On the Right Path

As the new owner of Rare Earth Gallery, artist Teresa Klein feels like she is exactly where she is supposed to be


Rare Earth Gallery has been a staple on the Stuart arts scene since 1976. In 2009, former owners Becky and Steve Binder gave it its current name (it was originally called Rare Earth Pottery) and updated the layout to include original work by more than 70 artists, including many from the Stuart area. As the destination for locally handcrafted artwork, ceramics, jewelry, and more, Rare Earth Gallery is fortunate to have another expert at the helm. This past September, after operating the gallery for more than a decade, the Binders passed the proverbial baton to a brand new owner: artist Teresa Klein. She moved to Port St. Lucie from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to run the gallery, bringing her lifelong background in art and poetry to the space. “Steve and Becky have done a terrific job renovating the space and establishing a reputation, and I look forward to continuing what they have done,” she says. Here, get to know a little bit about Klein, her background in art, her plans for the gallery, and her philanthropic endeavors.

And Fall Came Anyway, Teresa Klein

Life as an Artist

“I feel like I’ve always been an artist and a writer. Both of my parents were artists, and my grandmother was a painter. I have a BFA in painting with a minor in art history and an MFA in creative writing from American University in Washington, D.C. I prefer to paint in acrylic and oil, but I also love pastels and drawing. My style changed significantly after the unexpected death in 2002 of my husband, Kevin, from a brain tumor. I had been more of a literal or representational artist, but that way of working seemed inadequate to me [after Kevin passed away], and I began to paint more abstractly. Most recently, I’ve been working on a series of diminutive drawings called Vibrations, which begin as miniature brain waves and become tiny landscapes. I see these as sort of a metaphor for life and energy.”

Out of Nowhere, Teresa Klein

Taking Over at Rare Earth

“I was a curator and programs director at galleries in the past. I’ve also been an educator, most recently a teacher in an amazing charter school in North Carolina. I’ve always been interested in having a space not only to share my own work but also to foster and nurture the work of other artists. Coming upon Rare Earth Gallery was a serendipitous find! I believe I was led to make a change in this phase of my life, and I was guided to this new place and endeavor. It brings together so much of what I have learned in my life and what I long to do.”

Rare Earth Gallery

Plans for the Gallery

“I can’t say that I actually know what my plans are at this point—it’s very early—but
I do know that I want Rare Earth to be an uplifting, positive place to be. It already has a unique presence in the heart of downtown Stuart and is a destination for people who love art, but I want it to be seen as more than a retail space. I hope Rare Earth will continue to add new artists and media and exist as a space to share ideas too. I also hope to get back to having events like Art Walks and fundraisers soon.”

Bowl, Gail Snively

Fundraising Efforts

“Steve and Becky were strong advocates for Treasure Coast Hospice, as am I. Hospice helped our family so much during the end of my husband’s life. I also continue to personally contribute a portion of my own art sales to the American Brain Tumor Association and the National Brain Tumor Society. I’d love to perhaps design a yearly art event to raise funds and awareness to help other families facing this insidious disease.”

What Makes Rare Earth Special

“It offers such a fresh perspective on art! It’s a friendly space where everything is handmade and not mass-produced. Art not only brings beauty to the world, but it also brings meaning and soulfulness. I truly believe that all arts have the potential to raise consciousness and touch lives in challenging times.”

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