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Congratulations: Crafters help define Lowcountry life

Hargray is proud to award the cash prize of $2,500 to Lisa Rivers, the winner of the 2021 Crafted in the Lowcountry Awards presented by Hargray. It is the local artisans and craftspeople that bring the beauty of the Lowcountry to life and define an important part of our Lowcountry culture. As a local company itself, Hargray’s team feels a kindred spirit toward all of the entrants in this special contest and is honored to be among the judges who are an esteemed group of experts in their respective fields. Thank you to Joni Banks, Kay Stanley, Carolyn Males, Tony Chism, Trey Place and Meredith Taylor for making this the premier award and recognition in the Lowcountry. Please join us in congratulating and supporting all of the entrants. The greatest support we all can give is to visit their stores and websites, share on social media and purchase their original creations.


GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Legacy Art Gallery

Lisa Rivers stands next to the winning piece in her Beaufort/St. Helena gallery. Her entry, Blue Crab, was the overall winner of the 2021 Crafted in the Lowcountry Awards.

If you’ve been lucky enough to see this painting in person, you know just how magical it is. Artist Lisa Rivers has perfectly captured the essence of the Lowcountry and Gullah culture with her Blue Crab artwork. 

“My inspiration for that piece comes from being a very visual type of person. I eat blue crabs and they are so delicious. I always use Old Bay seasoning and think, ‘Wow, this tastes so good on this crab. I bet you if I was this crab, I would want to taste this good, too!’” said Rivers. “Growing up, we always had a red and white or blue and white tablecloth, so I had to be sure to include that tradition.” 

She created this piece in her gallery in Beaufort, Legacy Art Gallery, which was established in 2019 and is aptly named. Rivers explained that all of her artwork is about the legacy and history of her family. She is a native of Brooklyn, New York, but has been a resident of the Lowcountry for 25 years. 

“My grandmother and grandfather had a farm in Orangeburg. My father worked on the farm and that’s where he met my mom. They relocated to New York City for employment and that’s where I was born. Every year of my life as a child, we visited family in South Carolina. My mom’s sister lived on Hilton Head Island for 35 years and finally my mom and daughter relocated to Hilton Head Island in 1996. Home is where the heart is.”

Taking a closer look at the piece, you might notice a familiar publication in the bottom left corner. “I was reading an issue of LOCAL Life, and my daughter suggested I put it in the painting,” said Rivers. Just one of the many small yet significant details she included. 

Her pieces easily catch the eye with bright and bold colors that vividly represent the stories of Gullah culture. The mediums she uses include abstract oil and multimedia. You can visit her gallery and see her masterpieces in person on Bay Street in Beaufort, or you can shop for originals, prints and gifts on her website, legacyartgallery.com. Rivers paints with love, and it is felt in her gallery, on her brushes and in her paint strokes in each finished piece.


LOCAL ART WINNER

Legacy Art Gallery

The product: Gullah and abstract art

Where it’s crafted: Beaufort & St. Helena

What makes it great: Beaufort-based artist Lisa Rivers depicts Gullah culture throughout her artwork. She uses oils, multimedia elements and vibrant colors that leap off each of her canvases. When art enthusiasts gaze upon her work, they are struck with emotions of love and pain and stories of yesterday and today.

Judging notes: “I love the composition of Blue Crab and Lisa Rivers’ lively use of color and strong lines, all evocative of her Gullah heritage. Plus that stream of real Old Bay Seasoning that she’s sent drifting down from the claw to the napkin below adds a humorous touch. The subject matter itself: a crab, the tin and a hand-written recipe conjure up convivial scenes of family and friends sharing an informal meal straight from local waters. Her sly stroke of sitting it all on a Local Life magazine, an aspiration she painted into the picture, gave me pause at first, but then it made me smile. I had to admire the boldness that propelled her to incorporate her dream. And frankly, how could you not have a good time looking at this painting?” – Carolyn Males, arts and culture writer 

Find it: Legacy Art Gallery (Beaufort), legacyartgallery.com


LOCAL FOOD WINNER

Sprout Momma

The product: Sprout Momma bakery

Where it’s crafted: Hilton Head Island

What makes it great: The bakery is owned and operated by Kim Tavino and her children, Abby and Ryan, and all of Sprout Momma’s bakers were born and raised on Hilton Head Island. “Our breads are special because we source the ingredients as locally as possible,” says Tavino. “We use the finest organic sprouted flour, and all of the veggies and honey are local. Everything we offer is all made in the shop. Ryan brines his own pastrami and makes the sauces from scratch. I’ve been here for 43 years, and my family was all born and bred here, so it’s been a great family affair.”

Judging notes: “Their bread is the best. The artisan baguette was exceptional – great crust, very airy and dense. It ended up making a great sandwich the next day, so it held up nicely. The bread showed a lot of artisan workmanship.” – Chef Trey Place, Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana 

Find it: Farmers Market of Bluffton, Port Royal Farmers Market, local restaurants, sproutmomma.com


LOCAL CRAFTS WINNER

Shattuck Clockworks

The product: Wall clocks

Where it’s crafted: Hilton Head Island

What makes it great: Shattuck Clockworks creates distinctive, one-of-a-kind, hand-carved wooden wall clocks using traditional tools and techniques. Each clock is thoughtfully designed, built and carved entirely by hand by craftsman Blake Shattuck, who said, “I am inspired by anything I encounter that sparks an emotional feeling, like a memory that takes me back to another time or another place. I attempt to carry through as much of that emotion into my work as possible, hopefully creating a piece that has the potential of itself becoming an inspiration to someone. My clocks do more than tell time. They need to stop time, if only just for a moment. They should evoke a brief calming timeout and make the reason you looked at the time fade a bit – lessening some of the burdens of the day, like running late or having a million things to do. If I can do that, I have succeeded!”

Judging notes: “I picked the clocks because he hand carves every single thing on them with a chisel that his grandfather acquired in 1930. It’s hard to see in photographs, but all of the texture in the middle of the clock is chiseled out and resembles elements of nature. He also uses five layers of whitewash and wax, which makes them so stunning in person. They’re functional, unique, and no two are ever the same. They are just beautiful.” – Meredith Taylor, owner of Gifted

Find it: facebook.com/Shattuck.Clockworks


LOCAL STYLE WINNER

little fish BOATEAK

The product: Handcrafted jewelry

Where it’s crafted: Hilton Head Island

What makes it great: little fish BOATEAK’s handcrafted coastal-inspired jewelry is created with a combination of hand-shaped and hammered quality metals, hand-sewn fabric and wall coverings. This laid-back luxury line also incorporates rope and pearls. Each collection starts with a vision board, including beads, textiles and photos of architecture, interiors and style icons, which translate into seasonal collections. Six local jewelers create the lines of bracelets, earrings and necklaces, including the owner’s 82-year-old father who helps hammer all the metal shapes.

Judging notes: “They had some really interesting designs with their beadwork. Not only just the actual product but, the way they market themselves and the logo is very identifiable. They have a very marketable product.” – Kay Stanley, founder of Spartina 449

Find it: Coastal Bliss (Shelter Cove), Fresh Produce (Coligny Plaza), Gigi’s Boutique (Old Town Bluffton), Namaste Spa, littlefishboateak.com


LOCAL DRINK WINNER

Hilton Head Distillery

The product: Dark Pineapple Rum

Where it’s crafted: Hilton Head Island

What makes it great: This 80-proof Dark Pineapple Rum is a fruit-flavored rum made with fresh-squeezed pineapple juice. It’s perfect for sipping on ice or as the base ingredient for a pineapple daiquiri. Hilton Head Distillery’s head distiller and production manager, Whitney Meriwether, said, “Since its release, this spirit has been our top seller. The rum is a combination of six-year solera, aged and new rums, along with pineapple juice. Probably my favorite part about this product is that it’s one of the few pineapple rums available anywhere that is flavored with only real pineapple. There is no sugar added – all of the mellow sweetness comes from the pineapple itself. It’s more challenging to make products this way, but we’re trying to change the way flavored rum, and rum in general, is done.”

Judging notes: “I’ve tried many of their spirits over the years, and I feel like they’ve gotten a lot better as they progressed as a company. I think they do a good job with what they’re doing. There’s a lot of versatility in the rum, both from a drink aspect and a culinary aspect.” – Tony “Cheetah” Chism, GM at WiseGuys

Find it: Most liquor stores, hiltonheaddistillery.com


LOCAL HOME WINNER

Lowcountry Handcrafted

The product: Furniture

Where it’s crafted: Hilton Head Island & Bluffton

What makes it great: Born and raised in Hilton Head, craftsman Andy Pitts produces his artistic furniture creations with locally sourced wood. He takes pride in the lumber he uses, and he mills the trees to stack and dry.

Judging notes: “He literally picks up these pieces of wood either in the marsh or in the woods – not from trees that he cut down. He can tell you where every piece of wood was found, what type of tree, and if it was dead or had fallen from a storm. He grew up here, so he knows how to represent the essence of the Lowcountry. Our trees are so important, especially remembering the trees that fell from Hurricane Matthew. I think the style and the overall design are fantastic. This is something I would sell to a client with a story for their house, versus a newly manufactured table.” – Joni Vanderslice, owner of J. Banks Design Group

Find it: @lowcountry_handcrafted on Instagram



BEST OF THE REST

More online

Find more information on the winners along with other top entries online here.