Saturday, February 25, 2017



FLAGLER BEACH, FLOcean Art Gallery’s monthly Art Reception as part of March’s “First Friday Music in the Park” event features Tampa resident Kelly Quinn who will meet with guests and demonstrate her art technique during her “Among the Reef” art show opening. The public is invited to the Reception on Friday, March 3, from 6 to 8 pm. Admission is free and light refreshments and live music will be available.

Acrylic painter Kelly Quinn knew at a young age that she had a special connection with the wildlife and natural vegetation she found all around her Haines City home. Every day was an adventure as she explored the plains of Central Florida and began to experiment with acrylic painting to capture on canvas the wondrous life she was enjoying.

After graduating from the University of Florida’s Fine Art Program in 2016, Kelly launched her professional art career focused on the beauty of nature while sharing her belief that it must be protected. To accomplish this, Kelly researches the animals and plant life she incorporates into her paintings and provides factual information about effective conservation measures, with each painting having its own story.

Kelly said, “I love this state and, as an artist, I tell the true stories of iconic Florida wildlife, and some not so well known, to spread awareness of the environmental issues they face and to be their human voice in a modernized world.” This fascination with Florida and her artistic talent led to Kelly becoming the Resident Artist at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa in 2016. She was commissioned to paint “The Mission,” a panoramic acrylic on canvas, which hangs in the Aquarium’s conference room and serves as a visual reminder for the staff and volunteers as to why they are committed to saving Florida’s disappearing coast and endangered marine life.

These works are a window into the world of Florida’s iconic marine life and is meant to epitomize the mission of the Florida Aquarium, which is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship for our natural environment, and to protect and restore our Blue Planet. The collection includes an 11ft x 4ft panoramic made up of three separate canvases and one stand-alone vertical 3ft x 4ft canvas, all representing endangered and threatened marine life living on Florida’s coast.

The panoramic portion of this commission is the largest piece Kelly has worked on to date, consisting of over 120 hours of painting, and days of research on Florida’s Great Barrier Reef, all completed in a three-month timespan. The size of the collection was very important because the viewer needed to feel as if they were surrounded by the reef, integrated with it, and truly experiencing the rush of standing next to a life sized octopus, eel, sea turtle and sand tiger shark.

Everyone is welcome to the March 3 Reception, which will occur simultaneously with Flagler Beach’s First Friday event across Moody Blvd in Veterans Park. Friday night is a great dining night in downtown Flagler Beach and Ocean Art Gallery is right in the center of the activity, with over 12 restaurants within four blocks. Parking for the Reception is free and plentiful right behind the gallery.

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