A crowd of people attended the opening of This Little Town at The Joe Center for the Arts. [ Marcy Trahan | Contributed ]
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This Little Town exhibit draws crowd to local arts center

The Joe Center for the Arts opened its doors last Friday to a waiting crowd eager to see This Little Town, a multifaceted multimedia exhibition on display through July 28. 

As part of The Joe’s summer show, This Little Town offers a variety of content consisting of 58 juried works by area artists, which creatively express the Port St Joe milieu through drawings, paintings and photography. 

Images of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, watery landscapes, wildlife, local eateries and the iconic Donna Kay are all represented and available for purchase.

“I spent a lot of time looking at each piece on the entry site, studying each of the submissions, making notes and considering how the theme and elements of art and media were applied,” said artist and Riverside Gallery director Cyndi Thau of the jurying process for the show. “It was difficult to choose the ones that would make up the show. I appreciate how much time and effort the artists put into their entries.”  

Thau did her final judging in person after the show was installed at the art center. 

Awarded first place for “Donna Kay”, a graphite pencil and ink pen drawing, was S. A. Forrider. Kathryn Stivers took home second place for her infrared photography piece “Cape San Blas Lighthouse.” Marcy Trahan won third place for “Dune DNA”, a watercolor painting.  

Honorable mentions include S. A. Forrider, Cheryl Ploegstra, Annette Henry and Linda Matela.

A second exhibition in This Little Town by local artist Regina Washabaugh boasts fifty acrylic originals and prints of paintings based on carefully-sourced images from archival photographs depicting Port St Joe long ago. 

Many of these images, shared by Dr Tim Nelson, are the basis for her documentary style of reproduction. Interspersed with Washabaugh’s exhibit is a display of door-sized panels and many photographic enlargements, with text and memorabilia presenting the history of a developing Port St Joe and its people.

The Joe Center for the Arts is located at 201 Reid Avenue in Port St. Joe. This Little Town is open to the public on Wednesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. 

The Kidz Creative Zone will provide art-making materials and instructions all summer for children accompanied by a parent. Admission is free. 

The Joe Center for the Arts is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to educate, exhibit, inspire, and partner through the arts. Tax-deductible donations are always appreciated. 

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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