Myrtle Beach may be better known for its neon-lit attractions and seaside amusements, but the Sun Fun Capital has its fair share of higher culture, too. Hidden beyond the high-rise resorts and towering thrill rides resides the heartbeat of the local arts community — the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Myrtle Beach Art Museum, which is designed with visitors in mind.
Located at the southernmost end of Ocean Boulevard, just a few blocks from Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort and across the street from Springmaid Pier, the Myrtle Beach Art Museum resides in a former beach house that was relocated and renovated to serve as a much-needed art museum. This three-story structure is filled with 11 galleries that host touring exhibitions and permanent local displays.
The Myrtle Beach Art Museum also provides classes, lectures and lessons in a wide variety of art and craft forms, including paintings, textiles, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video and more. Funded and maintained entirely by donations and fundraisers, the museum also holds special events, like arts and crafts projects for kids and after-hours wine tastings for adults.
While the Myrtle Beach Art Museum may never attract the kinds of crowds that flock to more popular attractions around town, like the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel or Broadway at the Beach, it serves a smaller segment of the local and visiting population with some internationally famous exhibits. Some are surprised to discover collections normally associated with major museums making stops on the Grand Strand.
Recently featured artists include American traditionalist Norman Rockwell, architect/designer Frank Lloyd Wright, painter/sculptor Jasper Johns, and naturalists Ansel Adams and John James Audubon. More family-oriented exhibits include ones focused on kid-favored topics like Goodnight Moon, Babar, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and other characters from the golden age of animated films.
Permanent collections highlight the culture of the Coastal Carolina region to give locals lessons about their history and to provide visitors with unique insight into the area's art scene. Exhibitions include the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild Collection, the Bishop Collection of Antique Maps and Historical Prints, the Burgess and Dinkelspiel Collection of Southern Art, and the Museum Collection of Gifts and Purchases.
The current touring collections will be on display through April and feature a cloth-related-artwork theme. The Gee's Bend Quilters collection, an acclaimed historic collection tracing back to a rural town in Alabama, features an array of hand-sewn quilts and prints. Others include Stitchin' and Pullin': Painted Illustrations by Cozbi Cabrera and The Fabric of Our Collection.
Beginning in April, the Myrtle Beach Art Museum will share the works of local aspiring artists at the 18th Annual Horry-Georgetown County High Schools Juried Art Exhibition. In May, visitors can see the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild's 20th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, as well as an internationally acclaimed collection from Douglas Balentine: Beyond the Horizon. Coming in June and running all summer long, Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South is sure to please the eyes and tease the taste buds.
The Myrtle Beach Art Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.com.
Guests at Compass Cove Resort, oceanfront in Myrtle Beach, can take advantage of an opportunity to do something truly different during their vacation by checking out the Myrtle Beach Art Museum. After getting a bit of culture, head back to the resort for a dip in the pools, a few rides on the waterslides, and a relaxing soak in the hot tub. It’s a recipe for a well-rounded and fun vacation at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort.