A Feast for the Senses

Lantana’s Gallery & Fine Gifts – an eclectic vibe of local and regional artists

BY: LESLIE FOSTER   BIZ Q & A

Lantana’s Gallery & Fine Gifts is only a block from the Southport waterfront, where nature creates masterpieces on any given day and season. Wander into Lantana’s and you will find artists who are able to capture the natural beauty of the coast. Whether you purchase a painting, pottery or a unique gift, this delightful shop is adept at carefully curating the pieces they have chosen to sell.

Fun Questions! What is your favorite food? I am a sucker for nachos. Your favorite book? Right now I am loving Alton Brown: EveryDayCook. It is a chemistry lesson with recipes! Your favorite place to travel? I enjoy exploring coastal cities, anywhere! I love the Caribbean Sea! Your favorite music? Live. Your favorite thing about Southport? The close knit community and small town charm that creates not only a look but also a feeling you get being here. Also, having water all around, the river, the marshes, and the ocean just moments away.
Even on the warmest southern day, Lantana’s has their front door propped open, a sure sign of southern and Southport (!) hospitality. Lantana’s is an anchor in our downtown community, taking part in First Friday’s Art Walk and remaining open until the last shopper has chosen the perfect piece. Whether you need a gift to mark a special occasion, or are looking for a piece of art that perfectly captures the coast of The Carolinas, make sure to pop into Lantana’s Gallery. Their selection is big enough and diverse enough to make it easy to find that piece that just has to come home with you! 1. Lantana’s is a family owned business. Introduce yourself to our readers and tell us the Lantana story. Lantana’s Gallery was started in 2007 by my parents, Jim and Deb Meehan. The gallery was a dream they had once they moved south. Hilary, the gallery’s past manager worked together with them for 8 years building the business into what it is today! When it was time for Hilary to  spread her wings to an urban environment, I embraced the opportunity to change careers and move to Southport. I moved from Beaufort, NC where I worked for the Division of Coastal Management as a Planner and Grant Administrator. I love art and when asked, my art is music and theater!

2. Describe your shop. ( location, ambiance, etc) Lantana’s is located at 113 S Howe Street in downtown Southport. The gallery is an eclectic and FUN space that provides a shopping experience! Your senses  are peaked through, sounds, scents, and of course the visual aspects of art! Our mission is to give customers more than just another shopping trip to a store. We hand select everything in the store to provide something for everyone! Look for BIG things happening in 2018! We are excited for the next chapter of Lantana’s Gallery and you will be too!

3. Lantana’s is both a gift shop and gallery in one. How do you curate your artists? The amount of talent that we have locally and regionally is phenomenal. We have been lucky to have met many people who love the area as much as we do and portray it so well! Traveling throughout the area and along the east coast has provided us with many leads for artists who fit our gallery model. We have handmade items from near and far.

4. In your experience, does the average customer purchase art spontaneously? Or do you find that you sell more gifts than fine art? “I didn’t come in for art, but this is just perfect!” The fun thing about art is when a piece strikes a customer and they become emotionally attached to it. This could be anything, a painting, a piece of pottery, or jewelry. We do have people who love an artist or particular painting and visit often until they make the decision to purchase.

5. If YOU could buy anything today, ( from your shop, of course) what would it be? The one thing I would love to buy from our shop today, was sold last week! (This is the case many times when someone doesn’t jump on an original piece of art) I love the fireworks paintings from Betty Silvar. She has several on display now.
“I didn’t come in here for art, but this is just perfect!” The fun thing about art is when a piece strikes a customer, they become emotionally attached to it.

6. Do you rotate the art you sell or do you stay with the same artists over time? Many of the artists we have today have been with us since opening in 2007. As artists move or retire we have added new artists and we are always on the look out for new artists.

7. Tell us about the gallery walks, and what is your shops participation in them? First Friday Gallery Walk occurs on the first Friday of every month from 5pm until 7pm. Each month we showcase a local or regional artist and their works. Refreshments and entertainment are provided to make for a great night! It is always a fun night to see friends and meet the artists. Join us August 4 for the next Gallery Walk featuring local artist, Ann Thompson!

8. Best Sellers? Since we are both a gallery and a fine gift shop we have several different best sellers. On the gift side, MacKenzie-Childs, our fun seasonal accessories, blown glass, and handmade jewelry! Some of the popular art is Mike Bryand’s photography, Jillian Boivin’s mixed media canvases, and Phil Ramsey’s original oil….oh and there are Mary Wright’s whimsical paintings….I guess I’m biased, we have some great things that appeal to people of all ages!

9. I’m an artist interested in having you carry my art… how does that work? I ask that any interested artist email me pictures of their art and include where they may already be showing their art, how long they have been working, and if they have a website/Facebook/Instagram. After initial contact I make appointments to meet and see the art in person.

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