SPAACES makes waves in the Sarasota art world
Artemis and David, Oil on Canvas, 28” x 56” (Portrait by Danielle Dygert.)

SPAACES makes waves in the Sarasota art world

Sarasota Project Aligning Artists Communities Exhibits Studio (SPAACES) is an organization created by Marianne Chapel in 2018. “At SPAACES, we nurture professional artists by offering affordable art studios, quality exhibitions and much, much, more,” Chapel, visual artist and curator, told the Catalyst

Visit SPAACES studio 2087 to see the artist Alicia Brown painting oils with bold imagery. Just one block over in SPAACES Studio 2051, artist Chris Schumaker works on his striking prints. There are a total of 20 people renting studios at SPAACES. Each person is an artist dedicated to their craft.

“SPAACES is the only nonprofit organization in Sarasota whose mission is designed to advance career artists with financial, social and professional support,” Chapel explained. “SPAACES specifically enhances the art careers of women artists, reserving 70 percent of every program for women artists.”

Community is “a place where we can come together, where we can have conversations about art and how art plays a part in what’s going on in the world,” Chapel said. “Galleries and museums can also have a gatekeeping effect, and don’t always reflect the full artistic and cultural diversity that can be found in the communities they inhabit.”

The artist currently spotlighted at SPAACES is Danielle Dygert (’14), a New College of Florida alum who graduated with a degree in Art and Classics. Notably, Dygert’s art can be seen on campus in the breezeway of the ACE building. Dygert is responsible for designing and creating the mural honoring late activist and New College student Nan Freeman’s bravery in standing up to the abuse and oppression of farmworkers.

Additionally spotlighted at SPAACES currently is alum Amanda Gaudrée (’17), who graduated with a degree in Data Management. Professor of Art Kim Anderson’s work will also be displayed at SPAACES from May 3 through June 1, 2024, as part of the non-profit’s Petticoat Painters’ series. 

Many New College students would find it rewarding to visit SPAACES, especially those who are interested in pursuing a career in art. There is ample opportunity to become acquainted with the Sarasota art community at SPAACES’ events, and many are free to attend. Information about the timing of SPAACES’ events is available on the organization’s website and on social media

“People have been dreaming of utopia for centuries, imagining it to be a haven of a beautiful life, bringing together nature, history, and community,” reads an Oct. 20 social media post from SPAACES. It calls for artists to submit an imaginary postcard and image of their dream utopian society. By far the closest this Catalyst reporter has come to witnessing this ideal in real time is through the SPAACES organization itself.

SPAACES is located at 2087 Princeton St. in Sarasota. The galleries are open to visitors every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment.

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