You know when you’ve lived in a place for a long time, you tend to forget about some of its wonders in plain sight? I’m guilty of such oversights and don’t always appreciate Cayman until I see it through a visitor’s eyes.

Two weeks ago, I needed to buy some pretty, preferably locally decorated, picture frames. I went through my mental Rolodex and settled upon Pure Art – maybe they would be able to help.

Owner Debbie van der Bol answered the phone and said that yes, they did have what I was looking for. She would put them aside and I could pick them up later. For those who don’t know, van der Bol is an artist in her own right and her works are in private collections here and overseas.

It had been years since I had been in Pure Art, so I was quite looking forward to reacquainting myself with the little Cayman-style cottage on the corner of South Church Street and Denham Thompson Way.

When I got there at about 3 p.m. I had to jockey for position between waiting taxis and a couple of rental cars. Clearly, the visitors had got word of the store.

Walking in the front door, you are immediately struck by the organized chaos and riot of color created by a combination of paintings, prints, jewelry, crafts and a host of other items covering every square inch of space. One section is dedicated to Caymanite jewelry, while in another area you’ll find pottery made by local artists.

Conch lamps warmly light the shelf at the back and collections of shells peek out from drawers. Such a shop would not be out of place in Diagon Alley, the magical shopping street where Harry Potter and other wizards could buy everything from wands and owls to Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.

If you don’t fancy scouring for shells on the beach, you can get your pick right here.

Something else very curious about Pure Art is how the cottage looks so much smaller on the outside than it does from the inside. Room after room reveals itself as you walk the passageways, stopping to linger at all the artwork along the way.

Despite simply popping in to get my picture frames, I ended up browsing for at least half an hour, and added a birdhouse to my purchases. It was made by a local artist with “Tortuga Rum Company” on the front, complete with wee rum barrels. All that was missing was the pirate that stands sentinel outside the building on North Sound Road.

How had I forgotten about this shop and its many fantastic nooks and crannies? I had a wonderful time reacquainting myself with Pure Art and the lovely Debbie van der Bol.

The next time you drive out for the day, if you have the time, stop by Pure Art; and certainly take any visitors there to look for souvenirs.

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