Pure Art, pure heaven

Shopping at Pure Art Gallery and Gifts is pure heaven.

There is one dilemma, though; not being able to buy it all.

Pure Art is unique in that it sells only Caymanian and Caribbean arts and gifts.

And for 18 years Debbie Chase van der Bol has been at the helm, managing Pure Art.

‘We’ve grown from having just a handful of Cayman’s best painters on sale to a top gallery and gift shop,’ she said.

‘Our focus is still on local painters.’

Ms Chase van der Bol has about 50 artists in her stable and more than 200 craftsmen.

There is an average of 300 customers each week.

And the stock rotates faster than some might think.

‘On a daily basis I’m back here checking things in,’ she said.

And it’s all computerized.

Pure art is at the corner of South Church Street and Denham Thompson Way in a Cayman style house that is more than 100 years old.

Inside shoppers will find room after room filled with beautiful and interesting paintings and crafts.

The year-round Christmas room offers paintings, sculptures and Christmas ornaments – lots and lots of Christmas ornaments.

There’s a Santa made from a star fish, angels made from seashells and hand painted glass balls. They adorn a miniature Christmas tree and hang from shelves, other displays, the walls and ceilings.

Another room offers hundreds of paintings and prints that depict Cayman scenes – above and below water. Baby clothes can be found there as well as toys. The bathroom has a two-fold purpose; it’s a place of relief for customers and staff and it’s where buyers will find marked down bargains for sale.

The hallway is adorned with magnificent paintings from a variety of local artists, as well as knick-knacks.

Down the hall colourful flags, sculptures and more paintings are strategically placed.

The outer area holds thatch and stitch work as well as china, and, of course more paintings. Pure Art is, after all, an art gallery.

Look for the signatures of the likes of Joanne Sibley and Charles Long, as well as Chase van der Bol’s.

The shop depends on locals and tourists alike. Not too many cruise tourists venture off the beaten path to find Pure Art, but that habit is changing as information about Pure Art goes global through international publications and the Internet.

Shortly after Hurricane Ivan in September Pure Art was featured in Art Business News magazines in an article about art galleries and the need to have a hurricane preparedness plan.

Ms Chase van der Bol is ready to hand the reigns of Pure Art over to someone else who shares her passion for art.

She wants to spend more time practicing her first love – painting.

For more information on the sale of Pure Art Gallery and Gifts see next month’s edition of the Journal.

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