ENGLEWOOD — The Fishery complex in Placida has fallen into history, demolished to make room for the Village & Marina at Boca Grande redevelopment.

Dawn Matonis wants to keep the Fishery’s traditional seasonal weekend Art Market sales held there alive. She and Denise Young are making it happen.

The Manta Market is attracting many of the Fishery’s artists and artisans who were scattered to the winds this year.

The market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Lemon Bay High School, 2201 Placida Road. The market is also scheduled for Feb. 23 and March 2.

“It’s really been growing and expanding,” Matonis said. “We’re trying to do shows once a month, from November to March.”

Today’s market is expected to attract more than 50 vendors selling watercolors and acrylic paintings, prints, photography, pottery, jewelry, fused and stained glass, mixed media art, customized gifts, home decor, beauty and health goods, custom wood turned art, woodwork and carvings, garden sculpture, local fishing guide bookings, bait holders, handmade furniture, pet goods and food vendors.

“I knew a lot of the artists,” said Matonis, who is a Lemon Bay art teacher and was regular vendor at the Placida Art Market at the Fishery. “And I knew a lot of the artists were looking for a market where they could sell their art work at a reasonable price.”

The Fishery’s weekend art market was perfect for artists, like Matonis, who hold down fulltime jobs but keep up with their art work. The market is also affordable, compared to many of the entry fees to fine art shows. The Manta Market charges vendors $25 for a 10-foot by 15-foot spot, $35 for double spots. Proceeds benefit Lemon Bay high school students.

Margaret and Garry Albritton spearheaded the weekend art shows to bring attention to the quaint old Florida atmosphere at the Fishery, which had been the center of commercial fishing from the early 20th Century into the 1990s. But when the demise of the Fishery grew imminent, the couple moved their gallery to Sanford, near Orlando, and developed an online gallery.

Jon Hatch, one of the resident gallery owners at the Fishery, was glad to hear that someone is trying to keep the weekend art market going. He reopened his own gallery at 14375 Pambar Ave., El Jobean.

“I think it’s great,” Hatch said. “The whole key is having somewhere to sell your art.”

For more information, visit Manta Market’s Facebook page or email mantamarket@comcast.net.


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