ANYONE WHO HAS STEPPED foot into Onessimo Fine Art can attest to what its namesake says is a feeling of “elegant abundance.” Owner Debra Onessimo knows a thing or two about creating an ambience outfitted with amazing art.
She began her career in art as a gallery director at Wentworth Gallery, which has numerous national locations, and was elevated to regional and, ultimately, national director of the fine art retailer. She also acquired art for the Fidelity Investment art portfolio, co-owned a gallery in Boca Raton for 10 years, and managed the artist Jamali nationally for 10 years. Her current gallery has been in operation for the last 15 years. “All of this has resulted in a wonderful network of art connections worldwide,” she says.
After spending years on the road traveling, Onessimo decided to open a gallery in Palm Beach Gardens because of the planned growth of high-end residences and popularity. “There is an easy, relaxed vibe and appreciation of fine art that appeals to me,” she notes. “The people who gravitate to this area are special and very supportive of the gallery. It’s a mix of understated, affluent CEOs, professional athletes and entertainers who can live anywhere in the world but choose this slice of paradise.”
Located on the main shopping and dining street in Northern Palm Beach County, brimming with outdoor cafés with award-winning chefs, unique galleries and shops, Onessimo Fine Art sparkles. The gallery is modern, with white walls, industrial ceilings and polished silver metallic floors. Located on a corner so light filters in from three sides, the windows are filled with paintings or glass shelves of sculpture. You recognize the quality and diversity of the collection immediately.
“The atmosphere at the gallery is very welcoming. The staff is very informed and happy to share stories about our art and artists. The scope and range of the art are unique, and the quality in the various price points is consistent,” she says. Onessimo notes that the staff is readily prepared to address the needs of a client who is building an art portfolio, collecting for love and/or purchasing for a specific space.
Her roster of renowned artists is a cast of characters who, by the virtue of their talent, have traveled the world to create and be honored for their work. Bruno Zupan can be found by a canal in Venice every September with his easel and brush. David Drebin flies over Jerusalem just to catch the precise moment the city lights up. Jurgen Gorg carries his sketch pad wherever he travels, capturing a dancer, a musician, lovers. Fredy Villamil is prone to flashes of inspiration and has been seen drawing on the tablecloth of a famous restaurant. And Alan Wolton paints Monet’s garden in Monet’s garden!
Diversity in the gallery has always been important to Onessimo. “My staff does extensive research in any particular genre we are looking to add. Then we decide by vote. Also, if I am traveling, at least 50 percent of my time is spent checking out galleries, artist studios and, of course, museums,” she says. “Being involved in art is like breathing for me.”
Gallery events and shows are driven by the collection. “If one of our artists has a museum show or creates an exceptional body of work, a one-man show is scheduled. If an extraordinary estate becomes available, we will honor the collection with an exhibition. Most recently, we presented Works on Paper 100 Years: Matisse to Hirst.”
Onessimo Fine Art will be hosting five gallery events during the upcoming sea-son, including Bruno Zupan: 80 Years of Excellence—A Retrospective and the re-lease of David Drebin’s new book, Before They Were Famous. The gallery will also display at international fairs in Miami, Palm Beach and New York. Onessimo Fine Art provides art portfolio collecting, in-home consultation and installa-tion, conservation framing, in-home art design, and worldwide shipping and in-stallation.
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle, luxury and travel writer. Her works have appeared in Art New England, Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Modern Luxury Chicago, Ocean Home Magazine, Playboy.com, RD.com and many others. A lover of big words and little white dogs, Stacey’s biggest joys are found in life’s simple moments.