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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Sep. 1, 2010 5 years ago


by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

What makes the place special: madeby is owned by Ringling College of Art and Design and stocked with fine-art photos, prints, posters, paintings, screen-printed T-shirts and stationary produced by current and former Ringling students. Only a handful of colleges in the country have an off-campus retail store and gallery showcasing student and alumni work.

What’s new: The Rosemary District gallery recently hosted an open house for the class of 2014 and last week joined the colorful assortment of vendors at the Sarasota Farmers Market.

The gallery’s hottest new artist: “We view all our artists as ‘hot,’” says madeby Manager Nancy O’Neil says. “Each one brings their own creative energy and style to the gallery.” Pink-and-blue acrylic paintings of icon Audrey Hepburn created by the gallery’s newest artist, Rey Borges, have garnered some recent attention.

The gallery’s most established artists: Longtime Sarasota resident and oil painter Roy Nichols, who graduated from Ringling College in 1959.

What the gallery looks for in an artist: “Often when an artist comes into the gallery, especially a student, it may be their first experience presenting their work,” O’Neil says. “We ask them to talk about their concepts and why they created a particular piece, because each piece comes with its own story. Being an artist is about being passionate about what you do. So that’s what we look for: passion. Creativity and art always follow.”

The kind of art found in her own home: “I like to travel and have pretty eclectic taste,” O’Neil says. “You’d find anything from a blown-glass vase from France, to Egyptian paintings on papyrus, to landscapes from around the country.”

Why she’s cut out for this business: “I have been active in the art world for all my life in some form or another,” O’Neil says. “Starting as a ceramic and glass artist, to managing art shows, co-ops and high-end galleries, madeby was just a natural fit.”

What makes her job fulfilling: “My interaction with the students and alums is the most fulfilling part of my work,” O’Neil says. “To work with the artists and see how they are changing the art world is exhilarating. I hope that by sharing my experience as both an artist and a gallery manager I can give students a leg-up in the business world and help eliminate the notion of the stereotype of the starving artist.”

Upcoming show: madeby will host a gallery open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 and a jewelry show (“All That Glitters”) featuring nine jewelry makers from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19.

Manager: Nancy O’Neil
Location: 734 Central Ave., Sarasota
Established: November 2009
Phone: 822-0442
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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