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Carolyn Seiler Studio Captures Key West's Sunny Spirit

By Pamela Sosnowski

Carolyn Seiler's home has directly influenced her portfolio of artwork. Living in Key West for over 35 years has provided plenty of inspiration, whether it's the local whimsical beach cottages and their colorful gardens, or one of her cats gazing out at the ocean. You can find an array of her work in oil, acrylic, watercolors and more at her Cocoa Village gallery and studio, Carolyn Seiler Studios.

"I was inspired to open Carolyn Seiler Studio in 1980 in Key West when, fresh out of art school, I begged a job at an artist's cooperative on Duval St," she said. "I learned to frame and cut mats and how to make a living as an artist. Since then I've always had a studio/gallery where I sell my art with likeminded people. Now it's in Cocoa Village. I love it there because it reminds me of Key West in those days. You can have a cool store on the Main St. with all your friends."

That cool store would be Carolyn Seiler & Friends, Seiler's artists' co-op featuring artists that specialize in every type of media. Some of Seiler's friends include photographer Kathleen Lowerre, silver-wear-jewelry artist Robin Dresner, and emerging illustrator, and painter, Todd Reed, who is only 19 years old. Currently representing 20 artists, the co-op provides an avenue for local artists to display their work and raise their profile.

Seiler is a Long Island native that counts among her hobbies participating on South American archeological digs where she records artifacts and conducts on-site mapping, and sketching drawings during trials. She was a spectator at the John Gotti trials just so she could draw the courtroom setting. She has a BFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire.

The artist says she doesn't stick to any one medium and running her own studio provides freedom to display whatever she likes.

"I'm more known for lots of different styles because I work in different mediums," she said. "When I went to art school I learned it all. After that I never settled on one medium. I have a space in my gallery for dreamy river watercolors done in the studio and another for oil paintings done on location. I do big acrylic still lives in bold colors and collages with messages and pictures of people I love. When you have your own space you are free to put up whatever you did that day."

During the summer months you can find Seiler inspiring budding young artists by teaching classes to Brevard County kids from ages 5-12. Known as Art Camp, she opens up registration every March 1 only to find that most of the 200 spots are spoken for by May 15. The 10-week program gives kids an introduction to sketching and painting on various materials and creating craft projects. The studio will also be hosting Monday afternoon classes just for teens in June and July.

Seiler welcomes visitors of all ages to visit her gallery and co-op to get inspired by the sunny subject matter.

"Its about what the community brings to our co-op," she said. "We are very fortunate to have the support of local buyers!"

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