Maya Blume-Cantrell, Ceramics Artist in Residence
From a young age, Maya was always encouraged to express her creativity and expand her horizons. After beginning a study of architecture, Maya discovered her love of form and shape. Realizing she found the sculptural aspects most intriguing, she transferred to a full time art student. Once her hands found the clay, she knew she had found her medium. Since graduation from Auburn University with a BFA, she has continued to explore the infinite possibilities of clay, and has been a celebrated contributor to many art collectives, galleries, workshops, and charities.
Kerry Parks, Glass Artist in Residence
Kerry Parks is originally from Canyon Country, CA, but has been a resident of Gulf Shores, AL since 1999. She has been an artist of many mediums for as long as she can remember, but began studying predominately glass in college. During her undergraduate degree, she explored glass blowing, kiln-formed glass, ladle pouring, glass casting, as well as implementing imagery into glass. Parks earned her BFA from the University of South Alabama in 2014 and is currently a full-time glass artist and instructor for The Hot Shop at the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, AL.
Dan Rush, Glass Artist in Residence
Dan Rush has had a lifelong interest in art and creativity. About 15 years ago, he began to learn lamp working and torch work to make glass beads. In 2011, he was given a gift of a glass blowing lesson and was captivated. Dan is now a full time glass blower in The Hot Shop and finds it to be a great outlet for creativity. Dan and his wife Cathy also own Wolf Bay Coffee, supplying freshly roasted coffee to local establishments.
Amy Dimario, Gallery Associate
Amy Dimario has been a nurse since 1996, dedicated to patient education, however; Amy fell in love with the Coastal Arts Center and joined the staff in 2012. She helps run the day-to-day operations of the Gallery and has a true passion for the arts. Amy is married to Nick DiMario, a local restaurateur; together they have three beautiful daughters. In August of 2013, Amy was awarded the Island Spirit Award recognizing her talent and reputation of offering world class service to our visitors at the Gallery. If you come to the Arts Center Amy will greet you with a smile!
Brandy Thomley, Gallery Associate
Brandy Thomley is from Montgomery, AL and would visit the coastal area often throughout the years. While visiting our Festival of Arts event in Orange Beach several years ago and seeing our Gallery for the first time she thought to herself, "What a wonderful place this would be to work!" Her love of art was sparked in college while taking a survey course of art history. She was inspired to continue in the art field by becoming an interior designer and has worked in floral design/ arrangement for years. Brandy's wish of working with the Arts Center has finally come to fruition - now working at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach she is enjoying living in our community with her husband, David, and their two beautiful girls.
Amoreena Brewton, Art Education Coordinator
Amoreena has deep family roots in this area going back to 1861. Her love for the island is evident in her dedication to the community. After earning degrees in Communications and Psychology, she completed her Master’s program in Sociology at the University of South Alabama. After 13 years as a teacher at Gulf Shores High School and 5 years as an energy consultant in Baldwin County, she is happily working with artists of all ages and stages here at the Coastal Arts Center.
Katrina Anderson, Weddings & Special Events Coordinator
A native of southern California, Katrina Anderson feels much more at home along the Gulf Coast, with all of it's southern charm, than she ever did in the big city. Katrina, along with her husband Jerry, spent many years traveling and performing with The New Christy Minstrels before relocating to Alabama in 1988. Asked why she chose to move to Alabama, she always tells people that she was on her way to Nashville and somehow took a wrong turn, and ended up in paradise! Katrina's greatest passion was homeschooling her two children, Glennellen and Paden; where she used her talents to facilitate special events for the homeschool association. Now that they are grown and out on their own, Katrina has found a new passion...the Coastal Arts Center. Serving as their new Wedding and Special Events Coordinator, Katrina looks forward to helping make each event booked at the Coastal Art Center a memorable one.
Desiree Blackwell, Director
Originally from the Atlanta, Georgia area, Desiree Blackwell has a background in education administration and community leadership, and volunteered for several years with a Georgia fine arts gallery. She also has experience in multiple custom home building projects which served her well during the long construction phase of the new Coastal Arts Center gallery. Community is Desiree's passion; her business, educational and life experience have given her the tools to take her passion to the Coastal Arts Center and lead the talented staff therein. She truly believes in the city motto "Life is better here."