Sarasota has been a mecca for the arts since the early 1920s when John Ringling deemed the area as the winter quarters for the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey® Circus. In the past century, historic Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota has been distinguished as one of the community’s focal points for art and architecture with its vibrant promenade filled with fine art galleries, boutiques, bookstores, home décor shops, salons, restaurants and more.
The DeMarcay, a luxury residential condominium project currently being developed at 33 S. Palm Ave. by GK Real Estate, has a rich history of its own. The developers are currently working to keep the historical significance intact by blending the architectural style of the condominiums with the neighborhood fabric and showcasing historical artifacts that date back to the structure’s past occupants.
With so many fine art galleries to choose from on Palm Avenue and beyond, peruse the list below to locate the next potential piece to complement your new home.
Art to Walk On
Filled with antique, traditional, transitional or modern pieces, Art to Walk On is a one-of-a-kind rug store that carries hand-knotted carpets from around the world.
Eileen Hampshire, gallery owner, was born in Northern England in a cotton mill town. Prior to opening her store on historic Palm Avenue in 2007, she was involved in a large family rug business in Montreal.
“It’s important to be in a good shopping area with lots of foot traffic,” she says. “I knew this was where I needed to be, and I was right. Palm Avenue has panache. It’s coming back, and we’re seeing more traffic. It’s a good thing.”
If you’re looking to add a new piece to your home, Art to Walk On has a large selection of carpets from palace size to small area rugs.
To learn more about this unique carpet store, visit ArtToWalkOn.com.
If contemporary art is what you’re after, Galleria Silecchia offers an extensive and eclectic mix of some of the best original fine art in Sarasota. Galleria Silecchia opened its doors 24 years ago, and it currently exhibits abstract, mid-century modern, op and pop art, as well as real and surreal paintings and bronze sculpture.
Louis Chalupa and Candice Silecchia, the gallery owners, settled in downtown Sarasota after checking out nearly every other town on both Florida coasts.
“Sarasota is truly a unique place,” says Louis. “It has the cultural offerings of a large city in a small-town setting. My wife and I love having our art gallery on historic Palm Avenue in the center of Sarasota’s Arts and Theater District. If we had discovered Sarasota first, we wouldn’t have spent so much time looking for it.”
And, if you are looking for a piece of truly original Sarasota art, check out Galleria Silecchia for a painting that depicts The DeMarcay Hotel back in the day by Sarasota artist Vlad Yeliseyev.
To learn more about Galleria Silecchia, visit GalleriaSilecchia.com.
Dabbert Gallery, located at 46 S. Palm Ave., exhibits a collection of original fine art representing 34 artists from cities that span the globe, including Brooklyn, Laguna, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oslo, Sydney, Columbia, Russia, Connecticut and Florida, and 8 of Sarasota’s best.
Gallery owners David and Patricia Dabbert discovered Sarasota 29 years ago as they were visiting Florida to escape the frigid midwest weather. On their drive back home, they discovered Sarasota and were pleasantly surprised to find it filled with art galleries, Sarasota Opera, The Sarasota Ballet, The John and Mable Ringling Art Museum, performing arts venues and more.
“At the time, there were 12 art galleries on historic Palm Avenue,” recalls David. “We couldn’t believe this quiet, charming small town had such a big city appetite for the arts. Inspired to one day open a fine art gallery here, we’re now looking forward to celebrating Dabbert Gallery’s 16th year on historic Palm Avenue.”
To learn more about Dabbert Gallery, visit DabbertGallery.com.
Palm Avenue Fine Art
If you’re looking for a gallery that presents a wide range of traditional subject matter, such as figurative, landscape, marine art, still life, wildlife and more, Palm Avenue Fine Art is sure to have a piece you’ll fall in love with.
“Sarasota is a wonderful city with a small-town ambiance,” says gallery owner Robert Wilson. “Palm Avenue is the perfect spot in Sarasota to offer museum-quality representational art.”
Palm Avenue Fine Art has been located on historic Palm Avenue for 20 years. Over time, the gallery has grown to represent a number of recognized artists in painting and sculpture.
To learn more about Palm Avenue Fine Art, visit PalmAvenueFineArt.com.
In addition to the galleries highlighted above, check out the list below for other galleries located on Palm Avenue. We recommend checking with each gallery for social distancing and appointment protocols.
The DeMarcay at 33 S. Palm Ave. will include 39 well-appointed modern residences with the convenience and excitement of downtown living. The DeMarcay will have luxury amenities including 24-hour valet service, a rooftop clubroom and pool with sweeping views of the bay for every resident, and a fitness center. Situated high above the collection of Zagat-rated restaurants, galleries and entertainment venues nearby, its historic address and convenience make the building a prime location for downtown dwellers. The sales center at 32 S. Palm Ave. is open now. Arrange an appointment by calling 941-404-8858 or visiting TheDeMarcay.com.