The Galleries at First Pres

The Galleries at First Pres began in January of 2017 and was founded by Dr. Jacob Craig, with Peter and Carole Coe as curators. Their mission is to feature a wide variety of works by local artists, on rotation quarterly throughout the year. The Galleries are located throughout the campus of First Presbyterian Church. They are open for viewing from 12pm to 3pm, Monday through Thursday. Guided tours are available Wednesdays between 3pm and 5pm. Admission is free and open to the community.

Our current curator is Mrs. Susan "Suze" Lavender. Suze was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island, NY. Her two loves were always Art and the Sea. She loves to draw and paint moments to release emotions. Although she has never been formally trained in Art, except for the odd class in a variety of different mediums, her art shows a natural talent and beauty that exhibits a deep love and the heart and soul she puts into her work. Since meeting and studying under Frits Van Eeden in the last five years, she feels that he has opened up a window of what could be. Suze’s art now has the energy, emotion, color, and passion that she’s always strived to put on canvas. Suze says, “I have been an artist my entire life, but I have had no formal training until recently. I knew I had so much to say and had no idea how to transfer my thoughts onto canvas. There was a time when I viewed photographic and detailed production as the epitome of artistry. Gratefully, that is no longer the case. My New York upbringing is especially present in my cityscapes, and I've discovered how to communicate my ideas emotionally through textures, color choice, and subject. I've yet to travel the world however my paintings have created a world for me.”

Our Artist in Residence, Sheila Lougheed, has some of her artwork displayed throughout campus. Her most recent religious-inspired works can be found lining the stairwell of the Center for Christian Life- a 7-painting series that was created live during Sunday services in the Lenten Season of 2018. Each piece represents a different theme during the period of Lent. The final work of this series is a 12-foot tall painting of a dove to represent to resurrection and rebirth of Christ. 

Summer Art Show - July through September, 2022

The Galleries at First Pres will offer an opening reception of the Summer Art Show on Sunday, July 24, 2022, from 2:00 to 4:00pm. The show will feature the works of local artists Bruno Paz, Pamela Schwartz, and Huey Zaplin. The galleries are located throughout the campus of First Presbyterian Church at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach. Admission is free, light refreshments will be provided.

Bruno Paz (Formerly known as Leonardo Severo) was born in Cuba in 1946. He graduated in 1968 from the Escuela Provincial de Arte in Pinar del Rio. His art has been extensively exhibited in Cuba, New York, and Coral Gables in both solo and group exhibits. His work ranges from oil, acrylics, tempera to gauze, venturing successfully into sculptures using papier-mâché, always the color as its protagonist.

Pamela Schwartz enjoys creating abstract acrylic paintings as well as watercolor animal portraits. She was trained in painting and drawing at Humboldt State University in California. Throughout her career, she has shown in venues across California, Georgia and Florida, as well as many virtual galleries online.  Her most notable series were “The Four Faces of Christ” and “The Dog Days of Summer.”  She is currently completing a series of watercolor paintings which celebrate our Florida Wildlife.  Her focus in each piece of this series is to study the eyes, the “windows to the soul.”

Huey Zaplin lives in Sebastian, surrounded by water, color, and movement, His art is free-flowing, spontaneous, and kinetic. Using numerous unconventional tools, techniques, and mediums, he has developed his own style. He says, ”My love of art really started as a child growing up in NYC.  It was an explosion of art and culture, all within walking distance.”  Winning awards in 2019 and 2020 at Bird and Nature Art Shows was a feather in his cap. Huey’s art can be seen at various venues around town, most notably, a mural that he painted for Pareidolia Brewery in 2020.