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Michelle Seay

Written by Robin Riebman on Wednesday, 05 June 2013. Posted in Magazine, Servers, Eat This Summer 2013

Michelle Seay

McCrady’s Restaurant
2 Unity Alley | Charleston 
843.577.0025 | mccradysrestaurant.com

Vibrant blue oil paintings of the ocean jump from orange walls. Shark jaws hang from the ceiling in front of lemon colored cabinets. Michelle Seay’s original art covers surfaces throughout the house, interspersed with postcards, photos of her sons, and Buddhist imagery.

In the late ‘90s, Michelle was doing “hands on” glasswork for Hine’s Studios. When McCrady’s Tavern was renovated, she designed and installed glasswork and mirrors that decorate the bar. Two years ago she returned to McCrady’s as a server because, she says, “I enjoy juggling all of those different components of an adventure. I don’t take it lightly when people take their hard earned money and buy themselves something to eat, it’s symbolic.”

As a mother and a server, food is incredibly important to Michelle. “I feel responsible to brand what the origin of food is to my children, instilling that gratitude. I’ve got to do it, who else is going to?”

Michelle has studied Bikram, Kundalini and Vinyasa flow yoga techniques with world-renowned practitioners. She is a certified instructor, teaching classes out of her home and at local studios for the past twelve years. Michelle says of her practice “it’s a progression, it’s an accumulation, it’s all about situational awareness.”

Her pen and ink “house portraits” are sub-linear narratives that capture what she refers to as life “in the moment”. Some of the themes in her art come from her stint as a commercial fisherwoman out of Shem Creek. “It taught me a lot about endurance, real life, real grit”. She says, “I would never take a photo. It goes back to that awareness. Sometimes they are moments of my own time that I am processing.”

“The process of a meal, and art and yoga are all related. It’s nourishment for a healthy existence, it’s about living and about not being a spectator.”

Check out Michelle’s website at emichelleseay.com. Her exhibit opened April 13 and will remain open for the upcoming months at 827 in Avondale.

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