Flagler Artists: We change gears and take a look at some area galleries

The art scene around Palm Coast provides quite the surprise to those who have lived here for one year and others who lived here for ten. Hop in your car for breakfast on the beach to enjoy the sunrise, or an afternoon excursion into historic St. Augustine over the Bridge of Lions, and these hidden gems of the art world will wave at you from their cozy alcoves.
One that stands out in its own awe-inspiring way is the Baliker Gallery. Next to Bing’s Landing Park, only a few miles north of the Hammock Resort, sculptor Paul Baliker sits his pieces in the comfort and shade of the densely packed trees wrapping around the property. Primarily using wood and bronze for his pieces, Paul Baliker hopes to capture moments that represent a potential symbiotic relationship with nature.
The piece “A Matter of Time,” demonstrates this. Made seemingly entirely out of wood, it takes a circular, clocklike shape, with an elder man’s face in the middle, holding a globe, and surrounded by a menagerie of animals from all biomes. One could spend hours appreciating the intricacies hidden in these moments captured.
Stay on this same road, heading north, and Bess Studio will greet any traveler with an equally unique artistic experience. Run by Eric and Helene Bess, both professionally trained artists whose twenty-year collaboration has their pieces included in private collections as close as Ponte Vedra, and as far as Paris, France. They have ready-to-sell prints of their pieces in various sizes. Prepared in either color or black and white, these can be a nice addition to the Florida home or a relative out of town.
They do not limit their art to the canvass either. Eric and Helene have added artistic touches to homes and businesses, to include murals of faux finishes to walls and ceilings. This has caused them to include portable murals in their commission listings to better convenience their clients.
For those who enjoy the serene sounds of the beach, close to the shoreline, on Central Avenue, is the Gallery of Local Art (GOLA). Owner Marge Barnhill has gained quite the catalogue of artists. Their styles ranging from paintings to crochets, pottery, and photography, to name only a few. With the many artists listed as members of this gallery, this offers monthly themed people’s choice contests. The month of April will be “Sea Life” and May will be “Flowers.”
At the GOLA, they also offer painting classes. April and May hosts “Beginner-Stained Glass Class” where the students will learn basic techniques. In April, the student will make a turtle sun catcher, and May will have a conch shell sun catcher. All tools and supplies provided, and students register on the GOLA website. Who knows? Maybe you might be the next artist in the GOLA’s catalogue.
Sharing the building with GOLA is the Pineapple Gallery. Pineapple offers artist meet and greets, and a variety of classes around ceramics, garden sculpting, and encaustic painting. Whereas GOLA feels more for the professional artist, the Pineapple Gallery aims their focus more towards the passerby or newcomer. Their mission statement, from their website, “To inspire and spread joy by connecting people with engaging works of art and stimulated experiences.”
It does not take much to find culture in Palm Coast. No need for long drives to major cities across the state. All that is necessary is to venture out and see what’s there. Be you a newcomer to this idyllic area, or a long-time resident, there is plenty for you to either dip your toe into the art scene or dive in headfirst.