Tucked away among the live oaks, palmettos and pines just off of State Road 776 in Englewood, south of Nokomis you’ll find the hidden gem and truly unique paradise that is Swayze Studio. The eclectic art gallery, studio, home and grounds are filled with treats for the eyes to feast upon including a lighted “bicycle tree” that marks the entrance to the studio, and the newly installed Butterfly Glass Garden that is just as intriguing as it sounds.
Carroll Swayze has been an integral part of the local art scene for 30 years and is well known for her colorful acrylic paintings as well as her classes and the soirées she hosts on her magnificent property throughout the year. This year’s annual Swayze Studio Open House, held this past Saturday, included a live blues jazz jam led by Canadian clarinet player Michael Murphy. Rich Fizer was on site with his mobile glass studio doing live glass-blowing demonstrations. Guests toured the studio and gallery, listened to live music and shared in all kinds of holiday goodies. Shopping in the gallery included Swayze’s acrylic paintings and copies of her new book “Beautiful Unwelcome Visitors Make Great Fish Tacos”, a 38 page “Cookbook for Coloring” featuring beautiful drawings and great recipes from the Swayze Kitchen. Carrol’s love of cooking extended into the open house festivities with her 5th Annual Soup Competition, and it was delicious!
It is in the spirit of giving that Carroll hosts these fun events that always include great art, live music and great food, and the notion of giving back to the community is near and dear to Carroll who is active in many fundraising and charity endeavors throughout the year. At this year’s open house, Swayze and her boyfriend, glass artist Rich Fizer held their annual Art Auction, which raised $380 for art supplies at LA Ainger Middle School. “Supporting art in the schools is very important to me. The arts are integral to the health and well being of a community and with budget cuts and downsizing, art programs all over the country are in trouble. Dedicated teachers everywhere are forced to contribute their own money for art supplies and my hope is that we are able to keep art alive in the schools.”
The Swayze Studio is a must see, you will come as a guest and leave as a friend. It is located at 2373 Donovan Road in the north end of Englewood just off State Road 776. The studio is open every day from now until Christmas from “10am to whenever” for you to shop for unique gifts and original art, or to simply take a break from the hectic holiday madness. Stroll the grounds, which are a delightful mix of nature, art, color and Old Florida charm. Explore the working studio and private library, warm up by the fire pit and have a nice tall glass of complimentary Sangria. You never know what kind of impromptu get together may materialize on the stage or at the Tiki bar, so give Carroll a call at 941-226-6434 or visit her website www.carrollswayze.com and stay up to date with all the festivities not only this holiday season, but for years to come!
Editors note: studio is in Englewood, south of Nokomis.
photos from Carroll Swayze