Artist Couple Share Top Billing in Art Museum Exhibit

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Artist Couple Share Top Billing in Art Museum Exhibit
Mark Flowers, Problem Under Paradise.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC.- The ‘artistic’ temperament is the stuff of legend, but two such personalities living under the same roof? The formula apparently works for artists Kristy Higby and Mark Flowers, who will celebrate their recent 30-year wedding anniversary with a joint exhibit of their work at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum beginning today, August 24.

Kristy Higby and Mark Flowers’ Sequences and Events: Mixed Media Painting, Short Documentaries and Artists Books opens with a reception at the Museum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24, during which the couple will give separate talks about their work, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Regular gallery hours, beginning Aug. 25, are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. The exhibit runs through October 29.

The exhibit will comprise about a dozen of Higby’s artist books along with two short documentaries she has created, and some 30 mixed-media paintings by Flowers.
Higby and Flowers, who are parents of two grown sons – also artists – find the labeling of artists as temperamental mildly amusing. Higby notes that having two artists in the same family actually makes it easier for each to empathize with the other’s workload and creative process.

Both Higby and Flowers teach art at a residential preparatory/high school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, but also have strong roots in the Carolinas. Both received undergraduate art degrees from the University of South Carolina, and they recently acquired property near Asheville, NC, where they plan to retire.

The Myrtle Beach exhibit will be the couple’s seventh joint show. Perhaps one reason for the couple’s compatibility lies in the difference in scale and subject matter of each artist’s work. Flowers concentrates on large paintings with abstract, at times architectural themes, many with other objects including smaller paintings, attached.

Higby is known for smaller, more intimate works: handmade, intricately designed books which complement works of poetry or are created to hold personal journals. She particularly enjoys merging her art with the work of poets she knows personally, “whose work I admire and who let me have my way with it.”

Nevertheless, both artists stress the value of storytelling through their art. Higby’s intimate books seek to draw the reader into their literary subjects, creating a multidimensional experience to be absorbed and nurtured. Her books feature a multitude of colors, textures and shapes that create a labyrinth of visual surprises. And her short digital video documentaries reach out and tell stories that seek universal experiences.

Flowers describes his constructed mixed media paintings as visual poems that bring together elements both realistic and abstract, often with three-dimensional as well as two-dimensional elements. Recent works have explored the use of various shapes for the works themselves in addition to the shapes that are the subjects of his paintings.

Flowers adds that he makes use of images and symbols that clarify his relationship with the world in his paintings, creating a “visual vocabulary” that creates a dialog with the viewer.

Admission to the Museum is free, but donations are welcomed. The Museum is located at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd. For further information, call 843-238-2510 or visit

The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is a wholly nonprofit institution located across from Springmaid Pier at 3100 South Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. Components of Museum programs are funded in part by support from the City of Myrtle Beach, the Horry County Council and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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