Looking for something fresh to jazz up your walls? Satisfy your artistic wild side at Sawyer Art Gallery, the new bright spot in Destin. Founded by local artist Don Sawyer, the gallery introduces a playful art venue to this part of the coast.
Sawyer Art Gallery features original art and prints by Don Sawyer and his wife Claire. They are joined by the whimsical artwork of Robin Wiesneth and jewelry and glass art by Doretha Jones. Open 7 days a week, the gallery can be found next to the landmark restaurant Graffiti’s.
Sawyer is proud of the unique mix he has achieved in the gallery.
“We have my fun and funky artwork, complemented by Doretha Jones’ fantastic glass art and jewelry and Robin Wiesneth’s playful paintings featuring animals having ‘out of this world’ adventures. It’s a great combination.”
Known for more than just original art, Sawyer Art Gallery is an immersive experience. As an art school, it’s an interactive partnership offering multi-day classes in brush and palette knife painting. Sawyer points out what makes his classes different.
“We’ve created a new type of art school here: offering a fun but serious approach to creating artwork that combines colors and textures with ideas on mastering the creative process. The classes get the students to not only paint like artists, they also learn to ‘think’ like artists.”
With hundreds of pieces to choose from, the choices are as individual as you are. Gallery artist Wiesneth spends a few days a week painting at the gallery and describes the atmosphere as contagious.
“There’s a genuine happiness and creative energy that infuses the place,” she said. “I love to paint there. I’m sure the students feel it too, that’s what makes Sawyer’s art classes so popular.”
Don Sawyer shares his life experiences in his paintings and in his classroom. He playfully mixes images from his childhood with tropical scenes from the local landscape. His style is infused with pure color making his vibrant artwork popular with locals and tourists alike. Don adds original paintings to his collection every week so there’s always something new when you visit the gallery.
Claire Sawyer’s paintings add brilliant variety with a style that ranges from folk to impressionistic. A host of clever subjects grace the gallery walls including her perennially popular funky chickens.
The front section of the gallery features the glass fusion art and wearable art creations of Dorothea. Known to everyone as “Dr Meow,” she earned her nickname as a skilled veterinarian and a master glass artist and jewelry designer. Many of Doretha’s “one of a kind” creations feature intricate bead weaving and glass beads created in her “lamp working” studio at home. Doretha has become famous for her glass seashell beads that look real enough to have washed up on the beach.
Robin paints quirky yet realistic scenes of whimsy and charm. With a love of science, animals and vintage toys she stretches her imagination and plays “what if” with her brush and canvas. Robin’s work is often a mix of fanciful daydream and nostalgic realism. From dogs flying toy airplanes to life-like predators with cartoon prey, her artwork is a journey into the giggling unknown.
When she’s not creating from her own imagination she lends her creativity to capturing your pet’s personality on canvas. Contact Robin for a commission portrait of your four-legged friend.
“We’re here to make original art fun, accessible and affordable.” Don Sawyer says with a smile. Drop by Sawyer Art gallery at 707 Harbor Blvd in Destin, any day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“Leave smiling with some original art and sign up for a class to discover the artist in you.”