Art adds a sense of creative wonder to a community. It connects both consciously and subconsciously with our aesthetic senses. Lisa Packard is helping to guide the ongoing development of one the Space Coast’s most unique and treasured districts.
SCL: Thanks for doing this, Lisa.
LP: No problem; I’ve wanted to see something like this done for a while now. Just didn’t think it would be me!
SCL: What brought you to Eau Gallie?
LP: My dad was Air Force and we lived here during the Apollo program years. I’d started high school in Cocoa, but he was transferred and we moved away before I could graduate. One of my best friends called me years later and asked me to come join a reunion cruise. I called another friend from Seattle, who met me there. We had a great time, and about 3 years later, I moved here.
SCL: And why EGAD?
LP: In Ohio, my grandparents owned a butcher shop in a small town, with the hanging meats, the giant brass cash register. We’d spend summers there. I’d grab 2¢ and get a candy necklace from the candy store next door, or a nickel and get a big icy Coke from the machine outside. Eau Gallie had that attraction to me, a waterfront, town center, green space, and shops to dig around in. It is an amazing place more people need to know about.
SCL: For all that you represent here, what is your art?
LP: I used to be very crafty. Now, I play with graphic design, but I’m not good. Others here are very good, I just get lucky sometimes. Now I put most of my time into my job, which I love. The artist community is color-blind, age-blind, gender-blind and much more tolerant of everyone. They’re more interested in what you’ve been doing lately than who you are. It keeps me young. I did have a shop here years ago. I flipped furniture. I love textiles. I found this chair on the side of the street and grabbed it. I picked the fabric and refinished it to flip it, but then kept it. I found a chaise lounge on Craigslist to finish for $60, my upholsterer called and said it was worth $1000. The market here for that sort of furniture just wasn’t good back then. Each piece was unique, but people here want all of their furniture to match. That’s a uniquely American thing, by the way.
SCL: …and when you’re not here?
LP: I’m a beach person, but lately I just hang out around home. I binge watch my favorite shows and relax. I could also walk around a garden center all day long.
SCL: Your favorite restaurant?
LP: Mario’s. Even if I didn’t live here, it would be Mario’s.
SCL: What’s the next BIG thing here?
LP: We have a new restaurant in the works, the expansion of a VERY popular company (it’s hush-hush), the Salty Fox Tavern is coming across the street, and I have contractors coming in regularly.
Want to know more about Lisa Packard’s work? Visit:
Eau Gallie Arts District