13109gatewayjudy-1 The beautiful Gateway Center for the Arts was officially sanctioned yesterday with dignitaries and a ribbon cutting. Sandra Wilson, whose vision brought this dream to life should be so very proud of all the work that she and many other volunteers put into this, it certainly showed!

I arrived at about three hours after the big ribbon cutting and the place was packed. 13109gatewayartist

In every room something was going on. The children’s art room was full of projects that had been worked on earlier.  Oil painters and quilters and a ‘miniature’ maker were all demonstrating their work. The artists at  Gateway offer lessons for sewing, painting and even has a Spanish speaking class. They are also the home to a choir and orchestra and I joined for the photography group.
I am proud to say I had 3 pieces of work in the exhibit and that is exciting to be among the very first artists to show it off .13109gatewayartwork-11

I was lucky enough to have a few really supportive friends show up to see my work and much more than that, to be impressed by the Gateway. And they were very impressed by the whole story, how it took ten years for Sandra Wilson to cook up an idea and follow through with complete dedication to her heart and her vision so that it ends up with the state donating the land and enough donations and funding through corporations and grants to actually have such an exquisite working art gallery that is only nine miles from my house. The people I have met have all been so enthusiastic and of course artists and their supporters are always an appreciative group because they all know that funding for the arts sometimes is one of the first cuts in the state and city budgets. 13109gatewaygiftshop-1

The gift shop has so many fun and unique pieces. If you need something different for someone, this is a good place to find it as there are lots of things for sale including the majority of art on the walls.
They had fun entertainment also: singing, a dance troupe and a man who played weird instruments from all over the globe. 13109gatewaymusic

He had a bag full of very strange looking implements that made equally strange sounds.
So anytime you are passing through Debary and have time, stop by the Gateway Center for the Arts at the intersection of 17/92 and Saxon Blvd in Debary. The site is www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org

And thanks so much to Judy Segall, Dee and Jim, Sonja, Pam and Chuck for coming. And especially thanks to Sandra Wilson who had a bee in her bonnet and built it a grandiose beehive!

photo credit below belongs to Allen Whitson, head of the photography group…