The Justin Gaffrey Gallery invites the community to an opening reception May 22 for Gaffrey’s latest collection of paintings, “LIFE STILL."

This exhibition began as a study of traditional still life paintings, inspired by artists like Henri Matisse and Leonardo da Vinci. Gaffrey researched and studied various works in order to better understand the true meaning of still life and the thought process these great artists went through in order to produce such great works.

“As I explored the work more in-depth, simultaneously my observation of the world outside of the studio was feeling upside down,” Gaffrey said. “I also became bored with some of the traditional aspects of the inanimate still life.”

These feelings evolved into “LIFE STILL,” bringing the conventional still life into movement, while also painting some of the elements of the traditional still life arrangement.

From 6-9 p.m., guests of the gallery viewing will enjoy complimentary light bites, drinks, and beer. Those in attendance will also have the unique opportunity to purchase original works and several different limited-edition, archival prints from the "LIFE STILL" collection.

There will be a raffle drawing for a 16-by-20-inch hand-painted, artist edition of a new piece. Raffle tickets for the drawing are on sale now for $20, and all proceeds will benefit Food For Thought Outreach Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Santa Rosa Beach that provides backpacks filled with healthy, easy-to-prepare food for students who are dependent on free or reduced school meals. Tickets can be purchased at the Justin Gaffrey Gallery, 21 Blue Gulf Drive, through May 22.

“As I search for the meaning of things happening in this world, I find life absurd,” Gaffrey said. “The only option is to let go of the search and fall into the absurd — in painting and life.”

To learn more and RSVP for the event, visit