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22 Nov 2017
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It doesn’t matter if you’re simply looking for something out of the ordinary or if you’re trying to create something extraordinary, The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach  is one of the most fascinating places in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  Located in the city's first hotel, built in 1923, The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach is on a mission to enrich the experiences of locals and visitors alike through educational and interactive experiences and the exhibition of fine arts. Inside, the Gallery offers paintings, photography, prints, pottery and glass.  The Art Center also features two specialty shops perfect for a change of scenery during your beach vacation.  

Serving as the state’s only public-access hot glass studio, The Hot Shop is a fully functional glass studio where you can enjoy glass forming and blowing experiences with your friends and family. Relax and watch resident glass artists Dan Rush and Kerry Parks turn molten glass into gorgeous pieces of art.  With their extensive training in the colorful, sophisticated trade, you’re in for a treat.  Perhaps the best part of The Hot Shop’s unique experience is that it allows you to channel you inner artist under the supervision of master the glass-blowers in the “Make Your Own Glass” program.  If you’re looking to get creative with some glass art of your own, “Make Your Own Glass” options range from $30-$40. Form a one-of-a-kind ornament that you won’t see on anyone else’s tree this holiday season; choose two colors to create a lily-shaped flower; or blow a paperweight that will be the envy of the office.  Glass Blowing classes, workshops, parties, and even private lessons are all available. As a participant, you’ll learn about the tradition of glassblowing, but more than that, you’ll also gain knowledge of innovation and critical thinking.  As the Hot Shop team imparts their knowledge of glass blowing and fusing techniques, their passion for glass art is tangible.   

The shop is open to the public Monday through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call to reserve an appointment to Make Your Own Glass or to stop by and watch demonstrations.  

Also situated inside of the Coastal Arts Center is the Clay Studio where resident ceramics artist Maya Blume-Cantrell offers instruction in clay hand building, wheel throwing, and painting.  Of course, like The Hot Shop, the public is welcome to create a unique masterpiece, this time of clay persuasion.  Maya also makes beautiful artwork from clay, and you can select one of her pieces to paint or glaze while you visit the studio.  

Not only will you learn something at the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, but you’ll have a blast creating a truly unique souvenir to take home.  These are memories that kids of all ages will cherish.  

For more information, call 251-981-ARTS (2787) or visit