After we’d spent a few days at Disney World and donated enough money to The Mouse, my family was gracious enough to make the hour-ish trek through a Florida monsoon out to Cocoa Beach.
This small seaside town just south of Cape Canaveral is home to Mai Tiki—the gallery and studio of tiki artist Wayne Coombs. He’s been carving tikis for more than 40 years, but he also does paintings and mixed media.
It was great fun looking through the Mai Tiki gallery. I was especially drawn to this piece, but you can probably attribute that to the fact that my birthday is the fourth of July. Guess I was born to love fireworks.
I hadn’t gone there with the intention of purchasing my first carved tiki, but then I couldn’t walk away from these happy little dudes. His tikis with this particular grinning expression are named “The Joker.” Another signature of Coombs’ style is to have a symbol on the forehead such as a hibiscus flower, crown or pineapple (referencing welcome and hospitality). Decisions, decisions…
Upstairs from the gallery are studio apartments which can be rented. There are a few tiki touches, mostly on the outside it seems. (Interior shots and pricing info here, if you’re curious/planning a relaxing Florida vacay.)
The beach is just a few blocks away, and it looked quite beautiful after the storm.
Editor’s Note: Wayne Coombs passed away in September 2012. The Mai Tiki gallery closed its doors in November 2013, following a celebration of Coombs’ 40 years of art at the Space Coast Art Festival in Cocoa Beach.
Mai Tiki Gallery
251 Minutemen Causeway
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931