Spring Brings Exciting Change to Center for the Arts


The Center for the Arts is unveiling a fused glass permanent art installation and three new exhibits this month for the public to enjoy.

The main gallery will be hosting the first Bay County Audubon Society’s Arts and Photography Competition and Exhibition for the organization’s 2022 Nature Connection program. This exhibition includes a wide variety of fine art media as well as photography under the theme of “nature.”

One award will be given for “Best in Show” and then a first and second place will be awarded to each of the categories followed by an honorable mention or merit award.
With excitement for the inaugural exhibit, the Bay County Audubon Society’s director Brian Dusseault stated, “It is an honor to work with Bay Arts Alliance on our chapter’s first ever art/photo contest. Bay Arts Alliance is a treasure in our community, reaching out in numerous ways to make our lives more meaningful through commitment to the fine arts.” Come by and see this exhibit on display until Friday, April 23rd.

Bay Arts Eastm Red Crackle VaseIn the Miller gallery this month will be “Vessels and Vases,” an exhibition of fused glass pieces by local artist Marlene East. This exhibit will demonstrate a variety of techniques in creating glass art and will be on display until Saturday, April 30th.

There are vessels made with the tiniest particles of glass, powders, and frit that look like sugary sand. Some pieces are made in a traditional manner of arranging sheet glass in a design and layers. The meaning of this collection of pieces is to show Marlene’s pursuit of learning and finding joy in creating what she loves.

On display in the cafe gallery space will be wood/metal work by Kevin Vanderschaaf. Kevin uses pressure-washed old wood and recycles it for backing and frames then cleans and recycles old license plates to create his pieces.

Kevin got his start when Hurricane Michael hit. The artist states, “I was laid off from work from the hospital for 5 months and the creative juices just started flowing.” His artwork is inspired by fishing and the preservation of wildlife.

Bay Arts Alliance is excited to announce the installation of a new permanent piece, Transformation. After years of planning, Bay Arts Alliance unveiled this piece created by local glass artist Dr. Marlene East on April 1. Measuring 14’ long and spanning two floors, Transformation has 240 pieces of art glass suspended from a polished steel ring fabricated by local metal artist, Stephen Harman. Funds for this piece were given in memory of Mary Dennise Dodd (1933-2020) – Loving Christian, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Artist, and Friend.

Transformation symbolizes the energetic revitalization of downtown Panama City, the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, as well as transformations in color that occur in the kiln-firing process.

Admission is always free at the Center for the Arts and the doors are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.