“Galleries can be intimidating,” says Elizabeth Goodwill of Creative Liberties. “When people walk into this space, one of the first things they remark on is how positive of a vibe this place has and how welcoming it is. People want to be here and feel comfortable being here, which we think is pretty remarkable in the art world today.”  Elizabeth Goodwill and Barbara Gerdeman, co-founders of Creative Liberties Artist Studios, Gallery, and Creative Academy, are speaking of their third artist studio/gallery space, this one at Gaze Gallery in the ARCOS Apartment Complex in Sarasota’s Rosemary District. At Creative Liberties, Goodwill and Gerdeman work to break down the barriers between the public and the artist, creating a more accessible avenue for not only creating art, but buying and selling it as well. “Elizabeth and I originally met as summer art camp teachers at Art Center Sarasota,” says Gerdeman. “Fast forward a few years later, she was the education director and brought me on as a camp coordinator and after working together for a few years, we decided we wanted to start a business of services for artists–‘artists helping artists’ has become our mantra. We wanted to reach out to these artists to provide them with everything from helping organize bodies of work to cataloging their inventory, learning how to prepare for shows, talking to galleries, and assisting them with self-promotion and social media.” At the Gaze Gallery, Creative Liberties will offer artist residencies for local artists to create their work, followed by a two-month exhibition period for each residency. “We’ve learned as artists that we’re stronger together and learn from one another. The space is open to the public three times a week which creates this really great environment that’s also ripe for sales because when the people have the opportunity to meet the artists they’re forging a connection that they might otherwise not have been able to make,” says Gerdeman. “They become a part of the artist’s story, learning about their motivations and thought processes, which really creates a unique bond between the artist and collector.”