Wilmington, NC – A lifelong painter, Marcia Zachary had never shown or sold her artwork – until Thursday, when more than 100 people and one surprise guest turned out for a special gallery opening featuring the Lower Cape Fear Hospice patient’s work.
Over the years, Zachary has painted dozens of coastal scenes and still life paintings, giving many to family members and filling her home with the rest. But she had never publicly shown or sold the paintings, though she had long wanted to, she confided to Lower Cape Fear Hospice (LCFH) Chaplain Mickie Norman.
Norman relayed Zachary’s wish to other members of the LCFH team, and before long, plans were forming for an art show at Sunset River Marketplace Art Gallery.
“Marcia cried when we told her,” said Anne Hewett, Brunswick County Donor Advisor for LCFH, who helped Norman organize the art show. “This is really one of our favorite things to do, to grant people wishes that they wouldn’t have been able to do before, and we make it happen.”
Thursday, wearing an outfit given to her for the event by Norman and with her hair and makeup styling donated by Dane Delane Salon and Studio, Zachary rode to the gallery opening in a limo donated by Easy Way Limo and Transportation. Calabash Deli donated refreshments for the event.
“God made a beautiful place,” Zachary said, sitting in Sunset River Marketplace Art Gallery surrounded by her works. “To be able to put it down on canvas, it’s a blessing.”
“Just keep going,” Zachary added, when asked what advice she would give other aspiring painters. “Mistakes are not made. Mistakes turn into beauty.”
Zachary started painting in the 1980s, taking painting lessons taught in the Calabash Fire Department. Her first teacher there, Marilynn Walker, saw media coverage about Zachary’s gallery opening and, unbeknownst to Zachary, made plans to attend her show. After surprising Zachary, the two were able to catch up on all that had happened in the decades since those lessons.
“That was one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had,” said Walker of teaching painting. “I was tickled to death that she had this in the paper. It’s once in a lifetime to have a job where you feel like you do some good.”
“I just love this lady, and I’m so glad she started me on this road,” Zachary said, clasping Walker’s hand.
Most of Zachary’s paintings sold during Thursday’s opening, but all the works will remain on display at Sunset River Marketplace Art Gallery through Apr. 13. Those that did not sell, and prints of select paintings, remain available for purchase. For details about viewing Zachary’s art, visit https://sunsetrivermarketplace.com/event/reception-marcia-zachary/.
Lower Cape Fear Hospice is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the highest level of care and comfort to patients with life-limiting illness; support and counseling to families; and education to the community. For more information, visit lcfh.org.