Artistic spirit guides and galvanizes Vero’s Emily Tremml


Whenever Emily Tremml was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer was always quick and quite clear: “I want to be an artist!” It’s a resolve that has never wavered.

“It is my life’s purpose, my way of living. I believe in living each day as a work of art,” says Tremml, who finds joy and passion in the creative process.

Tremml was raised in Vero Beach, where four generations have lived since 1965. Her father, Dr. Ernest H. Reeves Jr., was one of the founders of the former Doctor’s Clinic. She earned a bachelor of science in business administration at Clemson University in South Carolina, and also attended Fordham University in New York City.

She notes that she is grateful to have been supported artistically throughout her life, from the teachers at Saint Edward’s School, the Art Students League in New York City, and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, to longtime mentors and art partners Barbara Tiffany and Rick Kelly.

Returning to Florida after college, she worked at SunTrust Bank in Orlando for more than 10 years as a vice president of commercial lending and private banking. She was there when the company was designing and furnishing its new building and participated in the process of determining where some of its extraordinary paintings would be hung.

“We were there when the Rauschenberg was delivered, the Frank Stella, it was crazy. We had a Hockney on our floor, along with the largest collection (then) of Biedermeier furniture in the world,” says Tremml, adding that the corporate dining room had a Motherwell and a collection of Frank Lloyd Wright paintings.

“It was an unbelievable collection. I got to see the installation of the most amazing work. It was so exciting,” says Tremml, astonished at the amount of money that was spent.

Among the works was a triptych of three large paintings by Bruce Marsh that she would pass by each day as she went to work. About a year and a half ago she happened to see one of the paintings for sale at an auction house, made a bid, and got it. Thrilled that she now owned one of the three, she inquired about the two companion pieces. They had those also and accepted her bid on those as well.

Like many of her childhood classmates, who left to live elsewhere before returning to Vero Beach to raise their families, she returned in 2004 and founded the Palm House Gallery & Studio on Ocean Drive, located in one of the family properties she owns and manages.

Tremml shares the working studio and gallery with five award-winning artists, “working, creating, sharing, laughing, and expanding our artistic horizons. I am grateful that so many people come into my life to encourage and teach viewpoints and skills from their own experiences.”

Loving the Vero lifestyle, and its vast artistic community, she says, “It’s a little like living in ‘Mayberry RFD.’”

Tremml, who prefers painting in oils, says she likes to combine new and traditional styles in her works, which range from contemporary realism and abstracts to what she calls “prompts,” an idea or word that prompts you to start a painting, and says she strives to relay to the viewer “the power, peace and a place that feels like home.”

She is currently working on three landscapes that capture the views from her riverfront home. It’s one she fondly remembers from childhood: the house she grew up in is just four houses away.

Mountainous clouds, visible against a vast expanse of sky, are captured in all their glory, the warmth of the sun occasionally poking out in an array of pinks, yellows, grays and muted blues, casting calmingly colorful shadows on the water.

“When I am working on a painting, I can see it in my mind, and I try to keep up with my brush. People always kid me that I paint really, really fast. I’m so worried I’m going to lose the thought. I call it the ‘chill bump factor’ you feel when you are on it. To me that’s joy, that you have touched into joy in some valuable way, whether it’s with your child or your art, or finance,” says Tremml.

She advises that while every day isn’t going to be perfect, you should live life by enjoying what you’re doing.

“There is joy in everything. You just have to enjoy the process. Maybe that’s why I like switching out how I paint, or what I paint,” she says, it enables her to approach the easel with a fresh vision.

Tremml and her husband, P. Glenn Tremml, MD, have a long history of giving back to the community, and over the years the Palm House Gallery & Studio has supported more than 23 local charities through art shows and donations.

Additionally, Tremml has been a member of, and has served on the committees and boards of, numerous organizations, including Saint Edward’s School, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach Art Club, Quail Valley Charities, Riverside Children’s Theatre, Environmental Learning Center, Friends of Contemporary Art, McKee Botanical Gardens, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Maitland Art Center, and Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences.

Tremml is a member of the Portrait Society of America, the American Impressionist Society, Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Florida, and the Artist’s Registry of Florida. Her paintings are in corporate and private collections in the United States and abroad, and can be found at the Palm House Gallery and Studio on Ocean Drive.

Photos by Joshua Kodis

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