Arts In Flagler

If the “We’re Open” sign is displayed outside of Art LaMay’s studio on Ocean Shore Blvd, would-be patrons and visitors are welcome to come join the longtime bird artist at his artistic nest.
“People call for our hours,” LaMay said with a chuckle. “But I just tell them, if I am here, I am here and come on by.”
That’s just one of the relaxed luxuries of being retired for LaMay, a former visual communications chief for the General Accounting Office of the federal government. In that role, LaMay produced the graphics for an endless list of congressional reports.
He and wife, Bonnie, lived in Great Falls, Virginia, and she noticed an advertisement for artists to exhibit at an upcoming show in Easton, Maryland, located just an hour and half away from the hustle and bustle of the Beltway.
Bonnie submitted some of Art’s bird paintings and his work was accepted for the Waterfowl Show.
“That got the ball rolling,” Art said.
Fifty years later, Art’s paintings remain a mainstay of the show. Art and Bonnie will once again go the opposite direction of snowbirds for the show scheduled for November 8-11, 2021.
For years, Art produced the show’s annual flyer. Then, he took a break for a decade or so. This year – the 50th anniversary of the show – has Art’s handiwork once again gracing the show’s flyer.
“But this is going to be the last one for me,” he said. “I am getting old.”
Art grew up in Pennsylvania where the first day of hunting season is akin to a national holiday. It gave him a hands-on education about birds ranging from their anatomy, behavior, flight patterns and myriad of colors. As a teen, he started to paint them.
But as he likes to joke, “I never took it very seriously. I figured if you ran out of relatives and friends to give your paintings to, that is enough.”
Despite his nonchalant approach to himself as an artist, the way Art captures birds on canvas has impressed many beyond his inner circle.
The Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited International, the National Rifle Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the National Wildlife Federation have each honored his work as an artist of the year award or prints of the year away. From 1995 through 2005, he was one of 15 artists selected from an international pool to exhibit at Disney’s Epcot Center.
“There are just so many characteristics associated with birds, you just cannot get bored painting them.” He said. “Every bird is different. It has its own flight pattern; it has its own distinct color. Painting them is just exciting.”
You can learn more about LaMay’s artwork online at and about the Waterfowl Festival at
You can visit LaMay at his studio at 4480 Ocean Shore Blvd in Palm Coast — just be sure to call first: 386-503-4663.
— Amy Armstrong