the shore. Seagulls and marshlands surround and inspire me.” McCrary has studied with Sterling Edwards, I.G. Regier, R.H. Hunter and accomplished sculptor F.T. Acorn.

Marsha Thomas
After being profoundly influenced by her father, an artist and freelance photographer, Thomas attended her first art class at Radford College in Radford, Va. where, she says, “I fell in love with plein air painting.” She has a B.S. in Art Education from East Carolina University at Greenville, where she studied printmaking under Don Sexauer, another major influence. She was later awarded an Emerging Artist Grant in Beaufort, S.C. as well as several grants in education. Thomas’ work was included in the 2011 State of the State/Art of the State exhibition at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington. Her career has included arts education, gallery sales, theater, and both commercial and interior design. Her personal philosophy is “renewal through creativity.”

Pat Reynolds
The Brooklyn, N.Y. native studied art even as she pursued a career as a civilian in the Suffolk County Police Department on Long Island. “During those years, I took art lessons and joined workshops learning the techniques of oils, watercolors and acrylics.” While working with the police department, she designed and painted murals and a life size diorama for the local police museum. She cites Rafael DeSoto as a major influence and studied with him until his death in 1992. Reynolds was a member of the Wet Paints Studio Group and has become a prolific painter of still lifes, florals, landscapes and seascapes.

Ellen Flynn
Formerly a renowned pediatric nurse practitioner chosen as the 1989 New York State Regional Nurse of Distinction for Westchester County and a lawyer admitted to the bar in N.Y., N.J. and Conn., watercolorist Flynn also studied art and pottery before retiring to coastal N.C. She has studied pottery with Joe Jeffcoat in Calabash and is a member of the National Watercolor Society. She now thoroughly enjoys the camaraderie and support of the members of Studio 12.

Carole Barth
Barth, who lives in Sunset Beach, paints beautifully delicate watercolor images from nature. “When I paint,” she says, “I hope to evoke the wonderment I was sensitive to as I captured the splendor of the moment.” The N.Y. native studied at the Center for Visual Arts and Kean College in N.J. She credits the late Victor Gerloven, president of Brunswick Arts Council, with inspiring her to explore new avenues in art. She has also taken workshops with Sterling Edwards and Jeanne Carbonetti.

Sally Nolan
Working in oil, Nolan says, “From a series of colorful landscapes, exotic fantasy faces to whimsical pigs, all subjects excite me. I left the northeast to live in the sun by the sea, enjoying nature’s vibrant colors. I use these colors in my paintings.” Nolan’s first art sales were from the walls of her Pa. Bed & Breakfast

Sue Ruopp
Sue Ruopp spent 20 years as a labor and delivery nurse and has also owned her own shop. She has beaten breast cancer and survived two brain tumors and now says her life endeavors are culminating in eclectic art expressions. Unschooled in art, she brings an “outsider” stroke to her creative pastels, acrylics, watercolors and pencil drawings. Hers is a wildly unique voice in the jungle of today’s art expressions.

About Sunset River Marketplace
Since opening in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has become 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 Coffee With the Authors programs feature presentations by local and regional offers. A recently added 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.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW (Hwy 179), Calabash, N.C. Regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the website ( or “like” the gallery’s Facebook page, which is updated daily. Reach the gallery by telephone at 910.575.5999.