Our Story

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower, encourage and exhibit the creativity of established and emerging artists in Georgia and Florida

How do we do this?

  • Partnering with organizations that share our interests in art.
  • Offering traditional art classes, creative activities and art shows in unconventional places.
  • Growing our membership of outstanding painters and photographers that nurture other artists.
  • And have FUN!
Glen Simmions, Artist
Sandi Shaw, Founder

Board of Directors

Sandi Shaw, Chair

Joe Palmerio, Vice Chair

Ann McCrickard, Treasurer

Tracy Foutz Hunt, Secretary

Holly Scott

Mary O. Smith

Steven Walker

Linda Greaves

Mitch Brown

Katie Dobson Cundiff

Sara Simmons

A Tale of Good Accidents and Good People

Pines & Palms has evolved over the years from a tiny arts co-op to a more than 100-member non-profit organization. The idea of creating more opportunities for local artists to work started with three principles that remain key to the movement: 1) artists can work well together to create popular events, 2) they can have fun while they do it, and 3) art collectors will be excited by the work.

Spearheaded by Sandi Shaw, The Accidental Gallery (with a tag line of Doing, Showing, and Teaching Art Wherever We Can) was born in 2011 by a co-op group of 6 local artists and supporters from Thomasville and Boston (Georgia). 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 Photo camp 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.

Or so she thought.

With inspiration from award-winning artist friends Mary O and Joe, Thomasville Visitor’s Center Tourism Director Bonnie Hayes, and printmaker/graphic designer Sue McFadden, Sandi organized regional plein air events and established Thomasville’s annual Fall For Art which shows local art at several public venues. Because of their efforts, the Chamber of Commerce, Visitor’s Center, Thomas County Library, and the Thomasville History Center opened their doors to art shows.

In 2016, president of Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAP-SE) 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 2017, Pines & Palms: The Georgia-Florida Artists Association was awarded its 501(C)3 status.

Annual P&P events include Fall for Art and High Cotton Paint Out. Plein Air artist from the organization have become annual parts the of the Rose Show and Festival Show and and Victorian Christmas. The list of award-winning painters that these events have brought into this area include Joe Palmerio, Craig Reynolds, Bill Farnsworth, Mary O Smith, Steven Walker, Brenda Pinnick, Lydia Ellis, Paul Ladnier, Robert Leedy, Katie Cundiff Dobson and Randy Pitts.

In order to expand the membership of art and history lovers Sandi hosted a series of outings called BackRoads, BackRooms that explored historic gems like the homes of artist Laura Pope Forrester and Henry Gray Turner. Both were very influential on the shaping history of this part of Georgia. Pines & Palms also created a show of more than 20 paintings from the Ron Yrabedra’s early 19 Century portraits which was shown at the historic Lapham Patterson House as part of the Georgia Trust’s Ramble.

In the summer of 2019, Pines & Palms moved into the second floor of a large art space on the Vashti’s campus at 1815 East Clay St. The historic building was built as a Cuban Cigar Factory in 1893 with lots of tall windows and high ceilings. Members rent spaces and nationally known painters and photographer have held classes there. The same year classes for photographers attracting two of the biggest names: Alan Ross, and Dan Burkholder were launched with the help of Mitch Brown, one of the original members of the Accidental Gallery.

As a reaction to the pandemic, Pines & Palms learned how to present artwork by the members through an online store on our website. These shows are promoted on social media appealing to collectors. This option was supported by a generous grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts.

All of this is done by volunteers! There are two exceptions, there is a contractor to handle the website, and one for social media. Graphic designer Sue McFadden has been our most wonderful player from the beginning. Whew!

With this dream realized, the words of iconic PBS painter Bob Ross still ring true: We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents. What will be next? Come join us!