Thanks in part to John Ringling, who built his museum in 1927 and then filled it with an impressive Baroque collection, Sarasota continues to attract more and more artworks and their admirers. Paintings, sculptures and other artifacts from around the globe are on display throughout the city and help inspire local creative types to make art of their own.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art boasts a set of paintings by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens and frequently rotates its collection (which is too large to be displayed all at once) in addition to hosting touring exhibitions. Depending on the exhibit, it's possible for Ringling visitors to see ancient Cypriot pottery, 17th-century paintings and 20th-century photography all under one roof.
Towles Court, home to many local artists and their studios, brings a little bohemian flair to downtown Sarasota, while nearby the posh window fronts of Palm Avenue's galleries display everything from contemporary glass sculpture to Oriental rugs.
And whether it's First Friday or Third Thursday, many of the artsy neighborhoods and institutions host monthly gatherings and art walks, inviting you to enjoy a glass of wine and an evening stroll while you take in the area's masterpieces.
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. Exhibits 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 S. Links Ave., Sarasota. 952-9889.
Chasen Reed, 10 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 953-4400. Interior design showroom featuring fine art exhibits.
Coco Palm Gallery, 1255 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 955-1122.
Crissy Galleries, 640 S. Washington Blvd., Suite 150, Sarasota. 957-1110.
Dabbert Gallery, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 955-1315.
Elizabeth Rice Fine Art and Antiques, 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 ethnic 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 Collection, 556 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. 366-6600. Art from Africa, the Americas and Asian furniture.
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.
Peter Paul Gallery, 53C S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 365-5200. Local, national and international artists; monthly exchanges.
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, just west of U.S. 301 between Adams and Morrill streets. 373-9101. 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. Displays 18th- and 19th-century antique prints.
Yellow Bird Antiques, 640 S. Washington Blvd., Suite 203, Sarasota. 388-1823. Antiques and more.
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, sculptors and craftspeople. Workshops and summer tours available.
Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 365-2032. Association offers classes, workshops, exhibits by members and non-members.
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 Drive, 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, giclées 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.
St. Armands Mail Room and Clyde Butcher Photo Gallery, 421A St. Armands Circle. 388-5251.
Wyland Galleries of Sarasota, 314 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. Temporary exhibitions along with a permanent collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.