Part 3: Vero Beach Art Village at Edgewood
Imagine an entire neighborhood that has a common goal of retrofitting the streets, homes, and motifs surrounding it, in hopes to increasingly beautify and revive the area as a means to attract more visitors downtown.
That’s what the Edgewood community in downtown Vero Beach has begun the process of, backed behind the city and cultural development committees. The Vero Beach Art VIllage (VBAV) is currently working with the City of Vero Beach to rezone the district to allow for multiple use home/artists studios and cafes in the Edgewood neighborhood. The Village is adjacent to the designated Art District in the Historic Downtown area. While their vision is big, the leadership team behind the VBAV is patient and meticulous in all of it’s planning measures.
“We envision a vibrant downtown art scene, where food and drink mix with music and gallery openings,” said members of the leadership team in a recent art village newsletter. The team consists of 36 members presently.
One notable artist who has contributed to the Edgewood art designs is muralist Pablo Power, who has painted murals and most recently transformed his recreational vehicle into a mural in and of itself. Other artistic residents include Travis Beckett, Anna Brady, Dale McGee, Dawn Miller, Ross Power, and Skip and Saskia Fuller.
Anna Brady has traveled the world, however considers Vero Beach home. She grew up in the historic Riomar area of Vero’s barrier island and has returned to Vero where she established herself a historian and preservationist.
“It’s very exciting to envision Edgewood as a home for artists,” Brady said. “We feel fortunate to be a part of this positive transformation and the growth of arts and culture in downtown.” She and her husband, Bill, will soon begin construction of their home in Edgewood.
The Fullers are new to the Vero Beach Art Village. Skip is an artist and boat builder, and Saskia is a sculptor and painter. When not supporting local ventures and contributing to the creativity in Edgewood, the couple sails the Caribbean with their two sons.
Dale McGee has owned a home in Edgewood since the 1980s and rents studio space in her backyard to a local artist. Dawn Miller is one of McGee’s former tenants, and she now owns her own home in the neighborhood. Miller, who specializes in pastel art, manages an program through the Vero Beach Museum of Art called ‘Art for Health’s Sake.’ The program is designed to teach children and adults, who wouldn’t ordinarily have exposure to the arts, to create. She also offers painting classes in her own home studio.
Travis Beckett, owner of Wild Thyme Catering, is a long-time local and lover of music and the arts. His business is located at 1785 Old Dixie Highway. His chef creations are his own form of artwork within the Arts District, alongside the Edgewood neighborhood.
The general goal of the VBAV is for artists to be able to live, work, and sell from their homes and within their own community. Support will be from local businesses, cafes, bed and breakfasts, and galleries. The attraction to the community will be self-sustaining, and new artists will always be welcome to participate in the revamping of the area.