Northwest Florida Art and

Northwest Florida art takes many forms. Visual art, performance art, architecture, even sandcastle building offer cultural moments on the coast. Performances by ballet and opera companies, professional and amateur 

theatre troupes, orchestras, jazz combos, and festivals of every kind can quickly fill the social calendars of both visitors and locals alike. Art galleries and museums display the works of local artists and a number of internationally acclaimed artists, dancers, sculptors, musicians and writers make their homes here.

Many artists find inspiration in the never-ending moods of the Gulf beaches and the thousands acres of state parks and state forests

A plein aire artist uses Destin harbor for inspiration.

Public art and monuments are almost everywhere from the major cities like Pensacola, where you’ll find the graceful Fleming Fountain, to small towns like Apalachicola with its Three Servicemen South Statue, which is the centerpiece of the Veteran's Memorial Plaza. That statue, by the way, is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and is a one-of-a-kind detail of the original bronze sculpture made from part of the original molds. 

Three Servicemen South, Apalachicola

Actually, outdoor art can take on may forms, from statues and monuments, to architecture and design. It almost seems like some of the beach communities in South Walton are in a contest to see how differently they can display architectural trends and construction. Entering Alys Beach, for instance, is like stepping into a Moroccan village, with it's whitewashed walls and many fountains.

Architectural detail at Alys Beach

Sandcastle building takes on new meaning in the hands of some of the area's professionals. You can even get lessons from the pros to learn how to create these fleeting works of art.

Sand sculptors create art on the beach.

Both community theater and professional repertory are also well represented by troupes such as the Seaside Repertory Theatre in South Walton, the Dixie Theatre in Apalachicola, the Martin Theatre in Panama City, and Stage Crafters Community Theatre, Inc. in Fort Walton Beach. Places like the Mattie Kelly Arts Center normally have at least one Broadway show per season and they sponsor an outdoor summer concert series in Destin.

Horses made from tree branches prance on a lawn at Alys Beach.

Art galleries and museums are also abundant as are writers’ retreats, songwriter’s festivals, and jazz concerts. Major pop artists appear in concert, and people like Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Buffett, and Britney Spears can often be spotted at local bars and restaurants.

Northwest Florida Art for Kids

It's never too early to introduce children to the wonders of art. Whether it's building a sandcastle on the beach, gluing colored macaroni to paper to make a picture, or visiting art museums to show the many ways artists can depict a flower, children are just natural art-experience collectors. So, don't forget your budding artist when you go gallery hopping.

The kid approved art of Justin Gaffrey at the South Walton library.

The kid-approved art of Justin Gaffrey in Santa Rosa Beach

Whatever your passion for the arts, you’re sure to be able to indulge it here. For more information, check the Northwest Florida Events Calendar to see what’s happening each month.

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