Consign Time! at Fiori Gallery
Owners: George Colliard and Ellen “Rusty” Colliard
Location: 8854 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Year established: 2002
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
What’s new: Consign Time! at Fiori Gallery is sort of a hybrid. Fiori Gallery always featured original artwork, however, in the current economy, it has expanded to include prints as well as upscale furnishings/home décor and some women’s accessories.
Local artist represented: Janet Tomas, sculptural wall décor and painted furniture; Penny Brandon, watercolor; Garry Walter, watercolor; Cindy Walter, hand braided rugs and ribbon jewelry; Lois Carson, watercolor and acrylics; Kathy Rodriquez, jewelry; Louis Benitez, oils; and the Wolrab family, abstract acrylics
The gallery’s hottest new artist: “Our hottest new artist is Louis Benitez, who does gorgeous Florida scenes and florals,” says owner Ellen “Rusty” Colliard.
The gallery’s most established artists: “Our most established artists are W., L., and N., Wolrab — siblings who each have their unique styles of painting with acrylics and metallics,” says Colliard. “’Wolrab’ is a trade name, a ‘nom de plume’ so to speak.
"‘Nelle Wolrab’ has a degree in art form Sonoma State University in California," she says. "She works in acrylics, metallics and ink, and her paintings tend to tell as story such as ‘Love on the Nile’ or ‘Egyptian Tears.’
"‘W. Wolrab’ goes by ‘W.’ and was taught abstract painting techniques by Nelle after he became seriously disabled in 2006," she says. "While in the hospital for treatment, he was administered antibiotics which left him profoundly deaf. Painting became a passion, and he discovered that he had a gift for color, as in his paintings ‘Lily Pond at Washburn Mansion’ and ‘Serendipitous.’
"‘L. Wolrab’ or ‘Llor,’ began painting after working as an assistant manager in an abstract art gallery," she says. "She developed an eye for detail and balance, and does not paint with the traditional brushes, but uses her own unique techniques to create dynamic and detailed paintings such as, Silent Slippered Feet and Fire in the Desert Sky.’ All three Wolrabs paint from the soul. They paint in acrylics and metallics in the abstract.”
What the galley looks for in an artist: “We look for art in which we feel would be enjoyed by our customers.”
Modern misconceptions: “That painting in the abstract is a mystery or that ‘a child could do it.’ It has to do with passion, expression, balance and color — a feeling you get when you really look at it. As with anything, it’s not for everyone. But it’s for more people than one might think.”
The kind of art found in their own home: “At home, we love abstract acrylics and oils but also enjoy some Royo giclees.”
Why they’re cut out for this business: “We’re creative people. We are interested in visual excitement in home décor, most especially in what artists and artisans create and we love to offer a real mix of affordable high quality art and home décor at Consign Time! at Fiori Gallery.”
What makes their job fulfilling: “We enjoy using our imagination,” says Colliard. “Manager, Patricia Janik, deserves the credit for putting together a wonderful cross-section of items, creating a unique and beautiful offering of art and decorative pieces. All of the people help make Consign Time! at Fiori Gallery successful.”