Sunday, October 24, 2021

Blue Mangrove celebrates



By Natalie Strom

Happy Birthday to you! On December 6, Blue Mangrove Gallery appropriately celebrated its sixth year in business. The Golden Birthday was honored by a wine and cheese event at the gallery, featuring well known artist Tara O’Neill.

Six years ago, Christie Marcoplos, owner of Blue Mangrove Gallery called on her friend and artist, Tara O’Neill to present her work for the opening of the gallery. “I was [Christie’s] first opening act,” explained O’Neill. “When I opened my studio in the Esplanade, it seemed redundant to both of us to have my art in both places. But after I left the Esplanade this summer, Christie asked me to come back. It feels like coming home.”

Many other artists in the area call Blue Mangrove Gallery home as well. Well known artists in the area such as Linda Roberts, Tyler McDonald, Connie Brown and Jim Freeman showcase their work through Marcoplos and Blue Mangrove.

“I love it. I love all the artists in here,” stated Marcoplos. “It’s really important to me to know the people I buy from. We actually have a couple hundred different artists recognized here. There’s a lot of Florida, some national and even some international artists. I don’t have a lot of wall space but we do what we can with it!”

Floor space is also filled with art. Decorative fans, Christmas ornaments, eco-friendly gifts, glassware, books, furniture, jewelry and more fill the store with color and creativity.

“We try to have something for everybody. Gifts for men, women, children, babies and families. Our price range is also very important to me. I want to make sure that everyone can afford what we have.” From toe rings marked at $5 to wind chimes marked around $50 to artwork for $500, to a welcome purchase of products equalling $5,000, Blue Mangrove Gallery offers a wide array of pricing and products.

One signature item at the store is its extensive collection of Trollbeads. The ever-popular glass beads sell like hot cakes here.

While the products are lovely, the staff makes the store even more beautiful. Celeste Navara has worked at Blue Mangrove Gallery for three years. “I love working here. It is so me. What’s not to love?” she asked. “And then there’s Christie, which makes it even better.”

The turnout of support was proof that the Marco community has embraced Blue Mangrove Gallery and its efforts to keep art alive. Visit the gallery at Marco Town Center, 1089 N. Collier Blvd. The store also has an excellent website which may be found at

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