Anything Goes: Group Show By 'Art Matters' Group Opens Oct. 5

 Kindred Spirit, pastel by Nancy Guiry

Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, N.C. will host Anything Goes, a multi-artist show being presented by Art Matters, a studio art group that meets to paint and critique their work on Thursday afternoons at the gallery. The show opens Oct. 5 and runs through Nov. 3. A public reception is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The group began in 2006 as a pastel class, which was taught by noted S.C. artist Jane Staszak. The lively and talented group dubbed themselves the Pastel Sisters and had their first group show at Sunset River Marketplace in 2010. Since then the class has evolved into an open studio where they often explore media other than pastel. Early this year, they changed their name to Art Matters in order to cover a broader range of style and work.

Artists participating in Anything Goes are: Jane Staszak, Nancy Guiry, Brenda “Bree” Goff, Liz Roberts, Linda Young, Mary Grace “MG” Cain, Sue Ruopp, Joanne Bendy, Barbara Riggi, and Susan Nern.

Jane Staszak works in pastel, acrylic and ink. Her work has been accepted into many prestigious state and national exhibitions. Her long list of awards includes a Best in Show from the National Show at Southport, N.C. and the Cape Fear Annual Show in Fayetteville, N.C. Other honors include an invitation to show at the prestigious 2011 Pastels by Invitation Exhibition in Cape Cod, Mass. Jane excels at character studies, impressionistic landscapes and animal portraiture.

Nancy Guiry is a versatile and talented multimedia artist who paints with great sensitivity. She has studies with nationally known artists such as Mary Whyte, Arnie Westerman, Carl Dalio and Mike Rooney. Recently, Nancy has been focusing on portraits and character studies of people. One of her portraits recently earned an Award of Excellence at both the Waterway Art Assoc. and Brunswick Arts Council shows in N.C. Nancy’s expressive landscape paintings capture the essence of each scene using color and value.

Bree Goff is an award-winning artist, currently working in pastel. Earlier this year, she earned third place in the Waterway Art Assoc. show for her pastel portrait titled Gabriel. “I absolutely love this medium. The depth and vibrancy of color that can be achieved is amazing,” she says. Her focus is usually the landscape. “I am fortunate to live on a tidal river which affords me wonderful views of marshes, sunrises, sunsets, and coastal wildlife. I enjoy the always hanging play of light in nature and its effect on both real and imagined color.”

Liz Roberts is a creative whirlwind. She’s an artist, an author and a musician. She is well known for her colorful, dynamic abstract paintings that are both thought provoking and delightful. The emotions of her life's journey shine through on every canvas. Liz and her husband Tom, who had a four-piece Gaelic ensemble until earlier this year, will perform during the Oct. 13 reception. Liz tells us they recently named their duo Obscurity, as a nod to their relative unknown status.

Linda S. Young is an award-winning artist originally from Brookline, Mass. and now lives in Cape Cod and South Carolina. She works in pastel and oil. Her ability to capture the nuance of a scene has helped her win many awards including two Best In Shows. She is a member of 21 in Truro, South Cape Artists, and is a signature member of Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. She has been in numerous juried group and solo exhibitions. Her work hangs in numerous national and international private collections.

MG Cain was a successful commercial advertising designer for much of her career. After 40 years of working for paying clients, she now draws and paints for her own enjoyment. Her favorite media are pencil, charcoal, ink, and watercolor. Says MG, “Every work is a happy accident.”

Sue Ruopp spent 20 years as a labor and delivery nurse and has also owned her own shop. She has beaten breast cancer and survived two brain tumors and now says her life endeavors are culminating in eclectic art expressions. Unschooled in art, she brings an “outsider” stroke to her creative pastels, acrylics, watercolors and pencil drawings. Hers is a wildly unique voice in the jungle of today’s art expressions.

Joanne Bendy has always enjoyed art and nature. Being an avid gardener inspires her photographs and paintings of landscapes, birds and flowers. She uses bright and luminous colors to portray her passion for nature.

Barbara Riggi is a recent transplant from Connecticut who began learning to express nature in pastels just a few years ago. She is particularly interested in equine and ballet subject matter.

Susan Nern has explored a variety of subject matter and says she is especially inspired by coastal landscapes. Her pastels have a soft impressionistic feel that capture the calm serene essence of her subjects.

Anything Goes is a vibrant, energetic collection of artwork that serves to inspire the viewer to follow his or her own muse and embrace the creativity that can be found in everyone.

Other Oct. events at Sunset River Marketplace include the Brunswick Arts Council Fall Show and Sale from Oct. 8 to Oct. 13 (reception and awards ceremony Thursday, Oct. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m.) and Ann McCray’s Studio Clean-Out from Oct. 22 to Nov. 17, a special event for collectors that will feature a large selection of the Wilmington, N.C. artist’s oil paintings at greatly reduced prices.

Sunset River Marketplace showcases work by approximately 200 North and South Carolina artists, and houses some 10,000 square feet of oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, mixed media, art glass, pottery, sculpture, turned and carved wood and artisan-created jewelry. There are two onsite kilns used by students in the ongoing pottery classes offered by the gallery. A custom framing department is available. There are also classes in oil painting, watercolor, pastel and figure drawing. For more information, call the number listed above or visit the website at

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW (Hwy. 179), Calabash, N.C. Regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For daily updates, “like” the gallery’s page on Facebook.

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