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Clayton Galleries Is Tampa's Artistic Hub

By Marina I. Jokic

Owner and director Cathleen Clayton, a resident of Tampa since the 1960s, is herself educated in the arts. She graduated with a degree in art education from the University of South Florida and envisioned opening her own gallery. Clayton has nurtured a close collaboration with Main Street Gallery in Clayton, Georgia, which also presents choice work from self-taught artists living in the South.

The artists at Clayton Galleries are featured in one or two-person shows or group exhibits, rotating every four to six weeks. At the gallery, styles and mediums span the creative gamut, but most of the artists are either painters, mixed media artists, or sculptors. Sculpture in particular is prominently featured in the "Folk Expressions" exhibit, which takes place every two years and is quite popular with visitors.

Aside from its core business, the gallery is also known for its museum-quality custom framing courtesy of Mark Feingold, who joined its ranks in 1994. Feingold also holds degrees from University of South Florida, both in art education and fine arts. He cut his teeth while working for the Tampa Museum of Art as a preparator for 10 years, immersed in all kinds of art collections and objects.

"At the time that I opened my gallery in 1987, there was much enthusiasm in the Tampa Bay Area among law firms, banks, corporate headquarters, designers, and architects for assembling comprehensive art collections featuring the work of local and regional artists," Clayton said. "I was very interested in discovering new talent in the state to represent, and place in these public and private collections."

Clayton's roster of artists, and the gallery's strategic direction, have evolved over the past 30 years due to market and demographic fluctuations. What has been a consistent trend is that most of the artists have been on board for more than a decade. For instance, Jeffrey Kronsnoble's work has been at the gallery for 25 years. His paintings are composites of collage-like images derived from photographs and popular culture. Artist Lynn Davison's work is also featured at the gallery and is described as expressively figurative. A recent show, the "Port Site: Paintings by Laura Waller," ran this past winter, and showcased abstractions of industrial tankers, cranes, and other vessels at the Port of Tampa Bay.

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Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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