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Local jeweler is ‘going to the dogs’ with art pieces

By Staff | May 22, 2009

Most Jewelers feature racks of sparkly, pretty confections to wear.

And most art galleries display walls of paintings and photographs.

But Lily & Co. Jewelers is a little bit different. They do both.

Once inside the doors of Lily’s quaint but elegant jewelry store on Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel it’s not hard to see that the business is going to the dogs – literally.

Three furry greeters wearing bright colored islandesque collars gallop over to welcome visitors into the shop. Lily, an Australian Labradoodle and yellow labs Gracie and Angel make up the four-legged canine ambassadors at Lily’s.

Schuyler a self-professed dog lover is the first to coo at a pooch big or small that happens to come by the store. Lily’s co-owner Karen Bell is an equal dog lover. Lily belongs to Bell and Gracie and Angel are Schuyler’s pets.

To honor canines and the joy they bring to many folks, Lily’s carries lines of elegant dog-inspired jewelry from designers such as Magik and KC Designs, as well as partnered with prominent artist Myra Roberts and nature photographer Eleanor Ward. Roberts and Ward’s pieces hang on the walls above the cases of glittery and mostly couture jewelry.

“Everybody loves the dogs,” said Dan Schuyler, co-owner of Lily’s. “We wanted to find a way to bring them more into the store.”

Myra Roberts is a popular, talented artist – well-known for her vintage style oil paintings. Some of her dog paintings are created out of sheer inspiration while others are commissioned pieces.

Inside the store Roberts has an array of pieces of beloved pets that she captured on canvas. Breeds of every variety peer from the walls – some with eager puppy dog expressions as they play on local beaches, while others appearing serious and philosophical. Each one has a story behind the soulful face. And its the pets that passed on such as Argyle, a scottie in a bicycle basket that particularly touch Roberts.

“I love the fact that I can memorialize pets with my paintings,” she said. “It makes it so meaningful.”

Roberts work can be found at throughout fine galleries in Southwest Florida.

Joining the walls with Roberts whose work has been a fixture at the store is newcomer Eleanor Ward, owner of Nature’s Gifts-Photo Art. Ward’s detailed photographs of pets including store mascots Gracie and Angel hang on a wall above KC Designs inspired pooch necklaces. Ward’s work has been exhibited at the Sanibel Library and Captiva Island Yacht Club among many others.

Other artists included at the store are glass maker Luc Century and local bird photographer Rob Pailes.

Schuyler said he is delighted with the decision to include wall art with the couture jewelry.

“We really devoted ourselves to art this year,” he said.

Prices are available for the pieces upon request.