Outer 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 rescue.
“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 1970s.
For more details or to find out how to acquire the shingles, contact the Dare County Arts Council at 252-473-5558.