A new gallery/studio, Artopia, has opened for business in Englewood. Artopia will be featuring paintings, repurposed artwork, art wear, sea-inspired jewelry, wood carvings/kitchen tools, sculptures, decorative gourds and more.

Port Charlotte and Englewood residents who have visited Art at the Fairgrounds and the Placida Art Markets over the years will be happy to learn that most of their favorite local artists, sculptors and crafters will be on hand to greet them in person at Artopia.

For years, vendors, often enduring hot, cold, windy, or wet weather, would pack up their wares as they moved from one weekend art market to another so, after much consideration, painter Lori Pearce and friends decided to form an art cooperative and call it Artopia (think Utopia).

“Our cooperative represents a longtime dream come true. Because of variable weather and the effort it takes to set up tents and booths, we are excited to have a permanent place to gather, share ideas, meet patrons, and teach. It’s not about me. It’s about us. We’re a group of artists who work as a team,” explained Pearce, whose acrylic paintings of Florida beaches and sea life are exhibited wherever space permits in the gallery. A few whimsical pieces have been finger painted with brilliant gelato acrylic paint. “I call this technique adult finger painting, and it’s so much fun that I plan on teaching adult finger painting classes this fall,” she added.

Additional classes will include Mixed Media Canvas Art, Resin Pour with Mica Powders, Gourd Carving, Resin Jewelry Making and Mixed Media Decoupage 3D Art.

Artopia artists include Tracy Beck, Seaside, Serenity Creations; Lee McEntee, Nauti Girl, Original Art and Artwear; Dale ‘Tu Py’ Wisieck, Gourds and More; Stan Siekierk, Wood Carving/Sculpting; and Jimmie Choate, Fin and Feather. Tracy Beck’s “happy place” is the beach where she collects shells and shark’s teeth. Beck has perfected the art of creating one-of-a-kind bracelets and necklaces of resin coated shells. Her “intention” gem stone or beaded jewelry and aroma scented lava rock pieces are both beautiful and inspiring. Lee McEntee repurposes old bottles, kitchen graters, flower pots and other discarded items. Her work is artistically displayed for sale along with wearable art. Dale Wizieck creates drums, gourd people, corkboards, and plaques with sharks, fish or shells. His beach-in-a-bottle can be a perfect souvenir. Stan Siekierk’s wood carvings are beautiful and utilitarian. He coats butcher blocks, wooden spoons, spatulas, and “anything that touches food” with special coating, and his inlaid bowls made from a variety of woods are popular gift items. Jimmie Choate’s whimsical outside patio art is professionally sealed for use in any weather.

The public is invited to meet with artists for a reception at Artopia Gallery/Studio, 4020 N. Access Road Suite 3, Englewood, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 15. For directions and information about art classes call 941-787-6008 or email artopiaartgallery@gmail.com.


(1) comment


Excited to finally see local Englewood artist banding together to display their works! GOOD LUCK!
Please support them!

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