Eastern Shore Art Center—Fairhope’s Link with the Art World

The little resort town of Fairhope, Alabama, set picturesquely on the shores of Mobile Bay, has long had an intimate relationship with the arts.  The scenic community was founded back in the nineteenth century as a utopian colony and over the years its mellow vibe has attracted a number of artists and writers.

A visitor takes in Nall’s “Alice in Wonderland” exhibit

Residents aren’t the only ones to benefit from the town’s artsy ambiance. For more than fifty years, the Eastern Shore Art Center has offered residents and visitors alike the opportunity to view an ever-changing selection of exhibits featuring artists from all over the world. Artist workshops and classes are offered year round and the facility includes a gift shop showcasing local artists as well as a members gallery. The Art Center is free to the public and offers free guided tours through its five galleries. Once a month, the Center participates in Art Walk, when it joins downtown galleries in opening its doors for an evening of music and art.

Recently, the Center scored a coup when internationally-known local artist Nall donated his “Alice in Wonderland” exhibit—comprising more than 50 drawings–to the facility, which now plans to promote the exhibit to other museums.

Over the years, the Center has hosted works by a variety of artists. Bryant Whelan, the Center’s Executive Director, says that one of the most popular exhibits recently has been the 2018 exhibit of bicentennial murals depicting events in Alabama’s history painted by local artist Dean Mosher.

Later this fall, the Center will host the American Watercolor Society show, a traveling exhibit featuring award-winning works in watercolor by artists from all over the world. Every March, the Center presents the Outdoor Art Show. The show, which celebrates its 48th anniversary in 2020, features 130 booths showcasing the work of artists from all over, together with art demos.

Galleries change out every month opening with First Friday Art Walk

The event gives visitors the opportunity to see and purchase works from established as well as new artists and to explore Fairhope’s charming downtown.

The Eastern Shore Art Center is locatd at 401 Oak Street in Fairhope, Alabama. For more information,  check the website at https://esartcenter.org or telephone 251-928-2228.

Photos courtesy Eastern Shore Art Center

Kathie Farnell
Kathie Farnell
Freelance writer Kathie Farnell lives in Foley, Alabama, ten miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, with her husband, photographer Jack Purser, and a flock of cats. She has written travel articles for print and web publications since 1992, and also produces programming for public television and radio through her nonprofit corporation, Artemis Media Project. The couple enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and spending time on the Gulf beaches.

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