Studio specializes in abstract art
By Chris Fish
MELBOURNE -- At Off Center Art Center, creativity always comes first.
"The media tends to tell people how they should be, but art doesn't do that," said Kyle Heinly, owner of Off Center Art Center. "How it makes you feel is how you are. It's totally reactive; it's not forcing you to be something. It's showing you a side of yourself that you knew you had or didn't know you had."
Off Center Art Center, located at 559 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., is home to an art gallery, depicting expressionistic and abstract art from several local artists.
Mr. Henly, who first joined the art culture within the last four years, said art gave him an outlet for expression that he never knew he had.
"What drew me was the fact that, for a while, I was kind of lost," he said. "I wasn't lost in a way that I didn't know who I was, but in a way that I didn't know what I was going to do for the rest of my life."
Originally a spoken word artist, Mr. Heinly made the transition to visual art after meeting artist Jeffrey Keith Filipski, an artist who specializes in a form of abstract expressionism he refers to as "a marriage between Franz Kafka and Frank Zappa."
"He is my inspiration," Mr. Heinly said. "He told me to paint one day, and I have never stopped. Then a couple of things happened, and I noticed the abstract world wasn't showcased in Brevard to the degree I wanted it to be."
In January, the Off Center Art Center opened its doors to provide both aspiring and professional local artists with an outlet for abstract expression.
The facility also gives lessons from a group of local artists, for those who want to learn how to best express themselves.
Some of the classes offered at the center include a children's course with local artist Heather Everett for $25; art classes specializing in mobiles and found objects; Wednesday date nights for $40 and a BYOB&C, a bring your own bottle and canvas night, with Mr. Filipski for $35.
And, if a customer's work is good enough, Mr. Heinly will put it on the wall of the studio for sale.
From March 8-23, the center will feature a show, highlighting Mr. Filipskis' art; and, from March 9-22, art students from DeLaura Middle School will display their work.
Mr. Heinly said he is grateful to be able to do what he loves for the rest of his life while surrounded by those who inspire him most.
"I first met everyone at an art show called 'Robot Love 2,'" he said. "That is where I got into the art scene, and I saw the contemporary scene was so innovative and so enlightening. Now, I can be around those who influence me every day."
The Off Center Art Center is located at 559 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne and is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information, or to sign up for a course, call (321) 610-7116.