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Local artists kick off pop-up exhibit in Burns Court's Sarasota Trading Co.

Vicki Chelf partnered with Janet Mishner and Nancy Guth for the pop-up show '3 for 3.'

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  • | 4:35 p.m. July 26, 2019
Vicki Chelf loves to paint antique toys. Courtesy photo
Vicki Chelf loves to paint antique toys. Courtesy photo
  • Arts + Culture
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Summers are sleepy in Sarasota. There are fewer cars on the road, the heat keeps people indoors rather than on the sidewalk and suddenly you can grab dinner downtown without having a reservation.

That also means fewer art shows, and thus a decrease in opportunities for local artists to show their work. Painter (and Ringling School of Art and Design graduate) Vicki Chelf did something to change that. She decided to ask owner of Sarasota Trading Co. Andrew Ford to host a pop-up show in this space, and he was easily persuaded. Thus her three-day show “3 for 3” was born.

“It’s a huge space to fill, so I asked two other full-time professional women artists to join me,” Chelf says of co-exhibitors Janet Mishner and Nancy Guth. “Their work is very different than mine, and it’s good not to compete against each other and instead draw in more people that way (with variety).”

She adds that because summer is a tough time for artists and businesses that rely on foot traffic, she also asked the team at 530 Burns Gallery if they would stay open for the weekend of the pop-up. They not only agreed, they decided to seize the opportunity by having studio artist Linda Richichi paint in the gallery (with three of their other artists present) the whole weekend for visitors to see an artist in action. 

Chelf, a resident artist for almost four years at the trading post who specializes in still lifes of antique toys, will also be painting live at the show. Mishner and Guth will be present to answer visitors’ questions. 

“We’re trying to make it a little party,” Chelf says, noting that they’ll have music and refreshments. “I’m also a vegan cookbook author, so there will be some of my homemade treats and refreshments.” 

Chelf loves Burns Court for its cozy streets lined with historical buildings, and she says popular spots like Burns Court Cinema and Owen’s Fish Camp make it the ideal spot for artists looking to get their work noticed. 

Asked what the goal of the pop-up is, she says it’s all about supporting local artists via both exposure and potential sales. 

“The best way to support the arts, at least visual arts, is to buy art, and we all depend on sales and commissions for our livelihood,” she says. “That’s what we’re hoping to get out of it, and then of course it’s always nice to meet people who like your work — or don’t like it, just to get the reaction.”


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