A new gallery is opening soon in Sarasota—one that will display work by some longtime and well-known artists with a connection here.
Arts Advocates (formerly known for decades as the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota) will open the new space starting Saturday, July 17, in the Siesta Mall, Suite 119, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail. The gallery will be open to the public every Saturday, but just from 2 to 5 p.m., if you plan to stop by.
This is the first time since the group’s founding, in 1969, that it has had its own gallery to exhibit works from its collection of Florida artists and to host community events. Many of its works, which include sculptures by Heisman Trophy designer Frank Eliscu and paintings by such standouts as Richard Anuszkiewicz, Syd Solomon, Julio de Diego, Craig Rubadoux, Robert Chase, Frank Colson and Hilton Leech, have been on view at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for years. (You can read about some of those artists here.)
Now, the opening exhibit at the new venue will feature Sarasota Art Colony pieces from that collection, including Jon Corbino’s Palette, on view for the first time since it was stolen from the collection in 1991 while on display at the hall. In 2019, the artwork was recovered from a local estate sale and returned to Arts Advocates.
The gallery will accommodate self-guided tours, with written information available about all the pieces on display, but docent-guided tours are also available at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month, starting Wednesday, July 7, before officially opening to the public. Those tours are $10 per person and can be booked at artsadvocates.org.
Arts Advocates also plans a variety of events in the gallery, including a “Time Flies” jewelry workshop with Judy Levine on June 23, a jazz trumpet recital featuring Arts Advocate scholarship winner Luca Stine July 9, and a “Poetry 101” workshop conducted by poet Teresa Carson on July 13.
To learn more about the group, its mission and its collection, visit artsadvocates.org.