Monday, December 10, 2007

Fire Destroys Imago Gallery In Dunedin, Florida

We woke up Sunday morning to discover that a local art gallery and art studio space for 15 artists (two of whom are my friends and were at my home just the day before) had been completely destroyed overnight. Our hearts go out to the Imago group who lost prize-winning art, framing equipment and art supplies, but also were devastated in terms of their livelihood and disrupting their lives and their sense of community.

The following article came from Bay News 9.

Dunedin business fire
Sunday, December 9, 2007
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An overnight fire destroyed a Dunedin business. Damage was listed at $500,000. (slideshow)
DUNEDIN (Bay News 9) -- Detectives investigating a suspicious fire at a Dunedin business now suspect arson as the cause of the fire.
Firefighters battled what authorities called a suspicious blaze in Dunedin that started about 3 a.m. Sunday.
The fire was at the Imago Art Gallery, an art cooperative store, in the 400 block of Douglas Avenue.
15 artists, many of them award winners, had been a part of the art co-op, which was six years old.
More Information
Arson fire
Artists react

One by one artists came to the scene to see the damage and couldn't believe their eyes. Hugs and tears were the only way they could react.
"The community will suffer of the loss of this," said artist Carole Rosefelt. "This was an established art institution here in our little community."
"See, this was family. This was family," said artist Toni Young. "We're just numb right now because this will be far reaching."
"Family of artists that support each other and function as a unit and represent themselves in this community," Rosefelt said. "And it's over."
The business is being called a total loss, valued at approximately $500,000. The value of the artwork that was inside hasn't been determined yet.
Two people were in the store when the fire started but escaped safely. Nearby apartments had to be evacuated, but there was no damage and no one was hurt.
Firefighters from Dunedin, Clearwater and Largo worked to subdue the blaze.
After the fire was extinguished the building was deemed a public safety hazard and was therefore razed, according to detectives.


maggys_email said...

I had a friend who lost almost her entire art collection in this fire. Can you imagine? To this art community: you are so important to us and so valuable. As an art teacher once said, "Look around you -- everything you see, except nature itself, was created by an artist." I would modify that to say, "Look around you -- everything you see was created by an artist." To those of you who create our world in the present, thank you. Please continue, as quickly as possible.

Mary (DreamsAboutArt) said...

I hear you. It was a terrible thing. And to think that some person actually caused the fire that ruined so much beautiful work and affected the livelihood of the artists.

dave said...

Awful, just awful. I'm looking forward to any fundraisers, I'll do my best to attend. Knowing that a bulk of the artists are older folks, I hope this doesn't make them decide to quit.. there's always time to do more.

Gracie G said...

I'm hoping we will see an "Imago -- Phoenix Rising" outcome.

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