PANAMA CITY — The art community in Panama City is “very healthy,” according to members of the Panama City Artists association, who are celebrating their creative vitality in a members’ show on display through April 27 at CityArts Cooperative.
“There are lots of active professional artists and a fair amount of opportunities for shows and workshops,” said Marie Brusher, chairwoman for the current exhibit. “We’ve grown so much since I moved here (in the 1970s). It’s amazing.”
She listed PCA as an active group, as well as CityArts, the Visual Arts Center and Marina Civic Center as supportive venues, and gave a shout out to the Beach Art Group and its programs and exhibits at the Palms Conference Center.
The public is invited to meet the PCA artists during a reception 4-6 p.m. Saturday at CityArts (a second reception will be 4-6 p.m. April 20). The show, exhibiting the work of 21 local artists, opened March 6.
“It’s not a large show, but some very exciting work, I think,” Marie said, adding the mediums explored include collage, water color, acrylic, oil and jewelry.
The Panama City Artists Association is open to artists based in the Panama City/Bay County area, providing a place to pool their talents and resources, and an opportunity to enrich themselves and the community, according to information on the group’s website, PanamaCityArtists.net.
“Not being a native Floridian, I see that for a small town, we have a large arts community, which is highly diverse,” said Roxanne Lourcey, PCA president. “Our arts community ranges from the emerging to the professional artist, and then there are those who simply need an outlet, of which I believe art is the best one there is, and the outcome is based on personal value and enrichment.”
Roxanne came from a business background and uses art as therapy. She believes PCA is a springboard that helps emerging artists learn from the more seasoned ones (and sometimes vice versa). Founded in 2002, the organization has about 100 members, including professional artists, teachers, hobbyists, enthusiasts and patrons. Monthly meetings are at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at CityArts, and guests are welcome.
Both women encouraged visitors at the reception to take the time to view all of the fine art on display at the Co-op, and to support other artistic endeavors in the community.
“There are many other artists and arts groups in the area that PCA doesn’t encompass but is highly supportive of, such as the performing, literary artists and digital artists, and other visual arts groups,” Roxanne said. “We should all support each other in whatever our artistic endeavor is and see not only the piece in front of you, the one you listen to or read, but should have complete admiration and appreciation for what it took for that artist to give it to us to enjoy.
“They are giving us a piece of them, of their soul.”
Meet the Artists