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Mixed media artist Toni Ory dabbles in a little bit of everything

October 19, 2016
By ASHLEY GOODMAN ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Multifaceted artist Toni Ory has explored almost any medium you can think of. Some of her mediums of choice are watercolors, glass and mixed media.

"I can't remember a time where I wasn't doing some kind of artwork," Ory said.

Ory went to college for fine arts at the University of Illinois. After college, she started out as a bathroom designer then took time off from art in-between marriages. A few years later, she started exhibiting in Illinois and even had a consignment gallery that she opened with a friend. She said her professional career initially began with watercolors.

Article Photos

Chips of Pool (fused glass).


After moving to Sanibel 13 years ago, Ory began taking glass classes at BIG ARTS.

"Within the first couple of weeks, I was hooked on fused glass. I continued to use it as my sole medium until last year," she said.

More recently, Ory has been creating art out of mixed media.

I started getting back to more mixed media using my glass and some of my recycled watercolor paintings. I use a lot of recycled glass now from my older broken pieces, so that's where I have evolved. I still do watercolors, but not as much," Ory said.

This past summer Ory decided to listen to her true calling: Interior design. A couple months ago, she opened consulting company Outside/Inside with close friend Sue Richie.

"I've always heard you should follow your passion. At 66 years old, I've finally realized that. I can do art work, I've sold art work, I enjoy art work but my passion has always been decorating," Ory said.

Ory and Ritchie consult with people who are looking to sell their houses. Ritchie's focus is revamping the outside, while Ory specializes on updating the inside.

"We have several clients right now. If someone wants to sell or rent their house or condo or if they're just tired of the way it looks and they're not sure what direction to go, rather than use an interior design firm or work through a furniture store, we meet with the client for an initial consultation to find out what they hope to accomplish and their budget. We then come back to them in a week with a list of suggestions. It can be a list of DIY ideas saying 'here's what we see and here's what you need improve'. We focus on both the interior and exterior curb appeal. We also set up a Pinterest board for them," Ory said.

Outside/Inside will even work with Realtors who have an empty house that they need to sell.

'We are able to walk the contractors through the details, be on the job and make sure everything is getting done such as painting or electrical work. We'll also go shopping for furniture and accessories," Ory said.

Another project she's had her hands on is the Engulfed Art Exhibit that is coming to "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Oct. 28. The art show will be presented by the Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild where she is a board member and a standing committee chairman. The works will range in clay, mixed media, photography, glass, fiber art, jewelry, metal, wood and stone. Twenty-five percent of proceeds will go directly to the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society.

"It's the first time that the Guild is having their exhibit at "Ding" Darling. It will be throughout the Visitor's Center. We're looking forward to it," Ory said.

For more information on Ory and her art, go to



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