Thursday, August 17, 2017

ACT Gallery September Exhibits Tom Nagata and Patrick Connelly

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, September 1, 2017 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, September 2, 2017 from 11am to 4pm for the slower paced art walk for August 2017.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature Tom Nagata, Graphic Artist showing “Felines, Flowers and Happy Panda”, in the main gallery.  In the white gallery, Patrick Conolly, showing playful new paintings entitled “Conolly’s Folly’s”.  Also showing, New Works from our Co-op Artists!  
Main Gallery Artist BIOGRAPHY – Tom Nagata  Graphic Artist  

Thomas Hiromu Nagata was born of Japanese-American parents in 1947 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He left Hawaii to attend Ohio University on a baseball scholarship where he graduated with a BFA in graphic design. Two months later, it became necessary to sell his art portfolio in exchange for air fare back to Hawaii in order to report for his draft induction physical, only to be disqualified due to athletic injuries.

Even though art was his primary passion, Tom began his career in the field of education and his second passion, coaching. He moved to Ft. Myers, Florida, in 1974, began teaching in the Lee County School District, and raised three sons...twins Mark and Trent and his youngest Tai. The City of Ft. Myers adopted his poster in 1988 as the official city poster. In 1984, the University of Florida contracted to use one of his football posters for an alumni fundraiser when they won their first national championship, which was rescinded for rules violations.

Tom's original compositions have always been acrylic. His limited edition silk-screen pieces range from four to twenty-one colors. What started as acrylic on illustration board has literally blossomed into 30”X40” gallery wrapped canvases that curiously tease the eye into following the painting around its edges.  The subjects of his paintings, near and dear to his heart, boldly reflect his youth in Hawaii.  Orchids and imperial koi are direct ties to his Auntie Emily's family and their Kodama Orchid Nurseries of Hawaii.  Tom continues his bold freedom in choice of color in his imperial koi paintings and purposefully balances this color with the action created in the water because of the koi's movement. As one observe these koi, there is no doubt in the onlooker's mind to where each of the koi is moving, thus completing the koi's graceful movement?

Tom extends his attention to detail into his technique. Pigments are laboriously applied by initially diluting the acrylics. Acrylic is mixed with distilled water in white porcelain tea cups and covered with plastic petri dishes to keep the pigment from drying, permitting him more time to work with different tones and hues. These liquid hues are then applied layer by layer in order to achieve the desired effects. This is a very laborious, time-consuming process. Nagata's representational art with its dramatic interaction of colors strongly emphasizes his heritage. 

Nagata spent a total of 27 years teaching art to elementary and middle school students with the hope of passing along to younger generations his passion for art and color. He has recently retired from teaching and devotes full-time efforts to his painting. Currently he produces canvases of various sizes, continuing his focus on Hawaiian and tropical subjects.  Tom recently married his friend and co-worker, Judy, whom he met 40 years ago. Together they look forward to a fulfilling future of love, happiness, and art.

In the White Gallery – Patrick Conolly

Patrick Conolly has dabbled with the arts all of his life.  Using acrylics the art sprints spontaneously from his imagination.  Most of his recent works celebrate and reflect the unique beauty of Southwest Florida.  Patrick plays with the surface of his canvases making them smooth and shiny.  His line work is minimal and his colors are bright.  The large works are simple, while the smaller works are filled with details.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ACT Gallery August Exhibits are Lynn Bautista-Barnes and 4 Generations of Artists The Family of Celia Malloy

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, August 4, 2017 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 11am to 4pm for the slower paced art walk for August 2017.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature Tonya Bautista- Barnes, a Photographer, Artist and Costume Design, in the main gallery.  In the white gallery, 4 Generations of Artists – The family of Celia Malloy.  Also showing, New Works from our Co-op Artists!  
Main Gallery Artist BIOGRAPHYTonya Bautista – Barnes

Photographer, Artist and Costume Designer 
Free Warrior Designs brand was originally born on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Tonya Bautista-Barnes always loved the splendid look of natural materials like bone, feather, metal, leather and stone.  Growing up islander and looking towards her Marianist heritage for inspiration, gave her much creativity and room for growth.  Her love for the bright macaw feathers with the neutral tones of the bone and leather gave her the inspiration to create.   All of Tonya’s designs are 100% handmade by her and are inspired by the bright colors and natural materials of the earth, air and sea. Using as many materials originating from the US and donated or purchased feathers from bird sanctuaries and private owners throughout the Marianas, Hawaiian Islands and the US.  She strives to support as many artists and small businesses as possible.
“Each piece represents a part of myself which will be seen in the individuality and craftsmanship of my work.  I choose my Warrior Sisters carefully.  I photograph them as I see them and how they wish to see themselves. 
Each person I photograph has endured hardships and flourished – proving their strength and determination to RISE.  Every woman is a Warrior and should be respected as such.  "The true warrior isn’t immune to fear.  She fights in spite of it." ~ anonymous  (but I'm positive she was a strong woman.).” ~ states, Tonya.

In the White Gallery 4 Generations of Artists – The family of Celia Malloy

An energetic vibe radiates throughout this multi-generational exhibit of visual art, as engaging and diverse as the women who created it.  Spanning approximately a half century, this eclectic, yet connected body of work is impressive as it represents varied artistic styles and content.  Celia Baiada Malloy, the 97 year old family Matriarch is the main focus of this exhibit. Celia's formative time was spent in the Philadelphia Metro area, and her training of many years ago, is beautifully reflected in unique and elegant acrylics.  Daughters Lynne Van Sciver, Taire Malloy, and Donna Malloy, share their mother's interest, along with granddaughter, Cavan Guenther, and great granddaughters, Julia and Scarlett Novak and Stella Guenther.  Their collective works both contrast and respond to the familial influence.  Lynne's abstract expressionistic style, infused with balance and freedom, has been influenced by training as a psychologist. Taire's charcoal life drawings display a subtle organic style and exude a feeling of calm movement. She studied art at Arizona State, and remains involved with the visual arts in the role of festival director of Art Fest Naples.  Donna Kay echoes her mother and grandmother's love of birds which culminated in the publication of Donna's children's book: "Criss Crow, Flying on Sunshine."  Donna earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Tampa.  Cavan, Lynne's daughter, is a former science teacher. She is an accomplished abstract artist and rustic-glam jewelry designer. Her art is a mixture of earth, energy and vintage objects.  This delightful exhibition tells the story of connectedness found in art, that flows through generations, moving through time, taking on an exquisite life of its own.
ACT Gallery is also featuring new works by over 25 co-op artists. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pat Cleveland and Annette Brown at ACT Gallery for May 2017

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, May 5, 2017 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for May 2017.  The gallery will also be open on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11am to 4pm for those who could not come to the Friday night Art Walk.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature “A Retrospective” by Pat Cleveland and the mixed media art of Annette Brown.  New Works from over 25 Co-op Artists will also be featured.  

Main Gallery – Pat Cleveland – A Retrospective

 Pat began painting at age three when her mother, an artist herself, put a brush in her hand and gave her a small canvas to paint on. Born in New Jersey, she graduated from Traphagen School of Design New York, N.Y., then worked as an interior designer for Bloomingdales until 1975 when she moved to Florida. where she was a designer at Robb and Stucky.
After retiring Pat became a member of several local art leagues showing her work in group and solo exhibits winning awards and notices. In 1996 one of her paintings won an award in an international competition sponsored by Artis Spectrum Magazine, New York City and was featured in an issue of that magazine.  An active member of art organizations, Pat taught creative workshops and art programs for adults and children.

Pat’s work has been presented by Rick Moore Fine Art Gallery, Naples,Fl., Sanibel Gallery, Seaweed Gallery both of Sanibel, Fl., Witt and Witt Gallery, Ft. Myers Fl., Wildchild Gallery,Matlacha,Fl.,Syzygy Gallery, Ft. Myers,Fl., Images Gallery, Lakeland,Fl.,Arts for ACT Gallery, Ft. Myers, Fl. Her work is in many private collections including such notables as Lily Tomlin the actress, Russian Ice Dance Olympic Gold Medalists, local and national collectors.

Pat developed macular degeneration in 2013 which has made her legally blind. She 
continues to paint considering the vision change not as a challenge but as an opportunity for creative growth. Her paintings are oil on canvas and her subject matter varies from landscapes, animals, florals, and still life. In 2013 Pat was one of six featured artists of ACT for their annual fundraiser auction. In 2016 Pat received an award from ACT for 28 years of donating to the auction..
This exhibit has some of Pat’s work before and after the vision changes.

“This retrospective exhibit contains a selection of early and new paintings. Since macular degeneration has changed my vision to a great extent, the viewer will note that I am using a strong color palette and less detail as well. It is a new way of seeing  and expressing my thoughts and feelings and I have been enjoying the transition from my earlier style of work. it has given me a sense of freedom from painting with more detail.” ~ Pat Cleveland

White Gallery – Annette Brown

Annette Brown is a mixed media artist that incorporates found objects and collage into her works.  Often working in acrylics, she has taken classes with Verron Ennis and Leo Johnson. 
Annette’s work is both innovative and aesthetic

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

ACT Gallery will feature over 100 Artists from the Arts for ACT 2016 Disco Ball Gala presented by Bill Smith, Inc.

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, October 7, 2016 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for October, 2016.  Can’t make the Friday night event, then come downtown on Saturday, October 8, from 11am to 4pm to view the exhibits at a slower pace.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature over 100 of the Live and Silent Auction Artists for Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc., annual fundraiser Arts for ACT.  The theme for this year’s gala is “Disco Ball Gala” and Bill Smith, Inc., is our presenting sponsor.  This is the 28th year that ACT has held this fundraiser.
Sherry Rohl - Courage

Arts for ACT Gallery will exhibit the Live Auction, which will feature Artist Sherry Rohl and showcase the art of David Belling, Christine Reichow, Jan Ellen Atkielski and Kellen Beck Mills.  In addition to that the live auction will also have pieces by International Artists Marcus Jansen and Darryl Pottorf, plus the art of twenty-two local and national artists. 
Jan Ellen Atkielski - Garnet & Sapphire Woods Tessara

Over seventy-five Silent Auction artists will also be on display at the Arts for ACT Gallery.  Expect to see exceptional oils and acrylics on canvas, photography, collage, graphite, jewelry, gift baskets, sand, shell, pine needle and fiber art, whimsical painted furniture, mosaics, gourd art, and sculptures.  We even have a disco ball explosion…there is truly something for everyone! 
Christine Reichow - The Dock

This year you will have the opportunity to buy pieces from the Silent Auction…we call it “Take Me Out of This Auction!”  There are over 100 pieces in the Silent Auction.    

David Belling - First Street
This exhibit continues until we take it to auction on October 29, 2016 at Harborside Event Center.  Individual tickets and table sales for the October 29th “Disco Ball Gala” can be purchased on-line at  
Kellen Beck Mills - Big Donna

Support Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc., Arts for ACT Gallery and the people this gala benefits; the domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault victims and survivors.  So…Boogie Down and Support US!

Scott Guelcher - Disco Ball Explosion

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Isabel Squires, Gayle Smock and 14 Co-op Member Artists

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, August 5, 2016 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for August, 2016.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature Isabel Squires, 14 of the ACT Co-Op Artists and Gayle Smock. 

Isabel Squires
A native of Costa Rica, Isabel Arias-Squires’ Naive Art has been a strong influence to her own style, applying a vivid palette of colors to timeless and innocent themes of her own experiences.  Isabel began painting art in 2008.  She attributes her formation in technique to her studies in the United States at The Art Center of Williamson County in Round Rock, TX with artists Michael Hammons and John Howell at the Cordovan School of Arts.  Isabel’s work includes still life, landscapes and portraits. Her subjects have exaggerated eyes, applications of vibrant colors, and her use of trees, flowers and plants from Central America define Isabel’s unique passion and style.  Isabel has utilized art to inspire others, especially children with special needs to express themselves.   She has called Fort Myers home since 1995.     
Gayle Smock

Gayle Smock is a full time professional artist who has lived in Fort Myers since 1971, enjoying a long involvement with music, art and photography.  She is from the Chicago area, where she received her education at the American Academy of Art, the Art Institute and the Illinois Institute of Technology and Design.  Gayle won many awards for her work while in the Chicago area.  She retired from the News-Press as an advertising artist after twenty-nine years and currently hosts the Art Social Group at the Share Club, Wa-kahatchee in South Fort Myers. 

Susan Mills
Group Exhibit of 14 ACT Co-Op Artists.  Artists Linda Benson, Scott Guelcher, Kim Kraft-Beckler, Kyra Belan, Michelle Rothacker, Susan Mills, Kate O’Connell, Michael Pohlman, Marie Cahill, Becky Sandbek, Lynne Van Sciver, Cavin Guenther, Vic Delnore and Claudia will be exhibiting new works.   Expect to see realism, mixed media, painted gourds and furniture, colored pencils drawing, mixed media collage, handmade paper art, recycled and restyled and photography in this group exhibit.  This group of artists support and volunteer their time to the ACT Gallery and ACT Shelter.  This exhibit is a must-see for art lovers and collectors.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

June 3rd Ripoll-LeFevre and Wilkinson

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, June 3rd, from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for our June featured artists: Diana Ripoll, showing in the main gallery, also featuring Dharma LeFevre in the white gallery, and off the main gallery Alex Wilkinson.  This exhibit continues through June 27, 2016. 

In the Main Gallery – Diana Ripoll was born with a natural fascination for brilliant color and abstract ideas. She has had the good fortune of traveling the world and her mind has become a vast well of snapshots and experiences that her subconscious draws upon to create her paintings. Diana chooses the color that attracts her at the moment, and then continues to add colors and watch how they flow, mix and move. The paintings begin to form themselves, she then finds what is hidden, and begins to consciously bring it out. Only when the work is completed does she find the true meaning of the piece and what inspired it. With each completed piece, Diana looks forward to revisiting the story it represents.

In the White Gallery  –  Dharma LeFevre  is a fine art figurative artist that calls Fort Myers home.  Raised in Naples, Florida she attended college in Oklahoma at Neo A&M Junior College for Graphic Arts.  There she found that she disliked the graphic arts and decided to go on a different career path.  Dharma took a 20 year creative hiatus and instead focused on a family and job.   Five years ago she decided to create again and taught herself how to paint in various mediums from acrylic to coffee and teas.  Her artistic background is based in fantasy, mythology and figurative.  Her current body of work has inspirations that pull from feminine Art Nouveau, urban lines and techniques and vintage influences in saturated colorful pieces. 

 In the Small Gallery – Alex Wilkinson  is a self-taught mixed media artist.  She has worked as a needle arts designer and instructor for 20 years using pieces of fabric as her canvas.  Today, Alex employs traditional pen and ink, acrylic paint, colored pencils, oil pastels, markers, paper and found objects to create her mixed media art work on canvas or Bristol board.  Her favorite subjects are animals, feathered friends, Art Deco, and Celtic lore.  Her often whimsical fold art designs include small stitch-like black and white line patterns in the Zen Tangle inspired art style.  Zen Tangle (doodling) has been around since ancient times.  It was visible on the walls of Egyptian Pyramids, in Celtic Manuscripts and in basic borders and shapes worldwide.  Come view the Zen of Alex Wilkinson. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Boren, Branchaud and Evans at ACT Gallery in May 2016

Our May featured artists: Katherine Boren, “Textures-Tones”, showing in the main gallery, also featuring Danielle Branchaud “Emotive” in the white gallery, and off the main gallery Shadow Boxes by Ron Evans.  This exhibit continues through May 30, 2016. 

Katherine Boren

In the Main Gallery – Katherine Boren’s series of new works, entitled “Textures-Tones”, continues and expands her exploration of multiple mediums evoking various emotions, events, and places utilizing nonrepresentational techniques.  By focusing on using a predominantly monochromatic palette and utilizing a combination of nontraditional and found materials in unexpected ways, her new works emphasize the reflection of light, varying textures and shapes, and differing grades of color saturation, while addressing universal experiences, environments, and feelings in an intuitive manner.   She emphasizes the use of color, form, and texture to evoke emotional and psychological reactions to her art.  Boren states that her most successful work utilizes a base hue and uses its shades, tones, and tints to encourage further exploration by the viewer.  Originally from New York, Boren studied at New York University, and the New School; she graduated with an emphasis in sculpture from the State University of New York.  Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues in solo, group, juried, and member shows.  More information can be found on her website at

Danielle Branchaud
In the White Gallery  –  Danielle Branchaud
“The things that drive the human experience are based on instinct and emotion. Since the beginning of mankind the ways in which we relate to one another, connect, and evolve have consistently been revolving around those basic drives. And these instincts lurk still, within the depths of the human subconscious.”  States Danielle Branchaud
It is this that prompts the inspiration for D. Branchaud’s work. Combined with a survey of personal experience, her paintings have created a window through the eyes of the subconscious, into a place that illustrates those basest of instincts and emotions. The goal of works such as the “Emotive” series is to illustrate the universality of emotion. It not only serves as a reflection of the artist’s own experience, but also provides a mirror for the audience to see within themselves.
Her work walks a tightrope between fantasy and surrealism, into an honest realm of pure visceral emotion. The “Emotive” series largely skimmed the surface. Her new work is intended to reach new depths, delving into her personal world of dreamscapes. The nightmarish imagery used to illuminate those unconscious thoughts serve as further exploration into the things that make us human.
D. Branchaud was born in Canada in 1985, and has been painting with acrylics since 2003. She currently resides in Florida, and is continuing her series work as well as various commissions and projects. The intimacy that she employs with the “Emotive” and “Visceral” series’ is also applied to portraits (where the goal is not simply to achieve a likeness, but to capture the essence of the subject), as well as conceptual commissions and illustrations. 
For more infor
 Small Gallery – Ron Evans
Ron Evans
“The "things"in my art aren't really things,rather shapes that fuse together and connect.  These works become loose and painterly. “ states Ron Evans 

Fort Myers artist Ron Evans will be exhibiting his shadow boxes. Ron considers himself more of a “colourist” as opposed to an “artist.” He tries to capture the interaction of shapes dissolving into a structure of colour. His media of choice is acrylic or watercolour. Ron’s works range in size from small to very large, and are a colourful explosion of abstract fantasy.