By: Frank Gromling
Owner of the Ocean Art Gallery
Ocean Art Gallery will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday August 6th at the Ormond Beach Mainstreet Art Walk. Owner and manager Frank Gromling invites all patrons and others enjoying the art walk to visit the gallery to view new artwork while enjoying live music and birthday refreshments.
The gallery spun off from Gromling’s national book publishing company, Ocean Publishing, winner of several Benjamin Franklin Awards for excellence in publishing. In 2012, famed ocean protector Jean-Michel Cousteau was signed to write a four-book series on America’s National Marine Sanctuaries. That same week, acrylic artist Rick Cannizzaro stopped by the publishing office on A1A across from Flagler Pier to show Gromling his sea life paintings.
The timing couldn’t have been better, and Cannizzaro’s colorful art quickly covered the once-pristine walls of the publishing house. Soon after, the public was invited to informal art exhibitions and the beginning of an art gallery concept evolved. After expanding and moving to a larger location, Gromling decided the gallery needed an even stronger market location.
After an extensive search for retail space in nearby towns, Gromling chose the Granada Plaza Shopping Center at the intersection of Granada Boulevard and the A1A state road in Ormond Beach. On July 2, 2018, Ocean Art Gallery opened in a redesigned 3,000 square foot space right in the middle of the plaza. With over 20 local, national and international artists in various mediums, sizes and values, the gallery became an instant hit in the new community. The large space allowed for painting and professional coaching workshops, as well as educational lectures on art, health and conservation.
From his long history of community involvement in Flagler County, Gromling quickly added his knowledge and expertise to community groups at his new art home in Volusia County. Today he remains active in several conservation projects, as well as Ormond Beach Mainstreet; Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee; and most recently, his appointment by Governor Ron DeSantis to the Florida Council on Art and Culture.
Entering its 11th year, the gallery’s next major artistic endeavor is the national marketing of the pen and ink drawings of Elliot Tiber, who first came to prominence for his critical role in Woodstock Art. and Music Festival in 1969. Gromling decided to showcase Tiber’s art in the gallery by showing the classic Ang Lee-directed film “Taking Woodstock” on August 15, 16 and 17, the original Woodstock festival dates. The event is free and tickets are available on Eventbrite.com.
In just 10 years, Ocean Art Gallery has grown from a small commercial outgrowth of a publishing house to a respected art gallery representing the best local, national and international artists where the atmosphere is friendly, electric, educational and fun. Yet, as Gromling says, “There’s so much more to do!”