Doris Bardon had a dream. The longtime cultural and environmental leader, who passed away at the age of 86 in 2006, provided seed money in her estate to establish a community cultural center.
That dream has become a reality. The Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center recently opened at 1315 S. Main St. in Gainesville. In addition to an art gallery, “the Doris”will hold performances, offer classes and provide meeting space. The center will be close to the Cade Museum that is part of the resurgence of South Main Street.
The Doris is part of the vibrant visual arts scene in the Greater Gainesville area. Artists display their works at dozens of local galleries, and both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College operate outstanding galleries.
The City of Gainesville maintains a gallery in the historic Thomas Center, located at 302 NE 6th Ave. The website 352ARTS.org, provided by the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, lists arts opportunities throughout Alachua County.
The Arts Association of Alachua County operates The Doris and Artwalk Gainesville — a self-guided tour of art galleries and businesses held on the last Friday of each month.
Gainesville Artisans’ Guild Gallery, found at 201 SE 2nd Place, is a cooperatively run gallery that features the work of over 50 members. The Harn Museum is home to international art works, including a Monet. The Harn is part of the University of Florida galleries, which include the University Galleries and 4Most Gallery, a student co-op.
Santa Fe College has a number of fine art galleries including Santa Fe Fine Arts Hall, the Santa Fe Gallery, Student Life Art Gallery and President’s Hall Gallery.
Surrounding communities, including Melrose, Newberry, Micanopy, High Springs and Alachua, offer a variety of small galleries, many of them housed in historic buildings.