“Life Tribute” for Carl Keeler
September 20 – September 30 at MCCA

Our longtime comrade, Carl Keeler, passed away on June 16, 2016. Most locals knew Carl to be a loyal, devoted MCCA supporter who ran the gallery for 12 years, rain or shine.

He was an incredible historian who loved to share his knowledge of Manatee County and beyond with visitors.

Carl’s life accomplishments, etc. will be on display in his favorite area at MCCA, the information room.

Please visit at your leisure to pay respects to our dear friend, anytime on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday between 11 am. and 4 pm.

First Friday Art Walk

Village of the Arts

6:00-9:30 pm

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Solo artist show

Gerald Patridge, cigar box guitars

September 2


Music is the theme of a very unique solo gallery show at Manatee County Cultural Alliance, aka, Arts Council of Manatee County from September 2 – 23.

Get ready to be awed by Gerald Patridge and his “Playable Wall Art“.  He is the owner of Lucky Penny and is the artist who creates electrified custom theme cigar box guitars. Each guitar is a true work of art, and you can really play it, or hang it on the wall.  It will definitely be an amazing collectible conversation piece.

Gerald was born in Idaho and grew up in Ohio.  He was destined to become a hard working artist as his father was a gunsmith and mother created ceramics and stained glass works.  He learned to work with his hands from his father and learned his mothers’ craft from her.

He attended Ohio State University and participated in the Viet Nam war from 1969-1970. While growing up, he received a cigar box guitar as a gift.  He took it apart to see how it was made to be used as an instrument. After that, he was hooked, and knew it was his destiny. He is quick to note that he does not play the guitars, he only makes them!

Each guitar is designed around a decorative cigar box and has three strings like the box guitars that originated from the Delta Blues. The first cigar box guitars were built in the 1700’s and were called Diddley Bows. (Yes, that is where Bo Diddley got his name!).


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Back then, guitars only had one string and were ingeniously made from any old box, using screen door wire or straw broom wire.  Gerald painstakingly builds each of his guitars to scale and they will plug into any amplifier and are played with a slide.

Most cigar boxes are made from Spanish red cedar.  The grain of the wood and the picture logo on the boxes stand alone as a true work of art, but when the mechanics are added to make a working guitar, the results are spectacular.
Steve Arvey Lucky Penny

Click on the picture above to see Steve Arvey playing a Cigar Box Guitar made by Lucky Penny Cigar Box Guitar Company Owner Jerry Patridge at Island Gallery West Holmes Beach Florida.

 Please visit MCCA during regular summer visiting hours, Thursday, Friday,Saturday, 11:00-4:00 pm.  For more information, please call 941-746-2223 during visiting hours.

Randy Stevens is the featured musician for the opening reception

He will be playing guitar on the veranda to entertain guests.

September 2, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

MCCA is located at 926 12th Street West, Bradenton, Florida. For directions, click here.  
Please visit during regular business hours, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
We’re open for the Village of the Arts’ art walks on the first Friday of each month  6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
MCCA also showcases many local artistis’ mixed media works in the gift galleries.
For more information call us at 941-746-2223
during business hours.