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Dream of art gallery ends in owner's slaying

Joyce Wishart's dream to open her own art gallery and live near the beach took her from Columbus, Ohio, to east Manatee County and Sarasota.

She had begun living her dream when it was cut short. She was discovered slain Wednesday at her Provenance Gallery at 1282 N Palm Ave.

Wishart, 61, opened her gallery in 2002, the same year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, according to friends. She beat the cancer and turned the gallery into a successful business.

A maintenance worker discovered her body about 1 p.m. Wednesday. Police still wouldn't say Thursday how Wishart died.

"There is no motive; there is no suspect," said Jay Frank, a spokesman for Sarasota police, whose investigators were removing evidence from the gallery.

Marsha Fottler, who is active on the Sarasota County Arts Council, said Wishart was planning one of its spring programs. She said Wishart also served on the Sarasota-Manatee Breast Cancer Awareness Committee.

She said Wishart, who had a master's degree in finance and worked as a marketing consultant in Columbus before moving to this area, worked for the Asolo Theatre before opening the gallery.

"I think she has three grown children," Fottler said. "She got divorced when they were young, went back to college and got her degree."

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