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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2010 7 years ago

GALLERY AROUND THE CORNER: Elizabeth Stevens Gallery

by: Stephanie Hannum Managing Editor

What’s new: Elizabeth Stevens Gallery is collaborating with Pastry Art’s Forrest Shaw in exhibiting gallery-affiliated artists at the café on Main Street.

Local artists represented: Painters Marge Bennett and Debbie Dannheisser; ceramic artists Regina Gurland, Ken Shields and Jim Robinson; jewelers Charmaine Parker and Gail Coppock; and weaver Nancy Faris. (Non-local artists include glass artist Tom Stoenner and jewelry designer Sandy Jones.)

The gallery’s hottest new artist: Ken Shields, whose glazes and techniques make his ceramics works of art, and Cheryl Butler, whose jewelry ranges from simple elegance to stunning creations.

The gallery’s most established artists: Marge Bennett and Debbie Dannheisser. Bennett is the winner of the 2009 Water Media Award from the American Juried Art Salon as well as the 2009 Award of Excellence from the Florida State Association of National League of American Pen Women. Dannheisser graced the cover of The Observer’s Season magazine and Sarasota County Arts Council’s 2008 brochure.

What the gallery looks for in an artist:
Towles Court is a lively center for artists, where artists not only show their work, but often interact personally with gallery customers,” gallery owner Bette Stevens says. “So, I look not only for artists whose work is engaging and accessible, but those who have personalities that are as well.”

Modern misconceptions: “Galleries are not necessarily intimidating,” Stevens says. “Like all the galleries in Towles Court, I try to have art that is practical as well as fantastical, at price points that encourage first-time art buyers as well as those with collections.”

The kind of art found in her home: “My favorite art always has a story to go with it,” Stevens says. “We have a Paul Caponigro photograph in our dining room. My husband took a photography class at Boston University with Paul back in the ’60s, and at the end of the class, all the students picked one of their favorite photos. Turns out, my husband chose his well.”

What makes this job fulfilling: “I love coming to work in a place surrounded by art and the wonderful, kind and quirky people who make it,” Stevens says.

Current show: “Colors of Summer” runs through July.


Owner: Bette Stevens
Location: 1945 Morrill St., Sarasota
Year Established: 2005
Phone: 365-4222
Summer hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday or by appointment.

Contact Stephanie Hannum at [email protected].

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