Sanibel, FLA (February 23, 2015) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on February 11th to celebrate the 100th birthday of Tower Gallery’s Historical Cottage.

The bungalow housing the gallery was filled with local Chamber business members and Tower Gallery artists admiring the local artists’ work. The Tower Gallery is Lee County’s longest-running art gallery and got their name from the original location in the Bell Tower Shops when it opened in 1982. Local artist were invited to move into the historical cottage to share space with Matsumoto, an acclaimed painter and print maker. In 1997, the co-op took over the building and purchased it in 2004.

“We are so thankful to the Matsumoto’s for preserving the building that we are in today. This property was home to both the Cassidy and Wildman families before it was moved to its current location where Ikki & Polly Matsumoto made it into what is now a beautiful space for our artists to display their creations,” stated Steve Bufter, President of the co-op. “Somewhat like the local business community, our artist’s cooperative requires each member-artist to contribute. Our artists put in sweat equity for staffing, cleaning, shopping for supplies and accounting and this is what enables us to continue our operation and our passions.”

Ric Base, President of the Chamber added, “We are delighted to be a part of this memorable occasion. Sanibel is a treasure trove of historic buildings that are not only beautifully preserved, but are also in daily use so that all can share the experience of Sanibel past & present”.

The Tower Gallery is located at 751 Tarpon Bay Road on Sanibel and is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 pm during season. For more information, please call 239-472-4557 or visit their website at TowerGallery-Sanibel.com

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