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Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010 5 years ago


by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

What’s new: Works by artists Rosa Canto, Ventura Diaz and Mario Jung. “All our artists are nationally and internationally recognized artists,” says gallery owner Robert Kelley. “We carry local artists all the way to masters, such as Picasso.”

Local artists represented: Still-life artist Michael Silverstein and sculptor Joseph Rotella

The gallery’s hottest new artist: Giner Bueno, Spanish impressionist. “He’s considered one of Spain’s premier impressionists,” says Kelley. “Giner Bueno is in several museums around the world, including the Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art.”

The gallery’s most established artists: Sunol Alvar, Alberto Mancini, Alfredo Navarro, Javier Mulio, Katherine McNeill, Deborah Haefelle, Luigi Rocca, Jung and Rotella

What the gallery looks for in an artist: “Exceptional quality and consistency,” says Kelley. “The work really has to catch my eye, as well as be beautiful and high quality. I want consistency in the fact if the artist lines up 10 paintings, I want all of them to be magnificent, exceptional works.”

Modern misconceptions: “(That) the market is dead,” says Kelley. “For months, people have said that the art market is down because the economy is down, but that’s not true — the art market is thriving. High-end works always move.”

The kind of art found in THEIR home: “I have a mix of old masters, such as George Inness, to contemporary artists like Marc Chagall and Dali,” says Kelley.

Why he’s cut out for this business: “My family has been in the business for nearly 100 years,” says Kelley. “My great-grandparents were big proponents of art. They started the Mint Museum, in Charlotte, N.C., in 1936. It houses some of the finest work in the country.”

What makes his job fulfilling: “My love of art,” says Kelley. “The happiness and joy that it brings to people — from the beginning steps to when it’s actually hung on their wall. Seeing their response makes it all worthwhile.”

Current show: The Spanish Masters exhibit will be up through the end of August. A contemporary-and-abstract exhibit will be on display during the month of September.

Owners: Robert and Irene Kelley
Location: 1453 Main St., Sarasota
Year established: 2000
Phone: 954-8901
Summer Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected].

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