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Saturday, Oct 25, 2014
Plant City Courier

Artists show off downtown co-op at open house


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PLANT CITY The Art Lounge Gallery occupies a storefront in the heart of the historic downtown district.

Yet the art co-op sometimes remains a hidden jewel.

So the local artists who operate the gallery at 19 E. Reynolds St. held a recent month-long sale to show off their establishment.

“We believe it is important for artists to interact with the community,” said Joe Simpson, East Hillsborough Art Guild president and gallery supporter.

The gallery sponsors regular art workshops and classes for the public, and hands out an annual student scholarship to promote arts, Simpson said.

The gallery's regular outreach events include Art after Dark. The next one is 6 to 10 p.m. May 31 and includes free wine and hors d'oeuvres, an opportunity to meet gallery artists and live entertainment featuring bluegrass music.

Artists say they like being a part of the 5-year-old gallery.

Artisan and master knife maker Dan Piergailini said he's found through the gallery that a lot of people “share my passion.” He regularly shows his signed custom-crafted knives and original sculptures there.

“It gives me the opportunity to talk to people about my work; once you start you also become a collector,” he said.

Retired Hillsborough County sheriff's Sgt. George L. Veazy is also a member of the co-op and has turned his love of photography into a full-time vocation.

He started taking pictures as a teenager and likes to photograph nature and animals in their native habitat.

For more information on the gallery, call (813) 704-4872.

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