Vista Helps Refurbish Florida’s Oldest Working Firehouse

Vista Galleries helped recently to refurbish Florida’s oldest working Fire Station. Just renovated and improved with the help of Interiors by Studio M — we’ll provide a link to their website here to see the full story there.

Here’s a synopsis:

TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Fire Rescue’s station six has been around since 1914, and it’s now better than ever thanks to community donations.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined firefighters Tuesday afternoon to celebrate renovations made to the station, and to commemorate its 100 years of history.

Firefighters will have recently-installed bunk beds, a study area, a new fire pole and new equipment racks.

The renovation’s project manager estimated approximately $63,000 in donations and $240,000 in donated labor. The project lasted about eight months, and there are still a few items left to install.

Former fire captain Michael Morris walked through the rooms of the fire station where he used to work as far back as 1952.

“I think’s it’s wonderful, because if you don’t know where you come from, then you don’t know where you’re going. And this is history,” Morris said.

Read this article at ABC Action News and check out more photos and press footage on the Tampa Fire Rescue Facebook page.

Vista Galleries helped with all the framing!

See the full story at: http://interiorsbystudiom.com/tampa-bay-fire-station-renovation/

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Announcing Patricia Sorg Oil Painting Workshop

Patricia Sorg's Splash

Patricia Sorg’s Splash

Galleries on the Go is teaming up with Art Trysts for the Patricia Sorg oil painting workshop on Friday, January 19, 2015. When you sign up for this workshop at Art Trysts studio Galleries on the Go will give you two months of free gallery space in one of their highly visible gallery locations. You need to pay for your registration by midnight of this Friday, December 12th to take advantage of this special offer.

Go to http://arttrysts.com/shop/patricia-sorg/ to see all the information and sign up.

See more of her art here: http://sarasotavisualart.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Patricia-Sorg-Tropical-Jems.jpg

You can also go to Patricia’s web page, patriciasorg.com to see her portfolio of work.

Or click on this image and see some more of her work:

Patricia Sorg's Endless Summer

Patricia Sorg’s Endless Summer

Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you some opportunities for our talented artists and designers. 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.

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Meet the Artist: Ernie Simmons

Meet the Artist:

Ernie Simmons

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

Ernest (Ernie) Simmons is a premiere Florida wildlife artist whose works are on display in some of the most prestigious collections in the State. He has been painting since he was a little boy of seven and really hasn’t stopped since. After high school, he studied on his own from artists whose work he admires. Ernie’s studies included travel and photography throughout the State.

Artist Ernie Simmons in his Unique Dunedin Studio

Artist Ernie Simmons in his Unique Dunedin Studio

In his own words, “It all started out with being able to draw well as a kid and then evolved eventually into trying to paint at age seven.” He is a very skilled artist as you can see in some examples of his recent work here.

 

Ernie says what he likes most about his painting is his passion and interest in the subjects he paints. He takes the time he needs to create a painting that looks as good as his ability allows.

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Ernie’s work is unique in that he paints mostly birds that are very regional, primarily in Florida and his work is very detailed. He is proud of the fact that audiences respond so well to his paintings. He has had a long career and supports himself doing what he is passionate about, painting.

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpeckers

 

 

Although Ernie’s work includes mostly Florida birds, he occasionally includes a Florida otter or panther as a subject in some of his works.

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This Florida River Otter picture was featured in the movie, Dolphin Tale, where it was displayed on the wall of Doctor Clay’s office (played by Harry Connick, Jr.). The original permanently resides as part of the Raymond James Financial Corporation’s collection in St. Petersburg.

Ernie and his work were featured in the July /August 2014 issue of Tampa Bay Magazine.

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Full Moon Owl

Although Ernie has had no formal training in art, his techniques (usually in acrylics) bring the birds and other animals he paints to life.

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Ibis

You can see a few examples of Ernie’s work here and more at his website: www.ernestsimmons.com. You can e-mail the artist at anhinga@tampabay.rr.com. He will open his unique Dunedin studio by appointment.

 

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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: Lois Dixon

Featured Artist of the Month:

Lois Dixon

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

Lois Dixon is this month’s featured artist.

We are pleased to introduce you to her philosophy and practice of art.

She says her paintings are usually “earthy,” although the motivation to sit down and paint comes from a higher source than herself. Lois learned design rules early and tries to incorporate them into her work. She describes herself as an artist who paints from her heart to her hand. Painting in Acrylic that looks like collage

Lois started her painting career doing tole painting in oil on wood, tin, and anything that wasn’t moving! In recent years, she has been painting in acrylics and alcohol inks on Yupo.

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She also likes doing collages with handmade papers and Japanese rice papers on paper or on canvas.

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Collage - long piece

While she  had no formal training other than workshops with some of her favorite artists, Lois paints with talent and true grace. She says Edgar A. Whitney influenced her whole life. “Besides giving me a great start with my knowledge of design, he made me want to paint for others as well as myself.”Collage and alcohol inks

You can appreciate Lois’ work here and see it online at http://www.studio1212.net/LoisDixon.htm.

You may also visit Studio 1212 in Clearwater and see Lois’ art up close and in person. The studio is located at 1405 Cleveland Street in Clearwater.

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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 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.”

Art Aug 2013 Einstein

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.

THRILLER

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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Marilyn

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.

 

JT

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.