Any piece from the collection of oil paintings created by the masterful hand of artist Sharon Sorrels is a closer look into the local landscapes and coastal scenes she holds dear to her heart.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Sorrels migrated to Myrtle Beach with her late husband thirteen years ago. The retirees were in pursuit of a change of pace, which also came with a huge change of scenery in the South.
“It’s beautiful here and so inspiring,” she says. “My husband and I used to drive around and take pictures of the marsh areas and the inland rural areas. I was fascinated by the tobacco fields and everything else too. It was just so different. I took lots of pictures.”
Those photos were then transformed into Sorrels’ oil paintings of landscapes, waterscapes, and flower gardens, as well as more lovely views of the people who live and work here. She then began to poke around local galleries, like the Seacoast Artists Gallery, to find out more about display opportunities, and took some workshops and classes to brush up on her craft.
Sorrels has always had her hand on a paintbrush. She earned a BFA in design with minors in art history and education from Howard University under renowned artists Lois Mailou Jones and David Driskell. She went on to work at the National Gallery of Art and the National Endowment for the Arts, followed by earning a master’s degree in Library Science for an extended career within the Washington, D.C. public school system.
Today, Sorrels is heavily involved in the arts community here in Myrtle Beach. She is also a board member of the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild and the Seacoast Artists Guild, and Vice President of the SC District Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America.
Her work has been showcased in exhibitions and juried shows where she’s been honored as a featured artist and received various awards, including Best In Show. In addition to the Seacoast Gallery, you’ll find her oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings at the Mercy Care Art Gallery in Myrtle Beach, and the Georgetown Art Gallery in historic Georgetown.
“I’ve been with Seacoast since its inception about six years ago for the collegiality with other artists,” says Sorrels. “The location is fabulous, with many residents and guests coming through.”
Layered on top of her talents in oil painting, Sorrels says that lately she’s been exploring block printing, pastels, charcoal and colored pencil, and making jewelry.
“I do keep busy and I love it!” she says.
Seacoast regularly hosts art exhibits, art sales, workshops and more. The upcoming Fall Show and Sale is scheduled for October 2-16. Many of its fundraising efforts are donated to youth programs, including a $1,000 scholarship for a deserving graduating senior from both Horry County and Georgetown County schools.