he word “gift” can mean a present, an offering, a flair or a talent; while a gallery is defined as a place to showcase great works of art for exhibition or sale. How appropriate it is that the artisan boutique in the Marco Island Center for the Arts is known as a “Gift Gallery,” as it presents an offering of fine objects created by those with a flair and talent for all that is unique.
Imagine this: An artist has a thought. That thought becomes a vision. That vision becomes a reality in physical form through the artist’s gift of creativity. It now becomes your gift to hold in your hands, to display in your home, to wear on your body or to share with a friend.
This Gift Gallery is indeed a hidden gem on Marco Island. Even some who have lived on the island for many years are unaware of its existence. Many others have never been there, because they think the art center charges an admission fee just to walk through its doors. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Marco Island Center for the Arts is free and open to the public on a daily basis from 9 AM to 4 PM. The Gift Gallery is open from 9 AM to 4 PM each day and is now even open on Saturdays from noon to 4 PM through November 18.
Many hear the word “gallery” and panic that all of the items must be very expensive and limited to just paintings or sculptures, but this is not the case. “We have some- thing for everyone at every price point,” says Gift Gallery associate Victoria Diebler. The Gift Gallery is dedicated to supporting local artists. Ninety-nine per cent of the items for sale are the original creations of Florida artists, mostly from Marco Island, Naples and the Fort Myers area.
Upon entering the gallery, one is reminded that we live in a wonderful world of color. The walls display original paintings, prints, giclées, and photographs. Two items that caught my eye with their vibrant hues were actually cutting boards in brilliant shades of fuchsia and purple, uniquely created with photographs. There are oil paintings, scenic watercolors, softly blended sketches and pastels, abstract designs and even some images that were inspired by graffiti. It is truly a smorgasbord for the eyes.
A vast collection of artisan jewelry of every price range is sure to please that special person on your holiday gift list. Each piece is unique in design. There is no mass production here. From origami inspired earrings to cuff links in the edgy pseudo- Victorian steampunk style, each item is individually crafted and one-of-a-kind. A jewelry artist herself, Victoria Diebler is proud to display her very own collection of stylish pendants, featuring the very special Free Bird and timeless
Children are so special in the world of art. The Gift
Gallery offers an entire section of unique items for children, including handmade baby quilts, knitted hats, puzzles and children’s books written and illustrated by local artists.
There are hand blown glass fobs and pendants that can soothe the soul with clarity and flow. One will want to choose from a selection of fine handcrafted pens to inspire the art of the written word, whether you are writing a novel or addressing a greeting card. Speaking of cards, there is an entire rack of custom designed greeting cards to express every sentiment from Happy Birthday to encouragement through chemotherapy.
The Clay Guild section features a colorful display of crockery, both decorative and functional, created by beginner and expert potters. Vases, bowls, trays and jars are available in every price range.
The Gift Gallery definitely shines with the flair of local color. Barry Howe’s reproduction of a 1965 Chicago tribune advertisement delivers the message that “The tropics are calling you to join this new kind of living – Marco Island,” while a sign crafted from license plates reminds us to heed the call of “Marco Midnight – 9 PM.”
There is indeed something for everyone at the Marco Island Center for the Arts Gift Gallery. Stop by at 1010 Winterberry Drive to find that unique gift item you are looking for. Be sure to mark your calendar for their holiday sale on November 16-18th.
For more information about Marco Island Center for the Arts and the Gift Gallery, please visit www.marcoislandart.org or call 239-394-4221.