If you’ve paid attention to Brevard’s art scene for any amount of time, you’ve heard his name. His works have appeared in places such as Grills, The Avenue Viera and Starbucks; vivid aquatic pieces that grab the viewer’s eye and leave them in awe. Whether it’s the work of an underwater scene in deep blue tones, or the print sculpture hammerhead shark that leaps from a light blue and white wood frame, Eric LaMarr has crafted works that have captivated an audience for many years. LaMarr’s new art studio in The Avenue Viera allows viewers to look at current pieces and get a glimpse of what he’s working on.
LaMarr was born in Rockledge and went to then-Brevard Community College. He’d later go on to The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he earned his Bachelor’s in Illustration. At the end of college, Eric took a corporate job, working for Margaritaville designing art. It was something Eric always thought he would do, and while it was a great opportunity to have his art showcased to so many people, the company’s guidelines hindered his ability to make art the way
LaMarr decided to pursue a full-time career in art in 2008, selling his work at small shows and markets, developing connections with people throughout Brevard County. He also had his work in Grills in Port Canaveral as far back as 2005. With a following in the area, he utilized special art shows in unique locations once or twice a year to open more eyes to his work. He eventually worked with The Avenue to do murals inside Central Park, which sparked a thought for what would become the Art and Sea Gallery Pop-Up Gallery & Studio, a week-long event from April 28 to May 5. However, the event sparked another idea for him.
“I approached them and said, ‘I’m really happy here; what can we negotiate as far as a contract?’ So we came up with an agreement, so this now goes to November,” LaMarr said. “So it started as a pop-up but I’ll be here until November 1.”
Originally working mostly with watercolors, LaMarr has expanded to acrylics, utilizing expressive styles like an abstract piece he is working on for a couple in Tennessee. While he will do specific commissions or works that come from pictures he’s taken, he also will work on free form pieces such as “Ghost Ship #4,” a five-foot painting of a sunken ship that has commanded the attention of many gallery patrons.
“I wanted to do more of an expressive piece, more than my traditional softer watercolors, something more striking, and I would say it turned out that way,” he said. “The painting has good depth that brings your eye from the surface of the ocean way down to the sea floor. This is created with a light to
LaMarr also enjoys creating non-painted works, such as the driftwood coffee table and channel marker tables that sit in the middle of the gallery.
“I really enjoy making the coffee tables, because they’re obviously functional, but they’re also conversation pieces that people can use and look at every day other than traditional paintings on the wall, so they’re fun to create,” LaMarr said.
When asked about his future goals, he mentioned possibly opening up other galleries in Brevard and other parts of the state. However, his goal has been to establish his roots in the county, and with the support of businesses, patrons, family and friends, LaMarr has been able to take his childhood passion and make a career out of it, persevering and growing a following along the way.
“As a child I always kept with it and somehow along the way it went from a hobby to becoming my career, so it’s truly awesome that I get to do what I love and it’s my job at the same time,” he said. “I’m honored as well because not too many people can