Allyn Gallup, founder and owner of the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, died earlier today.
A constant presence and champion of local artists, Gallup was a central figure in the Sarasota arts scene since he started his gallery in 1991. Known for his personal love and passion for the arts and the artists he met and supported, Gallup grew a reputation for displaying a vast and eclectic array of art on various mediums and taking artistic risks in even in smaller and conservative Sarasota.
Born in Memphis, TN, Gallup's first career was in finance and private banking, but soon after he concluded his banking career he moved on to his original passion: art.
"He was fascinated with art since he was little because his father was a print collector," says Sheila Moore, Gallup's widow and partner at the gallery. "Nothing gratified him more than supporting an artist. He just had a love of aesthetic beauty."
Gallup's role as a local champion and supporter of the arts was an inescapable presence in the arts community often providing space for young, up and coming artists to share their work for the first time.
"We saw lots of shows and work we never would have laid our eyes on if it wasn't for his perseverence," says Wendy Surkis, president of the Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA. "His love for art and of Sarasota and bringing exhibitions and artists here will be a big loss to our community."
Moore plans to continue work on and open the last show Gallup contributed to, "Bruce Marsh: Now and Then." The show is a ten-year survey of Marsh's various landscapes. The show opens next Friday, Nov. 14, continuing Gallup's support and artistic legacy of over 20 years.
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