Tucked away in a little corner of paradise behind The Villages of South Walton shopping and dining complex is an unexpected visual delight.

A.Wickey Studio Gallery is the artistic home of Walton County's 2011 Artist of the Year Allison Wickey.

Inside, art lovers will find not only Wickey's dramatically beautiful pieces of artwork, but also the work of five other artists.

Wickey paints with venetian plaster and acrylic on wood, in much the same technique she learned when she painted faux finishes and murals in homes and businesses in Illinois.

"All the techniques I used there in my faux-finish business, I brought with me," she said.

Wickey said it was a process going from doing murals and faux finishes to where she is today of creating singular pieces of art, but the process has been helped by living in an inspiring environment.

"After moving here, I started painting the local dunes and landscapes as they are in my imagination, like they probably were before development took over. The culmination of that process is usually an abstract landscape," she said. "I like to do abstract landscapes."

Wickey moved to the beach in 2007 from Belleville, Ill. She had come here on vacation twice, and liked it so much she decided to move. She toured a house, made an offer, and it was accepted.

She has been a working artist since 2000, and says before that, she was a dabbling artist.

"I have always loved to draw," she said.

Ann Hunter carried Wickey's work in her World Six Gallery in Rosemary Beach and the two began a collaboration that resulted in Wickey taking over the space when Hunter moved to New York City.

Wickey left Rosemary Beach to open A.Wickey Studio Gallery at Seacrest in June 2013.

In the gallery, art lovers will also find works by Emily Ozier, Juan Francisco Adaro, Cody Copeland, and another Artist of the Year, Susan Lucas. Each brings a different style and point of view, offering a piece of art for any home.

The gallery, located at 10343 County Road 30A, is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends by appointment. Call 420-8419 for more information.