How a revitalized Honey Horn, Coastal Discovery Museum came to be bursting with new color

“Old Dutch Boat” by Barbara Grubba.
“Old Dutch Boat” by Barbara Grubba. Submitted photo

There is enormously good news at Honey Horn, generally, and at The Coastal Discovery Museum, specifically.

Almost nine months had passed since I last entered the historic grounds and followed the picturesque road down to The Coastal Discovery Museum. Hurricane Matthew took its toll on many views and landmarks.

I entered through the main gate and followed the newly installed directional signs down the road to the museum. Fresh grassy meadows defined the open areas, and my favorite, familiar landmarks were in clear view. I watched as two staff members were installing bright, new, large-scale bird feeders near the main entrance.

Natalie Hefter, vice president of programs at Honey Horn, welcomed me to the gallery, and escorted me through the pieces, all filled with color and freshly installed.

“This exhibit (Summer Images) by ‘Les Bonnes Artistes’ is kind of a fresh beginning to our hosting the exhibitions we are so pleased to offer in this important space,” said Hefter. “This artwork, which features the pieces of these Hilton Head artists, really is the beginning to our continuing staging of important collections of art.”

The work is displayed in clusters by the contributing artists, all members of “Les Bonnes Artistes,” and offered a variety of images, portrayed in a variety of sizes, mediums, styles and formats.

There were paintings which interpreted our Lowcountry settings by the artist Emily Wilson, whose works, all in oil, were of Hilton Head Island images such as “Kayaks” or “Palmetto Bay,” or “At the Beach.”

Barbara Spencer offers, in oil or acrylic, “Honey Horn Marsh” or “Sunset on the Marsh.”

Annie Coughlin, whose portrayals are in watercolor, presented island and Bluffton images. You’ll enjoy “Shelter Cove,” and “Palmetto Bluff Chapel.”

Evelyn A. Kowtko, working in oil, offers “French Harbour,” and “Misty Morning.”

Dorothy Steelman, working in acrylic, offers “A Party of Poppies,” along with “Sunset,” and “Sky, Sea and Sand.”

Jo Dye and Joanna Chalson took the opportunity to explore their mediums of choice.

Dye offers “Sandhill Cranes.”

Chalson, working in mixed medium, offers “Lollipop.”

The work of Doris Shay includes “Zinnias on Parade, “ in watercolor, and “Two Pears,” in oil.

Joyce Nagel offers “ Retreat” and “Poppies,” both in oil.

Barbara Grubba offers “Old Dutch Boat.”

Le Bonnes Artistes

Doris Shay, a kind of Hilton Head icon of the visual arts, has been encouraging local artists for years. But she really made her influence felt when in 2007, she organized a group of artists and encouraged them to become members of “The Good Artists.”

Her suggestion appealed to a number of local artists and friends.

The group moved forward. Each had a personal goal of becoming a really good artist. Ultimately they all agreed to meet once each month to discuss art and share ideas and artistic techniques. They also determined to stage an exhibit of their work each year.

Artist, musician, teacher and writer Nancy K. Wellard focuses on portraying and promoting the cultural arts, first in Los Angeles and, for close to 30 years, in the Lowcountry. Email her at

Summer Images presented by ‘Les Bonnes Artistes’

  • What: Opening reception
  • When: 5 to 7 p.m. July 12
  • Where: The Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head
  • How long: Exhibit runs through Aug. 27
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
  • For more information: 843-689-6767, ext. 224