What's Important to Us
Pines & Palms strives to create economic vitality through artistic expression. Our primary objectives are to provide adult artists with painting classes, continuing education, and other opportunities; to offer regional artists curated shows that promote work and offer sales outlets across Georgia and Florida; to develop ongoing relationships with other organizations to serve our mutual missions; to utilize original artist works that celebrate our natural and historic sites; and to raise awareness through art for environmental threats and issues.
Sandi Shaw, Founder
A Tale of Two (Very Small) Cities
Pines & Palms has evolved over six years from a tiny arts co-op to a more than 60-member non-profit organization. The idea of creating more opportunities for local artists to work started with two principles that remain part of the movement: 1) artists can work well together to create popular events, and 2) they can have fun while they do it.
Spearheaded by Sandi Shaw and her studio, The Accidental Gallery (with a tag line of Doing, Showing, and Teaching Art Wherever We Can) a group of local artists and supporters from Thomasville and Boston (Georgia) formed a co-op, opened a gallery, and held frequent art shows. They featured their work and that of visiting artists with fun evening receptions that often brought over 100 guests to sleepy Boston (which shook up some of the teetotalers in the quiet town).
A series of events soon followed: a curated show of the lost work of Jack Adams; 24-hour Art-A-Thons; Dog Days Afternoon; Classes and exhibits with nationally renowned pastel artist, Clive Tyler; an Antique Quilt Show; Frontiers Day Show; a Glen Simmions Exhibit; and an iPhone Photocamp with renowned photographer, Dan Berkholder.
In cooperation with Thomasville’s Wiregrass Gallery in 2013, the Accidental Gallery arranged the area’s first plein air event—complete with exhibits and workshops—drawing talented regional artists, among them outstanding painters Mary O. Smith and Joe Palmerio.
In 2015 Sandi and the Accidental Gallery relocated from Boston to Thomasville where the membership quietly dissolved, leaving her with the name and best wishes.
With inspiration from award-winning artist friend Mary O Smith, Thomasville Visitor’s Center Tourism Director Bonnie Hayes, and printmaker/graphic designer Sue McFadden, Sandi organized two more regional plein air events and established Thomasville’s annual Fall For Art which shows local art at several public venues in November. Because of Sandi’s efforts, the Chamber of Commerce, Visitor’s Center, Thomas County Library, Thomas County Historical Society, and Museum of History have now all opened their doors to local artists.
In 2016, president of Plein Air Painters of the Southeast and Sarasota’s Ringling School of Art and Design instructor Katie Dobson Cundiff, asked Sandi if her group would be interested in hosting PAP-SE for a week-long plantation plein air event. With a resounding yes, Sandi and other facilitators crafted the framework for a Georgia- and Florida-based collective of artists. In April of this year, Pines & Palms: The Georgia-Florida Artists Association was awarded its 501(C)3 status.
In addition to four scheduled events on the docket this Fall, Pines & Palms will proudly enter into a partnership with the Thomasville Center for the Arts and utilize Studio 209 beginning in September. It will offer studio space to working artists, hold classes, host workshops, and curate exhibits. Artists are excited about their integral role in helping to make Thomasville the focus of the arts in the Southeast.
With this dream realized, the words of iconic PBS painter Bob Ross still ring true: We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.