Toasting the Arts

A “Toast to the Art of Seeing Art” was held last month to recognize and thank all of the supporters and participants of the program. Many Colleton River members gathered to enjoy wine and appetizers, and it was wonderful to have so many spouses present as well. After speaking briefly about the group’s endeavors over the last few years, a preview of next year’s artists was made unveiled. The works listed below will be taught over the next academic year in continuing with the group’s mission to bring art education to our local schools.


BRAQUES, GEORGES “Woman with a Mandolin”
DALI, SALVATORE “Persistence of Memory”
DIEBENKORN, RICHARD “Figure on a Porch”
ESCHER, M.C. “Reptiles”
HOCKNEY, DAVID “A Bigger Splash”
KAHLO, FRIDA “Self Portrait with Monkey”
MIRO, JOAN “The Harlequin’s Carnival”
MONDRIAN, PIET “Broadway Boogie-Woogie”
NEEL, ALICE “The Family”
O’KEEFE, GEORGIA “Summer Days”
PICASSO, PABLO “The Three Musicians”
RINGGOLD, FAITH “The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles”
RIVERA, DIEGO “Friday of Sorrows on the Canal at Santa Anita”
WOOD, GRANT “American Gothic”

Update on the Art of Seeing Art

In January, Melanie Andrews and Mimi Elder did a presentation on Red Grooms’ painting “One Way.” After a challenging search to track down a good copy of the painting that the teachers would be able to project on the smart boards, the students were told a little about this prolific, living artist. They were then asked what they saw in this vibrant painting. The name of the painting was withheld and the children where asked to guess the title. While they did not come up with the exact name, they were extremely responsive and suggested some valid ideas having to do with crowds, traffic, and the busyness of a city. The activity on the street in “One Way” was contrasted to that which students might see in the town of Bluffton. They thought this was funny.

Red Grooms is known for his humor. Because “One Way” has numerous amusing and almost cartoon-like features, the children were challenged to think about what made the painting museum-quality art and not a cartoon. Students were encouraged to see the different emotions of the people in the painting and to speculate on what the artist wanted to convey. They decided that it is the amount of detail that differentiated this painting from a cartoon, and also that the artist had a message to convey as opposed to the story line one might find in a cartoon.

Art at Colleton River

After a lively discussion, the students  were invited to create their own “one way” picture. Using cutouts of people, vehicles, and signs, they were asked to color them with bright markers. A black and white poster was on an easel, with city buildings and a street drawn on it. Looking at the poster, there was a short talk about perspective, noting the narrow width of the street at the top of the painting contrasted with its wider width at the bottom.



andrews-elder Blog Jan 2016 Image 1

Students were encouraged to choose carefully in placing their figures on this large street scene, putting the larger shapes at the bottom and the small ones higher up to indicate the perspective. As they finished coloring, the children came to the easel and glued their figures onto the poster – all going one way.

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Golf Lessons Pay Off

by Member Don Graber

Golf is like a jigsaw puzzle to me. Just when you think you have it figured out one of the pieces is missing or doesn’t fit. For years I tried to figure it out myself by trial and error, too proud or too stupid to not go and get some professional help. Finally, a few years back I started to take some lessons from David LaPour, Director of Golf Instruction at Colleton River. The transformation has been rather profound. I’ve cut 5-6 strokes off my scores but, maybe more importantly, I now understand when I hit a bad shot what I most likely did wrong and can “self medicate” and make corrections mid-round. In the old days once something went bad mid-round it usually stayed bad the balance of the round.


David LaPour Colleton River

The Golf Academy at Colleton River offers both group and private instruction. Click the photo to learn more.

David’s teaching style is very compatible with my ability to retain information, learn and make changes. Each lesson we tend to review fundamentals but he never gives me more then a couple of things to work on before the next lesson. This works for me because, I know from experience, if I try to change too many things at once it just doesn’t work for me. Slowly but surely my game has improved under his guidance and maybe more importantly my enjoyment for playing the game has risen as the quality of my game has improved.

Golf is a great game–it combines many things–strength, finesse, coordination, the mind, etc. What I’ve learned is that a few lessons is a good investment if you really want to raise your level of play.

The Art of Seeing Art part 2

Romare Bearden’s 18’ x 3’ collage entitled “The Block,” on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, was a big hit with art students at MC Riley and Bluffton Elementary Schools in December. Because the original is so big, three posters were needed to show all six panels that comprise the finished work! Each child received a different question to think about as students did some careful looking before class started.

The BlockVickie Must introduced information about the artist, who was born in 1911 in North Carolina and later moved to Harlem during the Great Migration. Students were surprised to learn that Romare Bearden, an African American, could have had a pro baseball career, that he was a social worker, wrote music, studied art in college and night school, and didn’t start doing collages until he was 50 years old. The conversation about art grew out of the questions they were asked to think about initially.

BluffES 2Students observed a jazz group playing on the street, a funeral procession, people leaning out of windows talking to passersby, various storefronts, the unusual scale of some of the objects, and the fact that different times of day were represented in different panels. We discussed similarities and differences between this city environment and local blocks they might identify. Students were eager to participate, well behaved and saw more than expected.

Marilyn Glacken gave a brief demonstration which showed how the artist might have begun constructing his collage using construction paper and local resources donated by The Bluffton Breeze and Island Packet. The students at Bluffton Elementary School were asked to begin making small group collages that could ultimately be placed side by side to create a class version of a “Bluffton Block.” Their teacher, Joann Anderson, let them finish up the project the following day and sent the three separate images below.


In November, Susan Hooker and Mary McKane presented “Daybreak – A Time to Rest” by Jacob Lawrence to elementary students. The painting uses a few secondary colors and abstracted shapes to tell a story about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The artist’s Migration Series, about the mass movement of thousands of African American families from the rural South to the industrial North, was one of his early successes.

After careful observation, students said they saw three larger figures, a rifle, sand, water, sky, and smaller details, like the baby and insects. Because of the abstraction, the middle figure in the painting was hard to recognize and provoked some “way out,” imaginative answers! Students were unclear about the time of day. However, once they learned who the central figure represented, the title of the painting made sense to them. They knew that Harriet Tubman had helped slaves escape, having studied this earlier in the school year. They were very anxious to share what they knew!

Jacob LawrenceWhen asked why the feet in the painting appeared so big and had so many lines, students determined it was because of all the walking she did helping the slaves. A volunteer was asked to lie flat on his back on a table. Students then got down low enough so their eyes were level with his feet and explained what they saw. This “worm’s eye view” is the viewpoint Jacob Lawrence used in his composition. Students were extremely well mannered, very enthusiastic and quite knowledgable. They further learned that Harriet Tubman made 19 trips and that the slaves had to go all the way to Canada! There had been a ransom of $40,000 (equal to $1 million today) for her capture. An important historical figure, students were told of the possibility of her picture on the $20 bill, and were reminded of the bridge named for her on Route 170.

Jacob Lawrence developed a simple style using inexpensive materials. He chose a limited color palette and tended to use paints straight from the tube. He was the first African American artist to be exhibited by a big New York gallery.

The Art of Seeing Art

by Mimi Elder, Janice Norton, and Marilynn Glacken

The ART of SEEING ART, (ASA, formerly Art in the Schools program), is beginning its 3rd year of making presentations to 4th and 5th graders. Approximately 40 Colleton members are involved. Participation might include actually going into the schools, being involved in the lively pre-planning sessions, or listening to our annual guest speaker who models how to engage children in discussions about art. Our talented host teachers this year are Joann Anderson at Bluffton Elementary School, Mary Beth Mitchell at M.C. Riley Elementary School, and Jacque Visscher at Red Cedar Elementary School. Presentations are given either before school, during art club, or in an art class during the school day.

The purpose is to engage children in observing and speaking about what they see in a given painting. There are no wrong answers. In a non-threatening setting, children are encouraged to look, sense, feel, and express themselves verbally. We hope they come to appreciate fine art as well as to develop their skills of ‘reading’ a painting. When possible, a hands-on activity is incorporated to help students apply the key learning concept.

susan palmer cropThe art that is selected is extremely varied, with everything from sixteenth century paintings to contemporary and abstract art. This year’s focus is art since 1950. The presentations are based on material on loan from the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC.

Susan Palmer, our dynamic guest speaker, was a docent trainer at the Toledo Museum. Her approach is to ask a lot of questions, validate student responses, direct the discussion to reveal as much as possible about the artwork, and to encourage group involvement. We have been extremely fortunate to have her model ways to do this and inspire our participants.

jerry gelinas 1


Patty & Jerry Gelinas started this year’s ASA program off in October by introducing Frank Stella’s three-dimensional work “Jarama ll”. To their surprise, students in every school- especially the boys- figured out it was a race track viewed from above. To grasp the size of the sculpture, they had five students stand shoulder to shoulder, then added five more standing back to back with the first group to show the width and height of “Jarama II”. They told the students that it would take two more groups stacked on top of the ones already standing to approximate the depth of the sculpture.

Jarama II crop


Following a suggestion from the NGA educators website, they asked the kids to make a collage of being stuck in a traffic jam from a bird’s eye point of view. Colored paper and crayons did the trick, and offered the children the opportunity to try their hand at creating a simple three-dimensional work of art.




Colleton Community Cat Program

The Colleton River Community Cats program has accomplished amazing things in the seven years since its inception in 2007. In that time, volunteers have handled 89 stray cats and kittens that found themselves in the community – all abandoned, lost and looking for food.

Homes have been found for 27 cats of these cats – a very successful adoption rate of over 30%. Due to the group’s quick response whenever a stray cat appears, there has not been a litter of kittens born in the community since 2009. Their goal is to quickly capture any newcomers and assess their suitability for adoption with the help of the local shelters. With the help of the Palmetto Animal League and Hilton Head Humane Association, they have been able to place many cats in the PAL/HHHA adoption programs, as well as take advantage of their low-cost spay and neuter programs.


Colleton River’s Community Cats program is a registered 501-c-3 charity. With the help of members’ contributions to this charitable fund, they purchase dry cat food, provide vaccines, spaying and neutering, and veterinary care for injuries if feasible.

Another great way “Colleton Cares” about the Bluffton community!

Two of our Own in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship

The USGA inaugurated the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in 1948 to determine the best junior golfer in the United States, and to help junior golfers realize the most from the game, win or lose. Hosting the 68th Championship this month provides Colleton River with a unique opportunity to be a part of history. But Colleton River has it’s own history in the Junior Amateur through two of our members – Judy Russert and George Malacos.

Colleton River member George Malacos In 1964 George Malacos, one of 1,583 entries and 10 junior golfers from the state of Michigan who qualified, competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon. George stayed in the University of Oregon dorms, played a practice round with Hubert Green (who went on to win 23 PGA tour events) and recalls the tall Douglas fir trees on the course that made all the yardages look closer than they were.

This was a year of change for the Junior Amateur, with the introduction of a handicap limit of 10 strokes along with match play. George did not make it to match play after shooting an 80 and 83, but calls playing in the Junior Amateur a life experience he will never forget! That year’s winner was Johnny Miller, who said “one of the highlights of my youth happened at Eugene Country Club. It seemed like the course fit my game like a glove.”

Judy RussertJudy Russert was only 14 years old when she competed in the U.S. Girl’s Junior Championship at Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. Contested in 1951, this was only the third year of the Girl’s Junior, yet it drew an impressive 32 entries. As the USGA states – “more impressive than the size of the field or the styles of play was the wonderful spirit and sportsmanship the contestants brought to the game, and their complete lack of pretense.”

Judy began playing golf at the age of four, under the tutelage of her father, a scratch golfer, and Mr. Robert Whyte, the Club Pro at Bennington Country Club in Bennington, Vermont. Whyte left Carnoustie, Scotland for the U.S. at the age of 15 for a career in golf. When he met Judy, Whyte told her he ‘had her under his wing.’ That included creating a set of golf clubs to fit her 4-year-old body. When Judy’s family moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin when she was seven, so did Mr. Whyte, thus Judy’s golf game and skills continued to develop at the Kenosha Country Club.

While golf for girls beyond the club level was still a novelty, Judy was encouraged to play in the Girl’s Junior Amateur Championship by her father and Whyte. Judy recalls the small silver trophy she received for winning her age group. The champion of that two-day tournament was Arlene Brooks. Another contestant that year was Mickey Wright, who won the following year and later captured four U.S. Women’s Open Championships.

We wish the best of luck to all the competitors in this year’s 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship!

Friends of Habitat for Humanity

The Kickoff 1-27-15 082The Colleton River Friends of Habitat group has been hard at work! The group has funded and worked on a total of nine homes to date, and is currently assisting both financially and in sweat equity on two more houses in The Glen, the first Habitat for Humanity community on Hilton Head Island. The development will eventually total around 40 homes, providing much needed affordable housing on the Island. Several members helped break ground on the ninth home last January, and they have also contributed significantly to the infrastructure for The Glen. Member Bill Spadafora was interviewed by the Island Packet recently about the project and said, “I think all of us who have been fortunate need to give back. There is a tremendous need on the island for affordable housing and to have a whole Habitat community is [going to be] something great.”

IMG_0132Since the first home was funded and built by Colleton River Friends of Habitat, approximately 100 members have volunteered off and on and $550,000 has been donated by approximately 155 members. Many of the volunteers have worked hundreds of hours on various Habitat homes, not just the ones sponsored by the Colleton group. Our members have far exceeded the norm when it comes to donations and hours volunteered. Way to go!






Borland Bash

by Member Cathy Boisvert

DSC01541Neighbors Meeting Neighbors organized the “Borland Bash” for the ladies this month. We all love our Borland Par 3 course – especially when the azaleas are in bloom – our mini Augusta. Several groups of ladies played a 9 hole scramble on the course. It was a great way to meet some new people while working together to get the ball in the hole. A map of the Borland course was provided, and each hole was identified by a sign at the tee. Many of the ladies had never played the course before, and realized they should be using it for practice more often. The winning team shot 21, including 6 birdies. They were Melanie Andrews, Joanne Byrd, Marjy Humphrey, Jackie Metzger, and Mary Ziegler. The ladies then enjoyed lunch at the Halfway Café and vowed to play more scrambles at the Borland! Another Colleton tradition…

Neighbors Meeting Neighbors

by Member Cathy BoisvertColleton River Neighbors


Neighbors Meeting Neighbors was organized by a group of women at Colleton River who have been members of the club for less than five years. The objectives of our group are to organize social events for the ladies of Colleton River, to welcome new members to our community and to provide opportunities for new and existing members to meet each other.

In January, we started “Walk & Talk”, a weekly walking group. We walk for about 45 minutes to an hour in various parts of the Colleton community. At the end of our walk we are greeted by Delores at the Halfway Café with hot coffee and warm muffins. We enjoy getting to know our newest members during these walks, as well as getting a dose of fresh air and exercise. Some members skip the walk and just join us for the talk.

A “Cocktail Hour” in January took place in our beautiful Nicklaus Ladies Lounge. Several members spoke about activities that are open to all members – we affectionately refer to our community as “Camp Colleton”. Many new members were present, and more than half of the attendees stayed to have dinner together or joined their husbands for dinner in the clubhouse.

The “Lucky Ladies Lunch” took place on Friday the 13th in February. Our goal was to make this suspicious day into an auspicious one instead. Guests had the opportunity to purchase a South Carolina scratch off lottery ticket when they arrived. A delicious soup and salad bar was appreciated on a cold afternoon. A drawing was held and the lucky lady was Carol Ryan, a new resident of Colleton River. Her prize? A free lunch!

Our March activity is “Brunch without Basketball – Escape from March Madness”. We look forward to members enjoying Sunday brunch together and are inviting them to bring their husbands along for this event.

Neighbors Meeting Neighbors is another new tradition for Colleton River Club.