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October 2011

Art Trail Gallery in Florence, SC, Offers Exhibit Focused on Music

The Art Trail Gallery in Florence, SC, is presenting the exhibit, World of Music, which will be on view through Oct. 28, 2011.

The exhibit features the works of 50 different artists who have produced an amazing array of handmade musical instruments and art with a music theme. These unique and beautiful pieces are available for purchase.

Stringed instruments represent a significant part of the handmade instruments on display. However, the approach each luthier has taken to produce these pieces is quite varied. Classic styling emphasizing craftsmanship can be found in the items on display by Black Creek Guitars and Lichty Guitars. Jay Lichty distinguishes his pieces with exotic woods and rich ornamentation. David Lance of Florence and Ramon “Boot” Arreola of Frets and Necks in Hartsville, SC, have redefined homemade. Lance begins his instruments with harvesting local timbers and processing the wood himself. He takes advantage of the wood’s characteristics and features to make one-of-a-kind stringed instruments. “Boot” Arreola produces his instruments by reclaiming wood from a variety of sources such as old furniture and downed trees. Each instrument has a unique character and story.

Byron Navey and Brandon Cooper are two artisans who have each approached the production of stringed instruments in an atypical fashion. They have repurposed different types of cigar boxes into an equally wide variety of guitars and even a violin. Navey prefers the rough surfaced boxes adding texture to the instruments’ surfaces. Cooper’s smooth-surfaced instruments clearly show the brands and marks of the original cigar box maker.

Dulcimers by Wayne Page and Allen Johnson round out the stringed instrument display and once more demonstrate the variety in the interpretation of the instrument.

While stringed instruments dominate, there is also a fine selection of traditional Native American flutes produced by Kenneth and Theresa Grut. Adding to the display of woodwind instruments are the clay-based ocarinas by Peggy Brown and the distinctive wooden masterpieces by Charles Hind of Hind Musical Instruments. Prized by musicians and collectors alike, Hind’s “Sweet Potato” ocarinas are accurately tuned to concert pitch and carefully voiced to have a rich, warm tone.

Crafted in cocobolo, the “Sweet Potato” ocarina is an excellent example of functionality and beauty in a single instrument. For beginners, Hind has also supplied Walnut Inline Ocarinas that are considered much easier to hold and to play. Adding to the distinctive collection is his hand held pipe organ out of walnut that can be played like a harmonica.

Rounding out the instrument portion of the exhibit is a collection of percussion instruments on display created by Dr. Linda Lake emphasizing the versatility of the common gourd. On the playful side is the adaptation of the classic mbira design by Michael Madden.

In terms of artistic works with a music theme, the exhibit features Jim Gleason’s unique interpretation of common objects. Gleason, an accomplished classical tuba player, has re-thought the concept of a lamp through repurposing musical instruments. The shining metals are transformed into stylish lamps that make a distinctive statement.

Thirty-Two Crew artists Matt Lee and Daniel Floyd and South Carolina artist, Gingi Martin have shared their passions for both contemporary and classical music in two widely differing approaches. Lee and Floyd have produced pieces echoing roots in graffiti art. Martin honors the tradition of classical music with two separate art installations, as well as paintings and sculptures.

Rounding out the 2-D works are a broad selection of paintings and fiber art celebrating music. With regard to 3-D elements in the exhibit, Neil McClendon, Jr. has produced a collection of silicone-based sculptural pieces primarily depicting dance scenes while Alex Palkovich has four delicate bronze sculptures revealing his passion for music. One exciting addition to the sculptures is the fresh new work by Mike and Patz Fowle. Their playful sense of humor is evident in their new line of ceramic pieces. Richly detailed and finely finished, their pieces are sure to become collector’s items.

Artists participating in the exhibit are: David Ackerman, April Artis, Stephen Black, Jean Bourque, Norman Belge, Andrew Bradley, Debbie Broadway, EunJung Chang, Brandon Cooper, Belinda Davis, Ramona Eggleston, Lynda English, Daniel Floyd, Mike & Patz Fowle, Beth Gilbert, Kenneth & Theresa Grut, Gaye Ham, Martha Herbert, Janis Hobbs, Marianne Hoylen, Rachell Hyman, Michael Jalicki, Frances Kelley, Karen Kirkland, Dr. Linda Lake, David Lance, Matt Lee, Jay Lichty, Carolyn M. Govan, Michael Madden, Gingi Martin, Neil McClendon, Jr., Byron Navey, Ann Page, Wayne Page, Alex Palkovich, Aggie Palkovich, Cynthia Jewell Pollett, Susan Rayment, Elena Sannikova, Marina Schleg, Chris Starr, Denny Stevenson, Rita Studdard, Molly Symons, Ray Vance, Judy Voss, Mary Williams, and Blake Wright.

World of Music is being sponsored by Southern Harmony Recording Studio and Yonder Music, the public is invited to judge the exhibit by voting for their favorite artist! Cash prizes will be awarded the final night of the exhibit!

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call Jane Madden at 843/673-0729 or visit (

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