By Kathy Collins

The Creative Artist Gallery, located at 933 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, is the area’s newest art gallery. Vanessa Martin, a photographer, opened the space in April. Martin wanted a space dedicated to new artists in the community; a space where they can show their work, sell and network with other artists.

Martin said, “When I moved to the area, I was looking for galleries. All of them wanted only artists who are experienced or require them to work in the gallery, so I decided to open up my own and make it accessible to other artists.” The 1,250 sq. ft. place is bright and inviting.

In June Martin held an Opening Night Reception to celebrate the opening of the second gallery show titled, My Home Town. The show is a wonderful collection of local artists’ work. The show is up until Friday, July 8.

The Creative Artist Gallery is different from other galleries. Martin does not require that artists have experience or work in the gallery. Artists can submit one to three pieces for shows, or they can become a gallery member, or they can rent space. This arrangement allows emerging artists or young artists the opportunity to get their work shown in a gallery. All work shown in the gallery can be purchased directly from the artists.

Martin also wants to open her space to students. She plans to get with area schools and hold student shows. Martin also plans to get in touch with the Veterans Administration and hopefully have a show featuring the artwork of veterans in art therapy.

Margaret Conte, a sculpture artist from Brandon, is a member of the Creative Artist Gallery. “It is good to have a gallery in Brandon. I just love it,” Conte said. “Vanessa put so much thought into the space.”

The Creative Artist Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. On Saturday, the gallery is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. On Opening Nights, the gallery is open until 9 p.m.

For more information, visit www.thecreativeartistgallery.com or call 514-0223.