Gallery founded by the late Tiki carver Wayne Coombs bids adieu

Wayne CoombsA 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.

Some of Wayne's masks on display during the art show

Some of Wayne’s masks on display during the art show. (From Mai Tiki’s Facebook page)

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 |

About Hurricane Hayward

A professional journalist and Florida resident for more than 30 years, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward shares his obsession with Polynesian Pop and other retro styles on his blog, The Atomic Grog. Jim's roots in mid-century and reto culture go back to his childhood in the 1960s, when he tagged along with his parents to Tiki restaurants and his father's custom car shows. His experience in journalism, mixology, and more than 20 years as an independent concert promoter make him a jack-of-all-trades in the South Florida scene. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Jim is a longtime web producer for The Palm Beach Post. In his spare time, he has promoted hundreds of rock, punk, and indie concerts under the Slammie Productions name since the early 1990s. In 2011, he launched The Atomic Grog to extensively cover events, music, art, cocktails, and culture with a retro slant. Jim earned his nickname by virtue of both his dangerous exotic drinks and his longtime position producing The Post's tropical weather website.
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