The First Thursdays Art Market of July features several of the exhibiting artists painting right there in the plaza. Art on the spot. As the First Thursdays gathering strolls the plaza, peruses the art, and enjoys the shops and restaurants of The Shops at Sea Pines Center, they can watch as artists create their art.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

“It seemed like a natural extension,” said Pam White, who organizes the First Thursdays artists each month. “We could see that people enjoyed chatting with the artists about their work, and we thought, why not let them see artists in action?”

The plaza proved to be a resourceful and resilient place during the year of precautions. At the monthly First Thursdays Art Market, and the weekly, seasonal Farmers & Makers Market, people found themselves comfortable with the outdoor setting, and for some it was the only kind of gathering they took part in – at least for a while. This power to connect people – with each other and with their interests and desires – is part of the magic, the oasis quality of the plaza, here amidst The Shops at Sea Pines Center.

This ability to connect is no accident; it was designed into the architecture.

Powerful, Yet Overlooked

Some say architecture is the most influential form of art, and yet the most overlooked, because it shapes where we stand, where we look, and to a surprising extent, how we feel.

At The Shops at Sea Pines Center, people gather here any way they want. Residents and visitors alike drip by just to hear what’s going on this week. On a closer look though, notice how even our forecourt parking area resembles a green glade, still enjoying the shade and atmosphere of tall pines, live oaks, and Spanish moss. This combination of nature and people connects us with the very spirit of the Hilton Head Island dream. The three avenues of approach to our inner plaza each present a different proportion of open arms. And each one presents a different progression through the refreshments and offerings and services of the Center.

In the plaza at last, we see an ever-changing oasis, a calm, palm-punctuated place that gradually changes colors as the sun makes its own progress overhead. No wonder those in the know, the Sea Pines regulars, count this as a touchstone, a place to reconnect.

And this month, we celebrate the First Thursdays Art Market from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 1, with artists at work as you browse and consider. Please come enjoy with us. Although the art of architecture often does its work unnoticed, a lot of thought went into the plaza and to preparing for your visit.