A'la Art

How could so little encompass so much? On our 5-by-12 mile island, artists rival seagulls and our cultural menu is in tune with major cities. An icon in this development is the Hilton Head Art League, born in 1973. Harbour Town was the sight of the first member show of the new organization, spearheaded by 30 enthusiastic members. Its numbers have soared to more than 600, and the gallery, located early in Sea Pines Center, eventually moved to its present location in Pineland Station. An outstanding Gallery, led by Gabriele Hoffmann, holding a master's degree in art history, it features a new artist every month. "Each accomplished artist has his/her own display room, and all of our member artists have an opportunity to show," noted Gabriele.

According to Art League President, Terry Brennan, over 160 artists are exhibiting now, making the Art League the largest art association in Beaufort County. "We are proud of our Art Academy on Cordillo Parkway, entering its sixth year with classes taught by our members, and the fact that we are recognized as a state-of-the-art gallery," she said.
March promises two very special treats at the gallery as watercolor artist/sculptor, J. Alexandra H. Sharma, and jewelry designer, Kim Welton, exhibit their eclectic talents.

J. Alexandra H. Sharma
Alexandra was exposed to the arts at an early age. Her grandfather, an internationally renowned etcher, and her father, a well-recognized architect and sculptor, had a significant influence on Alexandra. "My father truly gave me his appreciation and awareness of space and form, and it has guided me in all my artistic endeavors," she said. She vividly recalls her first sculpture, created at age eight, from a large block of salt-salt-lick brought to her by her father from a local farm.

Painting every day now, she said, "It fills a need, a desire. It's something I've always done." Alexandra equates it to the most basic of human instincts: "When did you know you wanted to breathe air?" she asked.
A Master of Fine Arts, Alexandra has spent over 20 years painting and has studied at the Sorbonne (University of Paris), at Oxford University and Ontario College of Art & Design. In addition, she has taught for many years throughout Canada and South Carolina. Her work is exhibited in numerous private collections and in the City of Toronto's corporate collection. A founding member of the Multi Media Arts Guild in Kingston, Ontario, a member of the Beaufort Art Association and Hilton Head Art League, she will be exhibiting 10 to 12 recently created pieces.
Alexandra enjoys her teaching at the Art Academy. "No one is totally hopeless," she said. "They only need the desire to learn and experiment with the principles of design and composition." Step into Alexandra's enchanting world of color at the Art League Gallery during the month of March and explore, as she has, all the magic of art.

Kym Welton
Often it is a simple request leading us into another adventure. On her return to Hilton Head in 2002, Canadian born Kym Welton, who studied silver jewelry making, designed a few pieces for a family member to match her outfits for a trip. "That did it!" she said. "My interest was rekindled, and now when I see pieces of jewelry, I know I can make them. I truly enjoy designing unique chokers, matching earrings and bracelets in leather and crystals." A pilot, certified personal fitness trainer and South Carolina real estate agent, Kym combines all her experiences into her jewelry making. Working a great deal with crystals, pearls, sea glass and moonstone, Kym has created an amazing array of color and elegance for all occasions. Be sure to pop by the Art League Gallery at Pineland Station during the month of March for an exquisite journey into Kym's beautiful world of design.

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