“Nature at its Best” Orchid Island Art Club exhibit on display at ELC/Dr. Dave’s Blue Beard Challenge

arts & entertainment

The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) now features the work of many local artists from Orchid Island Art Club (OIAC) in their new exhibit, “Nature at its Best”. With over 30 pieces of art ranging from photography to oil on canvas, the ELC’s lagoon room attracts nature and art lovers alike.

For the artist, inspiration is key. When a writer has a block, he or she must think outside the box. When artists find their creativity is blocked, one of the best “re-boots” is communicating with nature—a walk in the woods or along the edge of a lake, river or ocean to experience the best unspoiled sights of “Nature at its Best.”

“The Orchid Island Art Club is thrilled to be a living part of the Environmental Learning Center’s show “Nature at Its Best.” Taking a walk around the grounds of the Center has for years been an inspiration to the many artists that live here in Orchid Island. Our Club was formed in 2012 with a goal to include all who wanted to learn about art and create for themselves, and most importantly, to share their talents with each other,” said Judy Stach, show coordinator and past president of OIAC on behalf of Ruth Martin, Chair of Orchid Island Art Club and Nancy Ofstie, co-chair of Orchid Island Art Club.

One common bond the artists at Orchid Island Art Club found was that the Environmental Learning Center had to offer inspiration for artists of all levels. “It is one of the top places to visit and explore the sights, sounds, reflections and sweet breezes of the Vero life. We took our grandchildren on the evening pontoon boat ride and I found new subject matter everywhere I looked. Flora and Fauna enriches the artist’s spirit. This environment is unspoiled and unrivaled in its pure representation of simple pleasures that surround us all in a very tumultuous world,” said Judy Stach.

The ELC’s commitment for its artist series is displaying artwork from a wide diversity of artists and artwork mediums that align with their mission to educate, inspire and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being.

“We are overjoyed to partner with the talented artist from the Orchid Island Art Club on this exhibit. This is clearly a group that recognizes and appreciates the paradise we call home. As our close ELC neighbors from just across our mutually treasured Indian River Lagoon, it is a perfect combination of art, nature, and community,” said Barbara Schlitt Ford, Executive Director of the ELC.

The art exhibit is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Environmental Learning Center, 255 Live Oak Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963. Admission to the ELC’s campus is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Dr. Dave’s Blue Beard Challenge

Vero Beach, Fla. — You might’ve recalled seeing the Executive Director of the Environmental Learning Center (ELC), Barbara Schlitt Ford, around town styling some bright blue hair last year. Barbara’s Blue Hair Challenge started as a way to encourage people to donate to the ELC and raise funds for their annual campaign.

Barbara Schlitt-Ford with “Dr. Dave,” David Cox

But she was not the only one inspired to dye their hair blue…

Former ELC volunteer and staff Naturalist in the 1990’s, David Cox has been an avid supporter of the ELC for many years. The kids he enjoyed teaching as a Naturalist dubbed him Dr. Dave.

As a longtime ELC enthusiast, Dr. Dave served on the ELC Education Committee and helped design the boardwalks and canoe dock. More recently, he was a member of the ELC Master Planning Group, conducted environmental surveys and currently serves on the ELC Landscape Advisory and Interpretive Plan Committees.

Dr. Dave’s goal was to raise $10,000.

“My reason for proposing Dr. Dave’s Blue Beard Challenge is that for over 20 years now I have worked to make the ELC a success, and this challenge is one more effort to add to ELC’s successes,” said David.

Though the goal has not been met yet, you may still show your support to the ELC by donating at https://elc.donorshops.com/Donate

David has already shown his dedication to the ELC—check out Dr. Dave’s Blue Beard!

The Environmental Learning Center is a 64-acre 501(c)(3) not-for-profit nature center. Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. The ELC serves the community through school field trips, camps, lecture series, professional development and more. Our campus includes native plant gardens, boardwalks, kayaks, canoes, a pontoon boat, children’s play area and many other amenities that help increase access to nature for people of all ages.

The Environmental Learning Center is a 64-acre 501(c)(3) not-for-profit nature center. Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. The ELC serves the community through school field trips, camps, lecture series, professional development and more. Our campus includes native plant gardens, boardwalks, kayaks, canoes, a pontoon boat, children’s play area and many other amenities that help increase access to nature for people of all ages.

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