Four attractions for art lovers in Venice

Sarasota County has long held a reputation for being an art lover's paradise, and the city of Venice has played no small part in that reputation. Here are four art attractions enthusiast's won't want to miss.

Along Florida's west coast, Sarasota County has long enjoyed the reputation for being an art lover's paradise. Only here you can follow a day at the venerable Ringling museums and gardens with a night at the Sarasota Opera.

However, there is more to the local art scene than within the city of Sarasota. As residents know, just south of Sarasota, in Venice lives a burgeoning art world. If you're in Sarasota County for a cultural experience, it is worth the short drive down to Venice to check it out.

The Venice Symphony

Tickets for the Venice Symphony's fall season go on sale Sept. 1. You won't want to miss what's in store for the 2014-2015 season. This season features seven performances. Each show carries a different theme, from show tunes to classics to holiday music. Season ticket holders are sure to never get bored! Call 941-207-8822 for tickets or visit their website.

The Venice Theatre

The Venice Theatre is the largest community theater per capita in the United States. With two stages, it seems there is always something happening there. In the 2014-2015 season, theatergoers will enjoy a plethora of shows, including the Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Kingston Trio, The Miracle Worker, and The Full Monty.

The theater also offers acting lessons to children and adults. For more information, call 941-488-1115. You can view a full schedule of shows and purchase tickets online.

The Venice Arts Center

With one main gallery and four satellite galleries around Venice, the Arts Center offers you various opportunities to experience the Venice art world.

The Pat Buster gallery, located in the Arts Center, changes exhibitions about every three weeks and features local and national artists. The satellite galleries show mostly local artists.

But the Venice Arts Center is much more than a gallery. It's a community. There are lessons for all ages, community events, and a café. You could take a lesson in the morning, have lunch in the café, and view an exhibition in the afternoon. For more information, visit their website or call 941-485-7136.

Clyde Butcher Gallery

Landscape photographer, Clyde Butcher, has spent the last 40 years photographing some of the most stunning scenes in nature. He moved to Florida in the early 1980s in search of a more relaxed pace.

Since then, he has received worldwide recognition and numerous accolades. His work has been featured all over the United States and in the National Gallery in Prague. The North American Nature Photography Association awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the state of Florida has put his name in the Artist Hall of Fame. His Venice Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday 10-4. For more information, visit his website.