Taste of the Coast gives the gift of art one last time

Taste of the Coast

Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School student Jacobi Jones paints on a stretched canvas purchased with funds from the final Taste of the Coast scholarship.

Wes Locher
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM.

Art in Port St. Joe has just received an upgrade.

Five years ago Patti Blaylock, Dana Boyer and Nancy Swider successfully operated the Taste of the Coast Committee, a group whose art shows and auctions were paired with area restaurants for tastings to raise awareness for the burgeoning Gulf Coast art community.

While in operation they gave more than $25,000 in scholarships to up-and-coming artists and art-based facilities working alongside the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce, the Gulf Alliance for Local Arts and the Gulf County Scholarship Committee.

While the group disbanded four years ago, the members recently discovered $1,900 left over in the account and were able to award two final scholarships.

 One went to art teacher Julie Hodges, the other to Leslie Wentzell of the local studio, The Artery.

Hodges, the art teacher at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School used her scholarship to purchase additional supplies for her Art 2 class.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” said Hodges when she was notified that she’d be receiving funds from the group. “I had been making a wish list just in case I found extra funding.”

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