The Public Art Exhibition Returns to Hilton Head

Beth Mayo

Beth Mayo, chair of the Public Art Fund of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, speaks about the importance of public art engaging with the community. Photo by Katie Hatfield.

Being so close to a bustling art scene in Savannah, Hilton Head has yet to make a large statement with local art, but all that is
changing with the third Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island presented by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

A free and open to the public sculpture exhibition, the Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island is being held at the Coastal Discovery Museum. Following a one-mile trail around Honey Horn Plantation, the exhibition features 19 artists from around the country with the closest being from Savannah, and the furthest from Pepeekeo, Hawaii.

Since 2006 the Community Foundation has brought large sculpture works to the island for the public to enjoy, and also to help build up the art community on Hilton Head Island. One of the most famous and recognizable art pieces to be installed now resides in Compass Rose Park. The Charles E. Fraser statue was donated to the town of Hilton Head in 2010 and is estimated at a value of $126,600.

  • Waves by Fritz Olsen
    Waves by Fritz Olsen

“Community foundation of the Lowcountry is proud of the biennial Public Art Exhibition that not only brings people to visit here but also helps to define this place called Hilton Head Island,” said President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Denise K. Spencer. “We are proud to be adding to the public art here, and to refine what is communicated about this place.”

Honey Horn

Workers in the beginning stages of erecting “THEB (Transparent Hollow Empty Boxes)” by Jeff Boshart from Charleston, Illinois. Photo by Katie Hatfield.

Defining place has always been a subject in art, and in life. Bringing public art to Hilton Head is about much more than bringing pretty looking statues to the island, it is about using those statues to connect with the community.  Art is about involvement, which is why both Jeff Boshart and David Teng-Olsen, two of the artists with pieces showcased in the exhibition, are set to work with local students from Hilton Head School for the Creative Arts, Hilton Head Elementary, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Bluffton High School, and HE McCracken Middle School.

“We have a significant impact on the component produced by the public arts fund,” said Beth Mayo, chair of the Public Art Fund for the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. “We have middle school and high school out here some of them participating in the installations.”

The exhibition runs from the beginning of October through the end of December and is free and open to the public. Guided tours are available for $10 per adult, and $5 per child. If you prefer to view the exhibition on your own, make sure to bring your mobile phone as there is a free guided cell phone tour.

To learn more about the Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island, please call the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn at (843) 689-6767 or click here to view Hilton Head’s public art website.