A sign on the door last week announces the Anna Maria Island Art League, 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach, is closed until further notice. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell
The Anna Maria Island Art League closed its doors May 15 without warning.
Signs on the doors at the league’s gallery and facilities at 5312 Holmes Blvd. states, “Closed Until Further Notice.”
Art League president Laura McGeary said May 18, “We have no plans to close the art league,” but made no further comment on the closure.
Executive director, Christina Reginelli, said the league board met May 16, and the problems appeared to her to be financial in nature.
Reginelli told The Islander she resigned May 18 and posted the signs on the door the same day. She said she felt that with no funding she had no alternative but to cancel upcoming events, including summer camp for kids, and closed the doors.
Several board members told The Islander they had resigned, including Ellen Aquilina, Karen Hasler, and Alexandra Lillis, but all declined to comment on the closure.
The art center facility includes exhibit areas, classrooms, gallery/conference room, photo lab and an art library where the league has offered a broad range of classes.
The league sponsors two art and craft festivals each year, Winterfest and Springfest, at the Holmes Beach city field, which, according to the league’s website, provide funds for the art center and its scholarship program.
Calls to festival director Colin Bissett were not returned.
The festivals historically draw some 10,000 festivalgoers.
Concern last week over the league’s closure was voiced in the art community.
Joan Voyles, member of both the Art League and Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island, said the league has been an “integral part” of the community.
About 22-23 years ago the league split off from the guild, she said, but the three Holmes Beach galleries, including Island Gallery West, cooperate and coordinate their efforts to create a positive image, showcase talent and maintain the area’s reputation as a destination for the arts.
“We work to be supportive and continue to want to be supportive,” she said.
Founded by local artists and enthusiasts, the nonprofit opened the Island’s first art center in the city in June 1993, according to its website.
As recently as May 8, the league had announced its weekly Kids Camp 2012 to begin June 11. A business card exchange — a May networking event of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce — was to have taken place May 23, but the chamber moved the event last-minute to the Village Cafe in Anna Maria.
The league’s website still includes the camp announcement and other features, and as of Islander press time, there is no announcement from the board regarding the future operations.
As a nonprofit, the league has maintained registration with the Florida Secretary of State.