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Bokeelia Art Gallery

By Staff | Mar 11, 2020

The front of the Bokeelia Art Gallery at 8315 Main St. in Bokeelia. PAULETTE LEBLANC

On an island filled with artists who express themselves in varying shapes and mediums, it’s not a surprise that there would be different galleries showcasing them. With each gallery echoing its own vibration, The Bokeelia Art Gallery, formerly known as Crossed Palms, has begun a far greater evolution than simply a change of hands.

Although most of the island is acquainted with its Main Street location, facing beautiful Charlotte Harbor, as it was birthed over 30 years ago, it’s undergone deep renovation inside and out. The building, which is over 100 years old, was purchased by Ed and Carol Garske, and has been under their ownership since spring 2019.

The Bokeelia Art Gallery opened, under its new name, on Feb. 8, 2020. Repurposed furniture has been sprinkled throughout, with the intention of giving gallery guests the ability to envision the art in their home, therefore it is presented in just that way. Approximately half of the original artist’s work was kept, among the subtle gallery style, with which islanders have become so familiar. In an effort to widen the variety, a collection of new artists peppers the gallery with several fresh additions in various mediums.

Carol Garske is interested in keeping the art local, saying everything she’s brought in since taking over the gallery is native to Florida, with many of the artists from Pine Island, and she plans to keep it that way. She also said she has no interest in competing with any other galleries and, in fact, looks forward to working with them in support of one another. She holds firmly to the belief that there’s room for every gallery, just as there’s room on the island for every kind of artist and every kind of art.

Garske encourages art enthusiasts to visit every gallery on the island, as she insists no two are alike.

A Gustavo Costello’s “Getting the Bait.” PAULETTE LEBLANC

The Bokeelia Art Gallery has a determination to gravitate toward originals, unless someone requests a print. With a propensity to sell one-of-a-kind pieces prevalent throughout the gallery, an opportunity is presented for collectors to fill their homes with locally made treasures.

Over 30 artists are currently represented in various mediums, including, wood, glass, pottery, paintings and clothing, to name just a few.

The new gallery, which is located at 8315 Main St. in Bokeelia, will be open from October through May, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays.

“Unconditional Love” by Debra Rhoads. PAULETTE LEBLANC