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GALLERY AROUND THE CORNER: State of the Arts Gallery

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  • | 4:00 a.m. July 7, 2010
  • Arts + Culture
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What’s new: State of the Arts Gallery has been receiving hits (and gaining clients) on its website from people all over the world who are interested in researching the arts community and gallery scene in Sarasota. “After all the years of creating and maintaining our website, it is now a valuable conduit,” says gallery co-owner Tre Michel.

Local artists represented: “We are proud our gathering of artists is comprised entirely of local artists,” says gallery co-owner David Steiner. “That was our vision from the initiation of our gallery six years ago, to assemble Sarasota’s best artists into the spotlight of one gallery.” Local artists represented include Beth Arthur, Jill Hoffman Kowal, Dasha Reich, Larry Forgard, Joseph Melancon and David Steiner.

The gallery’s hottest new artist: Jorge Blanco. “Whether you are a visitor or a resident of Sarasota, you probably already know Jorge’s work,” says Michel. “We are now featuring smaller versions of his monumental aluminum sculptures for interior installations.”

The gallery’s most established artists: Frank Colson, who has been creating ceramic sculptures in a Southside neighborhood studio since 1965, and Beth Arthur, who has painted on Siesta Key going back as far as the ’60s and ’70s.

What the gallery looks for in an artist: “An almost inexplicable magic that comes from confident style and uniqueness,” says Michel. “Even with our combined education and backgrounds in art history, we don’t really have a formula — we both just know when the magic is there.”

Modern misconceptions: “That there are no collectors in Sarasota,” says Steiner. “The success of our business is testimony to the idea that there are collectors living in and moving to Sarasota. They may be established collectors or they may be what we call ‘emerging’ collectors with a new passion for collecting, but they are here.”

The kind of art found in their home: “Cutting-edge, abstract expressionism by our ‘emerging’ 3 year-old daughter, Sienna, who is named after a paint color,” says Michel.

Why they're cut out for this business: “We both have interior design and art history backgrounds, so that, combined with David’s painting, we can put ourselves in everyone’s shoes — whether it is the client, collector, artist or designer, we can get into their psyche to connect them with the art that satisfies their desires,” says Michel.

What makes this job fulfilling: “The dynamic world — either hanging new pieces in the gallery or hanging new acquisitions in the clients’ homes,” says Steiner. “It’s always fulfilling to hang art.”

Current show: “Juxtapose,” an exhibit of art showing the relationships of unrelated pieces, runs through the summer.


Owners: Husband and wife David Steiner and Tre Michel
Location: 1525 State St., Sarasota
Year established: 2004
Phone: 955-2787
Summer hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday or by appointment.

Contact Stephanie Hannum at [email protected].


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