Arts Center of Coastal Carolina partners with the Beaufort County Schools

Beaufort County School District highlighted its partnership with the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in a short video from the February 13 professional development workshop with teaching artist Hobey Ford. 

Teachers from 7 Beaufort County Arts integrated schools participated in the second of a 3-part series professional development curriculum the Arts Center and the Beaufort County School District have planned for these Beaufort County teachers, through the Arts Center’s Kennedy Center Partners-in-Education program. 

During this session, the teachers learned how to use puppetry to instruct, inspire, and illustrate the scientific process of metamorphosis and the mysteries of migration of the monarch butterfly.

15th Annual Art Market at Historic Honey Horn Wraps Up for 2017

The 15th annual Art Market at Historic Honey Horn was held on April 29th and 30th. This year, 95 artists from 9 different states participated in the juried show. Judges awarded $5,000 in prizes to 14 different artists representing a variety of mediums. Local photographer, Paul Shatz, won best in show. Paul recently moved to Hilton Head Island from Charleston and has participated in hundreds of fine art festivals annually around the country. The judges for this year’s show were impressed with his spectacular images as well as his method of continuing the historic tradition of silver-gelatin photography.  According to Shatz, “My silver-gelatin original photographs are created by me, using traditional materials and techniques. I use 8x10 and 5x7 large format film and make silver prints one at a time using my hands, my head and my heart. They are selenium toned to achieve an archival quality. This traditional method of photography creates a depth and magic in the print that is unmatched.”

2017 Art Market awards:

Best in Show – Paul Shatz, Hilton Head Island, SC – Photography

2nd Place – James Herndon, Walterboro, SC – Wood

3rd Place – Murray Sease, Bluffton, SC- Oil / Acrylic

Awards of Merit:

Michele Blank, Mt. Pleasant, SC - Glass

JoAnn Graham, St. Helena Island, SC - Jewelry

Lyn Hise, Inverness, Fl – Mixed Media 2-D

Amanda McLenon, Daniel Island, SC – Oil/Acrylic

Eric Moore, Pomaria, SC - Sculpture

Diane Ness, Acworth, GA – Fiber

Blake Olsen, Orange Park, FL – Clay

Jody Rankin, Awendaw, SC – Oil/Acrylic

David Russell, Camden, SC – Glass

Michael Smalls & Dino Badger, Fiber (Sweetgrass Baskets) – Round O, SC

Valerie Thomas & Dana Shirley, Jewelry – Naples, FL

Remembering Joe Bowler, Jr.

The arts community is deeply saddened by the loss of an extraordinary artist and constant supporter of the arts and arts education.  Hall of Fame Illustrator, Joe Bowler, Jr.was in his 67th year as a professional artist, selling his first illustration to Cosmopolitan Magazine when he was nineteen.  His focus turned to portraits in 1972, when he and his wife Marilyn moved to Hilton Head. Marilynn and Joe Bowler were passionate about elevating the arts experience for the youth and pillars of the Island School Council for the Arts (ISCA), An Evening of the Artsannual fundraiser that has pumped millions of dollars into arts education in local schools. Marilyn died in 2008 and it was always with her in mind that his support of ISCA continued. On September 17, 2016, the highlight of the auction for the 34th year was Joe Bowler's exquisite painting, Blue Mood and very sadly, his last as a contributing artist to the Island School Council's An Evening of the Arts. He will be greatly missed by us all!  

Focus on the goal, press on through the diversions

Sansing McPherson

Sansing McPherson

Sansing McPherson, a retired language arts teacher and grammar nerd, describes herself as the poster person for writers who allow other projects to divert them from finishing their first book.

 Now, after ten years of research and writing when the muse struck, she is ready to publish her first novel, Sweat Sisters, about four New Jersey middle school teachers in 2010, sweating their way through an unsettled contract, an aerobics class, and the big M, menopause, while enduring the sting of an aggressive governor (guess who) hostile toward public employees and teachers.

 During that decade she diverted attention to being an Elder and a Deacon at her church and serving six years on the Board of Directors of The Literacy Center, three years as board chair. She is still authors chair for its popular Cooks & Books fundraiser.

 Sansing, longtime secretary of the Island Writers’ Network, and much-appreciated editorial board member for its four anthologies, grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, writing stories about dogs and horses and vowing never to be a teacher. She favored courses in English literature and journalism at Auburn University.

 However, while raising her two children in northern New Jersey, she realized that teaching was what she really wanted to do. After earning a master’s degree in education at Kean University, she began her career as a middle school language arts teacher. She previously had taught writing at the college level.

 In retirement she enjoys traveling with her husband, Terry, scuba diving, yoga, and writing. She was a start-up writer for 101 Things to Do on Hilton Head and is working on her second novel.


Island Writers’ Network welcomes visitors to its Programs (first Mondays, 7:00 p.m., September-June) and Open Mics (third Mondays, 7:00 p.m.) at The Heritage Library, 852 William Hilton Parkway.

Ladies, do you love to sing in the shower or croon in the car?

If you love to sing in the shower or croon in the car, you need to explore the wonderful singing opportunities with the Hilton Head Shore Notes, a women’s four-part a cappella chorus that has been entertaining local audiences throughout the Lowcountry since 1997.  Their 32 members are busy rehearsing for their next show, “The Magic of Broadway,” on March 5 at the Seahawk Cultural Center, where they play to standing room only every year.  They are very excited to have Speed of Sound, the 2016 Queens of Harmony, who finished first in the world at International Competition in Las Vegas in October, as their special guest quartet.

Barbershop singing has been around since the 1920s, but as Sweet Adelines like to clarify, “Men invented it, but women perfected it!”  Women not only sing great songs, but they get to dress to the nines.  The icing on the cake is that the Shore Notes have won medals at their last five Regional Competitions in Daytona, Florida, no small feat.  They will be competing again this April.

The Shore Notes also have two quartets that enjoy singing at all types of functions in Hilton Head and Bluffton.  Just One Night and Sea Sharp would love to entertain you at any event throughout the year, including singing valentines.

One of the greatest joys of being a Shore Note is the opportunity to give back to the community.  Christmas season is a wonderful time of year for the chorus since they sing Christmas cheer to all the local retirement communities in Hilton Head and Bluffton.  Naturally, the Shore Notes are available for hire any time during the year since they have a diverse repertoire and are regularly called upon to perform at community functions.

The Shore Notes rehearse every Monday evening at the Island Lutheran Church, 4400 Main Street, Hilton Head, from 6:45 to 9:45.  Guests and prospective members are always welcomed.

To hire the Shore Notes or one of their quartets, contact Judy at (843) 681-3516.


The road to the written page can take decades, just ask an Island writer.

Charlie McOuat web.jpg

The road to the written page can take decades.  This is true for Charlie McOuat.

He is a man of many interests, and, like so many others, he is a transplant to Hilton Head Island after a Cape Cod career in dentistry.

Charlie’s youth and adulthood were filled with sports, math, science, marriage and child-rearing.  His retirement has been similarly busy.

When we recently met for coffee, he arrived in an old sweatshirt from a night of companionship with homeless families overnighting at his church.  It was typical ‘Charlie’ – a man who has volunteered at The Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club, Volunteers in Medicine, and on numerous medical missions in Ghana and Haiti.

As he placed his coffee cup on the table, Charlie’s first words were, “I feel great.  I wrote something yesterday, and it brought me lots of pleasure.”

Charlie started writing about ten years ago after a Life Long Learning workshop.  “She was a great teacher,” he told me.  “She encouraged everyone, and we started getting our stories on paper.”

Over the intervening years, Charlie’s stories have appeared in all four Island Writers’ Network anthologies; he has self-published three volumes of memoir, fiction and poetry; he finished second in the South Carolina Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest with "Nauset Magic”; and he was a winner of the 2013 Savannah Authors Contest for his story “Learning from Mice”.

His life is full, and he makes it more enjoyable through writing.

Island Writers’ Network welcomes visitors to its Programs (first Mondays, 7:00 p.m., September-June) and Open Mics (third Mondays, 7:00 p.m.) at The Heritage Library, 852 William Hilton Parkway.