In 1996, Link Johnsten, in true "Andy Hardy" * fashion, said, "Hey! Let's have an art show on Highland Avenue! Let's ask local artists to demonstrate HOW they do what they do!" So, friend Charles Spohn called members of the Strawbridge Art League, asked if any of the artists would participate, and the fledgling one-day art show was hatched. When asked if Pam Harbaugh would publicize the show in her arts column, Pam asked for the name of the show. Link had no clue. So, Pam came up with a suggestion or two, one of which was "ArtWorks". Artists working. Simple!
Members of the Strawbridge Art League were so enthusiastic about the little street show and its concept of education that they volunteered to host the show beginning in 1999. Under the auspices of SAL, from 1999 - 2001, the show was extended to a two-day event of fine arts featuring the work of local artists.
That is ArtWorks! Two days of showing the public how artists work in their medium. Great music and food come along with the package. ArtWorks utilizes the talents of local musicians (including local high school ensembles) and local food vendors.
*For those of you too young to relate, go to Turner Classic Movies and look at Mickey Rooney's "Andy Hardy Goes to high school, college, work, gets a car, whatever." He is often paired with Judy Garland in those movies.
Held annually the weekend before Thanksgiving, the ArtWorks of Eau Gallie Fine Arts Festival centers around the Highland Avenue area of Eau Gallie. Eau Gallie is considered the "cultural heart of the Space Coast" - home to both the Foosaner Art Museum and the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, as well as having the Eau Gallie Civic Center and Eau Gallie Public Library immedately nearby.
This area is quite centrally located, near neighborhoods such as Lansing Island, Riverside Drive, the Cloisters, and Suntree – all areas where many art collectors reside.
Members of the ArtWorks Committee endeavor to make the show as user-friendly as possible. Most of the members are artists themselves. They know first hand that every attempt that is made to help the artists set up and tear down is greatly appreciated. The committee members are a friendly group who have fun doing what they do. They are "repeaters" who believe in Link's philosophy of educating the public, giving back to the community and enjoying the whole process while doing it. The ArtWorks Committee meets eleven months out of the year.