The Emerald Coast Convention Center is a beautiful venue, with large, bright pre-function foyers. We celebrate the beauty of our region through the local art displayed throughout our event spaces.
These local artists work in many mediums and styles. Individual artworks cycle out frequently and are available for sale.
Sara Dowd is from Northwest Florida and graduated from the University of North Florida with a BFA in photography with an emphasis on portraiture. Dowd has traveled the country taking photographs of thousands of people. Her work is a labor of love, and she says “it’s important to have pictures to remember the good times and to have art on the walls to celebrate life and love.” Dowd strives to make people feel comfortable in front of the lens, so she can create personal, memorable stories through each portrait. Find her and her work on Facebook and Instagram.
Originally from New Hampshire, Estelle Grengs is a self-taught folk artist whose works celebrate her childhood in New England as well as her travels as an Air Force spouse. Now a resident of Freeport, Florida, Grengs works are primarily in acrylic with some mixed media as well for added versatility. Her paintings employ vivid color and whimsical, happy themes. Learn more about Grengs and her art on Facebook and Instagram.
Ruta Kanaporis has worked as a muralist in Chicago as well as Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Florida for 18 years. She works in a range of styles including abstract, impressionistic, and realistic. Themes in her portfolio include children’s spaces, decorative Venetian ceilings, Trompe l’oeil, romantic architecture, landscapes, and technically-accurate machinery. In addition to her work as a muralist, Kanaporis creates portraits in oil, acrylic and colored pencil. You can see her latest work on her Facebook page and on Instagram.
Jessica Moore began her art education when she was 10 years old, working in oil paints and pastels. She entered juried arts shows at a young age and won many awards. In her early 20s, she began to have her own shows in galleries, libraries, and restaurants. After taking a break from art while she finished a degree in engineering, Moore has picked up her brushes to further explore her artistic passion in acrylics and fluid resin painting. Explore her techniques on Instagram.
Crystall Reder was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia and has always loved living on the coast. She now resides in Navarre, Florida. A self-taught artist, her artwork is inspired by nature, especially wildlife and sea life native to her home on Florida’s Emerald Coast. Her artistic intent is to capture coastal beauty and vibrancy thereby allowing customers to enjoy that beauty from inside their homes or businesses. Reder’s artwork can also be viewed on Facebook and Instagram.
Steve Underwood is one of very few artists who hand letters signs in the region. After moving to Walton County, Florida in 1983, Underwood opened his company Dynamic DeSign of Destin. He designs and hand-letters gorgeous signs for local businesses. He once painted the iconic Destin billboard at the foot of the Marler Bridge. His work can be found throughout the region and on his Facebook page.
For photos of artworks by local artists whose work is currently on display in our pre-function foyers, check out the Emerald Coast Convention Center Facebook page.
Additionally, we display the works of local artist Donna Burgess in the convention center meeting rooms as part of our permanent collection. Burgess’s art explores the colorful, natural beauty found in the heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Local marine life like dolphins, sea turtles, marlin, pelicans, palms, and other coastal fauna and flora are often subjects of her paintings.
We are honored to feature Ms. Burgess’s work at the Emerald Coast Convention Center and to offer her unique coastal vision for the enjoyment of our guests and visitors. You can view more at Donna Burgess’s online gallery and on Facebook.