Friday, Aug 29, 2014
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Handmade Holiday Gift Exhibit opens at gallery


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NEW PORT RICHEY — The holiday season can be stressful. With cooking feasts, hanging decorations, and trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, it’s not uncommon to worry about having a happy holiday.

But a local art gallery tries to help make sure you get the perfect yet affordable gift for all of your friends and family.

The Downtown New Port Richey Art Gallery opened its handmade holiday gift exhibit to shoppers last Friday. The exhibit showcased many types of art mediums, including paintings, jewelry, scarves, holiday decorations and even literature.

“The objective is to offer the public the ability to purchase unique and original works of art in all mediums at an affordable price that would make ideal gifts for family and loved ones,” Bonnie Bratby-Carey, executive director of the art gallery, said.

Contributing to the exhibit were artists such as Carol Spigulia, Patty Reeves, Fred Mannarino, Jill Marcus, Jana Withers, John Howie, Claire Frisbee and Liz Rostek.

There were also handmade gifts from art companies and groups like Moontide Designs and Altered Minds Art Group.

Most of the artists who showcased their creations are members of the gallery. The gallery has about 80 members total, even though you don’t have to be a member to have your art shown in the exhibits.

Jim Smetzer, a regular visitor to the gallery, took in the exhibit.

”We come at least half of the time” Smetzer said. “We own a camera store just over the bridge, Chasco Camera Exchange, so we like to try and support the activities downtown.”

Claire Frisbee, a jewelry designer and member of the gallery for about a year, has several pieces in the holiday-themed exhibit.

“Looking at the artwork can give you ideas and inspiration,” Frisbee said.

The gallery also included collages created by the students of Genesis Preparatory Academy, grades 6 through 12. The collages were hand colored with thinned acrylic paints.

The collages had many different designs and themes, including colorful patterns, animals, oceans, and sports. One young artist even created a collage dedicated to the popular British science fiction show, “Doctor Who.” Browsers were able to read why and how the child created each piece.

Susan Woas, the art teacher at Genesis Prep, was all smiles about the student artwork. “I’m very proud of what the kids accomplished.”

Saxophonist John Hughes provided entertainment. Wine and cheese came from Sweetbay Supermarket and Cocktails Bar in Greater New Port Richey.

The Handmade Holiday Gift Exhibit will remain open until Dec. 28 at the gallery, 6231 Grand Blvd. The phone number is (727) 848-6500.

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