Making SPAACES – Arts & Culture :: SRQ Magazine article by Phil Lederer

In an industrial playground lined with Ivy League names, Marianne Chapel and a group of local artists build a collaborative community.

Photos taken by Wyatt Kostygan.

What makes a community? What is the difference between public engagement and community involvement? These are the questions that constantly cross Marianne Chapel’s brain space since she made the decision in 2019 to move from managing a personal gallery/studio in M.Chapel Projects to forming a community as a as founder of SPAACES—Sarasota Project Aligning Artists Communities Exhibits Studios. The goal? “A place where we can get together,” Chapel said. “Where we can have a conversation about art and how art plays a part in what’s happening in the world.” And each day, a stop at the Princeton Street location offers the opportunity to join the conversation, either through an exhibition within the SPAACES gallery, a lively panel discussion or a conversation. with one of the local artists, such as Laine Nixon and Cassia. Kite, using the adjoining private studios. (Just be sure to ask permission before intervening on an artist at work. Sticks and rocks may break your bones, but paint will stain your clothes.) And with SPAACES adding four more artist studios for rent , the community is only growing.

The SPAACES season kicks off this month with an exhibition by sculptor and installation artist Vanessa Diaz, followed by a two-artist exhibition in November with Diana de Avila and Julie Kanapaux, and an exhibition in December featuring Kate Hendrickson, Kathy Wright and Mary GrandPre.