PANAMA CITY — Like the colorfully wrapped gifts starting to pop up around the fir, Panama City Center for the Arts is welcoming several new elements in December.
“We said goodbye to our dark, spooky Haunted Higby experience last month and have committed to build a warm and bright experience for the upcoming holidays,” Jayson Kretzer, executive director of Bay Arts Alliance, said in a recent news release. “Along with our December exhibitions, we’ll be showcasing illustrations of the 12 days of Christmas, a miniature Christmas village, an extended gift shop, and fun photo opportunities throughout the building.”
On Friday, the gift shop will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. and showcase an expanded offering of local artwork. A Meet the Artists reception will be held Dec. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m., introducing exhibitions by Sonya Livingston, Tesa Burch and Kris Serian. Complimentary refreshments and a wine bar will be provided during the reception.
Sonya Livingston’s “Rockette” show
In the main gallery, Livingston’s “Rockette” show will be on display. Entering a 21-year professional dance career with New York’s Radio City Music Hall Rockettes company at the age of 16, Livingston will share her experiences through the exhibit “Life as a Rockette” with historic photographs, elaborate costumes, and live performances. Each segment leads you on the timeline to the hall where it originally began in 1932 and continues today. The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 22.
Tesa Burch’s “Southern Exit”
A Callaway native, Burch will present “Southern Exit,” which tells the story of “longing or holding on to something that is gone or going,” according to the release. Gallery-goers will find that Burch creatively incorporates some second-hand materials into her art, including alligator skin, snakeskin, starfish, rhinestones, road reflector dust, dirt, fabric, furs, mirror, watercolor, oil, and acrylic. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors from the University of West Florida.
According to the release, when asked what was her art inspiration, Burch replied, “My art is like a diary to me. My experiences. My process. It developed out of my sketchbooks in a big way. I depict the things I think are interesting or poetic. I often chronicle how I feel and try to say things I hesitate to say out loud with it. My collage style comes from what I like to collect and my personal style.”
“Southern Exit” will be on display until Dec. 23.
Kris Serian’s artwork
And in the café gallery, gallery visitors will find Serian’s artwork. The beauty of what will meet the eye is from the depth from which she learned painting was more than a hobby.
“About 12 years ago, my husband died suddenly and I lost my way,” Serian said in the news release. “A friend of mine introduced me to art with Victoria Bush at Bay Art and Frame. Initially, I went to stop everyone from pushing me. I started with a palette knife because I knew I couldn’t focus on the intricacies of brush work. I fell in love with painting.”
Visitors will see the love she has in painting through a plethora of points of inspiration, from antique automobiles to boats to flowers.
“Just about anything inspires me and then I want to capture it,” she said.
If you go
Panama City Center for the Arts, 19 E. Fourth St., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. The center will be closed Dec. 24, 25, 31, and Jan. 1 in observation of national holidays. It also will be closed Jan. 3-7 for the Bay Arts team creative summit.
For more information about these upcoming exhibitions and the new extended gallery, go online to www.pccenterforthearts.com.