Carroll Swayze’s 28th Annual Studio Party & Art Lover’s Appreciation Day is Saturday, Dec. 12, from 3 to 11 p.m. at 2373 Donovan Road in the north end of Englewood just off SR 776.
You can’t miss it. Just turn at the hanging lighted bicycles!
You know the holidays are here when Swayze opens her hidden art studio for one night to hundreds of art lovers in appreciation for the years of support that this community has shown her.
Guests are welcome to tour this incredible working studio and grounds, get a glimpse of Swayze’s latest work, eat some great food and listen to music in a casual setting.
Nestled among big live oaks and palmettos, Swayze’s studio and home are an eclectic mix of art, color and old Florida charm, from her personal fish- themed art collection to the latest addition to the property, a live glass-blowing studio.
People are invited to sit and watch master glassblower Rich Fizer create his beautiful hand-blown glass fish, bowls and vessels.
Well known for her colorful etchings and original acrylic paintings, Swayze is a fixture in the local art scene, having lived in the area for more than 40 years.
Carroll’s work is represented by more than 30 galleries as well as public and private collections worldwide, and if there’s something “art” going on in our community, you can be sure that Carroll Swayze will be in the middle of it.
“I have a beautiful piece of property, a well-organized working studio and an interesting home,” said Swayze. “Each year I invite the community to my studio to share some holiday goodies, see some great art, and enjoy the day. I learned long ago that not everyone can afford my work, so I also have a sale of my work at the party so that everyone has access to original art, which I think is important.”
Swayze is also hosting a contest for all the home chefs in the area for the third year.
“Our ‘Gumbo Contest’ is open to anyone with a creative flair in the kitchen,” Swayze said. “Participants are encouraged to create delicious recipes and bring a crock pot of gumbo to the party, where judges will taste and award the prizes at 6 p.m.” The coveted “Golden Spoon Awards” are being created in glass by the in-house chef, Rich Fizer. The contest is a fun part of the night.
Swayze said last year’s soup contest had 13 entries, each with its own delicious taste. After the judging, the gumbo pots will be opened up to guests to taste the local flavors.
This year’s open house will feature the colorful organic blown-glass work of Master Gaffer Rich Fizer. Fizer will be on site with his mobile glass studio and will be doing glassblowing demonstrations throughout the event. Some seating is available, you are welcome to bring your own chair.
Swayze will be exhibiting her new acrylic paintings and her latest “Postcards from the Beach,” a series of acrylic paintings on canvas she started at The Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key (There is a lot of history between Carroll Swayze and The Hermitage because Carroll grew up there. The Hermitage was her writer Mother, Ruth Swayze’s, private home).
Fizer and Swayze are collaborating this year to create a giant lighted holiday tree surrounded by the new “glass wall” on the property. This extravaganza was inspired by a west coast tour the two made last year to visit and meet the hundreds of well-known glass artists from Seattle to the Oregon coast.
The Annual Swayze Studio Open House is Saturday, Dec. 12 from 3 to11 p.m. in Englewood, 2373 Donovan Road. For more information call Carroll Swayze at (941) 266-6434 or email her for directions at SwayzeArt@msn.com.