By Jeanette Scott
Pristine beaches, sparking water, and fascinating wildlife – it’s not difficult to see why so many artists are inspired by Florida’s landscape.
Here are eight Florida art gallery districts where you can spend an afternoon – and perhaps pick up a unique piece of art as a lasting memento from your trip:
1. Duval Street, Key West
Duval Street is best known for its laid-back island vibe and thriving nightlife, but you’ll also find a treasure trove of art galleries. At Wet Paint, you’ll find yourself surrounded by colorful pop art and landscape paintings, and at Key West Light Gallery you can take home one of Sharon Wells’ vibrant tiles to decorate your home.
2. Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale
This picturesque shopping area is situated beside stunning homes and rows of yachts and features art for even the most serious collector. Check out Blue Gallery, with works from many internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, such as still-life artist Lenner Gogli and sculptor Isaac Kahn.
3. Pineapple Grove Arts District, Delray Beach
Located a few blocks from main shopping street Atlantic Avenue, the Grove is populated with local shop owners and artists featuring their work for purchase or to simply admire. Don’t miss Ford Fine Art, specializing in Latin American fine art.
4. Design District and Wynwood Arts District, Miami
The historic Design District is an international melting pot, best known for its eclectic mix of galleries and decorative wall murals. The neighborhood has been revitalized over time into a bustling hot spot for artists and interior design, and its newer, sister neighborhood, Wynwood, is located just a mile away.
5. Gallery Row, Naples
In the heart of Naples Third Street shopping area you’ll find what’s known as Gallery Row. Be sure to stop by Four Winds Gallery, for American Indian jewelry art, and The Englishman, for antique paintings, furniture and accessories.
6. The Art Galleries of St. Augustine (AGOSA)
Immerse yourself in history by spending the day in America’s Oldest City, St. Augustine, with a tour of art. The 13 art galleries in this association are located all over the city, but on the First Friday of every month you can take advantage of a free trolley that runs between galleries, or pick up a free self-guided tour any day of the week. You’ll be stunned by the beauty around the city, as well as within gallery walls.
7. Grand Central District, St. Petersburg
This thriving home décor and artist community is located on Central Avenue, just west of downtown St. Petersburg between 16th and 31st Streets. Don’t miss the Art Walk on the second Saturday of the month; more than 30 galleries participate, including the Zen Glass Studio and the Craftsman House Gallery.
8. Railroad Square, Tallahassee
Home to more than 50 studios, galleries and small shops, Railroad Square is a creative haven, especially for Florida State University students. Be sure to stop by the café built out of a real railroad caboose, sculpture garden, belly dance studio, community theater, and the bustling “First Friday Gallery Hop” held on the first Friday of each month.
No matter what region of Florida you visit, there’s sure to be a bustling art scene only minutes away. Don’t miss out on this thriving part of Florida’s culture and an opportunity for unique souvenirs.