The Society of Bluffton Artists Annual Young Talent Art Exhibit

Soba’s Young Talent Art Show is scheduled for Feb 6 – March 5.
Reception Saturday, February 11, 5- 7p.

The Society of Bluffton Artists will feature gifted young artists of high school age in their annual young talent art show, slated for Feb. 6-March 5. An opening reception will take place from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the gallery, located in Old Town Bluffton.

This year, three schools are participating in the young talent art exhibit: Bluffton High School, May River High School and Cross School. Gifted young artists involved in their schools’ arts programs often go on to pursue careers in art, design or photography.

“SOBA is committed to its mission of providing art education and art appreciation to the local community,” said Cynthia Van Nus, SOBA event organizer. “The art show gives students a chance for public recognition for their talents and achievements, the same that is given to student athletes, science projects and music concerts.”

“Is This A Dream” by Addison Snyder, Ink, a playful ink collage created by a 9th grade student in Andrea Pejeau’ s Drawing One class.

John Cullinen, Arts Teacher at Cross Upper School, said Cross School has a growing art program that infuses traditional mediums with digital art and photography — a sampling of which will be shown in SOBA’s upcoming show.

“The opportunity to showcase our student work in a professional gallery will create a lifelong memory for our students at Cross Upper School,” he said. 

Bluffton High School’s art program includes ceramics, drawing, media arts, painting and photography. The students have prepared ink drawings, charcoal still life, a ceramic medley, acrylic on canvas and digital print, said Andrea Pejeau, a National Art Honor Society Advisor and art instructor at Bluffton High School. 

May River High School students have prepared photography, pottery and paintings — all of which are looking to embrace the whimsical side of life and the beauty of the Lowcountry

“For me teaching art is more than creating, it is about building connections to our visual society,” said Elizabeth Schlieger, the Fine Arts Department Chair at May River High School. “Helping students understand not just how things are created, but why, and then developing an understanding of their place amongst that world.”

Sketch & Paint with David Rankin

FREE Watercolor Demonstration

Fill out the form to reserve your place

Wednesday November 2nd
10 am – Noon, FREE  

Reserve your Place
(This is an in-person demonstration.)

Before David Rankin’s next workshop at the Society of Bluffton Artists, David will be conducting another of his very cool watercolor demonstrations at the Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA ), in Bluffton, South Carolina.

In this demo David is going to demonstrate some of the more magical visual effects that are achieved by using Gravity correctly when painting with transparent watercolor on rough paper.

Jeanine Potter presents “Landscapes from Within …” Oct. 3-30

A sneak preview of Jeanine Potter’s featured artists show.

Jeanine Potter finds each of her artistic mediums supportive building blocks in her work. She describes her painting as “moment creating.” and her photography as “moment hunting.”

To her, art has the powerful ability to enrich and complete one’s daily existence. It can lighten the heart, energize the spirit, inspire the mind, comfort the soul, and give pause. 

That is the philosophical catalyst for her featured artist exhibit “Landscapes from Within …” from October 3-30 at The Society of Bluffton Artists gallery in Old Town Bluffton. A special reception — with an opportunity to meet the artist — will take place from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 at the gallery. These events are open to the public.

“Opportunities to discover and nurture creativity are there for anyone,” Potter said. “I invite everyone to choose to look and give themselves permission to try.”

Potter uses a combination of life experience, diverse skills, disciplines, and intuition to create her art. She describes the process as letting the process unfold “through exploration, experimentation, and just doing it.” The freedom, immediacy, and flexibility of acrylics give her the ability to build layers and depth; while creating intricate textures with occasional additions of pencil, ink, pastel, crayon, collage, and other media.

Potter’s work includes purely abstract pieces that “are celebrations of spontaneity, color, and humor.” Her landscapes are abstractions of her photographs with a twist.

“I invite viewers to journey through ‘Landscapes from Within’ to rest, revive, and discover their own path, to just be,” Potter says. 

At 9 years old, Potter fell in love with two landscapes by French artist Andre Villebeuf in her grandmother’s Paris apartment, touching her soul and propelling her forward on her artistic journey. Her life experiences — born in Massachusetts, dual French citizenship, varied career paths, and world traveling — all have influenced her art.

Potter’s artworks have been exhibited regionally at the Art League of Hilton Head 2021 Biennale Exhibition, the Art League of Hilton Head Gallery, and SOBA, from where happily, several of her works found forever homes. 

For many years her design firm, Jeanine Potter Designs, created jewelry incorporating semi-precious stones and pearls which has been collected nationwide and abroad. Her interior design projects ranged from corporate, healthcare, retail, and the private sector including several Parisian apartment renovations; “The 7 World’s of SONESTA” Sonesta Hotels Corporate exhibit design, Key Biscayne, Fla.; the Junior League Showhouse, Wellesley MA: “Café Neptune”- design and execution and the Bridgewater Public Library: “Are you an Artist? What if you are?” exhibit design. 

Potter holds a BFA in graphic design and photography from Massachusetts College of Art. She studied space planning and interior design at the Boston Architectural Center earning a National Council of Interior Design Qualification Certification.  Potter also holds a Master of Education  from Bridgewater State College,  

She is past president of the Eva Brownman Fund at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Massachusetts. Money raised funded breast cancer research and international visiting professor lectures for Institute researchers.

She is  an exhibiting member at the SOBA Gallery and The Art League Hilton Head.     

Potter attributes her eclectic life experiences, varied career skills, and disciplines for creating a fertile topography for her ‘Landscapes from Within…” 

Mary Treadwell Presents “Paint What You Love and Love What You Paint”

The Society of Bluffton Artists Featured Artist Exhibit will take place Sept. 6- Oct. 2; meet the artist from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 9

Mary Treadwell’s love of art has followed her since childhood — to Paris in 1994, to London in 1995, back to Paris in 2001, to Texas in 2004 and to the Lowcountry in 2015. In fact, Treadwell has traveled extensively to Thailand, Korea, Myanmar and throughout Europe. 

“I always brought along my painting kit and would try to experience the atmosphere and light of the area,” she said, “ A painting is like a diary. It brings you back to that day and you can recall the smells, light, the colors, and the weather, as well as who you were with.”

Mary Treadwell

Treadwell’s artwork is primarily in permeate intense watercolor.  Her works reflect a broad range of subject matter ranging from colorful fish to bright flowers and from traditional landscapes to realistic cityscapes. She’ll exhibit her work at The Society of Bluffton Artists gallery in Old Town Bluffton from Sept. 6- Oct. 2. Meet the artist during a special reception from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 9 at the gallery, 6 Church Street. These events are open to the public.

Treadwell’s work is featured in private collections in many homes and businesses around the world. She has taught art classes on cruise ships. Additionally, she studied art and worked as a painter and an artist in Paris, London and Texas. In Paris, Mary studied with Chantel Chauvinere-Riant, a famous watercolorist and sculptor.

Throughout her residency in Paris, Treadwell taught privately and at the Organization of Economic and Cooperation Development (OECD). 

Larger Art Event August 27 – September 11

Looking for that one large special artwork for that empty space in your home that still doesn’t have that perfect piece of art?

Join us for a very special event featuring larger art sized    36 X 40 or larger. This event is so special that not only will we exhibit work in the Featured Artist Room in the gallery – we have turned over our entire Art School for this event!

For three weekends and two full weeks, starting the end of August through the first week of September, you can view and purchase artwork created by more than 30 local lowcountry Society of Bluffton Artists exhibiting their biggest and best.  

The show opens August 27 and runs through September 11 at the SOBA Gallery located on the corner of Calhoun Street and Church Street and in the SOBA Art School located right next door.

Small Works Featured in July 2022

For the month of July, in addition to our display of artworks by local artists, the SOBA Gallery is featuring an additional collection of small works – no larger than 12 X 12 inches.  A wide variety of styles and small sizes – something for everyone & perfect for a home gallery wall, gift giving or filling that empty space just waiting for that small special piece!

Lynne Drake Presents “Perception & Interpretation” Aug. 1-28

SOBA’s August Featured Artist reception is from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, August 6th

Lynne Drake, a well-known award-winning artist and art instructor, will present “Perception & Interpretation” from August 1-28 at The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA) gallery, located in Old Town Bluffton. The public is invited to meet the artist during a reception from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, August 6th at the gallery.

“I feel I was born with a gift and destined to express that – it is part of my psyche and ingrained in all I do,” Drake said. “I always felt a little different from others taking notice of things that may otherwise get unnoticed. I have thousands of photos – capturing moments preserved in time. My perception is how I create art – interpreting what I feel and see. My style tends to be illustrative – gravitating towards beauty, nature and figurative work.”

Drake describes herself as a mostly self-taught artist whose earliest memories are rooted in creative expression. She founded and operated an art studio in Long Island where she taught art classes, hosted birthday parties and exhibited local artists’ works. 

Drake attended an art school briefly and returned much later in life, earning a BFA magna cum laude in graphic design and MALS in art education. Additionally, Drake is a New York State certified art teacher with experience teaching K-12, group homes and special education. She also  assisted in the development and execution of an art program for the National Council for Unity teaching art to inner city school children. 

“I believe art is transforming, therapeutic and I love teaching art at all levels,” Drake said.

Drake has led a successful art career — winning awards, judged shows and an active member in several art guilds. She is a member of the All About Art Club in Sun City, The Art League of Hilton Head and SOBA.

Drake spent several years in Long Island and Kansas City, where she reconnected and married her husband, an accomplished artist and sculptor. Together they have 6 children and 11 grandchildren. Two years ago, they moved to Sun City Hilton Head, where Drake teaches acrylic painting. Drake will teach art classes at SOBA in the fall. 

SOBA Hosts a Celebration of Well-Known Supporters of the Arts in Bluffton

Service will be held at 7 p.m. July 9
at SOBA’s Art School in Old Town Bluffton

Before there were art galleries in Old Town Bluffton, local artists had only one platform to sell their works: the annual Mayfest. That was 30 years ago. Today, Calhoun Street’s art corridor is a huge draw for local artists who want to showcase their works. It’s also a popular destination for visitors and locals.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of Lynda Potter and Peggy Duncan, two best friends who were among the founding members of The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA) and who jump-started several art galleries in the area. Their contributions to making Bluffton’s art district what it is today are undeniable, say family and friends.

“They were always promoting artists. They taught classes. They tried to share their resources, time and talent,” said Laura Barrett, a Bluffton interior designer and Peggy’s close friend, adding, “Bluffton is a destination for people interested in the Arts. Peggy and Lynda were part of the reason why.”

Lynda Potter

Peggy Duncan

Duncan and Potter were best friends and neighbors who worked together to foster an appreciation for art in every form. They died within one month of each other this spring. 

SOBA will hold a special event honoring Lynda Potter and Peggy Duncan at 7 p.m. July 9 at The SOBA Art School, located next door to the art gallery on the corner of Calhoun and Church Streets. The public is invited and will have an opportunity to view a sampling of their art, along with a slideshow of memories. 

“Lynda believed that individuals should explore their creative juices without equivocation and without restraint,” said Steve Potter, Lynda’s husband of 63 years this month. Together, they had five children.

Steve Potter said he was lucky to witness his wife in action, observing from the back of one of her art classes. “It was a wonderful experience to watch her. She knew how to cajole people into being expressive and creative on their own. I think that’s what a good teacher does,” he said.

Potter worked with a variety of art media. She switched between acrylics and watercolors, often using both to create complex, multi-layered mixed-media pieces. Potter was known for painting rich, rhythmic floral pieces, as well as loose, atmospheric architectural works based on the historic houses of Savannah, Georgia and Bluffton.

With more than 35 solo shows and various awards and prizes, Potter has had her art published in five books and is listed in the national register’s Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals in the 2003-2004 edition.

Duncan opened one of Bluffton’s first art galleries in 1985, called “A Little Local Color”and  located in the back side of where the Bluffton Pharmacy is now. Duncan also opened the first framing business in Bluffton. Later, Peggy rebranded and moved to a larger location, known as Crossroads Fine Art and Framing. Duncan and her late husband Jonathan Nelson, also a talented painter, owned and operated Crossroads until early 2001 when they moved again to Calhoun Street, renaming to Pluff Mudd Gallery. Duncan also founded La Petite Gallerie on Calhoun and Artist House Too gallery in North Carolina.

Murray Sease, a local artist and member of SOBA, worked closely with Duncan to be part of a new Bluffton gallery venture, and she took her very first art workshop led by Potter. 

“Two of the most important ladies in my art world passed away within weeks of each other,” Sease said. “As much as I miss them both, I like to think of these two friends in the next world happily painting together again.”

Mayfest 2022

It was a great day at Mayfest and the Bluffton SOBA gallery! The weather was beautiful and there were lots of artists to chat with and show their work.

Flow Fest at Palmetto Bluff May 1st

A celebration of ART will take place on Sunday, May 1st, 2022. From 2:00-6:00pm at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton. There will be live music, food trucks, ART for purchase and children’s activities. Come on by and join the fun! Our own “Miss” Mary Burrell will be helping kids craft a special something!

Tickets can be purchased here