Floriopolis Aims to Bring Art and Culture to St. Andrews

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ST. ANDREWS - A new community arts and culture center in historic St. Andrews is now opening its doors to the public. Floriopolis houses paintings, photography, and sculptures from local artists.

The center is hoping to bring more art and culture to the area.

The Bay County community has a new center where local artwork can be recognized. Floriopolis had its grand opening Saturday morning featuring hundreds of pieces of artwork from 45 local artists.

"We wanted to secure a place that was dedicated to showcasing the locals on the main avenue of the historic district. So we knew it was the right time when there weren't that many places left," said Heather Parker, Floriopolis Executive Director.

Not only can the artwork be admired, but you can also buy it. Items range from five dollars up to a few thousand. The center used to be an abandoned storefront that's been remodeled from scratch.

Floriopolis managers have been working since march to bring the new space to life. About 300 volunteers helped renovate and donate supplies.

"When you're able to integrate the history and the humble history with something like the arts community and you're able to pull those two things together. That's where the magic happens," said Carol Turner, a Bay County resident.

Some believe Floriopolis can help boost the area's art and culture.

"There's some great artists here, downtown Panama City, in the area and they're really happy to find a space that could really the showcase the work that they do," said Matthew Jankowski, a local artist.

One of the center's focal points is its current exhibit, St. Andrews inspired, which shows the historic area through the eyes of local artists. That goes on until the end of march.

Floriopolis managers say they're already trying to expand by building an art garden and courtyard. They'll need to raise $12,000.