SALTER PATH - The Grand Opening of The Path Art Gallery at 1245 Salter Path Road in the heart of Salter Path was no small feat for gallery owners, Bari and Mike Nardozzi. In fact, it involved four years of trekking from Hawaii to the East Coast, living out of suitcases, and endless, tiring days and nights of renovation to finally have their soft opening this past Memorial Day Friday. And you can only imagine their surprise when their first gallery visitor, a woman carrying a little lap dog, fled the gallery with an original 8 x 10 painting tucked between herself and her dog as Bari’s head was turned to answer the phone. Amazing - - - An Art Heist in Salter Path! But as they say in show biz, “The Show Must Go On”; and what a show, or showing, it was as customers filtered into The Path Art Gallery’s hugely successful Grand Opening on the evening of Saturday, June 3rd, greeted by Bari and Mike, a few family members, and a little rum punch to celebrate the long awaited special occasion.
Yet the couple is no stranger to agility, having moved from Carteret County in 2003 to Maui, Hawaii, sight unseen, armed with two suitcases, a surfboard, a boogie board, no jobs, and a place to live for what began as a two-year hiatus (or so Bari told her parents before jumping on a plane with Mike), only to continue some fourteen years later. What would make the average person nervous, fires these two up! They seem to thrive when forced to flex and move. And flex and move they do; from one coast to the next, and from one art medium to the next. And their gallery is a living testament to a lifestyle founded on change. Their works, ranging from metal sculpture to paintings on canvas, represent a visual outpouring of their love for each other, the ocean, and coastal living. What started as a surf safari to the Pacific, took Bari and Mike on a path of creativity, landing them in art galleries on Maui, in art collections throughout the United States and abroad (including Steven Tyler of Aerosmith), and brought them back, full circle, to Carteret County, with surfboards in tow wherever they go. So, it stands to reason that although the name of their gallery is indicative of living in the heart of The Path (Salter Path, that is), art, creativity, and their love for each other and the ocean will always be their path.
When you’re next cruising through Salter Path, NC, stop in and say Aloha to Bari and Mike. You’ll find them in their gallery Tuesdays through Saturdays from Noon to 6 pm, and occasionally hosting a “Meet the Artist Night” on Friday evenings in the Summer. You can view their art at thepathartgallery.com, and can follow them on Twitter @thepath_art and on Facebook at thepathartgallery. Outside of gallery hours, call them for a private viewing at 808.281.5818, and they’ll happily open their doors - - - unless the surf is up, that is!