Alys Beach Outdoor Art is Diverse & Fabulous
July 29, 2020 by Kurt Lischka
The SoWal town of Alys Beach has a diverse collection of outdoor art and sculpture, placed as an open invitation for a unique experience of beauty and culture. Grab the camera and the kids and seek out each installation along the trails and pedestrian paths leading to parks, fountains, and the Gulf of Mexico.
South Walton is blessed with quite a bit of outdoor art, and our unique towns love to share it with locals and visitors. Alys Beach continues to add art installations that we all can enjoy. Find Alys Beach on the east end of Scenic 30A, just west of the Hwy 98 intersection and Rosemary Beach. It's one of our favorite towns to walk, and the architecture, parks, paths and lush gardens are amazing settings for outdoor art.
Recline in Blue, Across from the Alys Beach Amphitheatre on Scenic 30A
Recline in Blue is the work of world-renowned sculptor and Royal Academician, Dhruva Mistry (born in Kanjari, India, 1957). Mistry’s works have been exhibited and collected worldwide by such galleries and museums as Tate, Royal Academy of Arts and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Asian Art Museum in Fukuoka, Japan and Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai.
Recline in Blue was procured by The Alys Foundation, which exists to enhance the experiences of the Alys Beach community, and to preserve and enhance the quality of life of community members, through artistic and altruistic contributions.
Turtle Bale Spring by Dan Dutton, South Across Scenic 30A from Foville Park
The bronze sea turtles, fountain, green grass, palm trees and baby sea turtles emerging from eggs are as much fun as they are a glimpse in to the actual lives of the sea turtles that return to SoWal shores every summer to build nests and lay their eggs on the same beaches where they were born. The park and the variety of sculpture is a favorite of kids and a great spot for family photos.
Bunnies & Carrot (added July 2020) at Fonville Park by Jim Budish
These larger-than-life bronze sculptures of bunnies and carrot bring playful whimsy to the north side of Turtle Bale Pedestrian Path, adjacent to Fonville Park. Exaggerated both in scale and proportion, sculptor Jim Budish explores the attitude, emotion and personality behind the “Joie de Vivre” he aspires to inspire in his audience and celebrates the special creatures that inhabit our environment. Moving away from the shoreline and the sea turtles nesting on the beaches, and towards a more organic, thicketed landscape north of 30A, these bunnies represent the progression of the natural ecosystem and its inhabitants.
"Marbella", Mermaid at Papilio Park, Donated by the Stephens Family, Artist Unknown
Papilio Park is on North Charles Street. It's an open space that feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the beach and Scenic 30A.
Horses by Lake Marilyn, Designed by John Aspley and Crafted in Teak by a Team in Indonesia
Lake Marilyn is on the north side of town and the horses are north of the lake next to the unique bridge with its white tower. There is a path around the lake which is a joy to walk and on the south side there is another bridge and fountain not to be missed.
Metal Dragon at Alys Beach Nature Trail, by Charles Lawson of Freeport FL
The Alys Beach Nature Trail winds through a nature preserve on the north side of Alys Beach. The trail and boardwalks are an exquisite opportunity to see the natural landscape and wildlife of South Walton.
Leda The Mermaid at Arboleda Park, by Steven Wagner of Grayton Beach FL
Arboleda Park is located east of Caliza Pool and north of Nonesuch Way. Leda is nestled in a large patch of yaupon holly, gazing south toward the Gulf of Mexico.
“I can just see her on a full moon night,” artist Steven Wagner said, “surrounded by yaupon holly shrubs that have been shaped to look like waves. I love that the experience will be environmental. It reflects her essence.”
Tänzerin at Caliza Courts Park next to Caliza Pool
A dancing and joyous woman, created by the world-renowned German artist Christian Peschke, is a bronze sculpture, coated in ceramic paint. Tänzerin, is classic Peschke, who is considered to be one of the foremost representatives of twentieth-century modern art. His work is rooted in a life defined by joy and beauty. Tänzerin exhibits the spirit of Alys Beach and stands out against the green grass and the backdrop of Caliza Pool and Caliza Courts.
The Water Bearer, by Birmingham artist Brad Morton at South Sea Garden Walk
Alys Beach homeowners Jim and Tara Bryant have a lifelong appreciation of art and take great joy in collecting . One day while out on a run through their hometown of Birmingham, they came across an abstract figure, cast in bronze, holding a vessel, and filled with movement. The sculpture titled “The Water Bearer,” by Birmingham artist Brad Morton, spoke to the couple not simply aesthetically but also in spirit, as they saw the piece as an opportunity to add beauty to their own lives and to the community at Alys Beach.
“We stopped and said, ‘Wait—where did that come from? We love it,” Tara said. “We started thinking about it, and a lightbulb went off. We immediately thought this was a piece we should get and put at our house at Alys Beach.”
"Alberta" at Alys Beach Sales Center Courtyard
We allow art to speak within and into our landscape, whether tucked within the natural grasses on the north side of Alys Beach or in the parks and common areas. It was fitting that the first piece of outdoor art, which sits within the Alys Beach Sales Center courtyard, the very first building, should be Alberta by Sonia Eberling of Brazil. Eberling’s passion for art stemmed from a celebration of humanity interacting with nature. With each piece added to the collection, Alys Beach strives to continue that celebration of beauty, of diversity, and of mindfulness of the world around us.
Mosaic Tiles in Butteries by Concetta Rothwell Morales
The tile murals depicting South Walton scenes from history are set in the pairs of butteries,greeting visitors at each end of Alys Beach on Scenic 30A. There are plaques which describe the scenes, so each buttery is like a mini history museum. They were created by Concetta Rothwell Morales, an art teacher at the Des Moines Art Center. Morales earned degrees in painting and art history from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, and is especially known for her work with materials that express uniqueness and durability, granite, porcelain, marble and a wide palette of colorful ceramic tile.
Alys Beach is a great place to explore, and the outdoor art and sculpture adds to the treasured experience of walking the gardens, trails, and pedestrian paths. You could take the same route over and over and see new things every time. The timeless town and classic architecture is truly world class, one of the most special and unique places on our planet.