For many art enthusiasts, Florence, Oregon is a must-see place. The town boasts multiple public art installations, fascinating art galleries, and some amazing wall murals. It is thanks to Florence’s Public Arts Committee that the multitude of wall murals and art displays are available to the public. The Public Arts Committee is an all-volunteer committee that was established to develop both a public art program and a public art policy for the city of Florence.
Not only will you find plenty of art galleries to browse and gift shops to buy art pieces, but you will also find art everywhere you turn in the city of Florence. The artwork displayed in the galleries and the public areas of Florence also have a unique feel about them. Many of the art pieces shown are inspired by the natural elements of the Oregon coast, such as the ocean, dunes, rivers, and the wildlife in the area.
Here are some of the best places to find all the art your heart desires:
Public Art Galleries in Old Town
Sticks and Stones Gallery
Featuring potters, jewelers, sculptors, and painters, perusing this gallery is like taking a nature walk. In fact, all of the artists at this gallery hold a special connection with nature that their art mirrors.
1368 Bay St. Florence, OR 97439
Wind Drift Gallery
Wind Drift Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in Florence. With a central location in Old Town, it’s a stop that visitors rarely pass by. In fact, Wind Drift also has a gift shop attached that offers a fantastic selection of salt water taffy, Florence souvenirs, and more.
1395 Bay St., Florence, OR 97439
Blue Heron Gallery
This gallery is ocean themed. Established in 1990, Blue Heron is another senior gallery in Old Town that absolutely can’t be missed.
1385 Bay St., Florence, OR 97439
The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center
Each month, the Visitor’s Center features art by local artists, giving local and out-of-town visitors a taste of Florence’s vibrant art scene.
290 Hwy 101 Florence, OR 97439
The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
This museum plays host to a variety of information, historical pictures, and displays about the Siuslaw River Area. Along with the art located inside, the museum’s patio is home to a large mural that depicts various aspects of the region’s history.
278 Maple St in Florence, OR. 97439
The Florence Regional Arts Alliance
Their mission is to “to unify and support all the arts, enrich cultural life and stimulate economic vitality in the Florence area.”. Locals and visitors can see the brilliance and genius of this artist co-op’s members in two- and three-dimensional art—and enroll in various art classes and workshops taught by alliance members. Black
120 Maple Street, Florence, OR 97439
The Backstreet Gallery
The Backstreet Gallery is a local co-op, featuring more than 20 artistic residents in Florence. Being a co-op gallery means that the members are co-owners of the business. This gallery offers an ever-changing display of original art of various mediums, including paintings, photography, glass, wood, paper and fabric arts, as well as many other art forms.
1421 Bay Street, Florence OR
The River Gallery
This gallery features only local artists. The gallery was envisioned as a place for local artists to both “display and celebrate their work,” and plays host to monthly art walks, receptions, and open houses. Currently, the gallery features works by twenty different artists.
1335 Bay Street Old Town Florence, OR 97439
Public Art Galleries in Midtown
Dragon Art Company
Not only does Dragon Art offer art and craft classes and camps, but they also offer henna and mehndi, tattoos, various gifts, and a monthly craft subscription box.
520 Laurel St. Florence OR 97439
The Florence Events Center
The events center regularly hosts art shows, along with its usual in-house art galleries. Galleries One and Five, display local art daily. For information on pricing, and how to have your artwork shown in one of their galleries, the events center asks that you give them a call. The center is host to “Porter Performs,” a sea lion sculpture by Colleen Goodwin-Chronister.
715 Quince St. Florence, OR 97439
Siuslaw Public Library
Don’t forget the library! They are proud to host a monthly community art show. Each month, the library’s community art show is a different theme. Community members can go onto the library’s website to find out what the theme is for the upcoming month, as well as more information on how to participate. The library also plays host to “Stories of the Sea,” which is a tile mosaic done by members of Florence’s community.
1460 9th Street, Florence, OR 97439
Serene Abundance Studio
This studio is not only home to an art studio but is also where Serena Appel has her working art space, and where she practices both counseling and creative therapy. Appel regularly opens up her gallery during Florence’s Second Saturday Gallery Tour, as well as for scheduled studio space. Her studio is located inside the Florence Business Center.
1525 12th St., Suite 8 Florence, OR 97439
Public Art Galleries in Uptown 101
BeauxArts Fine Arts Materials and Gallery
Here, you can not only pick up any art materials you may need, but also where you can submit your art for them to show. The shop and gallery regularly have a public art call listed on their website.
2285 Highway 101 Suite H (Coastal Fitness Plaza) Florence, Oregon 97453
Silver Lining Boutique and The Gallery Above
This place is home to many unique items such as jewelry, clothing, and gifts. The boutique and gallery were created “so you can be the most incredible ‘gyp-hipsy’ in the entire universe.”
22nd. Street & Highway 101 Florence, Oregon 97453
This 1,000-plus square-foot shop features about 170 pieces of Dan “Heffy” Heffron’s wood and stone carvings, including a wood carvings of a golden eagle with an eight-foot wingspan, a table-sized turtle, and life-sized octopus.
1856 37th St., Florence, Oregon 97453 (37th and Highway 101)
Oregon Coast Military Museum
This special museum displays artifacts, pictures, and artwork that depict military heritage, vehicles, and volunteer-created life-sized dioramas. The dioramas show war scenes from World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and Operation Desert Storm.
2145 Kingwood St Florence OR United States 97439
Wall Murals in Florence, Oregon
Florence also plays host to several public wall murals, such as:
- “Got Sand?” by Rosy Clark is located at 249 Highway 101.
- “Sea Life Mural” by Mark Storaasli is at 1498 Bay Street.
- “Florence Scenic Column” is a series of painted tiles by Kat Cunningham on the Port of Siuslaw Boardwalk, located at the corner of Nopal & Bay streets.
- Stitching Time, Weaving Cultures,” by Marino-Heidel Studios, includes iconic imagery from the Siuslaw region presented in a colorful, modern style. East wall of the Central Lincoln Public Utilities building, 966 Highway 101
Public Art Installations
Along with the multitude of art galleries and wall murals, Florence also displays many public art installations, including:
- “Transformation” by Paul Reimer
- “Sitting Wave Part II” and “West Coast Overlook” by Jesse Swickard
- “Bridgeport Girl” by Mack Holman
- “Cascade” by David Miller
- “Totem Pole” by Steve Benson
- “Horse Sculpture” by several unnamed Kenyan artists
- “Joy”, a woman passionately hugs a book to her chest. This bronze sculpture is located at the entrance to the Siuslaw Public Library, 1460 9th St
Florence Passport of the Arts
Did you know that the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, the Siuslaw News, and community arts organizations have created the Florence Passport to the Arts? It’s a guide to direct visitors and community members to galleries and public art exhibits in the Florence area.
A great way to experience art in Florence while also obtaining stickers is to participate in the Second Saturday Art Walk. Every month, the community of Florence celebrates artists in the community by hosting this special event in Historic Old Town.
When a visitor or community member gets the passport, they can start visiting various locations to collect stickers. The tour is complete when the passport contains stamps from all 10 locations. Note: there are more than 10 locations on the passport, but only 10 places give away stickers.
As a reward, anyone who completes the passport receives a valuable prize! When a passport is filled, it can be mailed or dropped off at The Siuslaw News, PO Box 10 Florence, OR, 97439 or 148 Maple St., Florence. In addition, passports will be entered in a drawing for gifts from local businesses and artists. Winners are drawn monthly.
Visitors and community members can get a Florence Passport to the Arts at
- Florence Visitor’s Center, 290 Highway 101; Siuslaw News, 148 Maple St.
- BeauxArts Fine Art Materials, 2285 Highway 101
- Or any of the 10 participating locations
Participants can share their experiences on social media using #FlorenceArtPassport.
Stay with Us
Whether you are an avid artist or just a spectator of the form, you will enjoy seeing the wide variety of the art, installations, and wall murals that Florence, Oregon has to offer. Book a stay at River House Inn today to experience all the art Florence has to offer! It may even inspire you to create some art of your own.