Art in Venice
by: Dee Paul
How would you like to go on vacation to a place that could best be described as a tropical paradise in Venice, Florida? Imagine a beautiful beach-side hotel on an island surrounded by light green sea, located in a coastal town with virtually no crime, breathtaking scenery, lush landscaping, the friendliest people anywhere, free concerts, drum circles, bike paths, palm trees, quaint shops, endless restaurants, idyllic weather. and daily beach yoga. Nature is art in a category all its own, but maybe the perfect slant of light and subtle enchanting colors surrounding us everywhere is particularly inspiring to artists and art lovers. We are very proud that our hotel, Inn At The Beach, in Venice, Florida, in conjunction with the Venice Art Center, supports local artists by exhibiting their work in our Lobby area.
The oil painting “Lily Pads” by Dr. Mary –Louise Hooper is one of the first things our guests at Inn At The Beach notice on display, usually while they are helping themselves to a fresh hot cup of coffee . The dark and light green hues of the water and flowers in this painting evoke a beautiful sense of mystery. She is our current artist on display. Dr. Hooper is a national and internationally acclaimed artist and also Curator of the Venice Art Center. How fortunate we are here at the Inn , to have spectacular works of art, covering our walls, on display throughout the entire year! We invite everyone to come see what’s new on our walls anytime!
Our “movable exhibition” has been in effect for several years and guests, as well as visitors to Venice Island, have enjoyed the varied gallery of artists presenting their works on our walls. We’ve been treated to everything from Tiki faces made from palm bark to Modernistic canvasses.
About every 4 months, the artwork changes and a new artist is featured. All of the artwork is available for sale. Past artists include Mary Jo Floryjanski, Francis Smith, Astrik Enskat, Marilyn Cassidy, Alina Timshima, Diane Simon, Nancy Casey, Patricia Rockwood, Donna Brott, and of course Mary-Louise Hooper.
Our mini- gallery is just one component of an ongoing city-wide effort to promote artistic endeavors. Just a quick drive up Venice Avenue, past the shops, restaurants, and park area is a visual treat. The bright hibiscus in bloom along the median contrast with the dramatic shade provided by the huge Banyan trees spreading their unique roots like creatures from a science fiction movie. Thanks to the efforts of the Hazeltine Nursery, there’s never anything but perfection in the landscaping. Mixed in with natural scenery you will find inspiring statuary tucked in to the landscape. People often comment that Venice is one of the most beautiful towns they have ever seen. In the 1950’s artists in Venice started assembling for art presentations, and by 1968, the Art Center was built and had 300 members. Today, many changes and many more members later, the Art Center is at the heart of what keeps Venice such a beautiful town. A few years ago, guests coming here saw pig statues everywhere! Decorated with all kinds of eye-catching motifs, the statues were painted by local artists to promote arts and tourism. The pigs were later sold to raise funds for the Art Center. Next time you come to Inn At The Beach, we will be glad to give you directions to the “most popular” pig which sat in front of Sharky’s Restaurant. It’s a huge purple flying pig and now resides in the front yard of a local artist! More recently , we had porpoises and sea turtles lining our streets, parks, and businesses. Everyone always loves our creatures on display. They just have an innocent charm of their own, and they are always happy to pose for pictures! Who knows what you might find on your next visit? But hopefully, you will find time to visit our Art Center and Café. Located at 390 Nokomis Avenue, the center is open 9AM-5PM in Summer with Saturday hours in Winter. Or, visit their website at www.veniceartcenter.com
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