Ruth Cox art on display

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Sunset River Marketplace, an art gallery in Calabash, will present “Ruth Cox: Works in Oil” from
Jan. 7-Feb. 16.
The exhibition will feature more than 30 paintings by the Myrtle Beach, S.C., artist. There will be a reception to meet the artist from
2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. The public is invited.
According to gallery owner Ginny Lassiter, paintings will include landscapes, coastal scenes, florals and other still lives.
The exhibition coincides with the artist’s ongoing oil-painting class for intermediate and advanced artists, which will be offered by Sunset River Marketplace from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. beginning Friday, Jan. 11.
Cox, a native of the Grand Strand, is known throughout the area for her award-winning plein air paintings and large-scale wall murals. She has been a member of the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild and Seacoast Artist Guild of S.C., and currently participates in WetCanvas.com, an international art website where she has contributed two instructional articles and several demonstrations.
She also belongs to the regional Southern Ladies Art Conference and is the founder of a local plein air painting group, the Plein Air Landscape Society (PALS).
A signature member of the International Plein Air Painters group, her work has won awards in Wilmington, Southport, Moncks Corner, S.C., and Orlando, Fla.
They include a 2009 first place for her painting, “Riverwalk,” at a paint-out in Conway, S.C., and another first place in 2010 at the Plein Air Paint-Out in Kinston for “Morning Light.”
Cox says her art is taking her in different directions.
“One direction is decorative art and mural painting, which gives me great pleasure and allows me to make a living in art. Another direction is images from dreams, myths, legends and imagination, which becomes very spiritual and sometimes mystical. A third direction is painting outdoors in plein air, which has brought me many new friends and adventures,” she said.
Concerning her murals, the artist says, “I have painted murals in homes, schools and businesses in North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. I have painted backdrops for several local theaters, including Snoopy’s Magic on Ice, All-American Music Theatre, Gatlin Brothers Theater and Theatre of the Republic. My murals include the Conway Chamber of Commerce, touch-up of the Aynor train mural, many hotel murals in Myrtle Beach and the Black Water Market in downtown Conway,” Cox said.
Her subject matter consists of the area around where she lives: Brookgreen Garden, Waccamaw River, local farm country, salt marshes and Atlantic beaches.
She considers the world her studio, saying, “I try to capture special effects of light and atmosphere that are exciting or emotionally moving to me. I like painting with oils (or acrylics) on canvas as panels, using large brushes and a palette knife to apply colors in connected shapes of light and shadow to set the composition. Then, I develop these shapes further to indicate form and meaning, with variety in value, color, texture and edges. I stop short of realistic detail, using just enough to give an impression, allowing the viewer to fill in the rest. The effect is realistic with identifiable objects, without belaboring the detail work.”
Cox’s show at Sunset River Marketplace will include a range of works, mainly in oil, that depict her many interests, inspirations and locales.
Visit Sunset River Marketplace at 10283 Beach Drive (N.C. 179) in Calabash, just north of the state line. Gallery hours for winter (January-March) are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
 For information, call 575-5999 or visit its website at www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com. The gallery’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sunsetrivermarketplace) also lists special events, new artists and other happenings.