The Joe Center for the Arts has, like so many organizations and individuals, has been forced to make plenty of lemonade since Hurricane Michael.
Damages to its facility at 201 Reid Ave. in Port St. Joe were extensive and the costs of rebuilding not easily shouldered by the fledgling non-profit, which just completed its first full calendar of shows just before Michael struck.
But, as they have waited to put the building back in showcase order, the all-volunteer board has kept busy.
Two “outdoor” shows, one using the facility’s front windows, during the first half of the year spotlighted recovery and rebuilding from the storm.
The Joe is near achieving non-profit status, which will open funding streams.
And thanks to the assistance from a group of teens the building is near ready for display.
“We’re almost there,” said Marcy Trahan, a member of The Joe’s board. “The major work in The Joe has been accomplished.”
The work has been performed by a group of teens and young adults from locally-impacted communities called the Disaster Recovery Corp. and under the leadership of Joe Taylor of Franklin’s Promise Coalition and the Forgotten Coast Cultural Coalition.
The group was trained and mentored by SBP, a national AmeriCorp program specializing in disaster recovery.
Among their projects was the beautification of downtown plant areas.
Art sales by a group known as Operation Fundstorm also supported the effort.
“Getting our building back in shape was part of their training process,” Trahan said, noting the work did not cost The Joe a dime.
“We are certainly blessed and thankful for all their hard work and commitment to restoring The Joe.”
And the restoration arrives in time for the “Call for Entries” for The Joe’s next show, “Fins and Feathers.”
The exhibit aims to showcase the diverse habitat for birds and fish along the Forgotten Coast.
According to the prospectus, “The Joe is seeking artwork that captures the vibrant spirit, the beauty, the diversity and the detail of our finned and feathered friends.”
All media is welcome, including 2- and 3-dimensional as well as photography, etc.
The deadline for submitting artworks for juror consideration is May 29 and the fee is $30 for members and $45 for non-members.
The show will run from June 28 through Aug. 17.
The juror for the exhibit will be Janis Galbraith Fitch, an oil painter originally from New Jersey and Pennsylvania who now makes Mexico Beach home.
She began showing her paintings in the late 1980s and has been exhibited at a host of shows and in books.