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Times of the Islands Magazine

Watson MacRae Gallery - A National Gallery Specializing in Paintings, Ceramics, and Glass Right Here on Sanibel

Mar 24, 2022 10:46AM ● By Jessica Wagner

Photo Courtesy of Watson MacRae Gallery's Website

Watson MacRae Gallery, located on Periwinkle Way on Sanibel, is a national gallery known for its incredible paintings, ceramics, and glass.

The gallery hosts artists from all around the United States and is known nationally for its uniqueness in not only the art that it exhibits but also the building itself.

Maureen Watson, owner and director of Watson MacRae Gallery, describes her beautiful space. "The physical space is also special. It was designed by Architect Joyce Owens to show art. The artwork and the design contribute to what the gallery is – an intimate space of beauty and tranquility. A place where people can find art that touches their hearts and lifts their spirits."

Maureen is very involved in her gallery and absolutely loves what she does. Her favorite part is the artists and how she comes to know each one. "The gallery represents 30 artists in exhibits that change regularly giving residents and visitors a new visual experience whenever they come by. I personally know every artist and that is one of the most rewarding parts of the business – finding and getting to know new artists and helping them get their work into the world, which is what every artist wants."

Plus, the gallery hosts fun and lively events throughout the year when each new exhibit has its opening. The gallery's most recent exhibit, "In Love With This Earth II", featured 6 artists who were inspired by the Earth and paid homage to it by creating pieces from glass, paper, paint or clay.

When asked about how the gallery has been received both locally and nationally, Maureen describes, "This is year 14 for the gallery and people often express how “beautiful”, “unusual”, “sophisticated”, “unexpected” the gallery is. How much they enjoy it, how happy they feel about the art they purchased. For me personally, the biggest compliment came this season from the retired Director of the National Gallery of Art. He said, “good eye; you have a good eye.” … over the moon! Of course, that is a compliment to the art he was looking at and purchased, as well."

If you're looking to visit the Watson MacRae Gallery, they are open Monday-Friday from 11 am to 5 pm. Check out their website for more information and to view current and past exhibits!