Although you might think the farmers market is the place you go to thank your local farmer, the Palafox Market in Downtown Pensacola is teeming with artistic talent that will have you thanking your local artists. Dozens of Palafox Market artists, or what some might call contemporary folk artists, are filling the heart of our city with their works. From usable ceramics made of local river clay and mummified crabs to scrap metal sculptures crafted with hand-held plasma torches, the diverse selection of decorative and utilitarian pieces make it a difficult task to leave the market empty-handed. The air is not pretentious around these artists, so feel free to engage them and ask questions; stop by the booth of your favorite artists and discuss their creative process and the inspiration behind their pieces. Many of these artists have their work displayed either across the city in restaurants, shops, galleries, and art shows, or online at the artist’s website. These artists will also point you in the direction of their peers, since they work together as an extended family rather than against each other as competition; some even share space at booths, as well as opportunities to display their work, by rotating their wares weekly. So don’t be disheartened if you couldn’t find your artist this week—chances are he or she will be at the market at least once a month. Needless to say, the Palafox Market atmosphere is as friendly and vibrant as the artists and their work, and the best part about visiting the market is finding that quirky creation as unique as its artist. While we have highlighted only a few of the many talented Palafox Market artisans in the following pages, there’s a whole assembly waiting for you to discover their art every Saturday at Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza.
Amy Hines hails from Atlanta, Ga., has been a full-time metal artist for 10 years. She is involved in several environmental groups, including the Native Plant Society of Florida, which is one reason why she prefers recycled materials. She is inspired by nature and creates pieces in likeness of Florida’s flora and fauna. Amy has completed classes, such as 3-D sculpture at Pensacola State College, to enhance her knowledge. Amy’s metal comes from two-dimensional sheets of recycled steel, which she draws her images on before cutting out the shape with a hand-held plasma torch driven by air and electricity. She then uses very primitive grinders and buffers to adjust the metal from rusty to shiny and vice versa. Amy’s art is featured at Blue Morning Gallery, Marty Campbell Gallery, and Angel’s Garden. She is currently working on forming a metal guild within First City Art Center, since she enjoys collaboration and works with other Palafox Market artists including Sue Woodsen (ceramic artist) and Joy Oxley (glass artist). Amy is part of another artist project called Hand Craft Family with her son Nik McCue (woodworker), expected to emerge at Palafox Market in 2016. You can learn more at handcraftfamily.com.
Gary Partin is a maritime painter who was born in Pensacola, but he has traveled to 48 states, as well as to Mexico, Canada, and the West Indies with his wife Deborah. These landscapes have inspired much of Partin’s art works. Partin attended Auburn University in Alabama to refine what he already knew about painting and art. His nature and landscape paintings have been on several calendars and sport fishing magazines. Partin has also judged for numerous art shows, the most recent being presented by the Water Color Society of Alabama in 2012. Partin’s had his first art show in Destin, Fla, in 1972. His painting techniques include working with mixed media, acrylics, water color, oils, pastels, etching, lithography, air brush as well as pen and ink. Partin’s most recent works are acrylics on canvas. In addition to Palafox Market, you can find Partin’s paintings at Quayside Gallery and Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, Ala. View more of Partin’s work online by visiting: sandpiperstudiousa.com, or gary-partin.artistswebsites.com.
Klee Galligan has been a jewelry artist for six years, which she began pursuing after leaving Illinois in 2009 with her husband and fellow artist Rafi Perez to travel and let their creative passions flourish. During that time Klee focused on teaching herself the art of making jewelry. After some encouragement from her husband, Klee made her first piece of jewelry from the materials she had at home. Klee credits her husband’s father, who had been a bench jeweler for 50 years, as her mentor who offered both his patience and technical guidance. Klee started showing her work at the Gulf Breeze Flea Market in 2011. A year later, Klee’s friend, Susan Mayer, introduced her to the Palafox Market and Gallery Night. Klee uses precious and semi-precious stones, which she occasionally gets from local lapidary artists. She incorporates copper, sterling silver, and gold filled metals into her jewelry along with unusual elements, such as a collection of antique glass pieces from a local “treasure trove” in Pensacola called the “Shard Yard.” You can find Klee’s one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted jewelry every Saturday at Jewelry by Klee in Palafox Market, or any day at Marty Campbell Gallery and online at rafiwashere.com.
Chasing & Repousse
Barry Greenwell is a retired jeweler, born and raised in Pensacola, who has devoted his life to the arts and he focuses specifically on the art of chasing and repoussé, a technique in which he presses images into thin aluminum sheets. Barry is a jeweler by trade who has worked for local establishments including Elebash and Rock Hard Designs. Barry considers himself a “primitive artist,” another term for an artist who is either self-taught or has no formal training. Barry crafts all his pieces by hand, and his experience as a jeweler has given him the delicate touch needed to work with temperamental aluminum. As a lifelong surfer, Barry’s inspiration for his imprinted designs are the waves—a symbol that represents both the circle of life and a familiar image of the ocean. Further experimenting led Barry to using alcohol paints to color his metallic, aluminum pieces in colors complimented by the aluminum’s reflection of light. Eventually, Barry aims to offer wearable designs that have different characteristics under different lighting. Barry will make his debut at Palafox Market this month.
Ric Korrelson is a self-taught, woodworking artist who was introduced to Pensacola in 1968. He began woodworking in 1977, when he bought his first table saw with the intent of learning how to make furniture. Ric has expanded his selection of tools to include band saws, jig saws, lots of sanders, a planar and a drill press, and whatever hand tools are necessary to achieve the shape he imagines for each piece of wood. Ric has improved his technique through trial and error. Today, Ric focuses primarily on making wooden vases and boxes with diverse shapes from crescent moons to mini pagodas, which you can find at Palafox Market and Blue Morning Gallery. Ric has about 20 different styles of boxes, but he is always adding more. He uses 40 to 50 types of wood that come from all around the world to fit his preference for woods with contrasting colors. Ric’s inspiration comes from the natural patterns and hues of the wood that he accentuates by adding a clear, Danish oil to the surface. You can easily spot Ric’s booth at Palafox Market by searching for his cleverly titled, “All Ways Wood” sign.
Lyvonne Patterson is from Pensacola and part of her pottery’s charm is that it contains local ingredients: she mixes local river clay from nearby Munson, Fla, into her white stoneware and speckled clays. Walking along Pensacola’s shoreline, Lyvonne tends to pick up dead crabs, starfish and seashells that she preserves in plaster of paris to later incorporate into her pieces, such as her popular gumbo bowls and vases. For seven years, Lyvonne has fine-tuned her pottery skills as a student at Pensacola State College (PSC). Lyvonne uses an electric kiln called a Jen Kiln. Depending on the size of the piece it can take anywhere from two to three days to dry before it can be fired all night in the kiln. Once the piece has cooled, a process that takes roughly 12 hours to complete, a glaze is applied then the piece is placed in a glaze kiln for another 12 hours. This is Lyvonne’s third year at Palafox Market, where you can see her booth every other Saturday, but you can always browse her latest pottery at Renfroe Pecan Company.