A year after the tragic death of artist and famed Tiki carver Wayne Coombs, his Mai Tiki gallery will be closing its doors after this weekend’s Space Coast Art Festival in Cocoa Beach.
The gallery will be celebrating 40 years of Wayne Coombs’ art at the festival, which runs through Sunday. Wayne founded the studio and gallery on Nov. 5, 1973, with is wife, Beki.
Becki Coombs has announced that she’ll be retiring after the festival. Dating back to 1963, the Space Coast Art Festival is also marking a landmark with its 50th event.
It’s a fitting finale for Wayne’s art since he was a long time supporter and participant in art festivals across Florida and elsewhere. It was always a treat to see Wayne and Beki at SunFest in West Palm Beach. His shadow will loom large in the art and Tiki communities for years to come.
Previous coverage: My brush with greatness: Remembering Wayne Coombs
Creator of the animated “Florida style” of Tiki carving, Wayne also did other more traditional wood carvings and masks. He was also a prolific fine artist later in his career, turning out many paintings and also creating art from salvaged items.
Wayne carved Tikis for 45 years, from 1967 until the day he died of an apparent heart attack on Sept. 4, 2012. He was 62.
Mai Tiki Studio and Gallery is at 251 Minuteman Causeway in Cocoa Beach. Call (321) 783-6890.
Official Mai Tiki sites
Facebook page | Mai Tiki Studio and Gallery | WayneCoombs.com