Mermaids Among Us

Siren Song


Would you like to be one? Would you choose life with a fishy tail for the chance to swirl through the sea?

On a recent trip to Bald Head Island, I came face to face with mermaids. I didn’t find them in the water but in one of the island’s galleries. I took a photo and then emailed the artist for permission to post her painting, Siren Song, here.

Pamela Toll has certainly pondered life as a merlady. She writes:

This was just after ovarian cancer and chemo- Aug.- Dec. 2005. I was exuberant about being alive and on my favorite island in the world painting with “my tribe”.┬áThe painting was somewhat biographical- I imagined a couple of friends and myself as mermaids with fish swimming down below. I swam almost every day on Bald Head Island- and sometimes with the dolphin.

What a┬ácelebration of life and health and friendship and freedom and whimsy and talent! I’m grateful Pam let me share Siren Song with you.


Pamela Wallace Toll graduated with a degree in English and Art from the University of NC at Chapel Hill. She earned an MFA in Painting from East Carolina University.

In 1991 Toll co-founded Acme Art Studios, a work place for artists, which also hosts art events and exhibitions, most recently in conjunction with the Wilmington Fourth Friday Gallery Crawl.

After a profound painting experience at a painting colony in former monastery, St. Joakim Osogovoski, Macedonia, Ms Toll resolved to bring Macedonian artists to NC. In 1998 she and two partners established the No Boundaries International Art Colony whose mission is to lay aside national boundaries in favor of cross cultural exchange. Since then, over 150 artists from Europe, Africa, South America, Australia, Asia and North America have participated. No Boundaries publishes a catalogue, sponsors educational outreach, and widely exhibits paintings made during the project.

She is a professor in the art department of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Learn more about the lore of mermaids and mermen here.