Banks artists will have a unique chance to combine their creative
talents with local history in the coming year as part of a joint
venture between the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) and the
Chicamacomico Life Saving Station.
Artists will be able to take the shakes from the historic lifesaving station and transform them into a work of art.
“The idea is to make the shakes available to local artists who would
paint them and donate their work as a fundraising project for DCAC and
Chicamacomico Historical Association,” said John Griffin, president of
the historic site’s board of directors.
The old shakes are being replaced this year as part of a restoration
project on the 1911 station. The project is funded in part by The Outer
Banks Community Foundation.
Artists are encouraged to participate and can pick up shakes to paint
at either Dare County Arts Council in Manteo or the Chicamacomico Life
Saving Station in Rodanthe. Organizers hope to wrap up the project in
2018 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the historic Mirlo
"When it was first brought to our attention, we jumped at the
opportunity to work with the Chicamacomico Historical Association on
this project. It is such an elegant way of connecting today's Outer
Banks artists with a tangible piece of our shared history,” said DCAC
Executive Director Chris Sawin.
Already, there are five boxes of shingles waiting for local artists to
turn into a work of art. Once designed, the shingle art could be sold
online, in local galleries, and at both the historic site in Rodanthe
and the Dare County Arts Council in downtown Manteo.
“The fortunate buyers of these decorated shingles will own a fine work
of art,” Griffin said. “And more significantly, they will possess a
treasured piece of the Outer Banks storied history of storms,
shipwrecks and selfless locals who rushed time and again into the
churning surf to aid mariners in peril.”
It’s anticipated that an initial showing and exhibit of the shingles will be held at the DCAC in Manteo.
Chicamacomico Life Saving Station fell into disrepair and was in danger
of being dismantled when a local civic group took over in the 1970s.
The group was later named the Chicamacomico Historical Association.
The station is most famous for its highly honored rescue of the crew of
the British tanker Mirlo, which was torpedoed in 1918 in nearby waters
by a German submarine. The rescue is ranked among the U.S. Coast
Guard’s finest hours. The station was opened to the public in the late
For more details or to find out how to acquire the shingles, contact the Dare County Arts Council at 252-473-5558.