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Marketplace offers custom design ideas

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Calabash art gallery Sunset River Marketplace is featuring Feed Your Eclectic Soul through May 31. According to gallery owner and design consultant Ginny Lassiter, the group exhibition is “a showing of custom design ideas, fine crafts and gently loved pieces from the past.”
Lassiter and fellow designer Beth Pethtal of Sunset Beach have created a number of vignettes, each including antiques, seating, pillows, art and other pieces.
“We plan to change things around a few times during the show,” Lassiter said. “We want to demonstrate how to inject your own personal tastes into a room layout and still have a cohesive design.”
Lassiter is a graduate of East Carolina University, majoring in art with an emphasis in interior design. Her taste, which is evident in every aspect of the gallery, leans toward the eclectic.
“I think I’ve driven by sentiment,” she said. “I have many, many family pieces that I love, so I have to come up with ways to make everything work together without looking cluttered. I love bringing different textures to a space. I’ll usually try to tie things together with a certain element. Sometimes it’s a color, like black or red. Often it’s a material such as metal.”
Pethtal, a graduate of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta who earned her master’s degree at the University of Georgia, is a designer and fabricates a range of soft, custom home furnishings with her husband, Marvin. She is known for simplicity and crisp, clean designs.
“I’m a fabric nut,” she says. “I love searching out patterns that aren’t matchy, but work together.”
Vignettes for the exhibition are anchored by seating pieces. For one, a neutral chocolate brown chaise lounge is filled with sea-themed pillows, with an abstract painting by Sylvia Messick, a sleek Wes Wagner oak bench serving as a coffee table and a handcrafted tile-topped table by Shandi Berls.
For another, an antique daybed has been reupholstered in a retro-fabric of red circles with a mix of artisan-crafted and store-bought pillows. A whimsical folk art metal fish bench with a painted wooden seat offers another alternative and is the perfect spot for some flip-flop-themed pillows. A metal top dry sink adds unusual appeal.
Lassiter will present a gallery talk, “Feed Your Own Eclectic Soul,” from 11 a.m.-noon Wednesday, May 23. She will demonstrate her ideas by changing one of the vignettes to achieve an entirely different look and will discuss how to incorporate family pieces, unusual art pieces and off-the-shelf store items into your own home décor. There is no charge for the gallery talk and no reservations are required.
Sunset River Marketplace, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this June, showcases work by about 200 North and South Carolina artists, and houses almost 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, visit its website at www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com. Sunset River Marketplace is at 10283 Beach Drive SW (N.C. 179) in Calabash. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Daily updates and special promotions are listed on the gallery’s Facebook page.