An Artistic July 4th Celebration

Beach Path Series by Maro Lorimer
Beach Path Series by Maro Lorimer

What better way to celebrate summer’s biggest holiday than with art depicting the beaches of this beautiful island.

Anna Maria Island is a picture-perfect place to spend holidays such as the July 4th weekend. It’s a wonderful family vacation spot, and therefore a great place for family reunions. Even a week before the July 4th weekend, there was an obvious increase in families on the beach. Some of them were dressed in matching outfits, such as white shirts and denim bottoms, as they posed for photos. Now, in addition to personal photos, there is a wonderful offering of island art at the Studio at Gulf and Pine, this July 4.

The three cities of the island, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria, offer plenty of traditional family fun during all holidays, including July 4. Festivals, fireworks, fishing, parades, ice cream, hot dogs and picnicking at the beach are enjoyed year-round on this wonderful island. July 4 is no exception.

Now there is one more delightful choice for the 4th: an art reception and picnic at former Florida first lady Rhea Chiles’s Studio at Gulf and Pine. This spacious and elegant art gallery has hosted many well-attended events in the past year. From the Sun Coast Watercolor Society’s excellent show last winter to the Florida Highwaymen’s exhibit in spring, to special showings of the work of well-known locals such as architect Gene Aubry and artist Richard Thomas, the Studio has gained the attention of the local art world with its very successful shows.

As Anna Maria’s cultural art facility, The Studio offers an eclectic array of exhibits, instructional classes, USF lectures and discussion groups (by reservation only), and serves as a salon where artists and art aficionados interact.

Part of the Studio’s permanent collection consists of the Chiles family collection of paintings which hung in the governor’s office. Equipped with a theater film projection room, and spanning nearly 4,000 square feet, The Studio welcomes artists, poets, musicians, performers and writers to exhibit their talents and exchange ideas. Director Kevin Webb is a well-informed and personable person with whom to communicate about any activities related to the Studio.

On July 4, the Studio invites the public to view interpretations of the beach and the island by local artists, from 1 to 7 pm. Just a block from the beach, it’s a perfect way to add a little culture and beauty to the holiday. And from 5 to 6 pm, the Studio will offer a light picnic to go along with the beach art.

Located on the corner of Gulf and Pine, Anna Maria City, in the building that used to be the popular Bistro at Island’s End, the Studio is the perfect place to put some pictures into your picture perfect July 4 weekend.

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