Artfully Amelia

May 22, 2015
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Amelia Island's natural beauty has long been both an inspiration for artists and a draw for talented creators from around the world who have relocated here. Here's how you can explore and experience some of the artistic side of Amelia Island (and a few dining tips to keep you from feeling like a starving artist while you do so.)
  • Start off in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach on Centre Street.  You won't easily miss the Blue Door Artists gallery. A set of colorful stairs leads the way to the contemporary space featuring a variety of mediums and genres from nine unique island artists including Casey Matthews, an award-winning artist has sold to private collectors throughout North America and Europe. Theresa Daily’s land and seascape paintings line the walls, creating a feel of being on the ocean. The gallery also sells gifts & accessories, jewelry, cards, and also offers classes.
  • If you’re short on time, but want to sample some of the local creations, the Island Art Association Gallery on 2nd Street is the perfect place to stop in to  view works from more than 50 local exhibiting artists. More than 200 local artists are members, ranging from photographers and sculptors to painters and jewelry makers.
  • Head south on 2nd Street to be one of the first to visit a new addition to the arts scene, the Gilded Dolphin Art Studios and Gallery.  Head upstairs to the airy, light-filled studios that showcase a range of works from paintings to stationery to photographs and the creators are a friendly group who readily share their favorite tips for enjoying Amelia Island.
  • Stroll just off Centre to the corner of 3rd and Ash and look for the whimsical pink house that is the home of Sandra Baker-Hinton’s Amelia SanJon Gallery. Baker-Hinton's collection of watercolors, acrylics, glass, jewelry and more lines the walls of the building. The space feels as though you are stepping into her living room with its cozy vibe and variety of pieces available in the historic space.  The gallery also houses pieces from other local artists ranging from tapestry to classic oil paintings.
The SanJon Gallery sits between two popular spots with outdoor seating:  29 South, a neighborhood bistro featuring locally-grown specialties, and Bright Mornings Bistro Café, serving breakfast and lunch favorites.  Take a look at other walkable options in the Historic District here.
  • Another island art destination is found at the  the lush and luxurious south end of Amelia Island, the Plantation Artists' Guild and Gallery. Located in The Shops of Omni Amelia Island Plantation, the Gallery offers an impressive selection of local artwork displayed in a bright, open artist-run gallery overlooking the golf course at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. Nearly 40 artists make up the guild, display their artwork, offer workshops and classes, and share their inspiration.  A series of workshops starts in October, with each featuring a local or guest artists and a specific new technique.
The French flavored market deli Marché Burette is just steps away and has outdoor seating alongside a pond filled with fish, turtles, and birds (great photo ops) or you can savor a slice of fresh pizza  made from hand-tossed dough at the surf-inspired Natural Slice. (Don't miss their surf shop for unique souvenirs.) Another great way to sample the island’s art in a festive atmosphere is during the monthly Artrageous Artwalk, held downtown on the second Saturday of each month from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Participating galleries host art events downtown so visitors and locals alike can enjoy the various types of art, enjoy refreshments, and meet the artists. [gallery size="large" ids="1692,1695,1622"]

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Located just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island is easy to reach, but hard to forget. With 13 miles of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters, this barrier island has long been a beloved destination for visitors and residents alike.