Meet Artists in Residence:
Lisa DiFranza and Mayer Kersun
Thursday, March 2, 5-7 p.m.
(February 24, 2023) Creative Liberties just opened a third artists’ studio/gallery space at Gaze Gallery, located in the Arcos Apartment complex in downtown Sarasota’s Rosemary District. According to Barbara Gerdeman, the co-founder of Creative Liberties, Gaze Gallery offers artist residencies for local artists, providing a temporary place for artists to create and display their work. Each residency features a two-month exhibition period with an opening reception. Creative Liberties will also host an exhibition of art by the residents of the Arcos Apartments in June and July. The inaugural exhibit, March 2-April 30, showcases works by Lisa DiFranza and Mayer Kersun. The public is invited to meet the artists at the opening reception, featuring art, wine and lite bites, March 2, 5-7 p.m., at 340 Central Avenue, Sarasota.
Creative Liberties Artist Studios and Gallery was founded in November 2021 by Barbara Gerdeman and Elizabeth Goodwill, both artists and art educators. Goodwill explains that they launched this venture “to empower regional artists with a variety of business services and studio and exhibition opportunities.” Creative Liberties is a collective, communal space that provides work and display space for local artists. There are also display walls available for non-studio artists to rent. Monthly artist markets provide an opportunity for local artists to sell their work and run every second Saturday through April 2023.
The enterprise recently celebrated the grand opening of its second location, which includes the new Creative Academy and 10 studios and gallery space, at 927 Lime Avenue in the Limelight district. The new building is home to 10 studio artists, additional galley space, and the Creative Academy classroom.
“Thanks to a huge amount of support from the community—the public, artists, arts advocates and the media—we have been able to grow Creative Liberties in a short time period,” says Gerdeman. “With the opening of the second location and, now, the artists residency at Gaze Gallery, we will be home to 21 studio artists, offer over 16 art display walls and be able to provide art education opportunities. We are deeply grateful and excited for the new year!”
Goodwill and Gerdeman are thrilled that the third location gives them a presence in the Rosemary District and is yet another opportunity to offer working and display space to local artists. “
The Arcos gallery space formerly operated strictly as an art gallery, but having working artists in the space activates it in a whole new way, one that we and Arcos are excited about,” says Goodwill. Gerdeman adds, “We hope that the residents of Arcos will be just as enthusiastic, and we look forward to working with them during their exhibition in the summer’.
Twenty-one artists have made Creative Liberties Artist Studios and Gallery their artistic workspace. These include: Elizabeth Goodwill (book art, fiber art and mixed media); Barbara Gerdeman (photography, acrylic painting, and mixed media); Donna Bergman (collage and mixed media); Jenny Berry (oil painting); Lisa DiFranza (acrylic painting, gouache, and mixed media); Drita Dawn Hajroja (painting and mixed media); Traci Kegerreis (acrylic painting, collage and mosaics); Mayer Kersun (acrylic painting, mixed media, and collage); Sandy Koolkin (acrylic fluid painting, watercolor and fiber art); Gary LaParl (oil painting); Judy Levine (jewelry design, collage and photography); Jay Li (portraiture pastel, charcoal portraiture and plein air oil painting); Henry Martin (photography and mixed media); Lee Oberlander (watercolor, acrylic paint and mixed media); David Sigel (oil painting and mixed media); Steve Schwartz (acrylic paint, mixed media); Swirly Painter (painting, canvas and mural); Cheryl Taub (acrylic paint, pastel and collage); Adrienne Watts (abstract painting); Sandra Wix
(illustration, portraits and photography); and Jeff Vasington (landscape oil painting).
Creative Liberties Artist Studios and Gallery is now at two locations in Sarasota’s Limelight District: 901-B Apricot Avenue and 927 N. Lime Avenue. Its third location, Creative Liberties Artist Residencies at Gaze Modern, is located in the ARCOS Apartments, 340 Central Ave., Sarasota.
For more information about Creative Liberties, visit www.creativeliberties.net; call 941-799-6634 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Limelight studios are open to the public, Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday to Wednesday by appointment. The Rosemary artists residency is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.