The Brushwork Society: A Low Country Exhibition Jan. 14 – Mar. 11; Reception Jan. 18

Artist Roger Tatum, The Lonely Boatyard, watercolor

Sunset River Marketplace, the eclectic art gallery in Calabash, N.C., will host The Brushwork Society: A Low Country Exhibition from Tuesday, Jan. 14 through Tuesday, March 11, gallery owner Ginny Lassiter has announced. A public reception is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18 from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Brushwork Society is a diverse group of award-winning artists who come together to paint and share creative insights. Their group show will include works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, graphite, pastel and mixed media by Roger Tatum, Susan Mauney, Linda Pasulka , Richard Staat, Phyllis Riley, Sue Ernest, Nancy Hester, Jo Ann Staat, Jan Boland, and Joyce Grazetti. Work from the late Miriam Pinkerton, who was a member of the group until her death in 2013, will also be included.

N.C. watercolor artist Roger Tatum was raised on a tobacco farm in coastal Columbus County. He paints the scenes he grew up with – docks, farmlands, covered bridges, fishing boats and waterways.

“The fluidity of watercolors allow me to express nature’s landscape with crisp vivid colors, whether painting or in my studio,” says Tatum, who is a signature member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC) and an associate member of the American Watercolor Society.

Oil painter Phyllis Riley was an educator until she retired with her husband to Oak Island in 1989. After taking numerous workshops with nationally known artists and further studies at Scottsdale Art School in Arizona, she began entering exhibitions and found representation in galleries throughout North Carolina. Her subjects range from figures in coastal settings to landscapes and still life paintings.

Jo Ann Staat works primarily in watercolor, often creating coastal scenes inspired by her surroundings on Oak Island, N.C. where she lives with her husband, artist Richard Staat. She is a signature member of WSNC and has also served on the board of Brunswick Arts Council from 2006 to 2013. Her work earned her a WSNC Timberlake award, Sallie Griffin award and was featured in the WSNC calendar for 2009.

Although born in the South, pastel artist Jan Boland began her art career as an art instructor in the Massachusetts public school system. While living there, she received a grant from the state lottery to develop a series of old house and barn drawings. This evolved into her one-woman pen & ink show titled Houses With Connections. Retiring to Southport, N.C., she began studying with local artist Victor Gerloven. It was here that she discovered pastels, which she considers the most exciting medium she has found. Boland?s recent honors include a Merit Award from the 2013 Associated Artists of Southport regional show last summer and a First Place in the pastel/drawing category at Oak Island Art Guild?s 2013 Arts By the Shore show in November.

After retiring from a professional career designing furniture, textiles, and interiors, award-winning artist Linda Migacz Pasulka now spends her time drawing in her home studio in Southport. Although she occasionally uses colored pencils, or other paint mediums, she prefers to create her imagery in the pared-down elemental attitude that black graphite on white paper allows. By eliminating the confusion of color, her drawings emphasize light and shadow, form, texture, and mood.

Richard Staat graduated from Ohio State University with a BFA degree. For 35 years he worked as a commercial artist before moving to Oak Island where he paints in his studio nearly every day. Staat instructs a monthly figure-drawing workshop at Sunset River. He also conducts classes and workshops for local art groups. He is a signature member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and also belongs to the Central Ohio Watercolor Society, Associated Artists of Southport and Oak Island Art Guild, of which he is a past president. He has earned national, state and local awards for his work.

Formerly a psychotherapist in Raleigh, N.C., watercolorist Susan Mauney now expresses her continuing interest in psychology by capturing mood and feeling with paint and paper. Studying over the years with notable artists Don Andrews, Louise Cadillac, Miles Batt, Skip Lawrence, Polly Hammett, Alex Powers, and John Salminen, Mauney has become one of Brunswick County’s most prominent painters. Her honors include a 2008 Best In Show, Associated Artists of Southport Spring Show; 2009 First Place, Associated Artists of Southport Regional Show; 2012 First Place, Brunswick County Fall Show; and 2013 First Place, Waterway Art Assoc.
Artist Richard Staat, The Deck Hand, Watercolor

Sue Ernest, originally from Charlotte, N.C., is best known for her wildlife watercolors. She says she most enjoys painting sea turtles, cranes and other creatures found in the local marshes on Oak Island, where she resides. A signature member of WSNC, Ernest has garnered numerous awards including a 2012 Award of Excellence, Waterway Art Association and 2009 Lucas Wagenseil Memorial Award, Brunswick Arts Council.

Nancy Hester also works in watercolor, which, she says allows her to paint the intense colors and textures she finds and loves in floral subjects. “I graduated from Radford College with a French major and Biology minor, and my art opportunities were limited. However, I enjoyed taking art-oriented subjects whenever possible. It wasn’t until after I retired from teaching that I began studying with several talented local artists and my passion for flowers and florals of all kinds has evolved.”

Another artist whose artistic leanings didn?t fully surface until retirement is multi-media Oak Island, N.C. artist Joyce Grazetti. She works in watercolor, mixed media and pottery. Most of her artwork reflects her love of nature with birds, lizards, turtles, and plants showing up in many of her pieces. Grazetti is often honored by her peers. Her 2013 awards include Associated Artists of Southport Spring Show, Memorial Award; Associated Artists Summer Regional Show, First Place, 3D; Oak Island Art Guild Arts By the Shore, Second Place in pottery and Second Place in acrylic.

Miriam Pinkerton, who passed away on Sept. 24, 2013, was born in Raleigh and lived there until she and her husband retired to Oak Island. She exhibited her work at Sunset River Marketplace and was an active member of Associated Artists of Southport. A signature member of the Southern Watercolor Society as well as WSNC, she was well known for her striking watercolors, pastels and mixed media pieces. Click here for Miriam’s obituary.

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. A 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. From January through March the gallery is closed on Mondays. 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.