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.

While the Coes have since retired from curator duties, we are happy to announce the appointment of our new curator, Susan "Suze" Lavender. Suze Lavender 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. 


 The Galleries at First Pres

Opening Reception

Sunday, July 11, 2021


Featuring works by:

Pat deRobertis

Linda Irwin

Lolly Walton

Works by the late Rosalee Hume, presented by Sebastian River Art Club.

The Galleries at First Pres will offer an opening reception for a new Summer Show on Sunday, July 11, 2021, from 2:00 to 4:00pm. The show will feature the works of local artists Linda Irwin, Pat deRobertis, and Lolly Walton. The Sebastian River Art Club will also present artwork by the late Rosalee Hume. The galleries are located throughout the campus of First Presbyterian Church at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach. Admission is free. The church campus is open, and those who are fully vaccinated against COVID19 need not wear masks.

Linda Irwin studied fine arts at Stetson University. While raising her young children, she used some of these skills to help them make gifts, science projects, and posters. (All the “Mommy” things.) Linda also enjoyed assisting her yacht-broker husbands’ clients with decorating their yachts.  With three children in college, she returned to the job market, working in both the retail and non-profit sector.  While serving as The Development Director at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale (Now the Nova Southwestern Art Museum) she rekindled her love of art.  She enjoyed meeting many famous and not-so-famous artists.  Upon her retirement she became a docent and started to enroll in art classes and workshops.  Currently, Linda is a Docent-in-training at the Vero Beach Museum of Art and active in the Sebastian River Art Club, and the Art Guild at Indian River Estates.  A self-proclaimed “art class junkie”, Linda enjoys experimenting with various mediums and techniques. She also enjoys the socialization and sharing of ideas with other artists.  Linda hopes you like her work, or not…she works for the fun of creating, and the wonderful people it brings to her life.

Pat deRobertis is a Florida native who growing up in tropical Miami and summering in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She took workshops and classes in many mediums with many teachers over the years. She attended Florida State University the Sorbonne and is a Graduate Gemologist from the GIA. She and her husband, Frank, owned Italian Connection, importing gold jewelry from Italy for over thirty years. After a lifetime of business and world travel, she retired to Vero Beach in 2002 and began taking classes at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Her current favorite mediums include pen and ink, watercolor, alcohol inks, melted crayon, and painting on silk. Pat is part of the thriving Vero Beach art community as a member of Vero Beach Museum of Art, The Vero Beach Art Club, The Sebastian River Art Club, and the Florida Watercolor Society.

Lolly Walton’s colorful depictions of various subjects reflects what she loves to do best: capture everything in watercolor. Palms, statues, plants, landscapes, seascapes, and more keep her busy. She uses lots of color and detail in her works.  Walton has been painting since 1997 after taking lessons from various art teachers in Miami and Melbourne.  “Every day is a new day when it comes to watercolor!”, she says. When Lolly is not creating, she loves sharing the joy of watercolor with others.  She currently holds classes on “Watercolor Techniques for Beginners” at the Sebastian River Art Club. 

Rosalee T. Hume was a lifelong resident of the Treasure Coast.  Born on November 15, 1912 in Roseland, FL, she moved with her family to Sebastian in 1917, and Micco, FL in 1941.  Rosalee was a respected artist in the community. She studied at Ringling School of Art, Florida State College for Women, and University of Florida.  She was a founding member of Sebastian River Art Club, and an active member with Vero Beach Art Club and Museum, Brevard Art Center, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.  Her sculptures and paintings depict the Seminole and Osceola people and their life, influenced by family holidays with a Seminole Guide, Willie John, and his inclusion of the Indian culture to their celebrations. Over one hundred bronze sculptures and thirty-five paintings have been gifted to the SRAC.  Rosalee passed away December 17, 2010. The Sebastian River Art Club created a scholarship in her honor, awarded to a student pursuing a career in the arts.  Recently her two daughters, Ellen Schmidt, and Rosemary Hume, donated a number of Rosalee’s oil paintings and bronze sculptures to the Sebastian River Art Club (SRAC). In the spirit of sharing Rosalee’s work with the world, the SRAC will facilitate a traveling exhibit throughout the Treasure Coast starting with the Galleries at First Pres. Rosalee also created the life size sculpture of Paul Kroegel overlooking the Indian River Lagoon in Riverside Park, and her work has been displayed at the White House for one of their Christmas Tree decorations.