In 1956, when the population of the city and surrounding area numbered about 36,000 and the Intercoastal Waterway had not yet rendered Venice an island, the Women’s Club sponsored a two-day art show. Twenty-seven artists displayed 60 works and 250 people attended. This seed grew into “The Art Spirit”, Venice-Nokomis Art Association in 1958.
The Association sponsored many art-centered activities in the next few years. By 1966 a committee for a permanent gallery had plans drawn by retired architect Charles Mink, leased the southeast corner of Blalock Park, addressed a fund-raising campaign and changed the name to the “Venice Area Art League”. Construction was completed by March 1968, when more than 150 paintings and other artworks were displayed.
During the 70’s and 80’s the Venice area experienced tremendous growth. It became apparent that the original Art Center sorely needed renovation. The name was changed to “The Venice Art Center, Inc.” and by 1993 “The Friends of the Venice Art Center” had been created to assist with programs and funding. Following groundbreaking in January 1996, construction was completed by October. With increased classroom space available, a vigorous, supportive membership and new, flexible display galleries, the Venice Art Center proudly carries the aim of the 1958 founders “to stimulate and encourage the appreciation of art” into the future.
FantaSea Venice is a public arts project in which we partnered with FantaSea Venice Sponsors and FantaSea Artists to create unique designs for 22 fiberglass mermaids and 30 fiberglass seahorses.
These one-of-a-kind fiberglass sculptures will be adorned by the most talented artists in our region. We matched sponsors to artists and a plaque will be placed at the base of each sculpture to indicate the name of the sponsor, artist, and the sculpture’s individual name. The sculptures will appear in approved locations around Venice, Florida on city streets, parks, lobbies, businesses, etc until April of 2023. There will also be multiple public activities, fundraisers, and entertaining events associated with this project.
FantaSea Venice will be the third public art display of this nature that the Venice Art Center has produced. These events are modeled after “Cows on Parade”, which occurred in Chicago in 1999. Hundreds of cities followed suit with similar campaigns, and each experienced an increase in tourism, individual business revenue, and community participation.
The 2004-2005 “Pigs in Paradise” and the 2012-14 “Sea Venice” public arts projects were a large success and accomplished all these goals. The Venice Art Center will utilize this successful experience coupled with new and innovative ideas to make FantaSea Venice an even greater success.
Artists were paid to paint or otherwise embellish one fiberglass sculpture.
There is a printable map for all of our visitors to find their favorites.
FantaSea proceeds benefit the Venice Art Center in support of our programs, the arts, and tourism for the community of Venice, Florida, and our local artists.
The Venice Art Center is excited to bring you miniature mermaids! The mini mermaid sculptures for sale are great for anyone to paint and put on display at their home or office. Display a miniature mermaid sculpture by itself or add it as a companion piece to it’s larger family members. These Fantasea Mermaid sculptures measure 6 1/4" tall x 5 1/4 wide x 3" deep Learn more about Venice Art and FantaseaPurchase Here
The Venice Art Center is excited to bring you miniature seahorses! The mini seahorse sculptures for sale are great for anyone to paint and put on display at their home or office. Display a miniature seahorse figurine by itself or add it as a companion piece to it’s larger family members. These Fantasea seahorse sculptures measure 7" tall x 3" wide. Learn more about Venice Art and FantaseaPurchase Here