“SELECTIONS”: A Unique Exhibition of Art on 30A - 30A

“SELECTIONS”: A Unique Exhibition of Art on 30A

By: Susan Gunn | Posted Sep 7, 2022

If your Labor Day weekend left you wanting more, we have just the ticket. While art continues to build and thrive along our coastal corridor, so too does the culture. South Walton’s upcoming event, SELECTIONS: A Gallery Experience at SOWAL House, promises to be a special and unique event. One definition of culture is “the arts and manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.” The SELECTIONS Exhibition is the embodiment of this concept.

SELECTIONS is the brainchild of SOWAL House’s Chief Vision Officer David Allen King and art curator and marketing guru Christy Milliken. Together they are co-producing an eclectic multi-artist exhibit in a most eclectic new space.

Dave King painted his way through a computer science degree at a small college in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating, he moved to New York City and eventually became the Technology Director for a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, then moved into Management Consulting.

After retiring to Florida in 2018, Dave had a near-death experience that sparked a renewed sense of purpose; to fulfill his core passion by investing time and energy back into the arts.

“I’m intrigued by the fact that we have this huge swath of world-class artists living amongst us. South Walton has so much natural beauty, and the artists and creatives that live here are the souls.”

Dave King. Photo credit: Mark Little.

Dave officially opened SOWAL House in January 2022, a unique event space into which he poured his creative mind. The space, meticulously designed and encompassing special works of art, along with a fully equipped podcast room, is in itself something to behold. He enlisted the help of curator Christy Milliken to bring life to the idea of exhibiting multiple local artists in one venue at the same event.

Milliken transitioned her life to the South Walton communities along in 2010 just as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened and was a threat to many of the businesses in the area. “I was drawn to the art and architecture along scenic Highway 30A, but what I admired more during that season was the way the community supported one another.” Christy is not lacking in her scope of knowledge and experience in the arts. In 2011, she became the Managing Partner at Justin Gaffrey Studio & Gallery, where she helped organize and transition many milestone moments in the art community both locally and on an international level. Christy has served on the AAF Board, FPRA Board, South Walton Events Board.

As life evolved from the gallery partnership, she began a boutique marketing business that helps collaborate with many events throughout the United States — large-scale events such as film festivals, music festivals, visual art exhibitions, and other project-based work with individual artists in Florida, Alabama, Nashville, Charleston, New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, and California. She says connecting with the creatives in the South Walton community is a lifeline for her. “Dave King approached me about working with him to create something special to highlight the talent that surrounds our coastal communities, and of course, I said yes!”

Christy Milliken. Photo credit: Mark Little

SELECTIONS was not planned to be the usual exhibition. With a signature David Allen King twist, in separate conversations with multiple artists, he asked each one to take a small step outside of their proverbial boxes to make something they were not usually known for, and moreover something they felt creatively challenged by. The works displayed will be one-of-a-kind.

Another unique aspect of this event is that once the two days end, the artwork will still exist on a 360 Degree Virtual Gallery, creating an interactive media experience and a way for clients to view the work, learn about the artists, and purchase the work.

“I am most excited about this aspect because it is a vision I had about 10 years ago. Along with VOS Media, we have made this all happen within a little over a month. The first launch will allow us to adjust and continue to develop what can be accomplished through this way of viewing, accessing, experiencing, purchasing, space planning, and even rehanging art.” This virtual gallery is a way of giving both the artists and the art collector an unusual gallery experience.

Don’t miss the inaugural showing event of the season. Come meet the artists and enjoy the works of a variety of those who are the vision and backbone of our art community. Featured Artists include Allison Wickey, Aria Gaffrey, Chandler Williams, Chris Coleman, David Allen King, Dheron Winfield, Jim Clark, Jonah Allen, Justin Gaffrey, Justin Gaffrey, Jr., Lindsay Tobias, Mark Little, Nicole Paloma, and Tommy Crow. SELECTIONS also marks the first time Dave King has exhibited his own original work in over 20 years, pieces guaranteed to spark curiosity and conversation.

SELECTIONS: A Gallery Experience at SOWAL House will take place this coming weekend with a Private Ticketed VIP showing on Friday, September 9th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and a public open house showing on Saturday the 10th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

SOWAL House is located at 82 S. Barrett Sq. 2nd Floor in Rosemary Beach. If you plan to attend the open showing on Saturday, please click the convenient link provided below to register. Registration is not required for entry, however, it would be helpful to event coordinators.

For more info, visit SOWAL House or follow them on Facebook

Susan Gunn is a retired paramedic and freelance photographer/writer living in Santa Rosa Beach. When she is not working, she can be found in the water or exploring the beauty of Florida.