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A History of Artists Acres
Englewood, that charming town on Florida's west coast, 29 miles south of Sarasota, bids fair to become Florida's outstanding artists' Colony.  For Lois Bartlett Tracy, nationally-known artist and her husband, Harry e. Tracy, have founded Artistss' Acres for the artists' colony they hope to develop (and will, we know) on their beautifully wooded 80-acre tract.  Here, all creative workers, be they painterse, etchers or pencil pushers, be they writers, or workers in any of the far-flung creative arts, will be welcome as members of this artists' Colony.

At a modest price, the prospective dweller in this artists' Arcadia may purchase an acre, well-wooded and adaptable for the raising of fruit, flowers and children.  Just three miles to the beautiful shell beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and half a mile to Lemon Bay with its oysters, clams and scallops for the gathering, it is an ideal place for those that not only work in creative fields, but those who work to be able to work at their often non-sheckle-gathering profession.  For here where it's summer all the year round, the creative worker can build a modest studio and live to work or work to live.

Mr. and Mrs. Tracy are no new hands or minds in the creation of an artists' colony.  For years, they conducted "Tall Timbers" at Sanbornton, N.H.  Here the creative artists, art student or non-painting member of the family found in the farm house and cottages, an opportunity to live and paint in one of the most beautiful spots in New England.  Here the artists found in the companionship of their fellow artists not only pleasure, but stimulation in their work.

Unfortunately for those who spent many pleasant weeks at "Tall Timbers" the art colony that was different, it was destroyed by a forest fire in '47.

Ever since the loss of their colony the Tracys have been searching for a location for the new artists' Colony, which they hoped would succeed "Tall Timbers."

Having spent many years in the Venice Area before Lois Bartlett Tracy attained national fame as an artist, Mrs. Tracy decided to return to her home of her first love.  The Tracys were rewarded by finally locating the ideal tract for their Artists' Acres.  And so the town of England finds itself in the artists' spotlight in the country as being the first of the artists' Colonies to be established in Florida.

Lois Bartlett Tracy was born in Jackson, Mich., but came to Florida as a child.  She was graduated from Rollins' college, Winter Park in 1929.  Interested in art since childhood, she devoted her time to painting and etching.  Her fame as an artist began to spread and soon after her graduation from Rollins her exhibitions at the Central Florida Fair, Southern States Art League and Florida Federation of Art immediately brought her to the attention of art critics throughout the country.  She was one of ten artists who represented Florida in the first national exhibit at Rockefeller Center, and her works have been shown at the Great Lakes Exhibition and the New York World's Fair.

Mrs. Tracy's first one-man, or rather one-woman, show was held at the Stuidio Guild in New York, and she had one-man shows at the Norlyst Gallery in New York and in other galleries throughout the country.

The Swope Museum, Terre Haute, Ind., the Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, O., and the High Museum, Atlanta, GA., have been amongst the forty or more museums throughout the country which have exhibited her paintings.

A current exhibition of her paintings is being held at the headquarters of the Florida Writers' Colony in Venice.

Mrs. Tracy was president of the New Hampshire Art Association and is a member of the Pen and Brush Club of New York, and the National Association of Women Painters.

By Joseph Lawren
Literary Florida
1951
 
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