People in Ocala love the Arts. Ocala is home to the world-class Appleton Museum of Art, the Ocala Civic Theatre, Reilly Arts Center, Marion Cultural Alliance with Brick City Center for the Arts, Magnolia Art Xchange at the historic Ocala train station, NOMA Gallery on North Magnolia, the Webber Center and Gallery on the College of Central Florida Ocala campus, along with numerous privately owned galleries highlighted on the First Saturday monthly art tour. Some claim that there is more art per capita in Ocala than in the city of Chicago.

Add to this thriving art scene the Chelsea Art Center designed to offer more art experiences and opportunities for people of all ages to unlock their creativity.

While Ocala has many galleries that also offer events and occasional classes, Chelsea Art Center is the maker’s haven, a Center for learning and experiencing the visual arts. Barbara Fife, Director and Owner, is a retired educator who holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Michigan. She has taught elementary through university students over her long career in education. She is also an artist, calligrapher, and someone who enjoys all forms of papercraft, sewing, quilting, and fabric arts.

Barbara Fife had been looking for some time for a location that art groups could use as a home base for meetings and workshops as scheduling was sometimes challenging. And then, there it was in plain view on a bright July afternoon (2022) as she walked back to her car after visiting the just-opened beautiful CC Fine Arts Gallery owned by friends Carlynne Hershberger and Cheryl Ritter at Chelsea Square Plaza.

Chelsea Square Plaza on East Silver Springs Boulevard is located 2 minutes west of the Appleton Museum and about 2 minutes east of Marion County Library Headquarters. Space was available! the center “anchor” space most recently occupied (pre-Covid) by Legends Vintage Goods, and long before that by Bobby’s Steakhouse, then Dooley’s Bar and Grill, and others… The Art Center has 4705 SF of space to offer a wide variety of visual arts and crafts classes. You will be introduced to the many instructors who will teach those classes. We are excited to show you the creative opportunities we’ve planned for you!

The Art Center has wonderful neighbors in Chelsea Square: Designs by Daniel Stained-Glass Studio and CC Fine Arts Gallery just steps away; a specialty plant shop “Peacock Cottage”; Vintage Toy King; Jamaican restaurant “Little Bickle”, and Chelsea Coffee and Tea Company to name just a few. The older mall is charming with a covered walk and benches and has ample parking. It is a welcoming, friendly place to visit, and maybe a bit of “Greenwich Village” vibe!

Come see what we have to offer!

Stay Inspired,


Classes are small to allow instructors to give individual attention and encouragement to participants. Each student works at their own 5-ft table to accommodate their work and provide for safe-distancing.