Friday, August 8, 2014

Six Florida Artists Join Ocean Books and Art


FLAGLER BEACH, FL – As part of Flagler Beach’s continuing development as a premier fine art destination, Ocean Books & Art added six Florida artists in the past month.

The new artists whose work is now on display include four well-known Florida plein air painters plus two others who are expanding their careers. The plein air artists, who paint outside at diverse locations, are all veterans of the Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paint Out, a juried event held annually in October to raise funds for the Canaveral National Seashore. They are Cathy Berse (New Smyrna Beach), Frank Ferrante (Port Orange), Scott Hiestand (Ormond Beach), and Linda Holmes (Elkton).

Stewart Maxcy, an acrylic painter from Flagler Beach, is no stranger to Flagler County residents. Just retired after 37 years in the Flagler School District as an art teacher, elementary school principal, and district administrator, Maxcy’s colorful showcase of sea turtles and manatees is his first public display.

Jacksonville resident Garrett Slay is returning to his artistic career after a hiatus to pursue business opportunities. His large abstract oil paintings add an exciting dimension to the wall right outside gallery owner Frank Gromling’s office. “I put his work there so I would be reminded constantly of the importance of diversity in subject, medium, style and artist,” Gromling said. “Plus, his colors brighten my day,” he added.

Gromling believes the oceanfront gallery in Flagler Beach is the perfect location for art lovers to view and purchase high quality art without having to travel to St. Augustine, New Smyrna Beach, or other destinations already recognized for fine art. He said, “Flagler Beach offers an attractive alternative to the hustle and hype of larger Florida venues and Ocean Books & Art showcases many of the best local and internationally known artists.”

Among its 16 artists are world renowned Steve Barton, dubbed the “wavy frame” artist, Peter C. Stone, New England artist and author, and Chris DeRubeis, “One of the Hottest Selling Artists in the World” according to Print Killer Art Magazine (July 2014). In just two years Ocean Books & Art has steadily advanced to become a well-respected fine art center in Northeast Florida for residents and visitors.

The gallery is finalizing plans for its winter season, which will include an interior remodeling, workshops in watercolor, acrylic, and oil, numerous art openings to feature a new two-day approach with a choice of artist visitation times, and participation in the Flagler Art & Wine Shuttle scheduled for December, which Gromling conceived and rolled-out last April.

Ocean Books & Art is located at 200 S. Oceanshore Blvd. (State Road A1A), in Flagler Beach. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, 12 – 6 PM and by appointment on Monday.

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