Local artists represented: Susan Foster, Katie Dobson-Cundiff, Hodges Soileau, Dominic Avant, Susan Covert, Frederic Murphy, Gloria Yonan, Deborah Healy, Daniel Bilodeau, Charles Miano, Dasa Pierce, Anthony Durso, Marci Weisgold and Andy Espinoza
The gallery’s hottest new artist: Sadie Valeri, who joined the gallery last fall. “Sadie’s transparent and reflective objects draw us in and remind us of water, something so essential to life that our brains are hardwired to respond to it,” says owner Maggie Kruger.
The gallery’s most established artists: Scott Burdick, Albert Handell, David Leffel, Robert Liberace, Susan Lyon, Romel de la Torre, Clayton J. Beck, III, Marc Hanson, John C. Traynor, Gladys Roldan DeMoras, Simon Kogan, Gene Costanza, Roger Dale Brown, Oleg Radvan, Tony Pro, Frank Gardner, Kevin Beilfuss, Russell Gordon, Michael Lynn Adams, Jeff Hargreaves, Eli Cedrone, Molly Schmid, Kami Polzin and Joseph Iantorno
What the gallery looks for in an artist: “Most of our painters hang in museums, are designated as living masters or do work at that level,” Kruger says. “Our painters and sculptors are selected, first of all, based on their competence and skill as painters, then for their reputation in the industry.”
Modern misconceptions: “That art is subjective,” says Kruger. “Either an artist can draw or they can’t; either they can manage values, temperature and chroma or they can’t. Just like financial derivatives or processed food, if you can’t recognize the work as a thing of great beauty requiring mastery of skill and based on a great concept, you probably shouldn’t drink the Kool-Aid that claims it is a work of art.”
The kind of art found in her home: “I have most of our artists on my walls,” says Kruger.
Why she’s cut out for this business: “I believe our society needs images of beauty to nourish its collective soul,” says Kruger. “I am singularly committed to providing commercial venues for artists who are passing the wisdom of the centuries from one painter to the next. In order to make the entire system work, there needs to be either patronage or commercialization. I bring the business side to the equation.”
What makes her job fulfilling: “Part of our mission is to provide a salon-like exchange between our artists, other painters and our collectors,” says Kruger. “We host workshops, encourage our painters to come and stay, share knowledge and paint together. During season, groups of 10 to 20 painters gather at my home on Bird Key to paint together, enjoy a dinner and exchange ideas. It is all very enriching and exciting for everyone.”
Current show: An Eli Cedrone exhibit, which runs through August. “Contemporary realism would best describe her style,” says Kruger. “Her work bridges abstraction and realism.”
Owners: Maggie Kruger and Lawrence O’Connor
Location: 16 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota
Year established: 2006
Summer hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday or by appointment