Vol 7 No. 22 - February 21, 2007

Things are simply artistic at Simply Put in Cortez


Tim Gallagher invites local artists and artisans to to sell their work
at Simply Put Artisan Gallery.
PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER

ByLouise Bolger
sun staff writer

Businesses, just like people, frequently resist being labeled. Most blonds would agree that hair color has no relevance to their brain power, and just because an art gallery has a Madison Avenue address does that mean its art is more artistic? Simply Put Artisan Gallery in Cortez is so diverse that it resists labeling. In fact what you see today could change completely tomorrow, which, of course, is part of its charm.

When Tim Gallagher relocated from New York to Florida in 1992 he was determined to leave his three piece suite and briefcase behind. For a while he worked at the Colony Hotel on Longboat Key and when the opportunity of owning his own business presented itself, he knew where he belonged.

Simply Put was established three years ago selling an assortment of painted furniture, seashore inspired art, and collectibles. Last December, Gallagher moved a few storefronts west into a 4,000-square-foot store with two-story ceilings and walls embellished with palm trees, mermaids and fish, in addition to a loft. And he didn’t just move his collection of unique merchandise, he changed the shop’s concept to a place where local artists and artisans can sell and showcase their talents.

Gallagher has gathered together what he calls the right mix of people who are interested in renting space at Simply Put in order to display their specialties. At any one time you can purchase the work of between four and eight artists or select small antique pieces and collectibles also on display. The diverse selections range from custom made jewelry (one accredited jewelry designer has her workshop at Simply Put) to hand painted furniture, plaster molded wall hangings, shell art and a variety of paintings and antiques. Many of the artists and artisans on display at Simply Put previously owned their own businesses and find the environment and support from other artists at the shop more conducive to their lifestyle. In addition to overseeing Simply Put, Tim Gallagher also refinishes furniture for clients at a workshop he maintains in Bradenton, as well as custom making some furniture pieces.

The future of Simply Put Artisan Gallery is dynamic. Gallagher has plans for monthly art festivals, more evening wine tasting events, similar to one held earlier this month, and a web site. He’s always on the lookout for interesting pieces for the shop and talented artists with something to contribute.

Simply Put fits perfectly into the spirit of Cortez Village, also a place that continues to resist labeling. So keep it simple, stop into Simply Put Artisan Gallery. You may walk out with that one perfect piece you’ve been looking for, or something totally out of the ordinary.

Simply Put
Artisan Gallery
11904 Cortez Road W.
Cortez
(941) 795-4788
Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.to 6 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

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