In May, artist Dolores Lowery realized a long-time dream when she opened the Seagrass Art Gallery in Mexico Beach’s The Grove.

In May, artist Dolores Lowery realized a long-time dream when she opened the Seagrass Art Gallery in Mexico Beach’s The Grove.

Teaching since 2009, the full-time, self-taught artist has spent time in Gulf and Franklin County schools hosting workshops and using art to teach special needs students.

After taking note at the lack of local galleries or art classes in Mexico Beach, Lowery set out to be the first.

After securing a lease at The Grove she set up shop and has received support from the locals and tourists over the last month.

“It’s been great,” said Lowery. “We’ve had lots of traffic through since opening.”

She aims to be hosting art classes by the summer and has plans for a three-hour acrylic class where she delivers a theme, but and allows the artist to make it their own.

Lowery plans for the classes to be accessible to artists of all levels and will package all materials into the cost.

“It doesn’t matter what your experience level is,” she said, “you’re going to learn something new every time you paint.”

In her never-ending mission to support local arts, Lowery founded and is President of the Society of Expressive Artists.

Formed in 2011, the group meets once a month to network, share techniques and raise awareness for local art-based opportunities.

Each year the SEA group hosts an art walk in Mexico Beach immediately following the Gumbo Cook-off. Tents line highway 98 and beneath them, local artist showcase their wares. This year the group plans to hold a second event, which is currently in the works.

SEA is open to local artists across the coast and can visit Lowery at her gallery for more information.

Lowery is also a staple of the Art Happens initiative, a new group that will host small, art-centric events across the Forgotten Coast. Each event will feature a different medium in one of the area’s most picturesque locations.

“It’s all about promoting the arts throughout the area,” said Lowery. “Art opens people’s minds and creative spirit. It stimulates critical thinking and unifies people.”

Along with Lowery’s homemade jewelry, photography, acrylic and encaustic pieces, the gallery features sea foam art and ceramics from Pat Van West, caulk-based works from Dixie Hester, clay pieces from Leslie Wentzell and glass art by Gretchen Mayes.

Never one to miss an opportunity to shine the light on area talent, Lowery also stocks locally-made soaps, Tupelo honey candles and music by local artists.

Lowery’s art is also featured at the Sea Oates Gallery on St. George Island, Studio Gallery in Grayton Beach and the 621 Gallery in Tallahassee.

As a full time artist Lowery is given the flexibility to keep the gallery fresh. She enjoys the thrill of completing a piece at night and having it in the gallery the following morning.

For more information on classes or how to get involved with the SEA or Art Happens initiatives, call 814-2826.