Works in progress
Galleries plan an arts season full of eclectic exhibitions
Oils, watercolors, pastels, pen and ink, photography, fiber arts, jewelry, sculpture. If it is an artistic medium, Space Coast galleries probably have a show in store with them.
In the Eau Gallie Arts District, Fifth Avenue Art Gallery and Eau Gallery plan a robust schedule of events for the arts season, beginning with plenty of Comfort & Joy, Fifth Avenue’s 40th annual holiday fine craft show.
“We’ll be transforming the gallery to highlight all the extraordinary items for this year’s show,” vice president of publicity Renee Decator said.
“We invite fine craft artisans from across the country for this spectacular showcase, bringing the best in pottery, glass, wood, fiber, textiles, jewelry and more for the shopping pleasure of our Brevard County patrons. Some of our crafters return year after year, and others are new additions, which makes this two-month long exhibition fresh and new every year.”
Along with handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts for holiday giving, the gallery will also feature unique home accents and holiday ornaments and greeting cards. The show runs through Dec. 31.
The member-operated gallery typically opens new shows with First Friday of the month receptions from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Another Fifth Avenue tradition is 100% Pure Florida, a juried exhibit that highlights the varied and extraordinary talents of artists living in the Sunshine State.
The 2023 slate of shows includes:
January: Nature’s Palette, Vicki Busby and Beth-Anne Fairchild;
February: The Guardians, solo exhibition, Barbara Desrosiers;
March: 17th Annual 100% Pure Florida, juried exhibition;
April: Solo exhibition, Tom Busby;
May: Solo exhibition, Esta Rubin;
June: Invitational Show, TBA;
July: Lost & Found IV;
September: 100% Pure Florida, Best of Show winner;
October: Solo exhibition, Witha Lacuesta; and
November/December: 41st holiday fine craft show
A short walk away from Fifth Avenue Art Gallery on EGAD’s Highland Avenue is Eau Gallery, where December means Great Art in Small Packages, an exhibition of smaller works.
“Everyone can purchase that great gift of art to fit that special space in their home,” gallery member Lolly Walton said.
Like Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, Eau Gallery hosts opening receptions the First Friday of the month. Coming in 2023 is Kaleidoscope of Color in February; the annual photography show in April; a summer-themed exhibition in July; and in September, the popular Life in our Lagoon, a show of works that depict the rich diversity of the Indian River. In October, Eau Gallery unveils the works selected for its annual calendar, which makes a perfect stocking stuffer for art lovers and lovers of Brevard. The works of artists Sherri Spencer, Phyllis Marple and Fran Call will be on display January, March and August, respectively.
EGAD does not have a monopoly on the visual arts, for Titusville, Cocoa Beach and Melbourne all boast excellent galleries. The Studios of Cocoa Beach, with 30 member artists, has an energetic schedule of classes and shows for the year ahead.
In November, the gallery will celebrate its sixth anniversary with Therefore I Create VI, an exhibition of members’ works that includes painting, graphics, photography, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, fiber, glass art, woodwork and even repurposed surf boards.
The Studios of Cocoa Beach begins 2023 with Jamille Haddad’s Works in Glass. Haddad has four decades of experience with stained glass and fused glass, from small sculptural pieces to residential and commercial applications.
Oils on Wood and Canvas will feature Delia Swenson’s oil paintings of Florida landscapes and fantastic floral selections.
In February, it’s Phyllis Shipley, A Life in the Arts. This Rockledge resident has been producing fine art for 30 years as a successful gallery owner and an award-winning artist who has participated in shows and galleries internationally.
The Studios also offers a variety of learning opportunities, from one-time workshops to ongoing classes for young and not-so-young.
Art is alive and well in Titusville’s Downtown Gallery. In September, owners Heidi and Jeff Thamert celebrated the 20th anniversary of their gallery, which features popular art receptions, as well as a full framing studio.
“The number of talented artists in our area is amazing and we love being at the center of art and culture in our community,” Heidi Thamert said.
Although the Thamerts have not put together a schedule of shows for 2023, if previous shows are an indication, art lovers will be in for a treat. This past year, the gallery hosted shows such as Endless Summer, which featured surf artist Terry Cope’s edgy, yet playful, paintings of surfers enjoying the Florida sun and waves.
The Strawbridge Art League has long been a force in the visual arts scene of Brevard. Its gallery at 819-2 Strawbridge Ave. in downtown Melbourne hosts monthly shows that showcase the considerable talent in the area.
Its program of events for next year include: Monochromania in January; Colors of Love in February; Complementary Colors in March; Pastel in Bloom for April; a show on Digital Purple, Pantone’s Color of the Year, in May; Best of Blues in June;
All that Glitters is Gold in July; and Red, Red, Red & More Red in August.
With art gallery shows galore, Brevard art lovers should enjoy an art-filled 2023.
If you go …
Downtown Art Gallery
335 S. Washington Ave., Titusville
321.268.0122 | thedowntownartgallery.com
1429 Highland Ave., Melbourne
321.253.5553 | eaugallery.com
Fifth Avenue Art Gallery
1470 Highland Ave., Melbourne
321.259.8261 | fifthavenueartgallery.com
Studios of Cocoa Beach
159 Minutemen Causeway, Cocoa Beach
321.613.3480 | studiosofcocoabeach.org
Strawbridge Art League
819 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne
321.952.3070 | strawbridgeart.org
Maria is a prolific writer and proofer for Space Coast Living and an adjunct professor at Florida Institute of Technology’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business. When not writing, teaching or traveling, she can be found waging a one-woman war against her lawn and futilely attempting to maintain order among the chaos of a pack of extremely clueless wirehair dachshunds and an angst-driven basset hound.