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Fostering the Artists of the Future

Fostering the Artists of the Future

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A new exhibit in Pensacola showcases works by artists who’ve generously donated pieces to fund a scholarship for at-risk youth.

The Luna Fine Art Gallery, located at the Pensacola Beach Hilton since its founding in 2017, is known for featuring brilliant pieces by local and regional artists. Curated by Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson, the gallery is considered a pillar of the community for its efforts to promote culture and art connection through its various rotating exhibits. In December, the gallery will debut a new exhibition called The Art for Education, which showcases the work of artists who have generously donated pieces to support the Dixon School of Arts & Sciences, a local private school serving at-risk youth that’s known for its ever-growing fine arts program. 

The Art for Education exhibit will feature nearly 20 artists whose donated works will raise money towards the Brilliant Star Scholarship, which is made available to students from the Dixon School of Arts & Sciences. The scholarship fund will assist in paying tuition, registration fees, workshop fees, or materials needed for continuing art education. Serving as the art director for the school, Puzon has created unique opportunities to enrich her students’ lives through the arts and prepare them for a career within the field. 

Luna showcases student work in a space within the gallery titled The Brilliant Star Gallery. Through Luna’s guidance, the Brilliant Star exhibitors are able to learn business acumen and gain valuable art-world experience. One of these student artists, Nehemiah Mack, who is a sophomore at Dixon, hopes to earn support through the scholarship in order to continue his education—an opportunity that inspires Mack and the other students. “The benefit of exposure to future art professors will broaden artistic perspective and provide the tools they need for success,” says Puzon.

“Our mission at Luna Fine Art Gallery is to connect people through the arts,” Puzon explains. “The students often attend the exhibits at the gallery, and I love witnessing the magic happening between the emerging student artists and the professionals. The impact is immeasurable.”

The upcoming artists featured at The Art for Education exhibit wanted to create a more profound impact that benefitted the students. “Once others gave to me, and now I give to others,” says Patricia O’Neal, a featured artist who donated a piece called Tidal Pond. Many artists who are participating are members of an informal artist group called The Paint Out Group, which was formed to support their love of creating and which provides a forum to share and demonstrate painting techniques, learn about new artists, trends, and workshops. Artist Joan Overton, who has previously shown her creations at Luna, was inspired to donate work to the exhibit after her largest public showing. “Everyone should have the opportunity for higher education and to pursue their dreams,” says Overton. 

Through its mission, Luna finds ways to create and build communities of artists and admirers. Beyond the ornate and unique pieces are experiences taking place within the gallery. The connection between art and person or artist and student can be a catalyst of inspiration. “Beautiful things happen when you have wonderful intentions, with some of the most genuine people taking part in it,” says Puzon. 

Luna Fine Art Gallery will host an opening event for their new exhibit on December 11. The artists featured will include Sally Miller, Suzanne Robbert, Kathy Breazeale, Jan Kurtz, Mary Anne Staples, Pat Page, Diane Goeller, Darlene Homrighausen, Diane Collins, Beverly Elliott, Rafi Perez, Pat Regan, Kylie Crowell, and Kendall Sainata.

Luna Fine Art Gallery
12 Via De Luna Dr.
Pensacola Beach, FL 32561

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