It was just a simple dessert, but it ended up becoming their trademark.
An apple pie was brought to a meeting of the group of like-minded artists on Hilton Head Island about 15 years ago. Since then, they've called themselves the Apple Pie Painters and have become one of the island's most well-known painting collectives.
The small group meets regularly to paint en plein air, showing consistently in the area. They are celebrating their 15th anniversary with "Coastal Discoveries," which runs through May 27 at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.
Barbara Snow, one of the original members, talks about the beginnings of the Apple Pies.
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Question. How did you get involved?
Answer. When I first got here, there weren't that many groups that met and painted. I had been here for a year and was looking to meet people. Studio painting can be a very solitary activity.
I took a plein air workshop and ended up becoming friends with some of the others there. We decided to continue painting together. We've all remained friends, and a few others have joined the group. A lot of that is because of eating (laughs).
Q. How did an apple pie come into play?
A. Peter Hadfalvi was an engineer and did some baking at some of the restaurants. He was well known for his cheesecake and apple pies. He's a wonderful baker.
Q. So you could have been the cheesecake painters?
A. Oh, I don't think so (laughs). What happened was one of the members had a one-person show, and we sent flowers. We thought, "OK, how do we sign the card? Do we all sign our names?" Peter said, "Let's just sign the Apple Pie Painters." The name kind of stuck.
Q. You paint outdoors a lot. Where are some good, hidden places that people may not know about?
A. One of them is at Fish Haul Creek Park. It has this lovely gazebo that sticks out into the marsh. If you look down, there's a path. That goes down to the water, which I don't think a lot of people know about. That area of the island has eroded a bit, so there are all these downed trees. I saw some tiny horseshoe crab shells that I've never seen elsewhere. We've also been to several cemeteries that most people just pass by. There's a multitude of places on the island.
Q. What's new about this exhibit?
A. It shows the diversity of our group. It's not all abstract or all plein air. It's all Lowcountry scenes, but the technique is different. There are different styles, different subject matter.