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“Myrtle Beach Days: A Visual and Literary Celebration of the Grand Strand” opens at Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash on Sept. 1 and runs through Oct. 3.
The show will include photography by famed Myrtle Beach, S.C., historian Jack Thompson and paintings by Gwen Dumas (oil), Steve Jameson (acrylic), and Babs Ludwick (watercolor).
Several books about the area will also be included in the display, including “Memories of Myrtle Beach” by Jack Thompson, “Fat Harold: Legendary King of Shag” by Howie Thompson and “The Ocean Forest” and “Damn Yankee” by Troy D. Nooe.
There will be a reception and book signing from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. The artists and authors will be on hand to meet the public and answer questions about their work and experiences. This is a free event. No reservations are required.
“Myrtle Beach is such an iconic landmark and holds so much history for so many of us, I’ve been wanting to put together an exhibition for some time now,” said gallery owner Ginny Lassiter. “Since we have a section of local literature and host many local writers in our Coffee with the Author series, it made sense to feature them, too.”
Acrylic artist Steve Jameson is known throughout the Grand Strand for his colorful, larger-than-life depictions of iconic Myrtle Beach landmarks such as the carousel at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion and downtown eatery, Mammy’s Kitchen. He has also illustrated children’s books, including “Just Imagine” (2006), which earned a Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magazine in 2007.
Calabash artist Babs Ludwick works mainly in water media. She is free spirited as both a woman and an artist, unencumbered by expectations or labels. Her giclee print of Fat Harold’s in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach is well known in shag and beach music circles, but this is the first time she will offer the original for sale.
Gwen Dumas prefers to work in oil. The Southern Pines artist has an affinity for Myrtle Beach, creating snapshots of the beach, the pavilion and other landmark moments on her many canvases.
Originally from Greenville, S.C., Jack L. Thompson Sr. has been photographing Myrtle Beach happenings since he took a job at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion in the early ’50s. That was him behind the camera snapping mug shots at the Myrtle Beach Jail. He was there during the heyday of the Ocean Forest Hotel and he was there when it imploded.
The state of South Carolina recently recognized Thompson as the Official Chronicler of South Carolina’s Grand Strand and has named his birthday, Sept. 21, as Jack Thompson Remembering Myrtle Beach Day in Myrtle Beach. Some of his most sought-after images, including his iconic photo of The Pad, will be in the Myrtle Beach Days exhibition at Sunset River Marketplace.
He will also be on hand with his coffee table book, “Memories of Myrtle Beach,” during the book signing on Sept. 29.
Other authors include Troy D. Nooe (“The Ocean Forest” and “Damn Yankee”) and Howie “Coach” Thompson (“Fat Harold: the Legendary King of Shag”).
Mystery writer Nooe is originally from Baltimore, Md., but resides in Myrtle Beach now. His pair of retro mysteries combine classic noir suspense with local historical fact, and both feature the escapades of low-budget gumshoe Frankie McKeller. The two books are set in Myrtle Beach, but are getting noticed all around the country. “The Ocean Forest” has been nominated for a Shamus Award by The Private Eye Writers of America.
Thompson, born in Darien, Conn., was active in sports as a child and continued through college. After moving to Durham in 1999, he coached softball and soccer for both boys and girls. After moving to Little River, S.C., in 2006, he met many people in the shag and beach music community. He has written both fiction and non-fiction books and has been a columnist for the Savannah Daily News online magazine.
“I met Harold Bessent in the fall of 2011 and we became good friends,” Thompson said. His book chronicles the life of the legendary beach club owner and includes interviews with many key players in the local music scene.
Visit Sunset River Marketplace at 10283 Beach Drive SW (N.C. 179) in Calabash. For more information, call (910) 575.5999 or visit www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com. Daily updates are posted on the gallery’s Facebook page.