October is a special time in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches – the sky takes on a deep blue hue and both the Atlantic and the St. Johns River sparkle in the bright autumn sun. It’s the perfect setting for artistic pursuits and the fact that October is National Arts and Humanities Month means there’s no better time for artists, photographers and art lovers to visit this beautiful part of Old Florida.
Art-seeking visitors will find more than 50 great galleries to explore, plein air events perfect for capturing the great outdoors on canvas, and workshops that help painters and photographers take their art to the next level. Here’s what can be found on the palette for this special, Artful October:
October 2: First Friday Art Walk
From 5-9 p.m., more than 20 of St. Augustine’s finest galleries open their doors to strolling art aficionados who not only get to see the latest exhibits, they can also partake of free food, refreshments — even live music! For more information, call 904.829.0065 or visit www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com
October 4–28: St. Augustine Art Association 8th Annual Tactile Art Show
This juried exhibit of touchable artwork includes sculptures, textured wall hangings, textiles and other mixed media and interactive art that appeals to all the senses, particularly the blind and visually impaired. The exhibit at the St. Augustine Art Association Gallery located at 22 Marine Street is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.staaa.org or call 904.824.2310.
October 4–21: St. Augustine Art Association Photography Exhibit: The Poetics of Space
Enjoy this special exhibit that features works by photographers whose view of the world interprets space, our perception of and relationship to it. The exhibit at the St. Augustine Art Association Gallery located at 22 Marine Street in St. Augustine is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information call 904.824.2310 or visit www.saaa.org.
October 6-10: Painting the Region: The Bartram Trail
Nearly 250 years ago, famed naturalist William Bartram first described the incredible beauty, colorful flora and fascinating fauna that continue to exist today along a trail that bears his name. The river, the trail, the trees and the October sky combine to create the perfect setting for this 5-day juried Plein Air event for landscape artists. Mother Nature provides the inspiration – it’s up to each artist to capture it in a way that satisfies his or her inner need for expression – and creates a painting worthy of special recognition by an outstanding panel of judges. For more information, go to: www.PaintingTheRegion.com .
October 10: The Amsterdam Cello Octet Featuring Soprano Pilar Jurado
EMMA Concerts presents a very unique musical interpretation by this internationally-acclaimed group of cellists. For more information, call 904.797.2800 or visit www.emmaconcerts.com
October 12 & 13: St. Augustine Scapes Photography Workshop
This exciting two-day workshop blends two perfect elements – outstanding locations and a world class instructor. The instructor, Rick Sammon, one of America’s favorite outdoor photographers, provides direction and tips at these workshops that are sure to enhance the skills of outdoor photographers—no matter how experienced they might be. From the city’s Mediterranean-style architecture and Old World charm to the surrounding lush countryside and pristine beaches, the settings for these workshops will inspire all.
October 19: Exploring Art History Lecture, 20th Century Sculpture
This enlightening slide show and discussion about 20th Century sculpture will be led by former museum educator, Jay Wright. The lecture takes place at The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, 50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach. For more information, visit www.ccpvb.org.
October 22–25: First Coast Opera- Master Class
Enjoy a spectacular performance by the area’s finest musical performers during a presentation of Master Class, a play by Terrence McNally. Musical highlights include works by Verdi, Puccini and Bellini. For more information, call 904.417.5555 or visit www.FirstCoastOpera.com.
October 24-31: Crescent Beach Paint Out
Each year, this annual event gets more attention from artists who want to capture the seaside beauty of Crescent Beach – a small, beach town located on Anastasia Island approximately seven miles south of St. Augustine. The sand, the surf, shorebirds, shrimp boats – they’re all here waiting to be captured by artists working in the October sun. This year’s Paint Out features 3-day workshops led by artists Romel de la Torre, Larry Moore, Steve Rogers, and Christophe Cardot. Completed works are juried for prizes and exhibited at various locations throughout the year. For more information, call Island Fine Arts, 904.471.5808 or visit www.crescentbeachpaintout.com.
October 31: Uptown Saturday Night
A full-month of artistry comes to an end at this special last-Saturday-night-of–the-month event. Uptown Saturday Night creates a street party atmosphere along San Marco Avenue in the heart of St. Augustine’s art and antique district. For more information, call 904.824.3152.
For more information and hotel deals available during these artful celebrations, visit www.Getaway4Florida.com/Arts.
For more information on vacation opportunities and year-round performing arts, fine arts and special events in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau’s website www.Getaway4Florida.com or call 1.800.418.7529.