With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

The Creative Artist Gallery Located at 933 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon is a unique art gallery. Vanessa Martin, a photographer, is the owner and opened the gallery last April. Martin offers a space that is dedicated to new artists in the community. It is a space where artists can exhibit their work in a lovely gallery setting.

In the time that the Creative Artist Gallery has been open, Martin has been busy putting on shows and partnering with organizations such as the Arts Therapy Program at the James A. Haley VA Hospital. Martin said, “Meeting the people that run the Arts Therapy program has been the highlight so far. Being able to give these veterans a place to show their art has really been awarding. Also, being able to help them financially, even it is a small amount, is very rewarding. I am happy to be able to raise awareness about the program as well.”

Since opening, Martin has also been able to give many artists a space to show their work and share their expertise through teaching the next generation of artists.

As artists are the center of all that happens at the Creative Artist Gallery, Martin has regular art exhibits. The current show is called “For the Love of Art.” Artists were given the opportunity to show artwork which shows subjects about which they are passionate. The show is up until March 6. The next show will be “Mardi Gras” and will feature artwork that celebrates the artist’s take on the fun of Mardi Gras. This show opens on March 10.

In addition to partnering with organizations and hosting art exhibits, Martin has started a magazine called, The Creative Artist. Martin said, “I started the magazine as another way to market some of the artists that come through the gallery. For new artists that are not known, it gives them a way to share their story and work with people.” The magazine includes an Around Town section which features places that show art work and inspire artists.

Artists can participate by submitting art which can be chosen as the cover art. Martin said, “It is free to enter and is another great way to market an artist’s artwork.” The Creative Artist can be found online at Magcloud or through www.thecreativeartistgallery.com.