Holidays

Bluffton home transformed into a Christmas art exhibit

Video: Isn't it Lovely: House in Old Town Bluffton doubling as art installation

Bluffton artist Annabel Hammet and her friend and fellow artist, Candace Lovely, came up with the idea that Lovely use Hammet's home on Calhoun Street as a "canvas" for some of her winter-flavored impressionist works. The result, "Waiting for Sant
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Bluffton artist Annabel Hammet and her friend and fellow artist, Candace Lovely, came up with the idea that Lovely use Hammet's home on Calhoun Street as a "canvas" for some of her winter-flavored impressionist works. The result, "Waiting for Sant

A pair of local artists have elevated holiday home decorating beyond the standard strands of lights, wreaths, and garland.

Annabel Hammet's Calhoun Street house has been transformed into a massive Christmas-themed art exhibit.

Numbered curtains -- meant to resemble the traditional advent calendar used to count down the days until Christmas -- hang from rods attached to the front of the home.

One curtain is flipped each day to reveal a winter scene painted by Hilton Head Island-based artist Candace Whittemore Lovely.

"I like the spirit of Christmas; the joy, the colors," Lovely said Monday. "And I like the idea of an advent calendar not giving everything away at once. You have a surprise at the end."

The exhibit, called "Waiting for Santa with Bluffton," is not only an expression of the holiday spirit, but a way "to increase awareness of the importance of the arts in Bluffton," she said.

"I hope (the people who see the exhibit) get a sense for the power of painting and the joy it can bring."

Lovely, who grew up in Vermont and studied impressionism in Boston, has displayed her art on Hammet's property several other times, but this is the first year the pair has collaborated to build a holiday exhibit.

Hammet, a trained painter in her own right, said in the past she has decorated her home with poinsettias, but decided to up the ante this holiday season.

"(Lovely) does such beautiful impressionistic pieces," she said. "Christmas is a feel good time, and her art fits in with that kind of spirit perfectly."

Hammet said she has received countless compliments from people walking past her 123-year-old home at 26 Calhoun Street since the display went up last week.

"The house has been a draw a from day one. People are always wanting to walk up and see what's going on."

The final piece in the "Waiting for Santa with Bluffton" exhibit will be unveiled Saturday. The paintings will stay up until Jan. 8.

Lovely is already planning her next exhibit to be displayed at Hammet's home, which she said will be Valentine's Day-themed with paintings "all about love."

For more information on Lovely's work, visit www.candacelovely.com.

Hammet's work can be found at www.belpaint.net.

Follow reporter Lucas High on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Lucas.

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