INSPIRED LOCAL ARTIST CAPTURES BLUFFTON SELF HELP FOUNDER’S STORY ON CANVAS
Author: CH2 Press Release
On Monday, August 13 at 11 am, Bluffton Self Help’s board of directors will host a special ceremony. A local artist will unveil his original artist rendering of Mrs. Ida Martin’s story and the history of Bluffton Self Help. Bluffton resident, Michael McClendon’s masterpiece will be hoisted up, oh so gently, to be hung at its permanent home, above the food distribution area, in Bluffton Self Help’s building located at 39 Sheridan Park Circle in Bluffton.
Like other Bluffton residents, McClendon was reintroduced to Mrs. Ida Martin while watching the news coverage when she was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal. Although, Mrs. Martin is no secret to long-term residents of both Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, for some, her work was unknown until she became nationally recognized.
He was so moved, an idea was born. He would capture her story visually with strokes from his artist brush.
After four months of perspective thought, traveling and painting, the result is a beautiful six-foot-by-three-foot oil-painted canvas mural, reflecting the story of Mrs. Martin and Bluffton Self Help.
“I was so moved by Mrs. Martin’s story, I felt compelled to capture her spirit, her wisdom and her image,” said McClendon. He met with Mrs. Martin three different times to make sure he understood the full realm of her contributions to the Bluffton area. “The more I learned from her, the more driven I was to create her story on canvas.”
The multi-colored bright and warm painting is complete with a mosaic of images from the past, surrounding Mrs. Martin who is featured on the canvas in her now-famous DONCASTER red dress suit she wore to meet President Barach Obama.
The public is welcome to attend and tour Bluffton Self Help following the ceremony.
“Everyone is welcome to participate in the hanging of the art,” said Lili Coleman, executive director. “We want to recognize and thank Michael for the months it took him to create the painting.”
The artist has also produced prints of the painting with his own funds. These prints will be on sale at the event and following the event. Twenty percent of the proceeds are designated to Bluffton Self Help.
Michael is a single-parent and a 12-year resident of Bluffton. He received his bachelor degree in fine arts from Indiana University. In the early 2000 he moved to Bluffton to be near his son’s god parents. His son, now 16, calls Bluffton his home.
Two months ago, Michael opened a martial arts and art studio at 38 New Orleans Road on Hilton Head Island. He will be combining his two talents to grow his business. Michael holds a Fifth-Degree Black Belt in Judo and a Fourth Degree Black Belt in Jujitsu. He is a certified instructor with the United States Judo Association and the United States of America Judo Olympics.
“I’ve put everything I have into my new business and this painting of Ida Martin,” said Michael. “I’m hoping it works to everyone’s advantage, especially for Bluffton Self Help.”