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Amavida Features Coffee, Tea & Art in Seaside

September 15, 2019 by Manny Chavez

Amavida Coffee & Tea is celebrating 15 years in 2019 and the party continues with Seaside’s First Friday Art Walk on October 4, 2019.

Amavida, in conjunction with Ann Hunter Galleries, is featuring the art of Woody Long and the Blue Seas Collective (comprised of Kris Chavez and Didon Comer).

Woody's passing in 2009 left a big hole in the local art community. Select pieces of his art is featured within the Seaside location of Amavida Coffee & Tea, while Kris & Didon’s work will be featured on the walls of the Anne Hunter Gallery next door (the gallery and Amavida are physically connected). Woody’s retrospective show features all original art and is reflective of his “folk” or “primitive art” style.

Woody’s widow Dot, says it best, “Woody was really a ‘memory painter’….viewing his art is like seeing a a time capsule of days gone by. He grew up getting his hands dirty, whether in paint (he once painted houses for a living before turning his imagination loose on paper), or in the dirt, his paintings are a tribute to his true-life experiences.”

Kris and Didon’s Blue Sea Collective has concentrated on a very colorful array of fashion and home décor, a creative process where they twist, fold, and paint fabric to create one-of-a-kind designs for everything from bedsheets and scarves to bedspreads and tablecloths. Dresses, Men’s shirts, scarves and t-shirts are also painted with their indigo, aqua, and white colors.

For this show however, both artists have shifted their focus to individual interpretations of area landscapes, resulting in a creative mixture of personal insight. The exhibition will run through 2019.

The Art Walk will begin at 5 p.m. and go until 8 p.m. with Seaside merchants invited to participate. Music will be provided by Balder Saunders of Dread Clampitt fame. He’ll be going solo on this one, with his skillful mandolin-playing sure to keep the foot-stomping at FULL THROTTLE. HE will be set up front and center near the Amavida entrance in the Seaside “Circle.”

According to Sally Bailey (she and husband Dan founded Amavida), the move from “one side of Scenic 30-A to the other” (they were located on the south side of Scenic 30A where the current Cocina Cabana resides) has had many positive effects including the partnership of Amavida and the Ann Hunter Galleries.

General Manager Jacob Thompson and Amavida Founder Sally Bailey

“We now have so much more room here with lots of wall space for art and we opened up the side entrance which we keep open during the day so that folks can come and go into Anne’s Gallery where her featured artists are displayed”, explains Sally.

The larger Amavida space has led way to a very different vibe, with so much available light surrounding the space, increased inside and outside seating, and way more parking opportunities…. foot traffic has increased dramatically.

“Plus, we don’t have near as much sand to sweep up every day,” laughs Amavida General Manager Jacob Thompson, referring to the constant influx of customers coming off the beach at their former location.

First-time visitors to Amavida might not think about the REASON the coffee is so good, but it probably has something to do with the fact that they have always roasted their own coffee beans at their own Roastery right here in SoWal!

As Sally puts it, “We just stay true to our roots….our motto, our name, “Amavida” means ‘love life’ and we always want to love every bit of our impact from our growers to our customers. We stay true to our craft with lots of training for our employees.”

In addition to their coffee and tea offerings, Amavida offers a variety of pastry items including muffins, cookies, croissants, John Kelly chocolates, yogurt, fruit and oat or meat, cheese and fruit boxes, and breakfast empanadas.

Additional beverages include a variety of organic drinks, local beer on tap and wine. All are great to enjoy during the monthly First Friday Art Walks.
Amavida merchandise available includes a variety of t-shirts, caps, mugs, Chemex Brewers, Frieling French presses, cold brew bottles and gift certificates.
“It is so much brighter and inviting in here,” exclaims Sally….”we look forward to all our First Friday Art Walks here at Seaside. Having Balder Sanders out front for this event is just another plus for our new location here at Seaside.”

The First Friday Art Walk is free to attend, and food and drink are available for purchase at Amavida and surrounding Seaside eateries.

For more Seaside Amavida information, please call 850-213-1965. 25 Central Square, Seaside (next to La Vie Est Belle), www.amavida.com. For Anne Hunter Galleries info, call 850-214-1048 or visit www.annehuntergalleries.com. The Woody Long Gallery: 850-830-0663; 1066 Bay Drive (just north of the bay), Santa Rosa Beach.


Manny Chavez's picture

Manny has been a working photojournalist his entire career and is now writing stories/taking pix for SoWal.com. He and his wife Kris live in Seagrove and have “seen a lot come and go.” Lots of stories have been told, with lots more to come!

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