Several years ago, two very talented artists took a chance and moved to a home they had never seen, in a city they’ve never visited. The artists are Mary Fragapane and her “partner in crime” musician Chad Clifford (“The Dude”). The home is now The Dude and Mary’s Art of Life and Music in The Village of the Arts. It’s part working studio, part art gallery, part gift shop, and all completely unique!
Mary started her career as an artist creating decorative pieces for family and friends and working with interior designers. Her career as a public artist was born, however, when she was hired to work with 20 other artists to create the murals that adorned the fences surrounding the concert site at Woodstock ’99.
She then began showing her artwork in local coffee shops and galleries before eventually moving to New York City. There, she took on a wide variety of projects and exhibited her art in renowned galleries. However, after several years, she began to crave open space and more creative freedom. It was then that she wrote her first mission statement: “To live a life centered around creativity and the free expression of that creativity.”
Mary and The Dude happened upon Bradenton’s Village of the Arts while searching for homes in Florida, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Living in the VOTA
The Village of the Arts turned out to be the ideal location. According to Mary:
“Living and working in the Village of the Arts is better than anything I ever could have imagined and perfectly in line with my mission. Creativity is a contagion and it’s everywhere you look in this neighborhood, from the galleries and shops to the sidewalks and the yards. There are very few places like this in the world and it is super cool to be a part of such a unique community.”
Unique Artwork Inspired by Life
Visiting The Dude and Mary’s Art of Life and Music is truly an experience. Here you’ll find fine art paintings, unique gift items, refinished furniture, and home decor. All of the work is original and you can expect to come across new treasures every time you visit.
On a budget? No problem! Prices start at just $25!
When asked to describe her work, Mary says:
“My artwork is kinda like my life. I start with only the vaguest idea of what I want to make and from there each piece develops as it takes on the nature of what’s happening in the world around me. The music I’m listening to, what I’m reading, the people moving through my space, a conversation I’ve had. All of these things have an effect that takes each piece in a new and unexpected direction. So I’m telling my story but a universal story at the same time.”
Check it Out Today!
The studio is located in the Village of the Arts at 1414 11th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34205. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. To keep up with all the latest happenings, follow them on Facebook and on Instagram.