Courtesy Sea Grape Artists Gallery                                                                                                                       

Artists of Month for November 2018

From November 1 to December 6 Sea Grape Gallery will be featuring two of their artists, James Beech, watercolor and acrylic artist, and Barbara Simmons, sterling silver jewelry artist.   

Jim Beech has enjoyed painting since a very young age.  As an adult, most of his business career was spent in the advertising and graphic design area and marketing communications.  While living in Orange County, New York, he established the Orange County Cultural Center, bringing together artists, teachers and children who were interested in art.  After a few years, Jim moved to Canada and opened a branch of his advertising agency.  While living in Canada, he continued his love of painting when time permitted. Upon retiring, Jim and his family moved to Punta Gorda where he enjoys the outdoors. Jim paints waterfront landscapes, boats, ships and buildings of unusual character.  As Jim says, he wants his art to tell a story and “I want the viewer to see the history and let the imagination help create a sense of having been there”. His beautiful paintings truly do tell a story.    

Barbara Simmons, originally from Boston, was raised in a very artistic family.  However, she decided to take a different career direction from others in her family and focused on a career as a high school library media teacher. During her career, Barbara always knew she would one day explore the world of art in order to find her own art niche. Upon retiring from teaching, this is exactly what she did and quickly realized she loved the art of creating unique silver jewelry.  Barbara creates her designs by using unique stones incorporating them into interesting shapes.  When designing her jewelry, Barbara uses a variety of minerals and gems but specializes in larimar, a rare mineral found only in the Dominican Republic. While living in California for several years, she collected sea glass from the beaches which she also enjoys designing into her settings. As Barbara says, “I hope those purchasing my jewelry enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoy creating it”.       

Many of Jim’s beautiful paintings and Barbara’s unique jewelry are prominently on display at the Sea Grape Gallery. In addition, more of their art and the artworks of all Sea Grape artists can be viewed at

Sea Grape Gallery is celebrating their 30-year Anniversary in 2018.  The Gallery has been awarded the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce’s Special Recognition Award and has consistently won the Charlotte Sun Newspaper’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Art Gallery.  Come visit the Gallery and its many talented award-winning artists who are on hand to welcome and assist visitors.

The Gallery is always open until 8:00 pm during downtown Punta Gorda’s “Third Thursday Wine Walk.”


113 West Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda 33950


Contact:  Bonnie Benande: (941) 575-9752 or