Jacksonville’s growing art scene isn’t only taking place downtown. While Art Walks and exhibition openings ‘across the ditch’ may often steal the limelight, there is an up and coming art scene at the beaches that is on the verge of erupting in the best way and all of us are invited to take part.
Speaking as an Atlantic Beach native, I remember taking pottery classes in Mayport during high school and attending figure drawing meetups in Jacksonville Beach at this adorable artists’ co-op on the corner near Lynch’s. These creative collectives fueled me as a young artist and provided an environment for learning, growing, bonding, and networking outside of what was offered in traditional arts classrooms. After moving away for ten years, I returned to Jacksonville expecting these avenues to still be available but the scene at the beaches seemed a bit dried up. Fast forward five more years and that is no longer the case. The beaches arts community is on the up and up and I am beyond excited to spread this news with you all because it is really GOOD!
When we flock to the water in the summer, we typically go to the beaches for family time, down time, good old-fashioned party time. Now let’s add some arts education and aesthetic experiences into that mix!
Atlantic Pottery Supply is under new ownership and Paul is a huge advocate for building up the arts community in the beaches area. He recently stepped up to the plate running the APS warehouse not only as a supplier for ceramicists, but also offering studio space, gallery space, demonstration space, and various ceramic workshops for creators of all levels.
“We want people to feel comfortable, to be able to learn from each other here, said Paul. “There is always something to gain from creating in a community setting, that’s my philosophy. This isn’t about any one person, it’s about the vibe of the place.”
And, you guys, the vibe is so cool! APS had a grand reopening party a few weeks back and of course my art teacher friends and I attended. We were super lucky to catch a raku firing demonstration by local artist and educator Tim Bullard who is one of many top-notch ceramic artists on the schedule to teach upcoming classes at APS.
Whether you’re an experienced wheel thrower or a total beginner, there will be something on their clay making itinerary that you’re guaranteed to enjoy. In July alone, the workshops range from wheel throwing to hand building to young artist clay classes to raku firing techniques. If you don’t have the urge to create your own work, you can purchase ceramics from local masters in the front area of the APS warehouse. Gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces from artists Cal Cook, Peri Crush, Chris Stouffer, and even beaches area legend Tim Bullard himself. The new owner Paul has been working with the University of North Florida’s Art Department to coordinate providing an exhibition space for their ceramic portfolio graduates, so be sure to keep this space on your radar.
Go to the beach this summer. Get some sun. Enjoy some downtime with family and friends by the water. Make some memories. And while you’re at it, join the growing creative community there and make some ART at Atlantic Pottery Supply.
Atlantic Pottery Supply is located behind North Beach Bistro near Acme Tattoo on Atlantic Blvd.