Ever visit a place only to realize, hey, they just had a gigantic outdoor arts festival…last weekend…and we missed it?! There’s a fix for that in downtown Pensacola. Quayside (pronounced “key-side”) Gallery, the largest artists’ cooperative in the Southeast, offers three floors of arts and crafts by more than 200 of the area’s most talented creatives. That’s three floors of clay, glass, fiber, precious metals, wood and more, in addition to oils, watercolors, photography, inks, and mixed media. I think there’s even some jewelry and batik in there.
The building itself, once the headquarters of the Germania Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company, once housed a horse-drawn fire engine. It’s a historian’s delight – built in 1873, it stood just one block north of the wooden “quays” or wharves where sailing ships from all over the world once moored. Believe it or not, the building stayed put and the waterfront actually moved – several acres of land were created by ballast offloaded from ships that came from distant countries and didn’t need the ballast once they reached Pensacola. Plaza Ferdinand, across the street from Quayside, has a low fence made of ballast.
But I digress. (Shocking, I know.) Back to Quayside. Are there other local galleries? Yes, absolutely. Is this one of the best? Again, absolutely. It’s staffed by local artists who volunteer their time and know their stuff and even offer free tours. There are workshops throughout the year for hands-on one-on-one time in a variety of artistic mediums.
If you love Pensacola so much that you need to take some of it home with you and hang it on your wall or set it on your shelf or table or wear it around your neck or wrist, or you need a really nifty non-traditional gift for a special occasion, start here: http://www.quaysidegallery.com.