What makes a community? What is the difference between audience engagement and community involvement? These are the questions constantly caroming through Marianne Chapel’s brainspace since she made the decision in 2019 to pivot from running a personal gallery/studio in M.Chapel Projects to shaping a community as the founder of SPAACES—Sarasota Project Aligning Artists Communities Exhibits Studios. The goal? “A place where we can come together,” Chapel says. “Where we can have conversation about art and how art plays a part in what’s going on in the world.” And on any given day, a stop by the Princeton Street location provides an opportunity to join the conversation, either through an exhibition within the SPAACES gallery, a hosted panel discussion or a chat with one of the local artists, such as Laine Nixon and Cassia Kite, utilizing the attached private studios. (Just be sure to ask permission before barging in on an artist at work. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but paint will stain your clothes.) And with SPAACES adding four more artist studios for rent, the community is only growing.

The SPAACES season begins this month with an exhibition by sculptor and installation artist Vanessa Diaz, followed by a two-artist show in November with Diana de Avila and Julie Kanapaux, and a December show featuring Kate Hendrickson, Kathy Wright and Mary GrandPré.