New Smyrna Beach: A Vibrant Arts and Cultural Scene
New Smyrna Beach has earned itself a reputation for offering natural beauty in spades, with stunning beaches, natural trails and a network of canals and lagoons. However, it is not just rich in natural beauty, but also in arts and culture. In fact, New Smyrna Beach has been recognized as one of the United States’ top small cities for the arts.
The city has a quirky, laidback atmosphere that is certainly helped by its generous population of artists, photographers and writers, who have fostered a lively arts scene with an impressive network of galleries, boutiques and cultural institutions. Add in beautiful architecture and a fascinating history, and you’ll see that New Smyrna Beach’s beauty is far more than skin-deep.
Here are some of the best and most unmissable places to enjoy arts and culture in New Smyrna Beach.
The Hub on Canal
For the perfect introduction to the many up-and-coming and established artists in the New Smyrna Beach area, head for The Hub on Canal. This not-for-profit collective sees more than 75 local artists under one roof, proudly displaying their works across mediums including photography, painting, ceramics, jewelry and more. The Hub also has regular art and wellness classes which are suitable for both adults and children.
Located along Canal Street, the Florida Galleria is a gallery and shop devoted to displaying and selling the works of local artists. A favorite amongst local residents in the know, many of the pieces on display are unique, colorful and beautiful – making them the perfect souvenirs for your amazing stay in New Smyrna Beach.
Fernandez Photography & Art Gallery
Founded by acclaimed landscape and surf photographer Gabeto Fernandez, this gallery has today expanded to support many other local artists, as well as some international creators. The Fernandez Photography & Art Gallery features an ever-rotating selection of works from local artists in mediums including acrylic, watercolor, ceramics, photography and more, while it also supports those from further afield through the sale of jewelry handmade by disadvantaged artists in Latin America.
Atlantic Center for the Arts
Another not-for-profit art center based in New Smyrna Beach, the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) has been creating incredible opportunities for local artists since 1977. It offers residencies to emerging and mid-career artists, as well as many lessons and classes to people of all ages and backgrounds, including those experiencing social disadvantage. Set amongst 67 acres, visitors are welcome to see the grounds and visit the art gallery, theater and studios – you may even get chatting with an up-and-coming local artist!
The Harris House and Arts on Douglas
Founded in 1991 by trustees Ed and Joan Harris, Arts on Douglas is a not-for-profit cultural community center serves the New Smyrna Beach community with its many arts education programs for children, teens, adults and the elderly. All year round, it boasts an impressive calendar of events and classes for those looking to let their creative side soar! It also shares its main space with the commercial gallery Arts on Douglas, so whether you’re looking to catch a class or perhaps purchase a beautiful new artwork for your home, it is well worth visiting.
The Little Theatre
For over seventy years, The Little Theatre has been supporting local writers, actors, directors, while simultaneously enthralling visitors and locals with its impressive season of comedies, dramas and musicals. It is community theatre at its best, and audiences of all ages are sure to love the performances put on by the enthusiastic and talented volunteers. Be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment, as performances do sell out.
Jewelry of Joy
If you are looking for something extra-special and lovingly handcrafted to remind you of your time in New Smyrna Beach, a visit to Jewelry of Joy may be in order. Owned and operated by nationally renowned artists Joy and Gregg Badders, the husband and wife team create stunning jewelry designs together from their store and gallery on Flagler Avenue. Their colorful, lively designs aim to represent the joy of life, and are wonderful to look at, or to buy as a beautiful souvenir.