It sounds much better when Kevin Costner says it in the movie Field of Dreams, but he and I do think the same way sometimes – “if you build it, they will come.” We’ve applied this formula to the development of Palmetto Bluff, ever careful to ensure that what we create is authentic, appreciated and will ultimately provide for unforgettable experiences.
It was a dozen years ago when Palmetto Bluff made its first attempt at community programming with the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy’s now standing-room-only First Friday Lecture Series. The event was held in the Wilson Village Chapel, and three people attended: Don Osteen (a member), Patty Kennedy (who was director of the Conservancy at the time) and I. The topic was dragonflies, and I can still remember the speaker getting the dragonfly to land on my nose. Despite that moment of delight, the evening was kind of a bust. Patty and I commiserated over a glass of wine afterward, but agreed that the only way to create a tradition and build something meaningful was to keep doing it. And we did. Now, the Conservancy hosts more than 100 events each year including 12 First Friday Lectures.
As Jay Walea, director of the Conservancy, recently said to a visiting member of the media, “As the community has grown, we have become more engaged in education and experiential opportunities – getting our residents and guests involved in exploring the environment and thinking about ways they can protect it. People get really excited about the ecology and history here. We’ve grown from a handful of programs each year to more than 100, to sellout crowds. We’re like Tim McGraw.”
So as the Moreland Village Outfitters and Boundary neared completion, the team was tasked with bringing the Village to life. Certainly, moving the Conservancy headquarters (and its myriad events) to Moreland creates immediate body heat and activity. The Canteen will serve as an obvious pit stop pre, mid and post hike, boat ride or trail run. The Boundary’s pool, fitness, game room (bowling anyone?) and comfortable restaurant serving up Southern staples (think oyster stew, fried pickles, brisket and brussels sprout salad to name a few) will quickly become a member and guest hangout. But, we wanted to take it one step further.
One of the things I am most proud of at Palmetto Bluff is that while we believe it is indeed the best place to experience the Lowcountry of South Carolina, we also don’t endeavor to provide those experiences on our own. The value comes in the partnerships we curate and the relationships we grow with guides, educators, artisans, makers and sometimes media. Moreland Village and Palmetto Bluff both are rooted in the unique natural environment and landscape that we are so fortunate to have surrounding us. The historical and cultural resources that make this place so special guide the development of the community and thus the place-making. Those same values fill the pages of Garden & Gun magazine and are at the core of what its passionate, engaged readers expect in every issue. Therefore, a partnership with this publication was organic to say the least.
Our Artist in Residence program was a decade in the making as we have brainstormed with our friends at Garden & Gun for just as long to find the perfect fit for a partnership. And like all good things, age has only made our relationship richer and stronger. The Artist in Residence program was designed collaboratively to celebrate the arts, foster creativity and offer a hands-on education for our members and guests. The inaugural program invites notable guests, including winners of G&G’s Made in the South Awards, to stay in the dedicated (and spectacular) Artist Cottage in Moreland Village.
Here, the artists will relax, revitalize and continue to hone their craft while also hosting workshops for Palmetto Bluff residents and guests, teaching classes in everything from cooking and cocktailing to jewelry, paddleboard and knife-making. This program will explore the world of Southern art and ingenuity, and will set the tone for the many exceptional experiences to come in Moreland Village.
Who’s Moving In?
OYSTER BAMBOO FLY RODS
Bill Oyster is a bamboo fly rod maker specializing in custom designed, hand-engraved fly rods. In the Southern mountain town of Blue Ridge, Georgia, Bill leads fly rod making courses that attract fishermen from as far as England and Scotland. Bill Oyster won in the Sporting category in G&G’s 2010 Made in the South Awards.
March 27 – April 2
JOE & MARIELENA RAYA
Joe and MariElena Raya of Bittermilk sought to simplify the process of making craft cocktails at home so they created a line of mixers made for cocktail enthusiasts and bartenders with real ingredients. Bittermilk was the Drink category winner in G&G’s 4th Made in the South Awards.
ARTISAN, OWNER AND EXECUTIVE CHEF AT HOT AND HOT FISH CLUB
Owner and executive chef of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama, (and winner of the James
Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South 2012 award), Chris Hastings is a decorated chef and avid outdoorsman. As a side gig, Chris handcrafts woodcook feather lapel and hat pins from his hunts in Nova Scotia and around the world. Chris Hastings was a runner-up in the Style category in G&G’s 2010 Made in the South Awards.
Charleston-based milliner, Leigh Magar, is the founder and lead designer of Magar Hatworks. Leigh is known for creating beautiful pieces ranging from the simple fedora to elaborate and theatrical Derby hats. Leigh was a runner-up in the Style category for G&G’s 2010 Made in the South Awards.
THREE BROTHERS BOARDS
Established in 2009 after a sudden loss of their younger brother, R.J. and Justin Murray set out to make their lifelong dream of opening a surf shop a reality. Three Brothers Boards specializes in handmade wooden stand-up paddleboards inspired by the classic boards of the 1950s and 1960s and are made with planks of oak, redwood and Hawaiian koa. Three Brothers Boards was a runner-up in the Outdoors category of the 2012 Made in the South Awards.
Preserving Place is a unique “farm-to-store” retail concept focused on preserving food in true Southern fashion. Martha McMillan founded the company to keep her family recipes and traditions alive. Preserving Place was a runner-up in the Food category of the 2015 Made in the South Awards.
LAUREN & ZACH O’BRYAN
SOUTHERN CRAFT CREAMERY
Southern Craft Creamery specializes in handcrafted ice cream in a variety of flavors. Lauren and Zach O’Bryan make fresh-churned ice cream using local ingredients like tupelo honey and strawberries, making each of their flavors unique and fresh. Southern Craft Creamery was the overall winner of the 2013 Made in the South Awards.
TIM GARDNER & LO GORDON
CEDAR MOUNTAIN BANJOS
Lo Gordon, a passionate woodworker who played in his family band alongside his son, Tim Gardner, founded the Brevard, North Carolina, based company Cedar Mountain Banjos. In 2003, Tim joined his father to maintain CMB as an industry leader for fine design, craftsmanship and customer service. CMB won in the Style & Design category for G&G’s 2013 Made in the South Awards.
WILLIAMS KNIFE CO.
Avid sportsman Chris Williams founded Williams Knife Company in 2009 after trading in his 13-year career in corporate America to pursue his dream of opening a small shop in John’s Island. It began with an oyster knife and has grown into four different lines of handcrafted knives. Chris was the Overall Winner of the 2011 Made in the South Awards.
JERY BENNET TAYLOR
On any sunny afternoon you can find Mrs. Jery on the front porch of the Gullah Grub, sitting in her favorite rocker, sewing and weaving her famous baskets, something she has been doing since her grandmother taught her at the tender age of five. She sits alone crafting her baskets and speaking to different tourists about her work, sharing her history and educating people daily. Taking the time to speak with her for just five minutes will have you walking away feeling so much more enlightened about her world.
Jerry is an avid waterfowler and carver who makes traditional duck decoys, focusing mainly on the time-honored methods and materials of the Core Sound area. His decoy carving evolved from a one-time love for shaping surfboards, which began at an early age. His decoys are influenced greatly by the simplistic elegance of working decoys from coastal North Carolina to Long Island, New York. In addition to the carving, Jerry paints all the decoys using the finest available artists’ oils. Jerry does not limit his carving to ducks alone. He also makes shorebirds, fish and the occasional whimsical folk art-inspired piece. Jerry was the 2017 Made in the South winner in the Outdoors category.
Visit artist.palmettobluff.com for the full schedule of artist in residence events throughout the year.
Staying true to the outdoor living focus in Moreland Village, the Artist Cottage captures natural sunlight through its banks of windows and provides additional living space on its outdoor porch and firepit. Designed with Denver, Colorado-based architecture firm 4240 and built by Shoreline Construction, the Artist Cottage features an open floorplan and cozy living spaces, making our artisans feel right at home.
Interior designers Deb Vanplew and Adrienne Werner from Court Atkin’s 501 South Studio set out to create a fresh take on the Lowcountry cottage aesthetic for our Artist in Residence cottage, creating rooms that are inviting, interesting, inspiring and unpretentious. The duo created a space that is decidedly contemporary through the use of unique architectural elements and furnishings like natural blonde oak floors, white painted nickel-joint wood walls, exposed brick and open trusses – design details that unify the spaces with the color white to create a blank canvas, so to speak.
The next step was to install the “art” in the Artist Cottage by layering compelling finishes such as the powder room tile floor with the fine art collection curated through The Red Piano Art Gallery, featuring some of the best known Southern artists working today including Jonathan Green, Betty Anglin Smith, Mandy Johnson, Addison Palmer and Mark Stewart. The modern design aesthetic of the cottage serves as the perfect backdrop to the art displayed in the cottage, a nod to the craftsmanship that our artisans will hone and explore in this cottage in the coming months.
Here, we create interest in the main living space with the use of unexpected furnishing choices and textures. Acrylic game table chairs with a sheepskin throw; the double cocktail table configuration; vintage-inspired leather lounge chairs and unconventional art over the fireplace give the room a sense of luxury, but the mix of textural fabrics keep the vibe relaxed and friendly. A library of Southern authors recognizes the literary artists of our region.
Juxtaposing antique with contemporary furnishings keeps the dining room from feeling too formal or fussy while still retaining an elegant aesthetic. An antique French farm table and buffet plus contemporary lighting (one of our favorite pieces in the cottage) and leather-fringed benches equals a dramatic ensemble. Add the vibrant artwork of Betty Anglin Smith, and wow.
Easy material finishes keep things simple and understated in the cottage’s kitchen. Stainless appliances (a Wolf range is not just aesthetically pleasing, but it inspires culinary art), concrete-esque Caesarstone countertops mean carefree maintenance, and natural blonde wood and white slab cabinetry show modern, clean lines.
Art is not always serious business. We love the penny tile floor and the play on words in the mudroom. A work of art in itself, the tile floor makes what normally would be a room you just pass through into one you may sit and stay a spell in.
Thinking about the artists who will reside here, we actually made the traditional master into the study. Here, we envisioned the artists showing off the Jonathan Green painting (another of our favorite pieces in the cottage) that commands the room, as they host visitors during gallery hours. The 66-inch by 101-inch stunner is the superstar, and therefore everything else in the room had to complement it. We made out-of-the-box choices of furniture and mixed textures to give the room a cool, eclectic, relaxed vibe – a vintage-inspired high desk, industrial desk lamp and glazed pottery table lamps, a cowhide rug and custom-Ebonized wood slatted side tables.
The bedroom reflects a simple, fresh, serene color story. Varied textures and thoughtful details provide a cozy feeling – a hand-painted accent pillow, embroidered accent tape on window panels, a plush wool rug and mini-flange on settee cushion and duvet cover. The iron bed is an updated interpretation of a classic profile. And the vintage carving table is the perfect “personality piece” for the bedside table.
Painted concrete floor tiles and contemporary plumbing fixtures paired with industrial lighting and a leather-framed mirror add up to big style in this tiny room.
Written by Courtney Hampson
Photos by Josh Gibson