Palm Coast, FL – Paired with the east wing’s full show devoted to the work of Jan Jackson, the Gargiulo Art Foundation’s 2020 Artist of the Year, the west wing of the Galleria d’Arte Palm Coast featured five artists from the Salvo Art Project on Saturday afternoon for a powerful season opener.

On display, Salvo Art Project founder JJ Graham was joined by Andy Sovia, Diana Gilson, Michele Berg and sculptor Marilyn Leverton.

Roger and Marilyn Leverton with grandson Julian enjoy the opening reception for the Gargiulo Art Foundation’s 2020 Artist of the Year Jan Jackson, and Salvo Art Project artist show including sculptor Marilyn Leverton, on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Galleria d’Arte Palm Coast.

It was a welcome opportunity for artists to display some of their inspiration during the year of pandemic isolation.

Sovia, who painted the Garfield inspired turtle for the Palm Coast Arts Foundation’s Turtle Trail said the year had been tough and some of his newer works on display reflected those challenges.

“We just wanted to get out here and have a show – we haven’t had one in a year because of COVID,” he said.

On display, the ethereal spotlight on Sovia’s “The Last Walk” is beautifully haunting, while the oil on canvas “Mother Earth” is filled with moonlight and rebirth.

Showing as part of the five featured artists from the Salvo Art Project, Andy Sovia attends the Gargiulo Art Foundation’s 2020 Artist of the Year and Salvo Art Project show on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

“It’s kind of ‘lockdown paintings’ and that’s why one is called “The Comforting of Friends” because at the beginning of this thing I lost two very good friends back in March, so it was in my head and I guess painting,” he said.  “Then three of my kids got it, so it was kind of depressing, the paintings started getting depressing, but thank God they’re alright, so more colors are going to come out now.”

Often the host of monthly shows at the Salvo Art Project’s extensive gallery in Bunnell, complete with catered reception and live entertainment, Graham was happy to be ‘just the artist’ for the evening, standing back relaxed and talking with local art lovers.

“I don’t mind it at all,” said Graham. “I still enjoying hanging shows and doing all of that but at heart, I’m just a painter. I’m glad to be included and I hope people just appreciate what they have here and consider supporting the arts.”

“The Last Walk” by Andy Sovia, illuminated the west wing of Galleria d’Arte Palm Coast on Saturday, March 6, 2021 during the Gargiulo Art Foundation’s 2020 Artist of the Year and Salvo Art Project shows.

Hosting the Artist of the Year opening reception and shows, on display for the months of March and April, Lisette O. Lewis, artist and gallery owner of the Galleria d’Arte Palm Coast hopes exhibiting a diverse portfolio of artists from Flagler County will attract collectors who have not yet realized the magnitude of talent in the local area.

“I think that’s what we’re trying to do here, bring in that multi-cultural diversity to the city and showcase some of the art that’s done whether it’s via Jackson, the Gargiulo Art Foundation or other means,” said Lewis.

“My goal is to bring collectors in and make Palm Coast a place where they can really find that art and not just bypass us for Daytona or Ormond. I really want people to stop here.”

The Galleria d’Arte Palm Coast is located at 231 St. Joe Plaza, Palm Coast Pkwy NW. There is no cost for gallery tours. Visit www.galleriadeart.com for more information.

Read More: Gargiulo Art Foundation’s 2020 Artist of the Year Opening Reception

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