INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The Beach Art Center of Indian Rocks Beach will feature a special twofold exhibit this month, one celebrating the center's 35th anniversary and the other honoring its founder, George King (1928-1996), starting Sept. 6 through Sept. 30.
Established by King in 1978, his vision was to improve, enhance and advance the public knowledge of fine visual art. The collection on display at the center is a startling group of paintings and sculptures representing his entire career. A special reception and tribute with King's family will be held on Sept. 13 from 6-8 p.m.
During his lifetime, King was a well-known artist and instructor. He served with the U.S. 1st Cavalry in Japan where he discovered Japanese watercolor paintings. Upon return, he enrolled in the Parsons School of Design and later the Huguenot School of Fine Art.
During his career in advertising in New York and in Clearwater, King won a regional and a national American Advertising Federation award, known as the ADDY award, for his limited edition of prints of “Old Clearwater.” He is also listed in the American Artists of Renown. His work remains in many public and private collections including the Florida State Capitol collection.
Hoping to start a school of fine art, he ultimately built an art gallery in the beach community where he and his wife, JoAnne, lived. A disabling stroke in 1988 did not stop him from teaching himself to paint with his left hand, which showed a remarkably different style in his work.
Today, the vibrant Beach Art Center continues to develop children's programs including the “Kreative Kids Summer Camp” and after school art classes. Classes are taught by accomplished and recognized artists and teachers. Adult classes are offered in watercolor, water-media, oil, acrylic, pottery, drawing, photography, scrap booking, sewing and more. Workshops are offered to advance the skills of beginning to advanced artists in a variety of art media including all types of painting, fabric dyeing, recycled sculpture, piano and photography. Exhibitions at the Art Center feature the work of members and local artists, local and regional art groups.
For more information, call (727) 596-4331 or visit www.beachartcenter.org.