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Harbour View Gallery features more than 30 artists
February 1, 2019

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A cooperative art gallery, located at the Cape Harbour Marina Promenade, has expanded its space and increased the number of artists since opening more than a decade ago.

Harbour View Gallery President Beverly Fox, who has been involved with the gallery for eight years, said they have a very dynamic group.

"There is quite a bit of change going on all the time. It's a very dynamic group that works at it," she said.

Kelly Morrison, a managing manager, said Harbour View Gallery is a cooperative gallery with seven managing members and approximately 35 local artists who are all located within 50 miles of Cape Coral. The artists showcase a large variety of mediums ranging from jewelry to paintings.

Fox said all of the artists create in their own style and it is all original work.

"Everyone that creates for our gallery lives within 50 miles. They have to be close by to restock if they sell. That is important to us that we keep our stock up, fresh and new in the gallery for our customers that frequent the gallery," she said.

Fox said the number of artist fluctuates between 30 to 35. All of the artwork is juried, to make sure it is quality, fresh work.

"We all have our designated spaces. We are pretty much free to do what we want as long as we stay in our medium," Morrison explained. "You can fill your wall space with whatever you are creating at the time."

Morrison fills her space with her acrylic painted funky fish line, as well as jewelry. The line includes whimsical fish and sea life. In addition, she makes glass beads, which are turned into jewelry.

"The glass beads I also use as eyes on my fish," Morrison explained. "It's very colorful and very tropical island style."

Morrison began her artistic career 30 years ago. She said she uses lots of layers and textures for her artwork.

Fox, who is a silversmith, has been perfecting her craft for about 15 years while working with rare stones from all over the world. She buys her stones directly from the miners, or from the stone cutters.

"They are all original designs and I only sell in our gallery, so it's very exclusive," Fox said.

The artist finds her inspiration from the stones when creating a piece of jewelry. She said a design either pops into her head when looking at the stone, or she is inspired by a pattern in the stone.

"I let them tell me their story and take it from there creating my design," Fox said.

While creating every day, she also spends time thinking about her customers and what they would like, something small, or large to wear.

The gallery features an artist of the month complete with a wine reception the first Tuesday of the month.

"They can invite their family, friends and following. It's really good exposure for the featured artist. If they do well and they really like the gallery and want to participate more, they can apply to be an extending visiting artist. They would sell their work at the gallery and the gallery takes a commission and the artist gets the remainder of the sales," Morrison said.

Fox said she enjoys the artist of the month because they really get to know that person.

"Sometimes everyone just really likes the person, the artwork and the prices are right for our gallery. They are easy to work with," she explained.

There is also an associate artist program where the artist has the opportunity to work in the gallery. Morrison said they work one shift a week. The artist can sell their work, which will be split between the artist and the gallery.

"The commission is less because they are volunteering their time," she explained.

Fox said with the associate member working in the gallery, it has taken a great deal of pressure off of the seven managing members, who in the past, were the only ones who worked the gallery.

"The founding members had a vision and started the gallery with nothing. The model is seven members, each worked one day a week. We are required by our landlord to be open seven days a week during season and we are. We really appreciate the founding members with their vision. After eight years we doubled our size, we have taken over the next suite. We went from seven members showing their work to the 35 membership we have now," Fox said. "When we interview our people, we make sure they have a background that fits with what we are doing and where we are headed."

Morrison said the gallery offers a unique setup and a great opportunity for artists at different levels to get involved.

The gallery was a welcome change for artist Heather Rivera, who is now a managing member. She said she was looking for a storefront where she could sell her jewelry when she stumbled upon Harbour View Gallery.

"I started my business in 2011 when living in Cleveland. I moved down here with my dad," Rivera said. "I quit my regular job and started becoming an artist full-time."

The gallery, she said, has taken her business to the next level.

"I have a storefront, which is a game changer. It's an artist coop. We are all working together to share our artwork with the world. I have all of these partners and other artists who are all local who were all doing art together, which makes it so much bigger than me," Rivera said.

Her specialty is cold fusion for her jewelry. She said there is no soldering, heat or glue, but wire wrapping, chains and counter balance that keeps the jewelry together.

"I design in collections," Rivera said of working with different gemstones and sterling silver.

Fox said they are excited about the couple of new fresh people who joined the gallery that are savvy in social networking.

"That has been really exciting for all of us because not all of us have taken the time to learn that. It is really wonderful that we have a good mix in our group right now," Fox said.

The gallery, for the first time, is also selling artwork online, which is new for them.

Since the beginning of the year, Harbour View Gallery began offering classes, due to the new space they began renting upstairs.

"It's quite a large room and lends itself so beautifully to a classroom. We have scheduled classes almost every day," Fox said. "We have a very broad selection."

Rivera said the classes are all taught by an artist, either one that is a part of the gallery, or one that does not exhibit at the gallery.

"Every instructor is an artist," she explained.

Morrison said the classes are great to attend for couples who want to sip and paint, or for individuals who want to learn how to make some jewelry. She said those who attend the classes will have a piece of artwork to take home with them.

"You will have a finished product when you leave," Morrison said.

Morrison said the classes range from one-day workshops to classes that take place over several weeks. Individuals can sign up at www.harbourviewgallery.com, or by visiting the gallery.

Harbour View Gallery is located at 5789 Cape Harbour Drive, Suite 104. For additional information, call 239-540-5789.

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