After a rough year—or 10—it’s a new day on Palm Avenue, as a whole cluster of new, relocating and returning galleries have set up shop near the southern end, threatening to revitalize the once-famous gallery scene that made Palm Avenue an art collector’s destination. “I’ve always loved Palm Avenue and I love that it’s art-centered again,” says Nikki Sedacca, owner of Burns Gallery on Palm—a relocated and revamped 530 Burns Gallery, previously of Burns Court. “We all do better, having each other here,” she says. Mara Torres, the artist/owner behind MARA Art Studio and Gallery, relocated from the Rosemary District, agrees. “It’s becoming, again, what it used to be,” she says. “And when someone’s looking for art, they’re going to come to Palm Avenue.” They join fellow gallerists Meg Krakowiak, the lone force behind Meg Krakowiak Art Gallery and Studio, a Palm Avenue presence for the past seven years, and the sole newcomer to the group, Deena King and Define Gallery. Unplanned but not unwelcome, they constitute an ad hoc arts alliance and a fresh entrenchment for the arts on Palm Avenue. “It’s terrific,” says Krakowiak. “I wish every single store was a gallery.”

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan


Meg Krakowiak Art Gallery and Studio

The only solo act on the strip, Meg Krakowiak has held court at her Palm Avenue studio/gallery for seven years now, where window-shoppers and sidewalk-strollers can often find her hard at work, spattered in pigment and a big smile painted on her face. An acrylic artist with the eye of an impressionist, she works big and she works quick, crafting landscapes, seascapes and great floral scenes in large scale and eye-popping color. And for Krakowiak, it all comes down to the color, walking the streets and beaches for natural inspiration she can take to her canvas. “Then I try to exaggerate the color I see,” she says, “to help other people see the colors when they’re out and about.” Always exploring and recently inspired by the works of Syd Solomon, Krakowiak’s latest adventure sees the artist intent on developing her own abstract style, hopefully to be unveiled sometime this year.

Showing this month: Whatever Krakowiak has been working on.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan


530 Burns Gallery on Palm

With Burns Gallery on Palm, Nikki Sedacca returns to her old stomping grounds, having opened her first gallery in the historic Mira Mar building 37 years ago, before picking up stakes and opening 530 Burns Gallery in Burns Court. This latest venture marries Sedacca’s love for fine art with her eye for interior design, showcasing both in a corner location full of natural light. Dubbed a “lifestyle gallery,” visitors will find everything they need to decorate their space, from the perfect painting and glass sculpture to home goods and designer jewelry. A native Floridian and longtime Sarasotan, Sedacca’s curatorial style reflects her upbringing, bright and coastal and modern. Artists on the roster include all artists previously with 530 Burns, such as plein air artist Linda Richichi and 3D painter Joan Konkel, as well as newcomers like Tammy Keller, Debbie Dannheisser and Grace Howl, all known for their exuberant colors. Future projects for the gallery include a cocktail table collection, created in collaboration with artisans working in marble, wood, metal and even concrete.

Showing this month: A group show highlighting the entire roster at Burns Gallery on Palm.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan


Mara Art Studio and Gallery

Making the shift from Rosemary to Palm, MARA Art Studio and Gallery winnows its roster just a bit, with artist/owner Mara Torres carefully curating a select list of professional artists exclusive to the gallery. Contemporary and largely non-representational (with the odd exception), the gallery boasts a high concentration of sculptors, with both Ralph Berger and Pamela Olin working in raw steel, Ashley Rivers and Jack Shapiro in stoneware and ceramic, and David Erdman in wood, shaping and polishing it with the fluidity of a passing river. On the painting side, Torres’ own work is joined by that of abstract expressionist Midge Johnson, oil paintings from Lori Childers, and the multifaceted portraits of Javi Suarez, whose layered compositions capture whole lives, communities and movements in a single frame. Christina Jensen Vicente rounds out the roster with textile art and wallhangings.

Showing this month: ChromaShock, a group show celebrating the raw power of color, looking to push the boundaries of traditional color palettes and embrace the range of chromatic expression.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan


Define Art Gallery and Studio

Eclectic and energetic, informal and maybe even approaching sensory overload, walking into Define Art Gallery feels like walking into an artists’ clubhouse, where every turn reveals some unexpected project or painting—and that’s the way owner and artist Deena King likes it. “Be different” is her only rule and Define’s guiding light as King assembled her roster of more than 20 artists, including more than a few refugees from Art Uptown and famed New York City sculptor Ro Daar, a recent transplant to the Sarasota scene. From Carolyn Marx, photographing layered paint compressed between plates of glass, to the oddball sculpturings of Melanie Carlstein, where found objects become strange and whimsical figures, Define is looking to, well, define itself by attracting artists working outside the mold and exploring the possibilities of process. And with digital artist Diana De Avila on the roster, the gallery is among the first to foray into augmented reality art.

Showing this month: Abstract acrylics from Gillian St. George, elevated pop art from Camille Enkeboll and mosaic landscapes in watercolor and ink, almost surreal in their stillness, from Ian Begg.