Q&A with Gallery CERO Gallerist Nina Chatham

If you’ve ever visited Wekiva Island, you know we love art! From monthly Wine & Paint classes to the annual Wekiva Paint Out, there’s always something creative happening here. We were incredibly proud to recently realize one of the visions we had when we first started on the banks of the Wekiva River—opening an art gallery.

Gallery CERO is our brand-new gallery overlooking the beautiful river, named after our mission for sustainability. We hope to show you the beauty of this unique Florida experience through your time outdoors but also through incredible works of art—and we hope both inspire you to act to protect our Earth.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit our gallery yet, we hope you will soon! In the meantime, we wanted to give you more background on Gallery CERO through our Gallerist, Nina Chatham. Read below for what Nina had to say.

What is your background? What brought you to Gallery CERO?

I grew up in an artistic family in Miami. When we would visit family in Boston, I always loved going to the modern art museum. I remember going with my mom and being allowed to look through the art files and see the real works, up close in galleries in Miami. I also remember flipping through this encyclopedia of art set we had—I actually brought it to live in the gallery’s library!

My brother is a potter, but growing up with a single mom, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills, so instead of art, I got a master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and eventually worked in the Defense Industry.

I also chaired the Wekiva Paint Out when we were just getting started, and I’ve helped others run paint out events since. When I recently had a life change and this role opened up, it seemed perfect. People who know me tell me what a great fit it is with my background.

I love art, and am an artist, but even more than that—I just love promoting other people’s work.

What can people expect when they visit?

I think people will be surprised by the quality of art. Wekiva Island has built a relationship with these artists, and they’re amazing. Many of them are teachers, and they teach other artists. You can see their influences in works by other artists. I think people are shocked when they come upstairs and there’s this cool, clean, modern gallery full of works of art.

How does the gallery tie into what people know about Wekiva Island?

The whole premise of Wekiva Island is that when people experience something, they care about it. At Wekiva Island, they get to come and see the river, and they might connect with the sustainability mission. At the gallery, it’s the same way. They see these pieces of art that show off the natural side of Florida, and it’s another way to care about the environment and connect with that mission.

What plans do you have for the gallery?

We have so many plans! Wine & Paint is already very popular, and that will be under our umbrella. We’re planning to have a yoga event, Vino & Vinyasa, every second Wednesday, and another event, PiYo and Pinot, every fourth Wednesday of the month. We are also featuring an artist every month with an opening every third Friday. I want to find ways to connect with other galleries, plan activities for kids and maybe even have environmental talks here. We hope to become a nonprofit someday, as well. We’re going to be busy!

Ready to visit? Gallery hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Tooting Otter Craft Beer & Wine Bar at Wekiva Island. Pieces are available for purchase. Keep an eye out for our special events, and we hope to see you soon.

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