Artists descend on Eau Gallie for unique annual festival


Artist Julie Murphy of Satellite Beach works on a stained glass creation.

Viera Voice Courtesy of Paul Lepinskie

Plans are underway for the 21st annual ArtWorks of Eau Gallie Fine Arts Festival with the return of approximately 80 professional artists selected for this November presentation. 

Each artist creates a unique treasure as well as selling their wares, making this show the only festival of its kind in Florida.

“ArtWorks was founded in 1996 by Link Johnsten, an Eau Gallie florist, who was its president until his passing in 2015,” said Sharon Dwyer, president of ArtWorks of Eau Gallie Inc. and a member of the artworks committee since 2002. “Johnsten wanted an art show where the public could see art being created. Artists create new works of art in their booths and display and sell finished art. Artworks is the only art festival of its kind in Brevard County and I believe in Florida.”

Most of the participating artists live in Brevard County, but others arrive from across Florida and other states. This year, the festival welcomes high school artists from Brevard schools.

“We have some artists coming that attended the original show in 1996,” Dwyer said. “Locals attend over and over, and one lady has been since 2002. Off the top of my head, I know we have other artists who have been in this show for at least 10 years.”

For those who visit and buy from the same artists each year, an art show program will include the listing of all artists and their booth numbers as a handy reference. A variety of items are created for sale including paintings, ceramics, digital art, photography, watercolors, jewelry, mixed media and sculpture.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18 and 19. It always is the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday. It is in Melbourne’s Eau Gallie Arts District, along Highland Avenue from Eau Gallie Boulevard to St. Paul’s Church and on St. Clair Street. Public parking is available in the surrounding area as off-street and on-street free parking.

Food vendors will be in Eau Gallie Square, at the corner of Eau Gallie Boulevard and Highland Avenue, with musical entertainment presented by both individuals and small groups held in the square both days. The Brevard Ballet Academy will perform on Saturday of the event.

“ArtWorks is primarily funded by contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations through the sponsor program,” Dwyer said. “Sponsors are provided with vouchers to purchase artwork during the show, encouraging the purchase of art. To learn more about the sponsorships go to the website”