2012 artist Keels Culberson Swinney
Keels Culbertson Swinney remembers working together, with her Dad and as a family, on boats every afternoon – especially in cooler months when surfing wasn’t an appealing option. Then the family would climb aboard and go rowing on the Waccamaw River. It was a routine she loved; what child wouldn’t?
Her father, Henry Culberson, is well known and loved throughout the Lowcountry for building surfboards, crafting exquisite boats, masterminding woodworking projects, raising bees and other uncommon endeavors. He is also a former Georgetown Wooden Boat Challenge competitor – and winner. Keels grew up, quite literally, at her Daddy’s heels.
Therein lies the inspiration for the 2012 Wooden Boat Show’s official painting. In subject matter and mood, it is like nothing so much as it is like a Lowcountry-style Norman Rockwell work of art. Her Dad’s long ponytail remains the same – albeit it a bit more gray. She shares his intense, ice-blue eyes. Notice surfboards hanging from the ceiling. Notice she is on tiptoe. She remembers those afternoons fondly – and has recreated them in delicious detail in the official painting showcased on the 2012 Wooden Boat Show poster.