Jocelyn Hoch and Forrest Shafer are the mastermind artists behind the recently opened fine art gallery, The Muse, located in the 100 block of West Venice Avenue in Downtown Venice. Hoch and Shafer have been traveling and vending at outdoor juried art shows for almost 20 years. All that time on the road can be quite grueling, so they decided to settle down locally and open their first brick-and-mortar storefront in Historic Downtown Venice.
It’s abundantly clear from first glance into their store that Hoch and Shafer truly have a passion for the arts. The fine art gallery offers original pieces including paintings, ceramic, glass, copper sculpture and mixed media. Some of the pieces available are a blend of various unique materials such as metal, watercolor, acrylic and even silk paintings. Along with their own original work, they are also exhibiting one-of-a-kind selections made by local award winning artists. Some recent additions to the gallery are brightly colored oil paintings on canvas created by local artist Carol McGill, as well as beautifully displayed cold wax paintings made by the talented Sylvia Hirschegger.
Hoch and Shafer both have an undeniable talent for custom hand-made jewelry and have a large selection of their jewelry on display, featuring precious metal and gemstone jewelry. Hoch’s specialty hand-made pieces sometimes take up to three months to complete, due to her carefulness and immaculate attention to detail. “We offer custom jewelry designs. If you have an idea in mind for a special piece, we’ll be happy to make it into silver or gold just for you,” said Hoch.
As with the artwork, they also feature local jewelers’ work including the recent addition from Jewelry by Merzatta. Hoch and Shafer take pride in making sure all artwork and jewelry is made with all American-made materials, whether it’s their own or another artists’ work.
All in all, The Muse is an absolute asset to Historic Downtown Venice. For more information, you can reach The Muse at 941-706-8389. The gallery is located at 101 W. Venice Ave, Suite 4 and their hours of operation are Monday-Thursday from 11am-5pm, and Friday-Saturday from 11am-6pm.

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