Ormond Beach's first Saturday Art Walk invites everyone to meet new artists, peruse neighborhood shops and cheer on a favorite barista.
Historic Ormond Beach's fine art gallery and boutique owners welcomed art enthusiasts as they strolled along its sidewalks Saturday, July 3, during the city’s monthly First Saturday Art Walk. Artists created new works during live demonstrations as attendees watched and perused Granada Boulevard’s privately owned shops and studios.
At Thays Gallery and Art Studio, patrons listened to the chill reggae music of Brothers Within. Travis Luther, the gallery’s featured artist, revealed to attendees how his three dimensional work evolved into its finished product.
“I barreled through 2020,” Luther said. “I think I did 60 pieces, all commissioned. It was awesome to work, but I wanted to do something a little more creative. I went back to a body of work I did years back and started doing 3-D pieces again. I thought this would be the perfect place to show this art. It's a great space.”
Artist and gallery owner Thays Franca has owned the space for five years. It began as an art studio which was renovated and transformed into a gallery in December 2018. Franca exhibits her acrylic paintings along with a variety of local and international artists while also offering painting classes, children’s parties and a space for group events and fundraisers.
Franca is always searching for art and artists whether she is working or enjoying a day trip with friends.
“I was walking in St. Augustine,” she said. “Travis was doing a live painting. I loved his work, so I approached him, and now he is here.”
Just east of Thays is the Neighborhood Shop, which is home to a variety of surf clothing, boards and gear along with local artists’ work and artisans’ wares. The boutique participates in the art walk by hosting one unique artist’s work per month following a meet-and-greet with the artist on the first Saturday of the month. Acrylic pouring artist and animator Rivé McIntosh reached out to Franca, who put her in touch with the Neighborhood Shop owner Amanda Frick.
“I had just moved here and wanted to put myself out there so I reached out to Thays,” McIntosh said. “She recommended the Neighborhood Shop. All you need is one person to believe in you and other doors will open.”
McIntosh has been an artist since the age of 8. She has always loved to draw but questioned how she could expand her art. Through research on YouTube, she began doing acrylic pouring two months ago and has been developing her style ever since.
The First Saturday Art Walk’s inception was in October 2018 when the arts district gallery owners came up with an idea to promote art and culture while enticing the community to Ormond Beach’s historic downtown. Thays credits the owner of the Gold Leaf Coffee Co., Megan Corbett, with the idea but also said it evolved as a collaborative venture. Even though there have been slight changes to the line-up, the core fine art galleries remain the same: Arts on Granada, Frame of Mind, Ocean Art Gallery and Thays Art Gallery and Studio. In August, that will change when Arts on Granada will participate in their grand finale art walk prior to the gallery's move to Beach Street in Daytona Beach. Owner Gregory Graham Grant plans on having a members' show and art market that night.
Tucked within Frame of Mind is the Gold Leaf Coffee Co., which hosted its first latte art competition during July's art walk. Baristas came from Trilogy in DeLand, Copperline in Daytona Beach and as far away as Tampa to make lattes at the 1970s themed Golden Summer Throwdown. The coffee company will host seasonal competitions in fall or winter and spring, possibly limiting the baristas to those who work in Volusia County so the focus will hone in on local shops.
“The art walk is my favorite event, by far,” Franca said. “I am so very happy for all my partners, all the art galleries and shops. We have created a community that comes out every first Saturday to see the art, to enjoy us and enjoy this town.”