When Art Meets Music

Date: September 18, 2023
Author: Susan Abercrombie

Any opportunity where the cultural arts can join forces to give our community a well-rounded, artistic experience is something we want to be a part of. The Long Bay Symphony is excited to partner with Thomas Davis Island Fox Art Gallery at our first Masterworks concert on September 24. Patrons will be able to view artwork by gallery owner Thomas Davis and guest artist Kimberly Grigg in the lobby before the concert and during intermission. To top it all off, Davis will also be live-painting a scene during the concert.

To get to know the artists prior to the concert, I asked Thomas Davis and Kimberly Grigg to share a bit about their journeys as artists in the Myrtle Beach community.

Thomas Davis, Thomas Davis Island Fox Art Gallery Owner

My family first arrived in Myrtle Beach in 1954.  I grew up loving to go to the beach, and I still do. My family has always appreciated the simple life on the ocean. Myrtle Beach is a special place to live.

My love of the arts began as a child. I took classical art classes all through high school and into my college years at Clemson and CCU.  In the mid 80’s, I left SC and moved to Atlanta to pursue a career in Advertising. It wasn’t long after that I realized the beach was calling me back. I returned to Myrtle Beach and worked in advertising for three years. In 1991, my mother took me to New York to see the Matisse Exhibit. It was then that I knew for certain that I wanted to create beautiful art, so I began painting the beauty of our own low country and coast. I soon began travelling through Europe applying what I learned from visiting museums in other countries. This is when my own technique of bright colors and oils began to develop.  This was my epiphany moment: I realized I could do this for the rest of my life. Monet inspired the landscapes I create, while Picasso and Matisse gave me the liberty to be bold and express myself through color.

My mother was a huge influence on my love of the arts.  In 1994, she and I took a trip to Paris.   It was there that I saw the integration of arts at the local bistros, where artists could sell their works right off the walls of these little cafes. This inspired me to open Collectors Café and Gallery in 1994. Collectors Café enabled me to showcase not only my own art but many other local up and coning artists, giving them the opportunity to show their pieces where they otherwise couldn’t. It was one of my great pleasures of owning Collectors Café for 26 years.  Unfortunately, in 2020, a fire brought the success of Collectors Café to an end.  After that, I spent my time travelling and wondering how to bring back a place where I could showcase not only my own art, but again, the works of other local artists.  In 2022, Donna and I found the answer, and we opened the ‘Thomas Davis Island Fox Art Gallery’, creating a space to showcase art in our local community. Through marketing, our gallery’s art shows, special events, and collaborations with other entities of the arts, such as the Long Bay Symphony, we are able to support the cultural arts scene and watch it thrive in Myrtle Beach.

I feel the heartbeat of our community has always been fueled by culture and the arts. It is so important to feed this and offer growth opportunities to new artists in all areas. This is why I joined the Cultural Resources Committee for the City of Myrtle Beach in 2020 as well as why it was so important for us to open the Thomas Davis Island Fox Art Gallery. It is my desire to continue to bring art to our city and express my vision through color and bold brush strokes.

Kimberly Griggs, Guest Artist

Growing up on a hog farm in a small town promotes a certain type of creativity.  When not performing chores, schoolwork or extracurricular activities, I drew house plans (feverishly!).  This prompted my love for interior design and all things creative.

I learned to sew and make things. Anything creative that I took on was fostered by my highly creative and energetic grandmother. My dad was also very creative, and I often spent Saturdays helping him with projects like reupholstering the seats on our family boat!

As an adult, I opened my active and successful interior design business, Knotting Hill Interiors.  The work challenged my creativity but also fostered an inability to “wind down” in the evenings and on the weekends. Eventually, I turned to painting to help steady my pace and to help me relax. Once all six of my children (shared, adopted, and biological) left the nest, my painting practice flourished into, not only a vibrant hobby, but also a second profession!

As my art practice grew, so did my choice of mediums. As an interior designer, I use many different tools, including wallpaper and fabrics, to create rooms that tend to be dramatic, colorful, and possess a little flair for the “extraordinary”! I knew that I would need similar tools to work with in my art practice. Hence, I began to work as a mixed media artist. I am always searching for elements to use in my artwork. Often, I use fabrics, wallpapers, tile, and trash!  I work these components into my endless variety of collage papers, paints, and whatever materials I can get my hands on to create interesting and expressive art. I spend countless hours “arranging on canvas” just as I arrange furniture in a room. This method tends to produce interesting original pieces, but is also, deeply satisfying.

I am fascinated with faces and the human form as well as work that depicts rooms or excerpts from rooms, and I often use these elements in my art. I like to incorporate “tablescapes” into my creations, which is as natural for me as breathing.

Along the way in my artistic journey, I aligned myself with other artists within our community. I find that the Myrtle Beach community of artists tends to be broad and extremely giving. My long-term friendship with Tommy Davis and the Island Fox Art Gallery has blossomed and flourished. My admiration of what Tommy has created is endless. Not only has he built his own artistic brand, but he has strived for excellence and helped pave the way for the progression of the cultural arts community.

Creativity and the arts are vital to our community, no matter what medium that is expressed. I hear people often say that they aren’t creative. To that I say, “poppycock”! Everyone is creative; it’s all about how you go about fostering it. The cultural arts community provides many such outlets and I am grateful for that. As our arts movement continues to grow and prosper in our area, I am so happy and proud to be a part of it. I have the deepest respect for the artisans who express their craft but also those who work endlessly to promote the programs that exist in our area.


Please see below for a sneak peak of what will be displayed and available for purchase on Sunday, September 24. The gallery will donate 20% commission of purchased pieces to the Long Bay Symphony.

Jackie O Capri Grotto - $4,200  

Surf Myrtle Beach - $6,400

Fox Den at 78th Avenue - $3,700

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