Don't miss last chance to see public art exhibit

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"Confluence" by David Zahn

Attention art lovers! January is your last chance to catch the Hilton Head Island Public Art Exhibition. This spectacular exhibit is presented in partnership between the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and the Town of Hilton Head Island and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest art activities taking place on the Island.

Nineteen large-scale sculptures have been installed onsite at Honey Horn, with an additional piece at the Hilton Head Island Airport, and will remain through Jan. 31.

This free exhibition draws artists from around the globe whose works temporarily grace the already naturally beautiful fields and gardens of Honey Horn and add a little imaginative beauty to the space. It's the only exhibition like it in the region.

This year, as soon as you drive through the gates at Honey Horn you are treated to the impressive sight of the first installation, "Portal" by Christopher Weed, a 20-foot-tall doorway welcoming you to the property. What could be cooler than that?

Two of the components that make this exhibit so special are that it happens only every other year, and it is the means by which the town is curating its own permanent public art collection.

The call to action for sculptors to submit their work goes out internationally and a jury of arts professionals reviews the submissions and culls them down to the 20 pieces that will be installed for four months at Honey Horn.

Once the exhibit is up, it is juried by a different team of pros and the top scoring piece - the best of the best - is purchased for the Town. This year's winner will be installed at the entrance to the Hilton Head Island Airport and will act as an artistic welcome to so many tourists and residents as they arrive on our island by air.

So, now is your last chance to stop by the Coastal Discovery Museum to enjoy this exhibit up close and personal. You can take a guided tour led by volunteer docents every Friday at 1 p.m. or explore on your own.

New this year is the Otocast, an app that you can download and play as you walk through the exhibition featuring the artists' commentary on their creations.

Admission is free and the exhibition is open during regular museum hours, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Don't let another two years go by before you can immerse yourself in impressive displays like this.

For more information about this year's exhibit, visit hhipublicart.org.

Jennifer McEwen is the director of the Town of Hilton Head Island's Office of Cultural Affairs.

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