If you're looking for an art show with a quiet, museum-like setting, then the Tybee Arts Association's "Holiday Picnic" show and sale might not be the place for you.

The group abandoned the static, display-type show about a year ago and its new meet-and-greet, party-style sale is credited with the group's growing success.

"People used to just drop off their work and the show chair would set it up for the sale, but about a year ago, we changed it," artist and show chair RL Brethauer said.

"We have a really good time at these shows," he said. "We are with our work the entire time, so we can talk to guests and walk around and talk to other artists. We can talk about how we make our work and learn new techniques from each other.

"I'm usually shy, but when I get in my booth and start talking to people about my art, I find I have to make myself shut up," he said, pausing to laugh. "It's just a lot of fun."

Brethauer joined the group when he moved to Savannah a little more than a year ago. Before his move, he was a property manager, and the word "artist" never appeared on his resume.

Brethauer claims his new role is a fluke.

"A buddy gave me a piece of driftwood and mentioned he needed a ship," he said. "I thought the wood looked like a ship's body. I added some copper sails and wires and that's how it all started."

Brethauer showcases his work on his Pinterest site, and his driftwood and copper ships have sold across the country. He recently picked up a director's choice award at a show in Atlanta.

"When I moved here, I was kind of looking around for work and someone told me I should just start doing my art as my new job and it took off," he said.

"Everyone at the Tybee Arts Association has been so supportive of my work, and the other artists have helped me branch out and make a local name for myself," he said.

Brethauer is not the only artist to benefit from the group's camaraderie.

Brad Hook, who plans to display and sell his watercolor paintings at the show, recently sold six of his pieces to a CBS-produced TV pilot for the CW network titled "Company Town" that will air this fall.

"Kristine Kennedy is a fellow artist and a member of Tybee Arts (Association) and she also has a master's degree in set design and creates sets for television programs," Hook said. "She needed artwork and said she thought of me, and I sent in some digital images to CBS and they liked them all.

"These shows we put on give us a chance to work as a team and build on our camaraderie to promote a common goal - to make Tybee an art destination - and I feel like we are definitely moving closer to that goal."

The art show and sale will take place July 5-7 at the Tybee Arts Building near the lighthouse. The theme for the show is "Holiday Picnic."

"Each of our shows picks a theme, and I thought about a Fourth of July-themed show based on the all-American picnic," Brethauer said. "We'll have cheese and crackers and watermelon, and the tables will have gingham tablecloths and we'll decorate with American flags. Even the music playing in the background will be American-themed."

Brethauer also said some of the artists will stay on hand for the Tybee Arts Performance Society's play "Boeing-Boeing," which will take place Friday and Saturday on the other side of the building.

"Theater guests can wander next door and enjoy the art show during the play's intermission," Brethauer said.

Twenty percent of sales from the show go to support the Tybee Arts Association, a nonprofit organization promoting arts in the Tybee community and surrounding areas. The group hosts art classes, theater productions and a summer camp for children.

"Holiday Picnic" will showcase paintings, sculptures, fiber arts, stained glass, jewelry, photographs, quilts, pottery, handmade furniture and more. Some of the other participating artists include Jessica Duckworth, owner of Epiphany Bead and Jewelry Studio, Robin Sterns, owner of Ardsley Art Glass, wood turner Dave Kartzman, jeweler Marianne Bramble, painter Benjamin Turner, textile artist Doris Grieder and photographer Tommy Thompson.


What: Tybee Arts Association "Holiday Picnic" art show and sale

When: Opening reception from 6-9 p.m. July 5; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 6; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 6

Where: Tybee Arts Building, No. 7 Cedarwood, near the lighthouse

Info: For more information, call 912-786-5920 or go to www.tybeearts.org