The Henderson Artist Project

Our Local Artists

Every aspect of The Henderson has been meticulously planned and the art displayed throughout the property is no exception. After a long and rigorous selection process, 13 local Destin artists and artisans were chosen to create custom pieces, specifically for The Henderson. The artists include Melody Bogle, Melissa Mercer Brown, Lori Drew, Barbara Flowers, Justin Gaffrey, Donni Galli, Russ Gilbert, Mary Hong, Veila Lala, John Maher, Arturo Mennillo, Jeff Waldorff, and JoAnn Williams Walker.

Each piece has been thoughtfully placed throughout the resort to add both beauty and ambiance. The result is a stunning coastal resort with an inspired sense of place. Click below to learn more about our local artists, watch videos of them creating the artwork throughout the resort, visit their websites or visit their galleries.    

View Artist Booklet

Velia Lala

Velia’s talents are showcased through a multitude of artistic techniques that include acrylic, mixed medium, epoxy high gloss, photography and body casting/bronzing. 

Arturo Mennillo

The late Arturo Mennillo's pieces adorn the Historic Hallway and guestroom corridors.

Arturo was the area’s principal photographer in the 1940s 50s and 60s before becoming the official photographer for the U.S Embassy.

Arturo was a prolific photojournalist with articles and images appearing in Life, Time, and Newsweek magazines. His legacy of his vast collection of photo negative depicting important events that occurred during the 30-year period of the local area’s history.

Arturo captured and preserved the places and people of Ft. Walton Beach, Destin and surrounding area’s of pristine beaches, sport fishing, U.S. presidents, celebrity visits and dignitaries among others.

At The Henderson, a guest can learn much about the area's history from these images.



Russ Gilbert

Russ Gilbert started his career over 35 years ago. Russ has expanded into unique blown glass techniques and opened one of the first glass galleries in the nation. 

Melody Bogle

Melody was selected as “Fort Walton Artist of the year 2016”.

She was chosen for the Living Room art to reflect the beautiful and elegant coastal feel of the hotel and its surroundings with her beautiful technique of oil paintings.

Melissa Mercer Brown

Melissa's inspiration through art comes from the magnificent oak trees, hammock vegetation and wildflowers found along the coastal lakes, bayous and state parks along the Emerald Coast.

Her style of painting often uses a lot of texture and translucent layering capture the changing sea and skies.

Mary Hong

Mary Hong was 2014 Artist of the Year and is a member of Cultural Arts Alliance.

An award-winning and successful artist and entrepreneur on the Emerald Coast of Florida, she has become one of the most known artists in the area with her famous and unique form of glass mosaics and recycled artwork.

Lori Drew

Lori has been a successful artist in the Destin area working with cold wax and oils. Hers is a journey rich in texture and complexity combining beeswax and solvent, along with oil paints at varying ratios and at varying degrees of dryness.

Justin Gaffrey

Justin’s is one of the most recognized artists in the Emerald Coast. His art is a thick impasto over canvas and was selected for the The Henderson for two very important areas that required a unique and impactful style. 

John Maher

John has been a professional artist for over thirty years and often uses wax method for his sculptures. John is also known to create murals of sea life.

Jeff Waldorff

Jeff, a Fort Walton Beach native, has always enjoyed the outdoors.

His calming and beautiful photographs capture the beauty of the nature of the Gulf Coast, perfectly complementing the relaxing environment of the spaces.

Barbara Flowers

Barbara's art includes energetic brushwork, palette knife work, soft passages of blended paint and a heavy build-up of paint. 
Barbara's work was selected for the Destin Boardroom where she created a beautiful set of boats.

Jo Ann Walker

Jo Ann is an American impressionist artist. Her work is inspired by beauty, emotion, color and light.

She sees majesty in the ordinary, and her greatest joy is watching the success of her students.