Sarasota's legendary light and seaside location make it a magnet for artistic souls seeking the seclusion to create and the company to support their endeavors.
They've been welcomed by a community of savvy, affluent art lovers who fill local galleries, especially on certain Fridays of every month, when many extend their hours to accommodate those with working schedules.
Most of those galleries, which exhibit both local and international artists, are located along beautiful Palm Avenue, where they complement popular restaurants and boutiques. Their wares encompass paintings, ceramics, sculptures, prints, jewelry, blown glass and basketry. Some even specialize in Native America, Peruvian and Asian art.
Others can be found in downtown's Towles Court, a charming colony where resident artists have refurbished traditional Florida cottages into operating studios. Like the galleries on Palm Avenue, Towles Court opens its doors once a month to guests who stroll along the courtyards in search of magical and whimsical pieces.
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, 556 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. 366-2093. Prints, paintings, original works of art.
Amazon Imports and Gallery 53, 53 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 365-4442.
Apple & Carpenter Galleries of Fine Art, 64 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 951-2314. 19th- and 20th-century paintings by American and European artists.
Art Uptown, 1367 Main St., Sarasota. 955-5409. Cooperative gallery featuring paintings, sculptures, ceramics and basketry.
A Step Above, 1288 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 955-4477. Original art and glass, ceramics and jewelry.
Blue House Gallery, 505 Burns Lane, Sarasota. 366-0211. Original work by local and international artists. Paintings, prints, ceramics and jewelry.
Butler & Butler Antiques & Fine Art, 60 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 954-2393.
Celery Barn Studio & Gallery, 266 Links S., Sarasota. 952-9889.
Chasen Reed, 10 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 953-4400. Interior design showroom featuring fine art exhibits.
Crissy Galleries, 640 S. Washington Blvd., Suite 150, Sarasota. 957-1110.
Elizabeth Rice Fine Art, 1467 Main St., Sarasota. 954-8575. In addition to artworks, carries Biedermeier furniture.
Ethno Gallery, 1296 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 330-9702. Fine handicrafts and ehtnic folk art.
Galleria Silecchia, 20 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 365-7414. National and international artists; regular shows.
Hodgell Gallery, 46 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 366-1146. Contemporary fine art and glass works.
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bayshore Road, Sarasota. 359-5700. State museum of Florida houses extensive Baroque collection, modern collection and changing exhibitions.
Kathleen Carrillo Galleries, 1945 Morrill St., Sarasota. Paintings by renowned local artist Kathleen Carrillo. 906-1544.
Kennedy Studios, 1472 Main St., Sarasota. 952-0358. Prints and posters.
Missing Link, 556 S. Pineapple, Sarasota. 366-6600. Art from Africa, the Americas and Asian furniture.
Museum of Asian Art. 640 S. Washington Blvd. (Arts and Antique Center). 954-7117. Rare jade carvings and more from China and other Asian countries.
Palm Avenue Gallery, 45 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 953-5757. Contemporary art and sculpture.
Paradise Gallery, 1359 Main St., Sarasota. 366-7155. Paintings, sculpture, jewelry and graphics.
Plum Door Gallery, 1950 Adams Lane, Sarasota. 362-0960.
Robert Wilson Gallery, 16 Palm Ave. S., Sarasota. 906-8400. Contemporary traditional realism and impressionism; figurative, still life, landscape and marine scenes.
Santa Fe Trails Art Gallery, 1429 Main St., Sarasota. 954-1972. Southwestern and Native American art.
Sarasota Artworks, 1451 Main St., Sarasota. 366-0088. Fine art and jewelry.
Sonnet Gallery, 1480 Main St., Sarasota. 955-6443. Contemporary paintings, glass and sculpture.
Towles Court Artist Colony, just west of U.S. 301 between Adams and Morrill streets. 365-9146. Working artist colony; studios open daily. Gallery walk 6-10 p.m. every third Friday of the month.
William Hartman Gallery, 48 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 955-4785. 18th- and 19th- century antique prints.
Yellow Bird Antiques, 640 S. Washington Blvd., Suite 203, Sarasota. 388-1823. Antiques and more.
Grass Roots Gallery, 411 W. Dearborn St., Englewood. 473-8782. Paintings, stone, sculpture, photography, bronzes, wood turnings and ceramics.
Marise Art Gallery, 6506 Gateway Ave., Sarasota. 922-7169. Prints, posters, limited editions.
Exit Art, 201 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. 387-7395. Paintings, jewelry and more.
Longboat Framing Gallery, 6824 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. 383-8914.
Longboat Key Center of the Arts, 6860 Longboat Drive S., Longboat Key. 383-2345. Center offers classes, exhibits, sales gallery.
NEAR THE INTERSTATE
Cattleman Gallery of Western Art, 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. 371-6811. Western and wildlife art, cowboy collectibles.
Frame Center and Gallery, 2881 Clark Road, Sarasota. 924-4141.
International Glass Art Outlet, 999A Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. 371-5492. Contemporary glass art and gifts. Also home to Sarasota School of Glass.
Sarasota Artist's Gallery Inc., 1400 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. 379-5330. Painters, print makers, photographers, sculptures and crafts people. Workshops and summer tours available.
ArtCenter Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 365-2032. Association offers classes, workshops, exhibits by members and non-members.
Hodgell Gallery, 540 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 366-1131. Contemporary fine art and glass works.
Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 359-7563. Traveling shows, faculty exhibit and "Best of Ringling" student show.
ST. ARMANDS CIRCLE
Brock Publishing Company, 1900 Ben Franklin, St. Armands. 388-2275. Seller of art and sculpture from international variety of artists.
Maui Art Gallery, 321 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. 388-5305. Original paintings, limited edition prints, giclees on canvas, posters, puzzles, murals, and contemporary metal art.
Sage Spirit Gallery, Inc., 17 Fillmore Drive, St. Armands. 388-2975. Collectible Native American jewelry, pottery, weavings and more.
Wyland Galleries of Sarasota, 465 John Ringling Blvd., St. Armands. 388-5331. Marine and wildlife art by Wyland and other environmental artists.
Museum of Fine Art, 255 Beach Drive N.E, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-2667. European and American art, photography, and Greek and Roman antiquities, pre-Columbian and Asian art.
Salvador Dali Museum, 1000 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. (727) 823-3767. Permanent collection of works spanning Dali's career.
Tampa Museum of Art, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 274-8130. Changing exhibitions along with a permanent collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.