- April 5, 2022
Upscale. Modern. Unique.
When new art gallery owners and co-founders Teri Althouse and Thays França hosted an artists-only open house a couple of weeks ago, those were the words used by the 55 artists in attendance to describe what had been brought to Ormond Beach's downtown.
"Everybody was just excited to have a place that they are so proud to say that they are part of it," França said. "And that was the idea — that we would really charm our artists to understand how we have wonderful art in our area."
Located at 67 W. Granada Blvd., Art Spotlight celebrated its opening in the community on Saturday, July 2, during the First Saturday Art Walk event. The gallery occupies the space formerly left vacant by Arts on Granada and is opening with 17 artists, including França, Althouse and Gallery Director Jon Benjamin. Centered on its mission to "Create, collaborate, and elevate," Art Spotlight is aiming for a unique arts hybrid concept, made possible by their movable walls. The space can be easily transformed to become an art-centric venue that is able to host events like comedy shows, poetry jams, live music, food and wine tastings and small weddings.
"We want to welcome the community," Althouse said. "We want everybody to feel they don't have to be intimidated by an art gallery."
The idea for Art Spotlight started with her. As an artist who formerly showcased her works on Arts on Granada — which relocated to Beach Street in Daytona and is now called Galerie Elan — Althouse said she felt it was a shame to lose a gallery in Ormond's downtown just as the local art scene was starting to pick up. But, she didn't want to open a gallery by herself.
One night, she met with França at her former gallery and they struck up a conversation about the vacant gallery space. Both were hesitant about taking on the challenge, but as they continued to discuss it and ask other local artists for feedback, they discovered something that changed their minds.
"We realized that the idea we were developing was what this town was seeking," França said. "So then we were like, 'Alright, we must do it. If we don't do it, then who's going to do it?."
A year, a full renovation and many idea revisions later, Art Spotlight came to fruition. And there are plans in the works to transform the exterior of the building to match some of the other buildings in the downtown.
Althouse said she is looking forward to collaborating with artists and the surrounding businesses in the downtown district to be able to elevate the arts. As the gallery's leadership are all artists themselves, they aim to be both supportive and respectful of the artists the gallery will showcase.
França said some of the artists the gallery will be representing were so excited to be part of Art Spotlight that they created new art — in just two weeks — to be displayed there.
"We created this for Ormond," França said. "We didn't do this for us. ... We want the community to know this is a space for them to come to enjoy. We are open for collaboration."
Art Spotlight will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday through Tuesday by appointment only. Visit art-spotlight.com.