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Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition Accent



In 2015, after a visit to a European town showcasing an outdoor sculpture exhibition, Thomas (Tom) Kramer returned to his home in Rosemary Beach, Florida, with the idea to create something similar. Tom and his wife, Mary Zahner, were some of the first homeowners in Rosemary Beach and dedicated their time and expertise to many community efforts. Working with the approval and assistance of then Rosemary Beach Town Manager, David Bailey, Tom began the journey to create the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition.


It took much time and exploration to find the best model for the exhibition. From the beginning, Rosemary Beach Property Owners Association (POA), homeowners, merchants, and community partners have supported the success of the exhibition. In the initial stage, Jennifer Carvalho was instrumental in establishing the vision, framework for the organization, and the RBSE logo. Other early contributors to the effort included Victoria Lee, Lawrence Pugh, Marsha King, and Linda Gifford. Victoria and Lawrence were influential in the placement of Colors of My Mind by the late George Rodrigue, by special arrangement with the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts that was formed by Mr. Rodrigue and continues to support a variety of art educational programs. Rodrigue’s depiction of a blue dog dominates his art and is widely recognized. The sculpture placement coincided with the first exhibition. Wendy Rodrigue, his wife, also served as an advisor to the exhibition and was instrumental in securing the sculpture as a donation to Rosemary Beach. Colors of My Mind, located in the East Long Green Park, is now a beloved part of Rosemary Beach.


The first exhibition was held from May to October 2017. The vision was to complement the architectural heritage and natural beauty of Rosemary Beach by placing art in pocket parks, greens, gardens, and town square. For this first endeavor, Tom reached out personally, cold calling many sculptor artists to invite them to submit work for consideration. As incentives to the artists, a small stipend was provided, a two-day stay in Rosemary Beach (thanks to the support of merchants and homeowners), and an offer to advertise the art as available for purchase at the end of the exhibition.


From the applications, eleven sculptures were selected. The featured artists had extensive resumes, their work included in numerous public, corporate, private, and museum collections both here in the states and abroad. Otocast, a smartphone app, provided an audio tour of the exhibition, featuring the artists themselves. The Rosemary Beach POA staff, Townscape Enhancement Committee, and Rosemary Beach POA board members were also involved and key to the success of the exhibition. At the conclusion of the exhibition, the POA approved the purchase of the best in show, Votive, by Gregory Johnson. Votive is located in North Barrett Square.


By the second exhibition, RBSE had established itself as a signature event, being the first community on 30A to promote public art through sculptures. Held from May 2019 through February 2020, the exhibition received over 130 applications, and 16 sculptures were selected for inclusion. This exhibition included new offerings. There were several opening events, including a donors’ party, an artist panel discussion, and a homeowners’ party. Ron Strickland, a local artist, joined the planning committee and offered in-person tours of the sculptures. The second exhibition also marked the first student engagement effort. The students of Ohana School created Invasive, a sculpture of a Lionfish fashioned out of discarded plastic debris collected from our Gulf waters, beach, and surrounding areas. The Lionfish, an invasive species was chosen to highlight how invasive plastics are to the ocean environment. Invasive was on display in South Barrett Square and later moved to West Water Street at Spanish Town Lane. Once again, the POA approved the purchase of best in show, Empress, by Nathan Pierce, which is located at the entrance to Coquina Pool.


The third biennial exhibition was held from September 2021 through September 2022. This exhibition included a theme, entitled Caring about Tomorrow: Exploring Environmental Interdepence Through Public Art. Over 60 applications were received, and 14 sculptures were selected for the exhibition. Once again, opening events were held, and audio and in-person tours were offered. The student engagement project for this exhibition resulted in a student designed and created sculpture by the students of Magnet Innovation Center, Walton County’s public Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) school. Adoration of the Turtle was created to remind us of our role in protecting and preserving the beauty of our surroundings.


The 2021-22 exhibition resulted in three sculptures being added to the permanent collection at Rosemary Beach. Strong donor support enabled the purchase of the best in show, Holds Water: Kneeling Rock for Standing Rock, by Kimmerjae Macarus and the second place winner, Extinction Blues, by Charles Pilkey. Holds Water is in front of the Rosemary Beach Property Owners Association Office on West Long Green, and Extinction Blues is located at the Splash Park on Bridgetown Avenue. In addition, Steve Stevens purchased Bradbury by Kirsten Kainz in memory of his late wife, Jan Stevens. Bradbury is in the Butterfly Garden at Kingston Road.


As we launch the fourth biennial exhibition, we are reminded of all the time and effort that went into creating and implementing the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition. We are thankful to Tom Kramer and all the early planning committee members, the donors, and our town partners. We are moving forward to realize the vision and mission of RBSE.



The RBSE aspires to be the premier outdoor art exhibition in the southeast.



The RBSE is focused on enhancing the architectural and natural beauty of Rosemary Beach and providing opportunities for inspiration through the placement of outdoor art.


The town comprises 107 acres and 2500 feet of beach. Built according to the traditional neighborhood plan, the town is a design of Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, FAIA. Homes and commercial structures in Rosemary Beach are built according to a strict urban code that ensures architectural harmony and integrity.

Greens, pocket gardens and squares shape the town and set the stage for outdoor sculpture. The vibrant town center includes the town hall and post office, hotel, inn, restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, bookstore, bakery, coffee shop, bank, day spa, design services and other businesses. Follow the link to learn more about the Merchants of Rosemary Beach.

Though Rosemary Beach is the permanent home for a number of year-round residents, thousands of vacationers visit each year to enjoy its natural beauty, unique architecture, and a variety of events and festivals. Learn more about Rosemary Beach at

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