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Double the room to showcase various artists

By CHRISTINA K. COSDON, Times Staff Writer
Published November 30, 2007


CLEARWATER - The Plainsmen Gallery, which represents prominent Southwestern, wildlife and Florida artists, has expanded and doubled its size.

"We're getting bigger and bigger," said Betty Brown, who opened the business on a whim in 1981 in a small second floor walk-up in downtown Clearwater.

"My husband and I bought property in Montana some years ago," she said. "We loved Western art and thought, 'Why not offer it to Florida collectors?' We opened with the thought, 'We'll see how this goes.'"

Since then, the gallery has moved several times to larger quarters and recently expanded from 1,000 square feet to more than 2,000 square feet at 2450 Sunset Point Road.

When a vacant space adjacent to the gallery became available, "we signed a long-term lease and began remodeling," said Brown. "We put in wood flooring, took down wallpaper and painted the walls." She said it cost $10,000 for the remodel.

The new space features the gallery's Western artists, among them Cowboy Artists of America Oreland Joe, Bruce Greene and Clark Kelley Price. Distinguished wildlife and Florida artists, including John Seerey-Lester, Geoffrey Smith, Bev Doolittle, Ernest Simmons and John Coleman, are featured in the entry gallery.

Brown's husband, Paul, a chiropractic physician for many years in Clearwater, died three years ago. The couple's daughter, Jill Berry of Palm Harbor, has been working in the business for eight years and became a partner five years ago.

The family is celebrating the expansion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with a holiday show featuring the work of Florida landscape and wildlife artist Charles Rowe, who is to attend the reception. The show will continue through Dec. 29.


Margaret "Margie" Simmons, the city of Clearwater's finance director, was named Finance Official of the Year at the annual Florida Cities of Excellence Awards. The Tarpon Springs Affordable Housing Partnership received the City Spirit Award.

The awards, presented by the Florida League of Cities, were among 10 presented earlier this month at a luncheon ceremony at the Hyatt Regency International Airport Hotel in Orlando. The awards recognize and honor outstanding citizens, city leaders and cities for the good things they do to improve the quality of life in Florida.

* * *

Roberts Printing of Clearwater, operating in north Pinellas for 39 years, received 19 print awards at the recent Printing Association of Florida's 20th annual Florida Print Awards in Orlando. More than 80 Florida printing and graphics firms were represented with over 1,000 entries.

Roberts Printing received four best of category for pocket folders, booklets, presentation kits and for an alternative printing method called stochastic printing; five awards of excellence for sales campaigns, menus, bound books and special application covers; and 10 judges' awards for art reproductions, annual reports, booklets and pocket folders.

Established in 1968 by J. Wayne Nightingale, the company started out on Main Street, Dunedin, with 600 square feet and three employees. Today the business occupies more than 30,000 square feet at 2049 Calumet St. and employs a staff of 55.

Dentist moves his practice to new site

Dr. James Pitts has moved his family and cosmetic dental practice to 2213 Curlew Road in Dunedin. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Florida Dental School. His training includes cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, sedation dentistry and temporal mandibular joint treatment. His memberships include the American, Florida and West Coast dental associations and the Upper Pinellas County Dental Society. e_SClBBusiness seminars,classes, assistance

Pinellas County Business Development Center, 13805 58th St. N, Suite 1-200, in the Icot Business Center near Largo. Programs are free and meet from noon to 2 p.m. To speak with a business counselor or register for classes and seminars, call 727 453-7200.

How to Start a Business meets every Wednesday. The introductory workshop offers information on how to conduct feasibility studies and develop business plans, how to obtain licenses and permits to be a legal business in Pinellas County and more.

Understanding Entrepreneurship meets the first Thursday of each month. Find out if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Understanding Accounting and Tax Procedures meets the second Thursday of each month. The seminar is designed to help small-business owners understand proper record keeping and accounting methods to satisfy federal and state requirements for taxes and payrolls.

Marketing Your Small Business meets the third Thursday of each month.

Financing Your Business meets the fourth Thursday of each month.

Business Assistance Center at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave. Meets from 1 to 3 p.m. every Tuesday and also from 5 to 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For an appointment, call (727) 784-4287.

The center provides information on starting and growing a business in Pinellas County. Assistance includes business plan development, permitting, zoning, government-regulations information and more.

The business assistance specialist also provides information to assist local companies looking to export their products and foreign companies wanting to establish operations in Pinellas County.

News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119, e-mailed to or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions, commercial sales and major new contracts. Photos can be mailed or e-mailed by jpeg file.

[Last modified November 29, 2007, 22:37:58]

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