Art and nature meet at Rum 138

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Rum138gallery In: Art and nature meet at Rum 138 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

doug mmj2 In: Art and nature meet at Rum 138 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Doug Jipson, owners of Rum 138.

Rum 138 is also home to the original Song Contest, founded six years ago by co-owner  Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson with the purpose of inspiring songs about our river.
There are now roughly 70 songs about the Santa Fe, leaving Mr. Foster and the Suwannee far behind in the dust.
Also  a factor in the popularity of Rum 138 are the weekly music events, featuring local bands but also some big names.
OSFR is indebted to Rum 138 for providing facilities for our board meetings and events during the year.  They also provide space to store tabling materials and other things essential for our functioning.
The following are comments from Merrillee regarding the write-up:

WOW!!! Thanks for the terrific write up in the Orlando Sentinel. Really great to be recognized for the amazing fine art we sell here.
Very fun to see this old picture in this news story too. So much has changed since we first opened with this grand opening art show 6 years ago which targeted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Suwannee River Water Management District on the day Our Santa Fe River gave them a guided tour of the Santa Fe River basin looking at potential point source pollution problems on the land that surrounds the Santa Fe River and its springshed.
Regional fine art by local artists who get their inspiration from our beautiful freshwater system coming from the Floridan aquifer. Rum 138 Fine Art Gallery creating a regional art movement telling the story of our springs through all forms and styles of art.

Read the original article by Matthew Palm here in the Orlando Sentinel.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-

Art and nature meet at Rum 138

Matthew J. PalmContact ReporterOrlando Sentinel Arts Writer

Artists have always found inspiration in nature. At Rum 138, that inspiration flows in the form of the Santa Fe River. More than an art gallery, Rum 138 offers kayaking and canoeing along the usually slow-moving waterway. But for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, there’s plenty of art to enjoy.More than 20 local artists hang their work in the gallery, and all work is for sale. That means there’s an ever-rotating selection to view; as works are sold, new pieces are brought in to replace them. Different genres represented include watercolors, oil and acrylic paintings, ceramics, drawings, photography, sculpture and woodwork — even jewelry and tie-dyed T-shirts are on view.

Most of the works highlight the natural beauty of the region.

Rum 138 also hosts a slate of special events — from concerts to the North Florida Nature Arts & Fungi Fest this Oct. 20. And if viewing the art (or canoeing the river) works up an appetite, Rum 138 also features a café with burgers, salads, wraps and the like.

If you go: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Monday and closed Tuesday; 2070 S.W. County Road 138; Fort White; 386-454-4247;

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