In July, 2010, Kevin Donlan, manager of Publix in Shops of Marco, was looking for a way to put some empty storefronts to work for the good of the community. Conferring with David Caruso, a member of the Board of Directors for Art League, Marco Island (ALMI), an idea was seeded to use the empty store windows to showcase the rich cultural presence on Marco Island.
Enter staging expert Nancy Garrison. Garrison, an Art League Gallery Committee member, is in charge of hanging (or staging) ALMI’s monthly exhibits, she is also co-owner of One Day Interiors, a company specializing in the artful rearrangement of clients’ existing furniture, art, and accessories for maximum appeal. What a dame, what a brain. And so sprouted Windowscapes: a Cultural Collaborative.
The idea was to use the windows as satellite galleries, of sorts, for ALMI member-artists and to include displays promoting other not-for-profit associations that add flavor to life on Marco Island. The artwork would all be for sale; the lion-share going to the artist with a standard gallery commission split between ALMI and the cultural collaborator of that window.
According to Garrison, “In the last 10 months we have displayed over 250 pieces of art in 3 storefront windows and have added six new cultural partners: Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, The Marco Players, Friends of the Library, Marco Island Historical Society, Calusa Garden Club, Marco Island Shell Club.”
The result is three ever-evolving artistic and educational vignettes, all for the delight of shoppers, diners, and visitors to Plaza. I highly recommend taking the time to stroll the Shops of Marco: where shopping really is a pleasure! (You might even glimpse a painting by yours truly!)
Tara O’Neill, a lifelong artist, has been an area resident since 1967. She holds Bachelors Degrees in Fine Arts and English from the University of South Florida, and currently has a studio-gallery at the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island. Contact her through www.taraogallery.com.