Business

Locally known artist opens studio and gallery in Ellenton

She teaches painting, he teaches guitar

Husband and wife team Jerri and John Phillips now have their respective studios in the Coutt's Professional Building, 7216 U.S. 7216 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton.
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Husband and wife team Jerri and John Phillips now have their respective studios in the Coutt's Professional Building, 7216 U.S. 7216 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton.

Jerri Phillips, known for her Florida cracker lifestyle paintings, as well as her equine, bovine and pet portraits, has opened an art business in Ellenton.

Art Studio & Gallery of Jerri Phillips is located in the Coutt’s Professional Building, 7216 U.S. 301 N.

Her husband, John Phillips, has had his business, Guitar Lessons by John Phillips, in the same building since 2015.

“I didn’t have my own studio previously. I have been displaying my art elsewhere,” said Jerri Phillips, who is a lifetime North River resident and current president of the Parrish Arts Council.

“My mother is an artist and she was my initial teacher. I have taken classes at Ringling College and have studied elsewhere. I have really been committed to painting the last 10 years, and I have committed myself to learning more every day,” she said.

Phillips is known in the Parrish-Ellenton area through her involvement with air painting events, Parrish Heritage Days, efforts to bring murals to the Parrish community, and establishing a Parrish art center.

John Phillips is delighted to have his wife sharing building space with him.

I think it is awesome. My students and their families like it, too. They can look at the art and talk to Jerri.

John Phillips, on sharing a building with wife Jerri

“I think it is awesome. My students and their families like it, too. They can look at the art and talk to Jerri,” he said.

At her studio, Jerri works on her art, teaches painting and has works of art for sale. She also accepts commissions for art projects.

The couple hopes to make their space a place where people not only can learn, but also socialize at special events, such as charity fundraisers

Jerri Phillips has a passion for Florida cracker lifestyle paintings, and her work has been displayed at Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton, and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 1015 6th St. W., Palmetto.

John Phillips says that he and his wife are multifaceted and doing what they love.

His family moved to the Bradenton-Sarasota area in 1979, and he took up guitar while serving in the U.S. Army.

The catalyst was an electric guitar that his mother mailed to him as a Christmas present.

Realizing he couldn’t teach himself to play – “because I didn’t known anything about the instrument” – he studied guitar at the State College of Florida and with private instructors. He became proficient not only through lessons, but by playing in bands, and he served as minister of music with Gulfgate Church in Sarasota for two years.

His portfolio of music ranges from classical to jazz, rock and blues. He is no longer in a band, but he does accept solo gigs. He also teaches tai chi classes at the Parrish YMCA.

“The art of guitar becomes a passion for some and a hobby for others. Whether you would like to prepare yourself to become a recording artist, a member of your church praise band, performing artist or just play for fun, you have come to the right place to begin your guitar journey, he says on his website.

John Phillips is in his studio 8 a.m. to noon Monday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Jerri Phillips is still establishing her hours as she only recently moved into the Coutt’s Professional Building.

For more about Jerri Phillips’ art studio, visit artisticflorida.weebly.com/.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1

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