14 spots are available for artist retreat June 16-27;

Special reception from 6-7 p.m. Feb. 25 at SOBA’s Art School

The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA) board members have been thinking outside-the-box to offer unique outreach programs for artists in the community. This year, the non-profit art organization will offer trips to museums and exhibits in Savannah, Charleston and surrounding areas.

Additionally, they’re planning international artists retreats every other year – well-curated trips with low-key learning mixed with history, beautiful scenery, fantastic food and five-star hotels.

The first retreat, to Guatemala, will take place June 16-27, with an itinerary filled with explorations to Tikal Mayan ruins and nearby villages, as well as painting workshops with inspiring instructors.

“The group will be accompanied by local, knowledgeable guides to introduce them to hidden treasures of the sites,” said Marie Burgeson, SOBA president. “And best of all, the travelers will be friends and fellow artists. This trip is perfect for the single traveler but will also work for couples since there will be special programs for non-artists as well.”

Anyone interested in the Guatemalan artist retreat and SOBA’s future outreach programs are invited to a special information reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres from 6-7 p.m. Feb. 25 at SOBA’s Art School, 8 Church St. in Old Town Bluffton.

Burgeson was inspired to organize the trip for Lowcountry artists after visiting Guatemala with another painting group. The upcoming trip will be organized by the same boutique travel company, Explore Amazing Places. From first-class hotels and restaurants to quality individual care, Burgeson was impressed with the level of attention and knowledge by the Explore Amazing Places tour guides.

“The owners are Americans who lived in Guatemala for several years. They are charming and extremely knowledgeable about Latin America and will be with the group every step of the way,” Burgeson said. 

The cost is $3,895 for double occupancy and $775 for single supplement – which includes hotels, most meals, all transportation in the country including airfare to Tikal, workshop tuition and gratuities.

The deadline to register is March 25. A portion of the proceeds will benefit SOBA’s ongoing operational expenses.

For more information, email Burgeson at sobaupdates@sobagallery.com or visit bit.ly/SOBAGuatemala. To register, visit Explore Amazing Places at bit.ly/GuatemalaRegister.