Meet Artists’ Representative: Alison West Brown

Portrait of Artists’ Representative: Alison West Brown

 By Betsy Hecht Cramb

Alison West Brown is this month’s featured artists’ representative. Alison says what she likes most about being an artists’ representative is having the chance to work with so many talented artists and watching them work, seeing a blank canvas come to life.

Alison's Nest with artworks on display

Alison’s Nest with artworks on display

Alison says that she happily represents artists while also allowing them to sell their work through another gallery or on their own. She says, “I love going to all the big art shows and seeing my artists set up and selling. I am always proud when they tell people ‘I am their agent’.”

e_CLEERE_out_of_the_blueAlison says that she found many people were intimidated by going into an art gallery and she knew that she wanted to present her artists’ work in a much different way. Since she lives in an amazing old orange grove in the heart of Clearwater, she has built her gallery overlooking a lake filled with bass, all the amazing Florida birds and a pair of Trumpeter Swans. “It makes the gallery visit more of an experience which ties in well with all the original art.”

Alison considers introducing her clients to original art work the best gift of this profession. She said she has had clients come to Cavilier King Charlesthe gallery to acquire a new painting who have become very excited to show off their new piece of art. They’ve told her that “from now on they will only buy original art.”

When asked how she got started as an ​artist’s representative, Alison said that she has been an art collector since she was young and has always enjoyed the arts. She added, “I knew family and friends who were artists and I just felt like I wanted to show off their work.”

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Alison said she feels extremely lucky to have the chance to work with some of the best artists around.  Optical Swirl

Alison has a degree in Fashion Merchandising from LSU and she thinks that fashion and art are a beautiful combination. Growing up, Alison said her parents’ house was decorated with Degas, Winslow Homer and Van Gogh hanging on the walls. Although they were not originals, they were very important images for her. Alison said, “I think that early exposure to art work has carried over into my love of representing artists and sharing their gifts with others.” You can contact Alison at: 727-510-8572 or e-mail her at alisonwestbrown@yahoo.com. Gallery hours are by appointment only.

The Doctor Will See You Now

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.  Come in or call our Galleries today.

 

 

Meet the Artist: Barbara Massey

Meet the Artist:

Barbara Massey

This week we would like to introduce you to Barbara Massey and her sensitive, beautiful style of art.

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When asked what Barbara liked most about painting, she replied that she enjoys the vibrant colors she gets with watercolor paints and that spontaneous mixture of color when it is very fluid. By using watercolors instead of acrylics, she is able to “pull color off of her paper or canvas to attain whites or make changes.”

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Barbara’s style is unusual in that she overlaps several coats of paint, making the paint thicker than a typical watercolor. She says this makes her paintings look more like acrylic or oil paintings. She begins with a very fluid paint wash which helps her to develop a rich and diverse background.

She is proud of being able to represent a place or thing using her personal photos and her imagination, rarely copying a photo exactly. This combination adds an additional dimension to Barbara’s work.

Hi Res-Canoe Ride on Dixie Lake

Barbara says she has been taking photographs, drawing and painting since she was a child. She has a degree in art from the University of South Florida and also studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She continues to keep learning new skills at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, Studio 1212 and Art Trysts Studio.

Barbara spent many years as a Pinellas County Art Teacher.

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Barbara says, “Painting stimulates me both mentally and physically. It also relaxes me. It is a joy to paint and have others appreciate my paintings.”

You can see more examples of her work at: www.Bjmasseyfineart.com or to contact Barbara directly, email her at bjmassey2000@gmail.com.

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.  Come in or call our Galleries today.

John Hoffman, E.C. Hoffman Designs

Featured Designer of the Month:

John Hoffman

E.C. Hoffman Designs

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

 John Hoffman is a designer in Tarpon Springs whose father started in the design business in a very small St. Petersburg office in 1948. John says his father taught him that “tailoring” clients’ ideals into tasteful and balanced interiors as well as exteriors, is really a lot of serious fun!

John enjoys practicing this three-dimensional art form. He finds working with people to be challenging and always interesting.

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He says he is “most proud when my projects stand the test of time and when designers copy me, just like I copied my Dad and like he copied some designers before him.”

John says he feels he now has an eye for and is trained to seek a balance so his designs are both functional and exciting.

This keen eye and ability is certainly reflected in his work.

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John’s training consisted of his apprenticeship with his father for over 25 years. He also studied art briefly at St. Petersburg College, Andrew College in Georgia. as well as art classes at Valdosta State College, where he studied under the artist Lamar Dodd’s daughter. John says, “I love Art !!!!”

You can see some examples of his work here, demonstrating that love of art and the principles of design that he implements in all his work. If you would like to see more of John’s work, contact John at echdes@aol.com, or visit his website at: http://hoffmandesigns99.wix.com/design.

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists and designers. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist or designer, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.  Come in or call our Galleries today.

Portrait of Artist Dick Zimmerman

Portrait of Artist Dick Zimmerman

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

We would like to introduce you to Dick Zimmerman, our featured artist of the month.

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Dick Zimmerman’s Michael Jackson Thriller Album Cover

When asked what he likes most about his art, Dick says it is how his clients appreciate the finished painting and go out of their way to share their satisfaction with friends and relatives.

He has achieved notoriety in both aspects of the visual arts (painting and photography). He photographs his own subjects, creating a reference photograph to be used for the painting himself.

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People tell him his paintings capture the subtleties of the person and their inward confidence. He’s been told that his art communicates the unique spark of life of the subject.

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Dick is proud of his use of contemporary color and his range of styles in addition to his ability to communicate the reality of what is really there.

Dick started as a painter at the age of seven and because he wanted to paint portraits, he learned photography. This helped him to make his paintings deeper, more colorful and allowed him to better communicate with his subjects.

 

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Dick started his training in the arts in New York at the School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, and he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at NY University. He also had advanced training at the Brooklyn Museum with the acclaimed Soyer brothers, followed by further training at the Musee D’Orsay in Paris.

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Picasso

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Dali

Dick has a unique ability to tune into the sensitivity and awareness of the visual world around him, and his portraits certainly reflect this awareness.

 

 

You can see much more of Dick’s work at his website: www.dickzimmerman.com. To contact the artist directly, e-mail him at: contact@dickzimmerman.com.

 

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.   Come in or call our Galleries today.

Vista Galleries Celebrates 25 Years at Oldsmar Flea Market!

Vista Galleries Celebrates 25 Years at Oldsmar Flea Market!

You may not know that Vista Galleries has three locations. One is the big factory warehouse and framing location at 1620 N. Hercules, Suite B. The second is at the corner of Wyatt (or Ponce De Leon) and Clearwater-Largo Road in the southwestern part of Clearwater, bordering Largo.IMAG0621

And, the third spot, continuously occupied for the past 25 years, is located in the Oldsmar Flea Market. This third location is a convenient place to pick out a pre-matted picture and have it custom framed as a gift for yourself or a friend. You can choose among our huge selection of frames.

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You can design or drop off your artwork one weekend and have it ready to be picked up the following weekend.

IMAG0620And, with the large pre-matted art selection, it is easy to choose appropriate frames for the artwork available. Some people find it much easier to select the frame when the piece is already matted. By using our corner samples, you can get a quick idea of how the piece will look when it is done.

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Of course, here at the Oldsmar location, as well as at our other two locations, our staff is always on hand to help you choose the best frame for your art selection.

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The Oldsmar location has just been renovated so there is a lot of new art to see as well as a larger selection of frames than before. Please be sure to stop by and see us any Saturday or Sunday from 9-5 at our Oldsmar location, or come by one of our other two locations, open Monday through Friday, 10-6 and Saturday 10-2. See the one minute movie, here, to get an idea of the Oldsmar location’s newly updated, modern look.

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you our stories. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.   Come in or call our Galleries today.

 

Featured Artists of the Month: Galleries on the GO

Featured Artists of the Month:

Galleries on the GO

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

We are pleased to introduce you to Galleries on the GO – a unique concept that has provided a viable place for several artists to show and sell their work.

waterfall from galleries on the Go

Photo Credit, Sara Mullins, Waterfall in North Carolina

Galleries on the GO is the brainchild of Sara Mullins, whose background in marketing led her to think of ways that artists could market their work more economically. She also found that due to budget cuts in recent years, many municipalities and small governments had been forced to cut back their art budgets. Sara came up with a remarkably workable idea. She presents this concept to small cities, restaurants, and other public places. The locations contract with Sara to provide art in a designated space for a period of time. This takes away their burden of having to seek out artists and decide where and how to display their work.

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Steve at Beach Fyre Grill on Clearwater Beach with Galleries on the GO art displayed

Sara is an artist herself so she is particularly sensitive to the artists’ need to get their work shown in order to be appreciated and sold, even when consumers are dealing with tight budgets. She charges a nominal fee to the artist to display his or her work in the specified amount of space. Sara’s set up includes a portable gallery rail hanging system, which gets placed in the designated public space.

In just under two years, Sara and Galleries on the GO have presented very successful displays of art in Indian Rocks Beach Town Hall/Municipal Center, at a business office in Safety Harbor, as well as a restaurant on Clearwater Beach.

 

Kristen Santucci's Shell Seekers

Original Painting, Shell Seekers by Kristen Santucci

Sara arranges the locations for displays and helps the public venues to choose which artists they would like to showcase at their location. You can learn much more about Galleries on the GO and see more of the work of some of their artists at www.galleriesonthego.com. To contact Sara, please e-mail her at sara@galleriesonthego.com.

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Original Painting, Acrylic by Larry Headley

From their website:   NEW VENUE!  Open and available for artists to show their two- and three-dimensional fine art from March 2014 (until the present).  North Clearwater Beach restaurant BEACH FYRE, 605 N Mandalay Ave, Clearwater, FL has made space for us since March of 2014.  Galleries On The Go has provided a gallery rail hanging system which allows flexibility in arranging fine art on their walls. Spaces typically rent for $30 per month.  Artists receive a 24 x 60 space, website promotion, and multi-media advertising. 

This new concept is certainly catching on and in light of budget cuts, it is bound to become a new trend in the field of displaying art.

Also from their website:  Need art for your office or place of business?  Find out how at NO CHARGE! Galleries On The Go is available to hang an exhibit, produce a reception, and generate a buzz for your office.  Fill in the contact form and write “ART WANTED” in the subject line.

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Indian Shores Town Hall/ Municipal Center

 

 

 

Sepia tone photo by Amanda Mullins

Photograph by Amanda Mullins

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists and community arts organizations. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.   Come in or call our Galleries today.

Meet the Artist: Scott O. Suits

Meet the Artist:

Scott O. Suits

 By Betsy Hecht Cramb

This week we would like to introduce you to Scott Suits, an accomplished painter and versatile artist.

painting Who 24x30 $450

Scott says this about how he got started as an artist, “Born in 1938 and raised on a farm in Western Michigan, I started painting when my parents gave me a set of oil paints for my 12th birthday. Very soon after, I used these to enter a coloring contest for Shurfine food products in the local newspaper. Awarded first place, I was given a new Schwinn bicycle with chrome fenders, a head and taillight and horn. Being the third son, it was my first new bike: let alone with fenders and all of that good stuff. I was definitely motivated!!!

painting the Grandson 18x24 $295

Scott said he has no formal art training beyond his high school art classes. However, he has found a particular talent for painting anything from lighthouses to sailboats, egrets to exotic cars and recently, portraits of people.

painting Coastal Calm 24x30 $595

Scott had a career in the Navy for six years and became a mechanical engineer after discharge from active duty.

Retirement brought Scott to Florida in 1989 and in 2011 he picked up his oils again and started painting places he had been.

painting Sunset @ Frenchy's 24x30 $+595

 

 

These included a hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a Caribbean Inn and Michigan lighthouses. He also paints Canada geese, swans and various wildlife.

 

 

painting the Winner 24x36 $895

Scott’s work is quite different than the typical Florida artist, particularly when it comes to his paintings of Mercedes automobiles. By the way, these are for sale in the Clearwater Mercedes dealership’s auto boutique.

painting First Class 18x24 $595painting Silver Arrow 24x36 $595

He began painting Mercedes race and production cars in 2012 at the suggestion of a friend who bought one of Scott’s first automotive paintings. He has since painted over 30 automobile paintings and has been commissioned to paint some of his car club member’s personal cars.

 

What Scott says is unique about his art is his attention to detail and lots of color. He adds that not many artists paint cars as he does. You can see some of Scott’s work here and can contact the artist at: suits@ij.net.

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.   Come in or call our Galleries today.

Featured Artist of the Month: Lee Canalizo

Featured Artist of the Month:
Lee Canalizo

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

Lee Canalizo is our featured artist of the month. We would like to introduce you toher art as well as to her philosophy about being an artist.

Lee's Photo 1

 

When asked what Lee liked most about her art form, she replied that it is the wildness she tries to capture, with no holds barred for color, texture and composition. She said she never follows the rules. “If I’m told I can’t do it, I have to at least try to do it….sometimes it works remarkably well! This goes for my painting and my silversmithing, as well!”

Lee says she wants her aesthetic sense to be different and admits that most of her attempts are not like her contemporaries, whether that is good or bad.

She said she started painting as a child, she painted in oils as a young adult, and upon her retirement from judging International dog shows for the AKC, she found she had a rekindled desire to paint and create art.

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She describes herself as free-spirited and a rebel, with a good heart and huge love of life and dogs that were such a big part of her life for over forty years, especially her wonderful German Shepherd, Silver!

 

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Lee trained with many of the more popular artists of the day in New York and Long Island where she exhibited and sold in local galleries. Lee says, “To this day I’m still learning and enjoying every bit of new and wonderful ideas that this modern world presents to us, fortunate enough to call ourselves….ARTISTS!”

Lee's Photo 3You can see some of her unique work here or at Art Trysts Studio Website at: http://arttrysts.com/studio-artists/about-lee/, or go to Art Trysts Studio at 1490 Belcher Road, Suite K, or call Lee at: 727-939-2729.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you. Come in or call our Galleries today.

Meet the Artist: Steve Whalen

Meet the Artist:

Steve Whalen

Lightning Photographer

854 Lightning at Safety Harbor

 By Betsy Hecht Cramb

This week we are proud to feature a talented photographer who chooses a very interesting subject for his photography. The Florida environment offers a unique assortment of weather phenomena the essence of which Steve Whalen captures with his lightning photography.

Steve says he likes the exciting and quick results he can get with this art form. When it comes to photographing lightning, he tries to take shots with recognizable objects or points of interest in the picture.729B Clearwater Bay

In his words, “When I first began shooting lightning I was satisfied to simply catch a lightning bolt without too much regard for the surroundings. However, as I became more involved in lightning photography, I wanted to create more interesting photographs and that required I shoot at locations which had features of interest even without lightning in the picture. My work is of course entirely dependent on Mother Nature’s cooperation!”

Steve says, in response to what makes him unique as an artist that he concentrates on that subject matter. “There seem to be a very small number of photographers who chase lightning storms.”

 

Steve is proud of a recent recognition he received from Tampa Bay Magazine, who selected him as one of several winning photographers in their September 2014 edition contest. The photo selected was actually of a red dragonfly with shimmering water in the background. (See below).

His favorite photograph was one that he took of a sunset with lightning across the sky at Crystal Beach with a boat and a dock in the foreground along with palm trees. “I think that picture captured the essence of a Florida coastal scene,” Steve said.

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Steve got started in photography in the Navy in the late 80’s. He was stationed in California and was in awe of the immense natural beauty of the land around him. That inspired him to buy his first SLR film camera. He says he has no formal training in the subject but he learned from trial and error and referencing various photography books, magazines and manuals, which he said helped him become more proficient in photography and get a lot of enjoyment from it.

Steve says some of the qualities that make him successful at this art form include persistence, patience and being a bit of a perfectionist. Of course, as any photographer who concentrates on nature photography knows, he or she must have the patience to wait for that right moment to get an interesting shot.

Also, he says he doesn’t get discouraged easily.  “Most of the time when I’m out at night trying to get a good shot of lightning it doesn’t pan out. Either the storm fizzles out, or the rain comes down and forces me back into my car. Or I simply had the camera pointed in the wrong direction.  But when I get a good shot it makes up for the previous disappointing outings.”

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Enjoy some of Steve’s photographs here, or contact him by e-mailing him at     swhalen551@yahoo.com.

        The dragonfly photo below is the one that was selected by Tampa Bay Magazine.

784 Red Dragonfly in Grass - contest winner

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.

Come in or call our Galleries today.

Meet Our Staff: Michael Bereznoff

Meet our Staff:

Michael Bereznoff

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By Betsy Hecht Cramb

This month, we’d like to introduce you to another talented artist who also works as a Vista Galleries framing designer. Michael Bereznoff says he is “creating an environment, on an immobile two dimensional surface. This is the destination of my visual journey. By focusing on the principles and elements of design I am able to systematically build a visual experience that creates the appearance of three dimensions.”b

Michael remembers that his 7th grade art teacher strongly affected his desire to become an artist.

Michael attended five colleges, including spending two years at Maryland Institute, College of Art. He later moved on to receive a BS in Art Education from Towson University, Towson, Maryland.

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The influence of Baltimore and the surrounding area on his art is evident in these examples of his work. Michael conveys not only the images of the City of Baltimore but somehow he captures and relates the feel and experience of Baltimore through his paintings.

In response to what makes him unique as an artist, Michael says,  “The only real way that an artist truly creates something ‘different’ is to find, establish and constantly pursue that voice that is unique in each and every one of us. What makes any artist’s work stand independently from any other entity is based on the strength and self-awareness of an artist’s personality. Therefore, my work is only distinct from other artists’ output due to my ‘one of a kind’ sensibility.”

His work is based on his own photos that he composes and shoots himself.

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Enjoy some of Michael’s artwork here or see more of his contemporary art at: http://www.bluecanvas.com/mylesahed or at: http://www.saatchiart.com/mylesahed.

You can see Michael at Vista Galleries or e-mail him at: mylesahed@gmail.com.

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of our talented staff of designer/artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.

Come in or call our Galleries today.