Local artists team up for abstract gallery

Special to The Sun
Lyrical Currents by Theresia McInnis SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There is a new show in town, and a new pop-up gallery to go with it.

Thirty-five local artists join Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s performance of “Bakersfield Mist” to bring a beautiful barrage of abstract expressionism to audiences through Feb. 19 at 560 Grand Boulevard Upstairs, Miramar Beach. Playgoers are encouraged to arrive early for each show to allow extra time to view the art in a space that transports guests to a big-city warehouse.

The professional comedy-drama centers on an unemployed bartender and an art expert who begin to question the true definition of art and the authenticity of people, while the industrial-style space above Grand Boulevard’s retail stores comes alive with 80 new works of expressive art shown and available for sale, with proceeds benefiting ECTC’s educational theatre.

“I am amazed at the variety of talent displayed for this show,” said artist Lori Drew, gallery coordinator. “The play and the art play so well together. I think this is going to be our best presentation yet, and we are all hoping sales exceed our expectations — for both the artists and the theatre company.”

Abstract expressionism is a post-World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York in the 1940s.

“What better way to experience the local art world’s take on this style than in a setting similar to one they might find in New York,” said Drew. “Our goal for the art collection is get viewers talking, to have them look deeper into each piece, and by coming early to the performance for the gallery, it acts as a ‘warm-up’ for the play itself, adding a new dimension to the whole experience.”

Local artists included in the abstract gallery include Drew, Marti Schmidt, Mary Hong, Corina Zalace, Bobbi Henson, Renee Broxson, Cheryl Gray, Sarah Stewart, Helga Letourneau, JoAnne Jones, Susan Lucas, Dee Anne Najjar, Susan Alfieri, Nan Ream, Robin Wiesneth, Lorraine Sloan, Patti Overholt, Ariel Overholt, Betty Pinkston, Cindi Newhouse, Theresia McInnis, Melanie Moore, Peggy Jones, John Murphy, Joan Vienot, Carol Dickson, Nancy Gehrke, Russell Ferris, Marian Pacsuta, Donnelle Clark, Judy Dewar, Velia Lala, Suzanne Le-Loup West, Melissa Mercer Brown and Donna Burgess.

For more information about the performance or to purchase tickets, visit www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org and to learn more about the pop-up gallery, email Drew at lowkylzart@gmail.com. The theatre space will be open an hour before each show, scheduled Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.