Chicamacomico Historical Association, Dare Arts announce second historical arts project – OBX Today

Chicamacomico Historical Association, Dare Arts announce second historical arts project - OBX Today
A painted cedar shake by artist Carolina Coto. Photo courtesy of Dare Arts.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and the Lifesaving Service on the North Carolina Coast, Dare Arts and the Chicamacomico Historical Association have teamed up to host the second Chicamacomico Shakes Exhibit in April.

Artists are invited to combine their talents with local history by taking a cedar shake or two from the 1911 Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and transforming it into a work of art.

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at the Chicamacomico Historical Association on this special project,” said Dare Arts Executive Director Jessica Sands. “We hosted a similar community exhibit in 2018, and the display was a wonderful blend of Outer Banks art and history. Artists are encouraged to get creative with their shakes- paint, fiber, mixed media, metal – anything goes! Our hope is to have 150 shakes in the exhibit to commemorate the 150th anniversary. We look forward to getting shakes into the hands of artists from Corolla to Ocracoke and watching this exhibition come together.”

Artists who would like to participate in this historical arts project can pick up a shake at Dare Arts in Manteo, The Black Pelican Restaurant in Kitty Hawk, the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station in Rodanthe, or Buxton Village Books in Buxton. Artists can also contact Dare Arts for shake delivery between Manteo and Kitty Hawk.

A shake information sheet for artists can be found online at Artists are asked to drop off their finished shake(s) to any of the locations listed above no later than Friday, March 8.

“As an artist and creator of the Pea Island Lifesavers paintings, it is always honorable to participate in events that celebrate the great service of everyone who was a part of the United States Life-Saving Service,” said artist and Dare Arts Board Member James Melvin. “Participating in the cedar shakes exhibit is a wonderful way to say thank you!”

Each shake will be available to purchase at the exhibit for $150, and the proceeds will be split between Dare Arts and the Chicamacomico Historical Association to further their missions’ work in the community.

“We appreciate artists taking these shakes and turning them into art as a donation to this fundraising exhibit,” said Chicamacomico Historical Association Executive Director John Griffin. “The shakes have been salvaged from the roof and siding on the 1911 Cookhouse at Chicamacomico. The buyers of the decorated shakes will own a piece of fine art. And more significantly, they will possess a treasured piece of Outer Banks history.”

The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 5 from 6pm to 8pm at Dare Arts in Manteo, and is free and open to the public.

After the opening reception, the show will be on display for viewing during normal gallery hours from April 6 through April 27.

For more information about the exhibit, visit or call Dare Arts at (252) 473-5558 or Chicamacomico at (252) 987-1552.

Dare Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment and opportunity.

Chicamacomico Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to preserving the station buildings and the stories of the men who served here and in other stations on the Outer Banks of N.C.

About the Life-Saving Stations: In 1874 seven life-saving stations were built along the coast of what is now Dare County: those stations along with three in Virginia came to be the first step in what was to become the United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS). Within a short three years, the original seven were joined by 11 others and by the turn of the century there were over 200 stations along the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and North Coast. There were 29 stations along the coast of North Carolina. From that modest beginning through 1915 when they merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to become the United States Coast Guard, the Life-Saving Service responded to 28,121 vessels—and of the 178,741 lives in peril at sea, crew members successfully saved a record number of 177,286 lives. Truly, a legacy of Life-Saving. The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and Museum in Rodanthe is a focal point of the commemoration of that legacy. The Black Pelican Restaurant was the Kitty Hawk Life-Saving Station, and is one of the three surviving stations built in 1874.