Night on the Town: Getting to know Downtown Dunedin’s art galleries

Just as I am finally getting around to doing Dunedin’s 2nd Friday Wine/Art walk, the name is changing and the website is being re-worked. Dunedin’s Wine/Art walk is becoming “Dunedin Second Friday: Night on the Town.” When I purchased my wrist band for $10 at Pan y Vino, I was given a free map. Inside was a list of participating art galleries, shops, bars, and restaurants along with the evening’s special offers. “Stroll through delightful Downtown Dunedin every 2nd Friday of each month with your friends and family to discover new artists, musicians, and eats,” the map/flier advertises.

Many of the art galleries were offering 10% off any purchase and a free wine sample, so I decided to start here. Running along the Pinellas Trail next to Café Alfresco, is a rainbow row of gift shops and art galleries, including Clay & Paper and Painted Fish Gallery.

gallery row

Clay & Paper

Clay & Paper gallery has been selling art to the Dunedin area since 1984. Husband and wife team, Ira and Barbara Burhans, are both artists, creating beautiful stoneware pottery (Clay) and paper wall sculptures (&Paper), respectively. Over the years, they have added the work of several of their artist friends, residing in Florida and throughout the U.S.A. They strive to bring quality handcrafted American products to the masses, no matter how large or small the budget. I noticed that several of Ira’s pieces would make excellent holiday gifts, most notably the clay cookware priced around $40 and including a recipe. Taking advantage of the 10% discount, I purchased one of Alan & Rosemary Bennett‘s clay fish.

clay & paper

wine and art- painted fish webPainted Fish Gallery

The Painted Fish Gallery opened in Downtown Dunedin in 1995, by artists Bill and Linda Renc, and has been displaying and selling Renc Family artwork ever since. Bill Renc’s colorful wildlife oil paintings generally feature local fish and water birds – his favorite are the Roseate Spoonbills often seen hanging out by the mangroves around Honeymoon Island in April. In 2012, Bill released an illustrated coffee table book dedicated to the city of Dunedin, called “Painting the Town,” which is currently for sale at the Painted Fish Gallery. Bill’s wife, Linda Renc, is a calligraphic artist whose work focuses on the visual representation of words. Their daughter, Christine Renc-Carter, works in mixed media, and is currently the director of adult education at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.

Stirling Art Studios

Stirling Art Studios is very much a working space, but it is also a gallery. On the top floor of the 730 Broadway retail complex, about a dozen artists are crowded into art cubicles. The building is also headquarters for the Miniature Art Society of Florida. During Second Friday, most of the artists are present and socializing with the public. I had the pleasure of meeting Janice Ritter Kadushin and Cathleen Martinetto during my last visit. Janice introduced me to both her tree and history series, much to my delight. I was impressed by her versatility as an artist, churning out beautiful works of art in both water-based media and pen & ink.

Jan Kadushin a web

Cathleen Martinetto was painting one of her miniatures as I was touring the studios. In order for a painting to qualify as a miniature, it must be no larger than 25 square inches. These works of art are so small, the artist often requires a magnifying glass, as Cathleen is using here to paint a canvas smaller than her hand.

Cathleen Martinetto

Rosie’s Tavern is in the same complex with Stirling Art Studios, and was offering 50% off draft or house wine for 2nd Friday participants. Between the Art Studios and the Tavern, most of the action seemed to be at 730 Broadway during 2nd Friday. Others clustered in Pioneer Park to hear Troy Youngblood & The SoulFish, a local soul/blues band.

Rosie's Tavern

A total of over 50 Dunedin businesses participated in Second Friday, and most of these offered a discount on either wine or art. This included some of Dunedin’s best restaurants: Café Alfresco, Casa Tina, Kelly’s, and Sea Sea Riders. But that is a subject for another day.



Categories: Arts & Culture, DunedinTags:

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