Art Dorks Rise to take over St. Augustine art community

By Courtney Hoston |


A modern, contemporary art exhibit has taken over the classic, historic art scene of St. Augustine. Art Dorks Rise is the newest exhibit on display at local contemporary art gallery, Space: Eight.

Art Dorks began as an art blog and online community launched by Brendan Danielsson. The online community of artists later expanded into an art collective. The group is currently made up of 30 internationally recognized artists ranging from painters, sculptors, photographers and fine artists. The Art Dorks Rise exhibit showcases the cutting-edge creations inspired by this group

Space: Eight, located on West King Street, serves as the only showcase in Northeast Florida for contemporary art. Gallery owner Rob DePiazza designed the studio to display contemporary art in the 90s and launched the gallery in 2004. “We have the chance to show art that doesn’t have any other venue in Northeast Florida,” said DePiazza. Since its opening in 2004, the small gallery has showcased over 40 shows featuring nationally and internationally renowned contemporary artists.

After a short shutdown of the Art Dorks online community, Danielson resurrected the Art Dorks group by calling on some of the original artists from the group and recruiting new talent. Originally the exhibit was set to display the art of four contemporary artists. However, after two years of planning and coordinating with DePiazza, the Art Dorks Rise exhibit finally made its way to St. Augustine, bringing with it 30 renowned contemporary artists.

The unconventional themes in the displayed pieces greatly contrast the conventional, historical themes surrounding the St. Augustine art community. DePiazza encourages attendance from the young, contemporary members of the art community. “We like to see Flagler College students at our art shows. It’s a great opportunity to see a diverse collection of art that has no other venue,” DePiazza said.

Art Dorks Rise includes pieces from each artist in the Art Dorks group and showcases a wide variety of styles and themes based on each artist’s personal taste and experiences. The artists involved in Art Dorks are located in various states and countries.

Space: Eight features six contemporary art exhibits each year lasting for two months at a time. Opening receptions coincide with the First Friday Art Walk of St. Augustine.

All displayed pieces are offered for sale to the public. Admission to Art Dorks Rise is free to the public and will be on display Monday-Thursday from 9am-5pm through November 30.

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