Artistic appreciation growing on the Grand Strand

Dozens came to the opening of Seacoast Artists Gallery at The Market Common. /Lisa Edge

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - The Grand Strand is well known for offering visitors a myriad of hotels, restaurants, and attractions, but there are also plenty of natural landscapes an artist can interpret onto a canvas.

At the opening of Seacoast Artists Gallery at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach, Sharon Sorrels is doing a painting demonstration. She's showing others how she works with oils.

"I found that coming here, the area is rich in culture and history, and because of that I'm always finding some subject to paint or something that inspires me," said Sorrels.

At the new gallery, the works of some 70 artists are on display. Organizers say interest in buying art is on the rebound, and more artists are moving to the area. "With all the wonderful artists that there are in the area, arts needs to stay at the forefront. Whenever things turn down, the first thing that gets considered discretionary spending is art and things like that," explained Woody Bower.

From the life long professional to the novice you can find all types of art.

"I get to express myself. I do all kinds of paintings, sometimes I do colored pencil, and I'm painting people, whatever inspires me," added Sorrels. "It's an outlet for me."

"It gave me a way to remember, so I can remember and see things that I experienced while I was traveling, and it's a great hobby to get into to. It is my retirement hobby," said Bower.

The guild isn't just about selling artwork, they also want to inspire and expose young people to the joys of holding a paintbrush.

"We just gave two for the summer for a middle school student and a high school student to go to the CCU summer arts program," said Bower.

The gallery opening comes on the heels of a major art event held in Lake City called ArtFields, where a Coastal Carolina University professor took home top honors.