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Times of the Islands Magazine

The Tower Gallery - Bringing Together Local Artists For 40 Years!

Sep 01, 2022 04:33PM ● By Stephanie Hatley

Photo Courtesy of JoAnne Bedient

The Tower Gallery Cooperative Gallery is a group of award winning area artists who live in the Sanibel area. The gallery is completely artist-run with diverse styles and mediums for every taste and price range. It began in 1982 when the Bell Tower Shopping Center was being built and moved to Sanibel in 1992. The gallery has always been about showcasing area artists' work and introducing the community to and educating the community about art.

Housed in a 1915 two-story turquoise house, the Tower Gallery has paintings in acrylic, oil, watercolor, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, painted wood fish furniture, and jewelry. If you visit the gallery, you’ll always see an artist working. When customers come in, the artists work together to find the perfect piece of art. JoAnne Bedient, one of the local artists, explains, “If a certain style is liked but the correct size is not in the gallery, a phone call is made to the artist to find the perfect piece for the customer. That is why we are called a cooperative gallery!”

She goes on to share how much she loves interacting with customers and how those interactions have led to additional opportunities for artists at the gallery. “I personally have been with the gallery for 30 years now. Meeting the people who come in from all over the world has to be my favorite thing. Because of that fact, it has also opened many doors for me as an artist and I have been invited to be part of galleries and shows all over the US. One of our artists was invited to Germany to have a show. It's such a sunny, colorful atmosphere to work in that I always look forward to my turn working in the gallery!”

One of the ways the community can support the Tower Gallery Cooperative Gallery is by attending the “Art from the Attic Sale” the weekend of October 21-23. It’s the gallery’s most popular event of the year where the artists go through their studios and place things on sale to make room for the new season of work. Tents are set up in the parking lot, art is showcased on the deck and in the screened-in porch, and, of course, the gallery itself is full of beautiful pieces. This year will be the 16th year of the sale!

If you want to keep up with the artists and gallery news, check out the website, Facebook page, and Instagram account. On the homepage of the website, anyone can sign up for the gallery’s monthly newsletters and event invitations.

The next time you’re out and about near Tarpon Bay Road, stop in and check out the Tower Gallery Cooperative Gallery. You’ll be amazed at the artwork created by local artists who also call Sanibel home!