Monday, September 28, 2020

Swim into blue mangrove

Steve Vaugn’s photographs on canvas capture Paradise. Submitted

Steve Vaugn’s photographs on canvas capture Paradise. Submitted

by Tara O’Neill

I love Blue Mangrove Gallery. I mean really love it. No matter how stressing my day, I walk in and immediately feel all those colors, those blues, greens, and ambers, wash over me like a cool and cleansing tropical wave. They radiate from the glass, the paintings, the textiles; they glow from the jewelry, ceramics and home furnishings; and I’d swear they bubble from the hearts of owner Christie Marcoplos and her equally well-informed and charming assistants, Celeste Navara and Lissa Neff. All three women have a wonderful grasp of what’s unique about art and artists in Paradise. It’s my belief that just five minutes in BMG can cure a lot of what ails folks.

The Blue Mangrove Gallery began as a seed in the back of Christie’s mind many years ago. Owner of a florist/gift shop and plant design/maintenance service in New Hampshire, she yearned for a tropical setting that could support creative artists. Finally, in 2001, she packed up her car and

Fandangles, handcrafted whimsical mermaids of fabric, shell, and vintage jewelry, by Lynn Crans.

Fandangles, handcrafted whimsical mermaids of fabric, shell, and vintage jewelry, by Lynn Crans.

her courage and drove as far south as possible, landing on our own beautiful Island. Be glad she did.

After five years of playing in the sun and exploring the Everglades, Christie felt her entrepreneurial spirit re-surface. In December, 2006 the doors finally opened to her hand-crafted and fine art gallery. Having the support of Florida artists such as Clyde Butcher, (whom she worked for while living in Big Cypress) as well as many previous contacts, acquaintances, and friends, the Blue Mangrove Gallery became a reality.

The variety within will dazzle and amaze you – a delightful mix of serene sophistication and wacked-out whimsy, all quality. Swim through luscious paintings, brilliant photographs, hand made rugs, wearable textiles, metal mangrove tables and lots of glass: beach glass, blown glass, fused glass, stained glass; some for wearing, some for serving, and some just for admiring. And all those colors.

Along with great finds from around the globe, Christie Marcoplos has made an elegant effort to introduce the area to it’s

Bold and brilliant is the hallmark of Matlache artist Leoma Lovegrove.

Bold and brilliant is the hallmark of Matlache artist Leoma Lovegrove.

own local artists. Along with Clyde Butcher, enjoy the art of Leoma Lovegrove, Jo-Ann Sanborn, Jim Freeman, Rosemary Mazzola, Jeff Ripple and all the artists that contribute to the soul of Southwest Florida.

I love Blue Mangrove Gallery.

BMG’s December delights include:

Wednesday, December 8th, 6-9pm, Coinciding with Marco Town Center’s Holiday walk, it’s BMG’s 4th Anniversary Party, Holiday Open House, and opening reception for photographer Rick Cruz and his latest collection, Jewels of the Western Everglades. The exhibit runs through December 31. (Look out for Santa & Mrs Claus arriving at Town Center by fire truck!).

Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon, Dec. 11,12,13&14

Holiday Trollbeads Trunkshow, served with joyous specials & festive treats. Blue Mangrove Gallery is located in the Marco Island Town Center. www.bluemangrovegallery.com – 239.393.2405.

Tara O’Neill has been an area resident since 1967. She holds a Bachelors Degrees in Fine Arts and English from the University of South Florida, Tampa, and currently has a studio-gallery at the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island. She can be contacted through her web site www.taraogallery.com

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