What’s happening: Paradise Gallery and Gudrun Newman Studio is a combination of a working artist’s studio and a gallery. By having her studio located inside the gallery, Gudrun Newman is eschewing the traditional art-gallery concept. She wants her clients to be able to connect with the artist and see works of art in progress. “It seems more exciting for people to see what’s happening. I want people to experience half-finished paintings, to see how the process comes about,” says Newman. “There’s a different way of doing business from 20 years ago to today. The reason I came up with this concept is because the collectors would like to meet with the artists, and if you have a separate gallery, they don’t have that opportunity. I feel it’s important to feel the pulse of the company, and by being here in person, people can relate better to you as an artist and an entrepreneur.”
The gallery’s most established artists: Penny Collins, Don Frost, Peter Pettigrew, John Richen, Michael Wilkinson, Marsha Hammel and John Nieto
What the gallery looks for in an artist: “Originality is very important as well as a definite style,” Newman says. “Every artist can copy or paint whatever they want, but when they have that defined style, that’s when you can consider yourself an artist.”
Modern misconceptions: “When money was no object, you could walk into a gallery and say, ‘I will take this and that,’ but I am seeing a new trend,” she says. “I’m seeing the people of Sarasota coming into my studio to support me, because they want to buy local. People are now buying something they really like and pieces that are original.”
The kind of art found in her own home: “(You will find) very little of mine, maybe two pieces,” Newman says. “I collect anything from Dali, to Lichtenstein, to up-and-coming artists. I fall in love with a piece, I purchase it and I keep it. I think that you have to have a feeling for the piece, not just buy it because it’s by someone famous. Buy something you love.”
Why she’s cut out for this business: Newman started in this business as a gallery owner but became a full-time painter about six years ago. “I have always been artistic — every gallery owner has some artistic ability to be able to see into the artwork of an artist,” Newman says.
What makes her job fulfilling: “I am one of the lucky few that does something that I love for a living,” she says. “The creative process for me is so fulfilling. I’m compelled to create. I never know what’s going to happen, and it’s exciting. I love the business of helping people select artwork and build a nice collection.”
Current show: “Raku Delights,” by Adam Pennington, runs through September.
Owner: Gudrun Newman
Location: 5670 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota
Year established: 1989
Summer Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
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