The Englewood Art Center, a division of Ringling College of Art + Design, is an energetic space celebrating art and artmaking, with four galleries, two art studio classrooms, a pottery studio, a digital media studio and a lending library. According to director Sam Parkinson, “The center is a place of discovery, learning and self-expression.” On view this month: the intricate visions of Pat Gorman Prints (March 6-23) and the yesterdays of Vintage Englewood: Photographs (March 27-April 19). 350 S. McCall Road, Englewood (941) 474-5548
Through the lens of renowned photographer Clyde Butcher, Florida’s swamps and sawgrass vistas recall the prehistoric scenes of Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. A towering cypress reflected in infinitely still water. The delicate traceries of a ghost orchid. A stand of coconut palms on a desolate beach. Clyde Butcher’s Venice Gallery & Studio boasts a trove of his original works, books and DVDs. Step inside; the Sunshine State will never look the same. 237 Warfield Ave., Venice, (941) 486-0811
Feel like immersing yourself in art? Check out the Venice Florida Art Walk on the first Thursday of the month (January-April), 5-8 p.m. You’ll find 10 to 15 art spaces, meet up with artists and fill your eyes with creations in a multiplicity of media. There’s a trolley you can hop on, or ask for a map at one of the galleries and find your own way. For info, call (941) 256-5855 or visit their Facebook page at Venice Florida Art Walk.
At Collectors Gallery & Framery, experience the visions and vistas of more than 100 artists, with an emphasis on the natural beauty of our coast. The work of Richard Capes stands out as he captures the character of Venice Theatre, Sharky’s on the Pier, Venice Beach Pavilion and other local landmarks with his loosely rendered watercolors. Ask proprietor Leah Sherman about the treasures she’s gathered on her far-flung world travels. You’ll get a great story—and the perfect souvenir. 114-118 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice, (941) 488-3029
Karen Hitt is an award-winning artist who trained at Parsons School of Design. An Original Hitt is the apt name of her studio; inside, you’ll discover Hitt’s plein air landscapes, portraits and still lifes. “I paint in the hopes of transporting the viewer to that feeling you get when a wonderful view stops you in your tracks,” she says. Entertaining Angels Unaware is her latest series—a tribute to the “angels on earth” who’ve blessed and inspired her. 230 Ponce de Leon Ave., Venice
Stillpoint Studio Creating Art is the brainchild of Sister Maureen Michael Byrne, an artist, teacher and School Sister of Notre Dame. “It’s my way of sharing the beauty and wonder of creation with my fellow travelers on the journey of life,” she says. Her space offers courses for beginning and established artists, including pottery, painting, mural-making, architectural design, even making musical instruments. 200 N. Tamiami Trail, Suite I, Venice, (941) 416-3446
Most of us love playing in the sand. But the DeMichele brothers, Mike, Marc and Matt, take it to a whole new level. These third-generation artists are the founders of Nautical Sand Sculptures, and they’ve been creating original sand sculptures since 2004. They start with a composite base of natural sand and artistic cement, and then paint and sculpt each piece in imaginative ways. Along with sculpture, you’ll find paintings and wall hangings that can be customized with your favorite sea creatures and shells. 223A Miami Ave., W., Venice, (941) 256-5855
Mary Erickson grew up sketching the beaches of Long Island Sound. She sold her first painting at the age of 13 and began painting professionally after moving to Florida in 1986. Her work begins and ends with a connection to nature. After creating a host of field studies on site, she paints a large-scale landscape in her studio. A devoted conservationist, she pours her love of the web of life into her landscapes of birds and gardens from around the world. Erickson will host an open studio, March 2, 3, and 4, noon-6 p.m. Guests can also visit by appointment. (704) 219-0391