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June 2011

Deluxe in Wilmington, NC, Features Works by Clark Hipolito, Will Allison, & Jay Lichty

The Deluxe restaurant in downtown Wilmington, NC, will present a special exhibit entitled, Birds of a Feather, featuring hand-crafted and hand-painted surfboards and stringed instruments by Clark Hipolito, Will Allison, and Jay Lichty, on view from June 10 through Sept. 1, 2011. A reception will be held on June 10, starting at 8pm, with live acoustic music provided by Sai Collins. All three artists will attend.

The exhibition features Clark Hipolito’s original artwork on handcrafted guitars, ukuleles and surfboards.

The title of the exhibition, Birds Of A Feather, reflects the collaboration between Raleigh, NC-based artist Hipolito, surfboard shaper Will Allison of Wilmington, and luthier Jay Lichty of Tryon, NC.

Hipolito, the founder of Art Co Surf in Raleigh, has been well known for several years for his hand-painted, wood-grain surfboards that are inspired by the Polynesian surfing legacy, Asian art, and Hipolito’s love of classic Chris-Craft boats.

In 2008, Hipolito applied his art to a guitar that was subsequently signed by performers at that year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee and auctioned to raise funds for charity. As word of Hipolito’s hand-painted guitar circulated, other musicians commissioned him to paint guitars for them, including Michael Franti of Spearhead and country rock star Mike Gossin of Gloriana.

Through Gossin, Hipolito met Jay Lichty who shaped Gossin’s guitar.

“Jay is one of the most talented guitar makers emerging in the world right now, his attention to detail, and choice of materials are second to none,” says Hipolito.

After they agreed to collaborate on a show, Hipolito contacted surfboard shaper Will Allison.

“Will is a legend,” Hipolito said. “He’s been creating surfboards longer than anyone I’ve ever known.”

The three agreed to collaborate on the work that will be seen in the upcoming exhibition.

Lichty works with the finest quality domestic and exotic woods to build approximately thirty custom instruments a year. Lichty Guitars was the 2010 winner of the prestigious Made in the South Awards, by Garden & Gun magazine, and is rapidly gaining international notoriety given the scope of musicians who are choosing custom instruments by Lichty. A partial list of these professional musicians includes Geoff Achison (internationally acclaimed Australian guitarist), brothers Tom and Mike Gossin (Gloriana), Doug Lancio, (Nashville producer and lead guitarist for John Hiatt and Patty Griffin), Jody Porter (Fountains of Wayne), and solo singer/songwriter Haley Dreis.

Hipolito’s artwork can be seen all over the map, from large interior design murals to musician Michael Franti’s guitar to beautifully painted surfboards that include one commissioned by Grammy-winning pop star “Pink” (Alecia Moore) and one purchased by Billy Gibbons, the legendary founder and lead guitarist for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band ZZ Top.

Allison is a world-class surfer and an East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame inductee (2006) who has over 30 years of experience hand-shaping boards for clients around the world, including a quiver of surfboards for Jimmy Buffet.

For further information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call the restaurant at 910/251-0333 or visit (


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