Local artist Owen Cavanagh has finally seen the fruition of a lifelong dream to have a local surf art studio and exhibition space with the opening of his ‘Studio 53 Art & Surf Culture’ space in the Coolum Industrial Park precinct. Owen has been an artist for many years and is renowned for his wave-inspired murals – the most famous one flanking a shed along the Sunshine Motorway near the airport. Owen explains that the opening of the gallery is a lifelong dream come true. “This is something that has been on my radar since I registered my business back in 1999 and having it here in Coolum is perfect – there’s the proximity to the ocean, it’s very central and this whole area is just exploding.” The gallery features over 20 artists on display with 95 per cent of them local to the area and the gallery will also soon become a hub for other creatives. “We will be offering classes and workshop spaces here and then there will also be a feature artist each month, with this month the work of Grant Peberdy on display.” Sadly, one of Owen’s most famous pieces, the Wave mural along the motorway has been vandalised yet again and a petition will soon be set up for proper security infrastructure to protect the iconic image when it is painted again. Studio 53 Art & Surf Culture is located at 3/53 Quanda Road and is open every Saturday and by appointment the rest of the week. You can keep up to date with what is going on via Instagram or Facebook at – ‘Studio 53 Art & Surf Culture Coolum Beach’.