Claire Gagné

Claire Gagne
Claire Gagne

Born in Maine and raised in Quebec, Claire moved to Florida in the early 80s. Influenced by several artists on the Emerald Coast, she renewed her passion for art.

Now the owner of Emerald Coast Gallery, representing 30+ artists, Claire thrives in her gallery studio.

Besides showing her work in galleries and shows across the southeast US, Claire also provides classes & offers commissions.

click here to visit Claire’s FB page

Michael John Cheney

Michael John Cheney

Artist Statement

Michael had an interest in art as a child drawing Marvel Comic book characters with his best friend Steve Horner.  He later discovered painting with Carol Cain as they studied under the great American Landscape Artist, Ed Kellogg, at Covenant College.  Michael has also dabbled in metal sculpture with lead free pewter, tie dye and air brush.

Now, because of the overwhelming support of his family, friends, and peers in the art community Michael has finally plunged into a career in photography and painting.  Currently Michael has about 200 photographs of the Emerald Coast.  Michael also has a dozen oil paintings and 25 acrylic paintings.

Michael photographs and paints scenes from the Emerald Coast including portraits, flowers and birds.

His style has been described as “Soft Realism.”  One patron said, “I love your artwork! Its like mild Salvador Dali with a touch of serenity.”

Michael is a member of the Arts and Design Society of Okaloosa County (ADSO), HH Arts Gallery, Emerald Cost Gallery & Gifts and The DeviantArt Community.  Michael has won many art awards in drawing, painting, and photography over the years.  He sells his art on-line, at festivals, and through local galleries.  You can see four of his photographs on permanent display at the Okaloosa County Court House including “Fishin’ in Heaven.”

Biographical Information

Michael John Cheney is a native of the Gulf Coast.  He was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, September 30, 1955.  He attended Fort Walton Beach and Eliot’s Point Elementary Schools, Meigs Middle School, and graduated with Honors from Choctawhatchee High School in 1974.   Michael attended NWFS College and then moved on to graduate with Honors from Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Biology, Bible, and Education.  After graduation Michael married his sweet heart, Phyllis Early of Valparaiso, Florida, in 1982.  He has two children Doria Grace and Luke Cheney.  He started his teaching career as the middle and high school science instructor for Rocky Bayou Christian Academy.  After six years at RBCA Michael began teaching for the Okaloosa School District, first as a horticulture instructor and then as a high school science teacher.  Currently Michael is a chemistry instructor at Crestview High School,  (Go Bulldogs!!) where he has been teaching since 1990.  When he retires from teaching in 2021 he will pursue a full time career in art.

Sherri McKendree

I recently retired from a 32 year career in the education field. I painted when I was in school before I started my family and my career. I have recently picked up a paintbrush again and I have found a forgotten pleasure in painting and creating. I live near a beautiful lake in Alabama and I frequent the lovely beaches of Florida; therefore, much of my inspiration comes from the breathtaking scenes of nature. Since I am just evolving anew as an artist; I tend to experiment with different techniques and materials. I love working with water colors, acrylic and heavy gesso. I enjoy the works of other artists. They inspire me to learn and get better at my craft. Painting for me is the perfect outlet for my emotions and keeps my creative side alive!

Joy Fine Artist Bio

Joy Fine

It began for Joy in about 1999 when a friend invited her to join a watercolor group to paint just for fun. It was her first experience with watercolor and was the first time she had painted in about 20 years. With help from her friends she was learning and loving it. She completed a watercolor class at OWCC and began attending workshops for watercolor as well as acrylic, oil and silk. She began joining art organizations, entering art shows and festivals. The award she is most proud of is the calendar cover art for Arts and Design Society because the winner is selected by the other artists in the group. As her painting began to sell, Joy started showing in local shops and galleries.

Please visit Joy’s facebook page here!

Maxine Orange Artist Bio

Maxine Orange

A given name like Maxine Orange is something to live up to. Originally from Montgomery, AL; Maxine has always loved making and creating. with a passion for painting she feels lucky to have had a multifaceted career as an artist. Maxine lists her accomplishments as producing her own Maxine Orange handbag line; working as a graphic designer for Quiksilver & Roxy retail stores; creating a jewelry collection with one of her best friends; AND being an artist in an amazing place like Destin, Florida.

Visit Maxine’s website HERE


Jennifer Viaene Artist Bio

Jennifer Viaene

Jennifer Viaene was born and raised in Wisconsin, inspired by watching her grandmother paint. While raising three daughters, she nurtured her love of color through interior decorating, sewing and crafting.

It was not until she spent a year abroad in Tasmania that she began painting, and her artistic journey took off. Influenced by the unique local culture, she began creating and selling aboriginal-style dot art in Australia.

After returning to the U.S., Jennifer settled in Destin, Florida, where her midwestern roots and Australian adventure continue to inspire her diverse artwork in a variety of mediums – acrylics, glass, jewelry and her most beloved dot art.

In 2015, Jennifer realized her long-time dream – opening Emerald Coast Gallery and Gifts, where she mentors developing artists and hosts a variety of classes open to the public.

Visit Jennifer’s website HERE!

Welcome back!

Hi there… Our website is undergoing some updates! Thanks for your patience while we get everything back up and running.  If you have any questions about our gallery feel free to give us a shout, pop by to visit the shop when you are in our neighborhood, or hit us up on facebook & instagram!

If you are an artist looking for a great place to display your work, please get in touch! We currently have some spots open & available.