Craft Gallery News

Sandy Sardella and husband Ed Sardella, at Pismo Fine Art Glass gallery in Denver.

Following long and successful retail careers, two well-known members of the arts community have closed their galleries and retired.

Nancy Markoe, owner of Nancy Markoe Fine American Crafts Gallery in St. Pete Beach, Fla., announced in June that after nearly 30 years, she would close the doors of her Pass a Grille Gallery and retire. Markoe was voted NICHE magazine’s Top Retailer of the Year in 2001, was included in the magazine’s annual Top 10 Retailers lists numerous times, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her 10 years as chairman of the board of the nonprofit Arts Business Institute.


Nancy Markoe

“I am so grateful for doing what I love and loving what I do for all these years,” Markoe said, but “when change comes upon you, there is no other path than to take a leap of faith and move on. There are so many things I want to do, and it’s time.”

Sandy Sardella, owner of three Pismo Fine Art Glass galleries in Denver, Aspen and Vail, Colo., decided to follow the “Quit while you’re ahead” adage when she announced her retirement this spring. She made the move after just completing her best year of the 25 years she has owned and managed her galleries.

Pismo was recognized internationally for the breadth and depth of its collections, offering a wide range of art works for both casual admirers and serious collectors. “I love what I’ve been doing for the past 25 years,” Sardella said in making her announcement. “I’ve put my heart and soul into making Pismo an entity that I’m very proud of, and I love and appreciate the wonderful artists, staff and customers I’ve worked with.”


The Shapiro’s Gallery family team includes co-owners Sue and Mike Shapiro, son Matt and daughter Alena.
The Shapiro’s Gallery family team includes co-owners Sue and Mike Shapiro, son Matt and daughter Alena.

September marked the 17th anniversary for Shapiro’s Gallery of Contemporary American Crafts. Begun as SMS Pottery in a garage in St. Petersburg, Fla. in 1982, the studio moved to downtown St. Petersburg in the early 1990s and opened the gallery in 1998. “We are still local and still family-owned,” said Michael Shapiro, “and we are multi-generational.” The gallery, founded by Michael and Sue Shapiro, operates two stores, in St. Petersburg and Tampa, and now includes the couple’s children Matt and Alena.

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