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New Art Exhibit At UWF Emerald Coast Campus Library

Thirty paintings by local artists Allan Gold and Robyn Patterson are on display at the UWF Emerald Coast Library in Ft. Walton Beach. WUWF’s Danielle Freeman sat down with the artists, who spoke about their inspiration.

Allan Gold, UWF’s Military Services Coordinator at Hurlburt Field, says painting is a hobby and a passion. He favors painting Florida scenery which stems back from childhood and credits the Florida Highwaymen as a strong influence, " Some of the artists that have inspired me is a group of black artists that were painting primarily in South Florida in the 50s through the 70s. And, they primarily painted on gypsum board, a lot of Florida scenes, using a lot of color. And, they used to produce these paintings real fast and then sell them out of the back of station wagons. And as a kid I can remember them coming by the house and we’d purchase some paintings from them. You know they’re quite valuable and quite collectable. That style of art and those artists kind of impressed me."

Credit Allan Gold
Driftwood Sunset by Allan Gold

Gold, who’s been featured on the cover of the Destin Log, works mostly in acrylic on Oriented Strand Board also known as OSB particle board. He also creates using driftwood, and canvas and says it doesn’t’ really matter if people are fond of his artwork, it just matters that they take time to reflect on it, " I always say that people like my paintings or if they don’t like it, if I can cause them to stop and look at it and make a determination, then that’s art. Whether they like it or not, they had to sit there, they had to look at it, think about it. But, they didn’t walk by it. So that’s one of the unique aspects I think you get from painting on that kind of a medium. And, then again I use a lot of bright colors in everything that I do."

Robyn Patterson is the Graphics Manager and Creative Director for the Gulf Region of Resort Quest by Wyndham. She splits her time between her office in Ft. Walton Beach and one in Atlanta. Patterson says the exhibit is a nice combination of the various mediums in which she works, and says it shows how her artwork has progressed, " I had a lot of pieces from my color pencils days that were framed and ready to display. So, really what’s on display is kind of a neat little juxtaposition of how I’ve grown and where I’ve changed in my work which is kind of neat for me personally to see that on display."

Credit Robyn Patterson
Tickled Pink by Robyn Patterson

  Although she began her art career as a computer animator, Patterson says in the beginning her true influence came from living overseas as a child and being surrounded by monuments with stained glass, " I remember being a kid and going through the cathedrals and seeing the shapes of the glass and the lights coming through and the colors and it just was so entrancing.  And it just really stuck with me."

Patterson has created numerous festival posters for local events in the area, along with artwork for the Ft. Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. She says she’s enamored with color and loves painting wildlife – such as giraffes, birds, and sea turtles. Patterson says she researches photos of her subjects, but tries not to make every piece of work photo realistic, "I take elements I like from the different pictures, whether it’s the spots on his face from this one, his eyes from this one, his shell on this one, the way the light hits on this one. And, then I do a bunch of sketches and then I go at it."

Many feel that art is universal and can be soothing to the soul. Allan Gold encourages everyone to try it at least once in their lifetime; that is if they’re interested, "No sense in sitting back and waiting. There is certainly no age limitations to it, some people I’ve known that didn’t start until really late in life. It’s a continual pathway of exploration and it’s also a great way to relax."

The library is located on the UWF/ Northwest Florida State joint campus at 1170 Martin Luther King Blvd in Ft. Walton Beach, in building 8. Viewing hours for the exhibit are Monday-Thursday, 8am-9pm; Friday, 8am-5pm; and Saturday 1-5pm. The exhibit will be on display through the end of April.

More information on Allan Gold's and Robyn Patterson’s work can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/GoldPattersonExhibit

Additional information on Robyn Patterson’s work can be found at her website www.artbyrobyn.com