Heather Sink paints

Heather Sink paints on canvas recently. The Beaufort Historical Association chose her as the featured artist for its annual Valentine’s Membership Party, set for 2-4 p.m. Sunday on the historic site grounds. (Contributed photo)

BEAUFORT — The Beaufort Historical Association plans to share the love Sunday with its annual Valentine’s Membership Party and an art reception for Heather Sink.

The BHA hosts the Valentine’s party each year the Sunday before the holiday. During the party, the historic site buildings are open, and participants enjoy free food and fun.

This year’s event runs from 2-4 p.m., and the BHA encourages new and future members to come to the party.

“The Membership Drive has been a tradition for many years,” organizers said in a recent release. “It started in 1992 as a Valentine’s Party in a private home to attract new members. By 2000 the planning committee realized that the attendance had more than outgrown any private home in Beaufort.”

During the party, each house and building on the historic site will offer different refreshments for partygoers to enjoy.

There will be beer and pizza in the old jail, olive oil tastings in the courthouse, an oyster roast in the school master’s cottage, hot mulled cider in Leffer’s Cottage, fudge in the Apothecary, sparkle and fizz beverages in the Josiah Bell House, wine and cheese in the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery, hot chocolate and coffee in the Safrit Historical Center and hors d’oeuvres and spirits under the tent.

As well as enjoying the food at the different buildings, those who stop by the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery will be able to see Ms. Sink’s work during the opening.

Ms. Sink will be the BHA’s featured artist through March. According to the BHA, she is no stranger to the gallery or the Beaufort community. Her pieces have been featured in the gallery, and artists in it have been mentored or influenced by her.

Art has been a part of Ms. Sink’s life for as long as she can remember.

“I have three sisters and we are all creative in our way,” she said in the release. “We would use leftover wool, fabric, and wallpaper to make dolls, antiques, sculptures, houses, jewelry, and more.”

As she became older, Ms. Sink incorporated art into her education. In college, she took numerous classes, ranging from ceramics to printmaking.

Ms. Sink has lived in places abroad, including England and Italy, and those locations influenced her artwork. Many of her pieces showcase different aspects of her life, from family to her time spent overseas.

“Having had the opportunity to travel and observe art, architecture, and people has certainly influenced me,” she said in the release. “Probably the one thing I do notice when traveling is the changes in light. For example, the cool light in northern England compared to the light in Beaufort or Greece. As an artist, the light in my work is a huge factor that creates a feel or mood.”

She currently has an art gallery, Craving Art Studio, in Beaufort.

At the shop, Ms. Sink hosts workshops, teaches art to all ages and paints.

She also travels abroad to teach plein air workshops in Italy, Mexico and England.

“Teaching art has brought me much joy over the years,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether I am teaching children or adults. When a student starts to understand a new concept or technique and the light bulb goes off, it is a magic moment for me. Many of my adult students have found a passion they never knew they had or time in their lives to investigate art so it is rewarding to see them grow as artists.”

For information about Ms. Sink or the Valentine’s Membership Party, call 252-728-5225, visit beauforthistoricsite.org or stop in at the Beaufort Historic Site Welcome Center.

The Mattie King Davis Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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