The Artists Guild of Manatee will host its annual spring Garden Tour in the Village of the Arts on Saturday, April 7 from 11am-4pm. The Garden Tour invites visitors to explore a variety of creative outdoor spaces tucked in the front, back and side yards of properties throughout the Village. This year’s tour features two new twists: Pop-Up Art Garden installations and a VIP Experience.
Over 20 galleries, studios, businesses and residents have signed up to participate. Traditional garden spaces are returning to the event, such as the “Whispering Bamboo Garden” at The Dancing Crane Gallery. A variety of Pop-Up Art Garden installations will add a fresh twist to this year’s tour. Jean G. Farmer, board member and chair of the Beautification Committee, describes the concept for this year’s theme: "Every home in the Village has an area that can be incorporated into some type of a garden. Many have come together under a common theme to celebrate this beautiful time of year for our gardens, and by incorporating creativity into it as well, whether that’s art on a canvas, metal, or a piece of clay, the art of conversation, music, healing arts, or the sculpting of creative dishes from fresh produce.”
Examples of the Pop-Up Art Gardens include a “Secret Garden of Quilts” at Bits & Pieces Quilt Fabric Shop, and a “Crystal Garden” at The Village Mystic. A “Flower Power” garden will be located at 14th Avenue West Studios, where metal artist Gene Tenery is installing a new garden with native plantings designed to attract pollinators along with a new copper butterfly sculpture he designed. Master Gardeners from the Manatee County Cooperative Extension Services will also be on hand at several gardens to talk with visitors about native plants and other gardening topics.
The Garden Tour is free for all visitors. As part of a fundraising effort, a VIP Experience is also available to anyone who donates $20 to the Artists Guild of Manatee. The VIP Experience includes 4 tickets that can be exchanged for a beverage or a small gift at any of these four VIP locations on the tour: The Dude and Mary’s Art of Life & Music on 11th St W, Fun Girl Art on 12th Ave W, The Village Veranda on 11th Ave W, and The Dancing Crane Gallery on 10th Ave W.
A comprehensive list of gardens, activities and VIP ticket information can be found on the Village of the Arts website at villageofthearts.com/events.
The Village of the Arts is Bradenton’s live/work art district located between 9th Avenue W and 17th Avenue W on the north/south boundaries, and 9th Street W and 14th Street W on the east/west boundaries. Limited street parking is available throughout the Village; parking can best be found during events in the south side of the Village on 11th St. and 13th St. A public parking garage is also available within walking distance north of the Village at the intersection of 12th Street W and 8th Avenue W. A Village map and directions can be downloaded at www.villageofthearts.com/directions.