Cocoa Beach Art Show continues Thanksgiving tradition


Artist David Wang’s “Southern Song’’ won $1,000 for Best in Painting Oil/Acrylics at the 2017 Cocoa Beach Art Show. This year, artists will compete for $20,000 in total prize money.

Photo courtesy of Ed Dosado

The lively Cocoa Beach Art Show will fill the streets of downtown Cocoa Beach on Thanksgiving weekend with 30,000 to 40,000 people expected to attend the show. 

The show will overflow with art in all mediums. Multiple bands and performers will play music as patrons stroll the streets while enjoying a 55-year tradition of celebrating the arts in Cocoa Beach.

The art show, now in its fifth year, has supplanted the Space Coast Art Festival that was there for 50 years and gave up the location for another venue.

“It was a success — the locals loved it,” said Cindy Kelley, the art director of the Cocoa Beach Art Show since its inception in 2014. “We had 91 artists the first year and it kept growing until this year we have 150 artists, which is our max limit.”

Kelley praised all the people who make it possible.

“Everybody’s nice here. We couldn’t do it without all our wonderful volunteers who sell the beer, T-shirts and do the booth sitting among many other things.”

Artists from across the country come to sell and show their art from jewelry, glass, ceramics to oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, to photography, print making and sculptures. The 150 artists vie for a total of $20,000 in prize money, with $5,000 the top prize for Best in Show.

Some of the artists expected in the 2018 show are Rick and Barbara Umbel with their distinctive ocean-inspired jewelry, Ralph Rankin with digital art, Tony Krysinsky with two-dimensional mixed media, Dan Burleigh Phillips with watercolors, and Rolly Ray Reel with three-dimensional mixed media.

Nine bands will play during the Cocoa Beach Art Show. From 5:30 to 11 p.m. Nov. 23, the first night, a pre-art show party will be held in the streets. Two bands — Love Valley and Radio Romance — will perform.

On the second day — Nov. 24 — the art show will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bands will play during that time span and until 11 p.m.

Some of the scheduled bands and musical acts include the Aquanuts, Ron Teixeira and Kenny Cohen, Clockwork Knotwork, Mark Aaron James and Kattyshack.

The event continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 25. Delgado and Hot Pink will perform.