Emerald Coast Artisans

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Emerald Coast Artisans group looking to expand in South Walton

By Heather Bennett

South Walton is a haven for the gifted. We have talented artists that live and work up and down our emerald coast. The community embraces local artists, and several organizations exist as support systems. One such group is Emerald Coast Artisans, started by Krista Vind.

A local artist, Krista is also the owner of The Artists Warehouse and Gallery of South Walton.  She founded Emerald Coast Artisans as the Gulf Coast chapter of IDAL, or International Decorative Artisans League. It’s a national, non-profit organization that provides artists with a variety of resources, including an online magazine, group health and liability insurance, a member forum where members can learn and grow, guidance from industry professionals and help marketing.

Krista has also had the chance to teach classes at the yearly IDAL convention. The convention offers a wide variety of inexpensive classes where instructors, from all over the world, come to teach a variety of techniques including gilding, how to paint a mural, canvas art, decorative wall finishes, fine furniture finishes, and even business classes. There is also an expo at the convention where vendors demonstrate new tools and products. The convention changes location each year.

“I have been a member of IDAL for close to 20 years,” said Vind. “I wanted to start a local chapter and bring some of these benefits home to the local artists.” With the help of her friends and fellow artists, Amy Douglas and Sharon Davis, Emerald Coast Artisans became an official IDAL chapter in August 2017.

“IDAL encourages philanthropy, Krista said. “ Immediately upon signing our charter we decided to make our first project count.” The group organized what they called “Hearts for Houston’’, to raise hurricane relief funds for victims in Texas and Florida. All six members of Emerald Coast Artisans created canvas artwork to sell at Destin Commons. “We donated 100% of the money from the sales to the Salvation Army,” said Vind. IDAL awarded their chapter the prestigious Adele Bishop Philanthropy Award for their project.  The project was also featured in Paint Contractor Magazine.

Emerald Coast Artisans is looking to expand.  In November, they were invited by an art therapy instructor to participate in the Wellstock Festival, a wellness and self-love festival in Destin. There, they taught a painting class using the technique of paint pouring, a fun hands-on class for visitors. They are planning other events this year, including a class in March. “It’s quite exciting,” stated Vind. “But you’ll have to attend our upcoming meeting to find out what it is.”

If you are interested, there is an informative meet and greet on February 17th at The Artists Warehouse and Gallery in Santa Rosa Beach from 11am to 1pm with an IDAL presentation at 11:30am. This is a chance for people to learn more about the organization on a national level, as well as more about the local chapter. Artists interested in attending can send an RVSP to Krista at kkvind@gmail.com.

The Artists Warehouse and Gallery is located at 416 S. Co. Hwy 393, Unit 5.4, in Santa Rosa Beach. It is a working studio/gallery with classroom space, as well as a gallery where currently all six members of the Emerald Coast Artisans have art for sale at direct from artists pricing. Viewing is available Saturdays 11am to 5pm or anytime by appointment.