Historic art gallery reopens as nonprofit

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — A historic art gallery in downtown Panama City celebrated its reopening as a nonprofit on Friday with an arts reception and community event.

The Gallery of Art was open from the 1960s to 2012, shortly after owner Mary Ola Miller died at the age of 95.

Some local artists and art lovers have reopened the Beach Drive Gallery as the “Cultural Center of Northwest Florida”.

They held their first historic public exhibition tonight, unveiling the new name.

Locals Tesa Burch, Carl Webb, Kim Griffin-White and Mark White exhibited their work, ranging from oil paintings, collages, mixed media, sculpture and reclaimed wood.

Burch, who is also the program director, says the gallery is a place for local artists and art lovers.

“The gallery itself, we hope, provides local artists with a year-round exhibition venue. That was the gallery’s original mission when Mary Ola opened it as The Gallery of Art in the ’60s.” Burch continued, “She had it in a different location. But we hope to provide a place , it is a member-based organization where artists can have a place to exhibit their work, shape the space and come to enjoy events and build an artistic community.

Burch hopes to host more events like this at the Cultural Hub in the near future.

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