In September of 2015, I left my happy little shop at the Artists of Gulf Place gallery in Santa Rosa Beach on 30a. It was hard to let go as I had moved my art in that colorful outdoor gallery as soon as we arrived here in Florida (close to the end of summer in 2012), basically before we even knew where we were going to live. My 11011049_1084913604858098_4855065294151517788_nfriend Christina Lee had one of the little shops there selling her beautiful creations, and there just happened to be an open spot for me. I met Mr. Dwight Ward, the man, the myth, the legend… he looks like a mix of King Triton from the Little Mermaid and one of the Allman Brothers. He’s an amazing potter, and he’s like a landmark on 30a; always has a unique story to tell, and I never imagined that an older gentleman like him would become someone that I consider to be one of my best friends. I value all of the experiences I had at Gulf Place and all the wonderful people that I met while I was part of the Artists at Gulf Place gallery. I learned so much – about myself, about selling art, and about people on vacation in our area. A one of a kind experience that I was happy to be a part of.

Shortly after I left, my friend Claire Gagne called to let me know that she and another local artist, Jennifer Viaene, were opening a new gallery in Destin, and that she wanted me to be involved. This gallery happens to be very close to my home (less that 1 mile vs the almost 20 mile distance to Gulf Place) and in a busy spot in the shopping center by McGuire’s restaurant & pub in Downtown Destin across from the Harbor. McGuire’s is always on a long wait! I had been making some other plans at the time, but I couldn’t say no at the time since my artwork was now taking over some valuable space in my house.

Now that I’ve been a part of the Emerald Coast Gallery for over 6 months, I’m excited to say that I’m happy to see such a positive progression of this new gallery in Destin. It is such a colorful place, full of life & positive energy. A great place to purchase one of a kind goods made by local artists – there are about 30 artists in the gallery, mostly local.

maxine orange art
maxine orange art at emerald coast gallery

I work at the gallery every Friday afternoon – evening… and it is such a fun and interesting sociological experience for me to meet the people that come to Destin and happen to stumble in while waiting to be seated at McGuire’s, as well as our wonderful locals (because we go to McGuires too!) that come to visit when they happen to be in the neighborhood. We value the locals and the tourists alike, and I hope that you will come by to visit me any Friday evening that you are in Destin, or pop in anytime you are around to see what is going on. There is usually an artist making art (sometimes me!), and always something unique to see. I’m there once a week or more, and I promise there is always something different to see since the last time I was there!

If you are looking for a piece of art for your home or your beach condo, visit the Emerald Coast Gallery in Destin for a wide variety of styles and options. There are also tons of cool keepsakes and small items to remember the time that you spent here in Destin, or to bring back to your unfortunate friend that didn’t get to come with you 😉