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South Walton Artists Have Unique Vision

October 17, 2013 by SoWal Staff

Art is personal. Each of us has our own tastes. We all are moved by different artists with different visions and styles. South Walton is a place that inspires and motivates. Our local artists draw great creativity from our environment. No matter what the inspiration, or specific subject, the beauty of South Walton energizes the artistic spirit.

SoWal insiders know we have many great local artists. In this article we highlight a few who have nearly universal appeal, garnering attention and success. Each is inspired in one way or another by the beauty of South Walton’s unique natural environment. Get out and explore artists and art galleries around South Walton. You'll be amazed at some of the creative techniques, textures, vivid colors and magical landscapes.

Andy Saczynski describes his style as turning “junk into funk”. It's his unique perception that make his art stand out from the ordinary. Saczynski has the uncommon ability to turn everyday scrap into extraordinary works of art that come alive with vibrant color. He draws inspiration from Florida’s architecture and landscapes, music and wildlife  - working primarily with acrylics, reclaimed wood, recycled musical instruments, metal and found objects. His funky folk art captures the imagination and takes it for a joy ride. With a growing list of prestigious awards and accolades, Andy's work is a must-see in South Walton. Andy Saczynski Studio-Gallery is located in Grayton Beach in Mystic Porte just north of Scenic 30A.


Justin Gaffrey is a long-time resident of Walton County and voted 2005 South Walton Artist of the Year, Justin Gaffrey’s art is instantly recognizable with his deeply textured technique and vibrant colors. His viewing of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers first inspired him to employ the medium and multi-dimensional style he’s known for today. He works exclusively with acrylic paints, mostly using a palette knife. His art reflects the natural beauty of his surroundings along Scenic Highway 30A. Justin’s paintings grace the walls of various venues throughout the country, including our own Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. He sells them exclusively through his Gallery/Studio in Blue Mountain Beach and his Galleries in Seaside - Justin Gaffrey Studio & Gallery.


Teresa Cline is a contemporary painter with subjects ranging from our rare coastal dune lakes and raw beauty of the Gulf to abstract, expressionistic and colorful people and animals. Her latest series of paintings she calls ‘Ocean Moods’, which she describes as “a reflection on an analogy of human emotions with the diverse range of mother nature's own displays, from the lightness of being to the rage of destruction”. She draws her inspiration from the light and dark shadings of a cloud, stormy oceans, the sounds of wilderness and “the pure spirit of animals”. Teresa’s work can currently be viewed at Oasis Rug and Home in Destin, A. Wickey Studio Gallery in Seacrest, and by appointment at Teresa Cline Studio Gallery in Santa Rosa Beach.


Allison Wickey was named South Walton Artist of the Year in 2011 and Emerald Coast Magazine’s Best Gallery in 2012. Allison moved to Santa Rosa Beach from the Midwest in 2006, where she was a muralist and faux finish painter. She is best known for her landscape paintings in abstract impressionistic style using Venetian plaster, mixed with acrylic paint and glazes on wood. Her technique of layering and texture is a 13-step, intricate process that requires a lot of patience and four days before each piece is complete. A. Wickey Studio-Gallery recently relocated from Rosemary Beach to Seacrest Beach, where the new space features Allison's work as well as fellow artists - A. Wickey Studio Gallery.


Gordie Hinds Paints mostly from photographs, with the unique ability to capture movement and action in his paintings in his own impressionistic style. He mainly works in acrylics, but at times extends his talents to oils and watercolors. His inspiration comes from our beautiful, local surroundings and a frequent subject is oue beloved Western Lake. Hinds is also a Charter Boat Captain and fishing is among the common themes of his work, along with golf, hunting, horses and dogs - all things that he loves. Visit Gordie Hinds Contemporary Art in Ruskin Place at Seaside - Gordie Hinds Contemporary Art.


Ginger Leigh grew up in New Orleans and was first inspired artistically by her dad, whose forté was working with wood and carpentry. Later in life she had a successful business with handmade stationary while living in Birmingham. In 2010 she moved her family to South Walton where her career has climbed new heights and her artwork is now sold in over 75 shops around the country. She mostly paints everything with her finger and her technique makes each piece uniquely special. The process can contain as many as eight steps and she uses the organic qualities of wood, paint, beeswax and epoxy, sometimes with inspirational quotes to affect those that view her art with sweet and thoughtful emotion. Visit Ginger's gallery, The Workshop, at Uptown Grayton in Grayton Beach - Spools of Twine.


Cheryl Troxel spent more than over 20 years in Key West where she honed her skills as an architect, and was influenced by the architectural styles and color palette of the Caribbean. Troxel's sole medium is oils and is influenced by the works of twentieth century abstract expressionists Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko, and the pop art style of Robert Rauschenberg and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Cheryl is also inspired by the varied musical styles of classical, blues, and classic rock and roll, and the improvisational jazz of Miles Davis, and always works while listening to music. Her beautiful creations can be viewed at Soren Christensen Gallery in New Orleans, and locally at The Art of Simple in Seaside and Salon Twist in Seagrove Beach.

Learn more about South Walton’s artists at Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA)  website. Sign up for the CAA newsletter to read about local art events, exhibitions, and year round classes offered at Bayou Arts Center. Make plans to attend some of the best art festivals on the coast including ArtsQuest Music & Art Festival in May and Art in the Park at WaterColor in March.


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