The white sand beaches and cotton-candy sunsets of St. Simons Island make it an artist’s dream destination. It’s hard not to be inspired in a place like this, where every turn in the creek leads to a new breathtaking vista and every day’s tide brings in spectacular sea island wildlife. That’s why retirement on St Simon’s Island is a dream come true.
As such, it’s no wonder that St. Simons Island has developed a reputation as a haven for artists of every stripe, from painters to sculptors and everything in between. If you’re looking for your own artistic inspiration, here’s where to go when you reach St. Simons.
Established in 1953, Glynn Visual Arts has made it their mission to, “enrich our community by stimulating interest and participation in the visual arts.” They accomplish this goal through myriad means, including hosting regular exhibitions at their gallery, filling the calendar with lively artistic inspired events and holding a litany of education classes.
If you’re coming to St. Simons looking to – ahem – brush up on your artistic skills, you’ll find plenty here. Classes touch on everything from photography to needle felting, including a few “arty party” classes designed to let you hone your craft while joining friends for drinks. Van Gogh & Vino? Don’t mind if we do.
Co-founded by St. Simons native Cathie Parmelee and renowned business expert Traci DeForge, Get Your Muse On represents a unique opportunity to stretch your artistic muscles in new and exciting ways.
In addition to a regular schedule of workshops, like the “Daisy Pickin’” class in which Parmalee collaborates with students to create an original work of art, you can get your muse on during a series of Paint and Play Parties. Each party centers on a subject (e.g. lily pads, Coke bottle vase, etc.) and lets you express your artistic creativity in a fun, supportive atmosphere.
Located on the southern end of the island across from Neptune Park and the St. Simons Lighthouse is the Georgia Coastal Artists Guild. This collective of area painters runs the gamut from landscape artists to portraitists.
From there, head over to Frederica Rd. and take that north for a gallery hop starting at Parker Gallery with its lineup of contemporary artists, Anderson Fine Art Gallery with workshops and more held at its nearby Artists’ Annex, and just across the street the Ken Wallin Gallery featuring works by the famed oil painter. From there it’s just a short jaunt north on Frederica to the J Hurst Classical Art Collection.