Historic Apalachicola, a Haven for Artisans
Most people know Apalachicola for it’s oysters, fresh shrimp and blue crab. But this little fishing town has long been a haven for creative folk. Today, the wonderful old commercial buildings, warehouses and historic homes are bustling with art galleries and artisan studios. Artists have found this place inspirational for quite some time. Kristin Anderson, an award winning jewelry designer, relocated here in 1985 and set up shop. Her work is collected across the country and can be purchased locally at Artemis Gallery on Commerce Street. Richard Bickel came here in 1994 on a photo shoot with National Geographic, he just could not pull himself away from this captivating area. He operates his own gallery at 81 Market Street. Within a few blocks, you can see the work of over 100 artists shown in shops, restaurants, and cafés.
Within the last year, three arts venues have opened in the historic downtown district. Keith Gartin, a landscape architect, has honed his skills as a wood turner and offers his work, as well as others, at his gallery, Mother Earth Studio. Keith also provides “one on one” Bowl turning lessons right in the shop. Anna Maria Cannatella and her contractor husband, Erin Rodriguez, restored a turn of the century cottage and operate it as a gallery focused on American Folk Art, 49 Palmetto. Work by nationally collected folk artist Butch Antony, can be seen as well a revolving selection of both local and national folk art. After over 20 years of traditional retail, Joe Taylor and his wife Jeanette, have opened Handmade in Apalach at 117 Market Street. The 2 story structure which started off as a garage for model-T Fords, features the art of 30 local and regional artisans. “People ask for pieces that are made locally and we love to help our economy by supporting our area’s artists” said Mary Lou Athorn, Artist in Residence at Handmade in Apalach.
Nothing is typical in Apalachicola, where else would you find, finely detailed dog sculptures made from recycled toilet paper rolls. Visit for yourself, or follow our website,www.apalachicolaart.com.
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