Arts & Culture

Sharpen Your Southern Skills  

Palmetto Bluff’s Artist in Residence program offers unique learning opportunities, from foraging for edibles to dyeing textiles with indigo

photo: The artist cottage in Moreland Village at Palmetto Bluff. Courtesy of Palmetto Bluff

Devil an egg? Check. Mix a mint julep? Got it. Bust a true pair on the sporting clays course? All set. Identify edible mushrooms on a foraging trip… not there yet. Some skills every good Southerner masters at an early age—even Santa got a monogramed thank you note—but still others we acquire over a lifetime of experience. Whether you’re trying to brush up on a certain skill set or acquire a new one, look no further than the recently launched Artist in Residence series at Palmetto Bluff, a Lowcountry resort community situated on 20,000 largely untouched waterfront acres between Charleston and Savannah.

photo: Olivia Rae James

Artisan Leigh Magar.

The year-long series, a collaboration between Garden & Gun and the resort, invites one former winner of G&G’s Made in the South Awards for a week-long residency each month at the property’s new custom-built Artist Cottage in Moreland Village. Over the course of their seven-day run, the featured makers will share their unique talents with Palmetto Bluff guests, residents, and day-trippers through meet-and-greets, open-gallery hours, and hands-on classes. “I think it’s important to study our history and revive lost folk ways,” says Leigh Magar, the Lowcountry textile artist, who will share her knowledge of fresh-leaf indigo-dyeing in May.

photo: Olivia Rae James

Magar’s indigo-dyed hand towels.

Coming up later this month: From April 24-30, you can join one of two on-property turkey hunts with the multi-talented chef Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot Fish Club and OvenBird in Birmingham, Alabama. Learn the ins-and-outs of foraging wild edibles with Hastings and Jay Walea, the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy Director. Or work with the outdoorsman and chef to create smart-looking feather lapel pins, wing bone calls, and gobbler foot mounts.

photo: Becky Stayner

A lapel pin by Chris Hastings.

If you prefer indoor pursuits, just wait a month. Over rosé, sweet tea, and ham biscuits, you can discover the lost art of indigo-dyeing with Magar, creating one-of-a-kind tea towels. A second class allows participants to craft cocktail napkins while sipping a tumbler of Kentucky’s finest. There are also silversmithing lessons with Charleston jewelry designer and metalworker Ann Ladson Stafford, paddleboarding tours on the marsh-lined May River with RJ Murray of Three Brothers Boards from Daytona Beach, and ice cream-making deep dives with the Florida family behind Southern Craft Creamery.

For the full schedule, check out the Artist in Residence website, and call to ask about hotel packages for the series.