Friday, December 14, 2012

Arts for Act: Peter Stilton, Richard Bush and Christina Jarmolin...

Arts for Act: Peter Stilton, Richard Bush and Christina Jarmolin...: This month, ACT Gallery will feature Tampa artist Peter Stilton, Richard Bush and Christina Jarmolinski.  Stilton’s, sophisticated whimsica...

Peter Stilton, Richard Bush and Christina Jarmolinski to start the 2013 New Year right!

This month, ACT Gallery will feature Tampa artist Peter Stilton, Richard Bush and Christina Jarmolinski.  Stilton’s, sophisticated whimsical chair and bed paintings created in various media, Bush’s digital graphic art drawings and Jarmolinski’s abstracted collage, assemblages that are on the edgy side will be showcased this month to start the new year 2013! Come downtown to view great art and support ACT Gallery and Boutique. 

Peter Stilton
Peter Stilton is a Tampa artist who creates sophisticated whimsical paintings in a variety of themes and media, inspired in part by the “fete” paintings of rococo France.  A full-time artist for three decades with over 40 solo shows in the US and France, including La Sorbonne, his work is in private and corporate collections in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Honors include work in the state collection of France (Office of the Mayor of Paris at Hotel de Ville) and in the permanent collection of the Springfield, MA, Museum of Fine Arts. Peter Stilton’s lyrical style has been described as linear expressionism with diverse subject matter, including symbolic geometric abstracts. French art critic Charles Tanguy wrote “the artist’s favorite Chippendale chair ‘Chip’ is our guide within the poetic universe of its creator” when the “chair” paintings debuted in Paris in 1995 at the Galerie Art et Communication. Stilton is writing and illustrating a book for children about the adventure of two antique Rolls-Royces in a Lewis Carroll chessboard of art styles and musical encounters.  His art draws the viewer of his work into a world of visual surprises and sophisticated whimsy.  Peter Stilton’s distinguished academic career (masters in art history and cinema from UCLA and USC) also includes professorships of art and humanities at colleges and universities in California, Florida and New York.  Currently, the artist also teaches elementary art to inner city children and paints mostly in Florida and Maine.

Artist Statement – “My work is a kaliedoscope of all the places, colors and images I experience.  It is a congruence of the past and present moment with a tangent that points to the future.  Figurative or rhythmically abstract, my paintings reveal a substantive mental world beyond the material prose of existence.  Child-like trust opens the doors to new vistas and imaginative juxtapositions where images change dimension and properties in uncharted and delightful ways, such as the pure joy of color and line, or the Chippendale chairs, Rolls-Royces, pipe organs, and cellos all enjoying the beach.” ~ Peter Stilton

For more information on Peter Stilton, visit his website at:       

Richard Bush
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Richard Bush spent the greater part of his life in St. Petersburg, FL.  At 17, he attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York.  Bush graduated in 1968 with a degree in music composition.  In the early 1970’s, he moved to Cape Cod and worked as a pianist, conductor and composer receiving awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.  In 2011, Bush relocated to Fort Myers, pictorial and graphic arts have been ardent avocations of his.  A self-taught practitioner of drawing, calligraphy and computer graphics led to computer drawing.  Bush creates stylish black and white computer drawings of the late 1930’s through 1940’s old Hollywood mystery movies.  This body of work is known to him as “film noir”. 

Christina Jarmolinski
An edgy artist who loves to experiment using found objects, torn papers, gold plate, newspapers and more, Christina Jarmolinski says her art is not mainstream.  Her forte is figurative painting, which she has abstracted in her collages and assemblages.  Having studied art and languages in Europe, Christina has become established in the International and US art scene.  She has mastered many techniques including sculpture, ceramics, painting, murals and more.  She worked as a stage designer, adult and children’s art instructor and jewelry designer. 

These exhibits continue to Wednesday, January 29, 2013.  

 Arts for ACT Gallery provides a quality, contemporary exhibition gallery featuring original art, limited edition prints, giclees, hand-crafted fine crafts, tee shirts, silver and glass bead jewelry, gourd art, raku, clay, and art cards. It is a “must see” destination for all art lovers and collectors, providing a unique opportunity for everyone to learn and enjoy art.  Highlighting the art of the current featured artist, the front gallery, reminiscent of galleries in SoHo, has 12 to 16 foot high ceilings, distressed brick walls, and warm wooden floors. It is a great opportunity to meet the   featured artists, enjoy some local food and have a glass of wine, and engage in lively artful repartee.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Abstraction, Realism and Cartoons at ACT Gallery in December 2012

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, December 7, 2012 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for December 2012.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature abstract multi-dimensional works of Katherine Boren, figurative painter, Ellen Sayet and the works of Doug MacGregor.  Abstraction, Realism, and Cartoons will be showcased this month to close the year 2012! Come downtown to view great art and support ACT Gallery and Boutique. 

"Morning" by Katherine Boren

Katherine Boren
Originally, from New York, Katherine Boren studied at New York University and The New School, graduating from the State University of New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture. Her work has been exhibited at solo, juried, group, and member shows in New York, California, and Florida.

Her current series of abstract work experiments with multiple mediums in two dimensions. By focusing on a monochromatic palette and utilizing a combination of non-traditional and found materials in unexpected ways, she emphasizes the reflection of light and the use of various textures, shapes, and different grades of color saturation.

To make original artwork more accessible to the public as well as to benefit ACT, the pieces in this exhibit offered at reduced prices for the holiday season.
See her work at
"Handy Apple" by Ellen Sayet

Ellen Sayet
Ellen loves to sketch and paint but they took a secondary position between two successful careers.  Now retired, the world of art has opened up as her primary focus. Self taught with an occasional drawing class, she enjoys painting realism with “an edge”.

Her figurative paintings are classic drawings with an inventive and creative side.  Most important is producing works of realism and figurative portraiture in oil and pastel, and capturing the mood, personality and inner soul of the subjects.

Doug MacGregor
Doug has been a professional cartoonist for over 32 years.  Local readers have seen his creative artwork in The News-Press for over two decades. He is also a local artist, lecturer and plays a mean blues harmonica.  Currently, Doug is Arts in Healthcare Coordinator for Lee Memorial Health Systems bringing art, music, storytelling and humor to patients and families in the area.

A 1979 graduate of Syracuse University, Doug began his cartooning career drawing sports cartoons for the Daily Orange student newspaper.  He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse. In 1980 he moved to Eastern Connecticut and became editorial cartoonist for the
Norwich Bulletin. In 1988 he moved to Southwest Florida and became full-time editorial cartoonist for The News-Press until June of 2011.  He has also won several state and national awards for his cartoons. Doug is a member of both the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists and
the society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Doug works in a variety of mediums. He uses watercolor pencils when he creates his cartoons and children’s book illustrations. Doug also loves to paint in oil and acrylic for charity events and for leisure.  Doug has self-published a number of children’s books including his most recent, Turtellini, The Turbo-Charge Turtle, and Rad Hair Day. His Get Creative, Turn On The Bright Side Of Your Brain is also a popular favorite among the young and young at heart who need to stay creatve.

Check out Doug’s website:

These exhibits continue to Wednesday, January 2, 2013.  

 Arts for ACT Gallery provides a quality, contemporary exhibition gallery featuring original art, limited edition prints, giclees, hand-crafted fine crafts, tee shirts, silver and glass bead jewelry, gourd art, raku, clay, and art cards. It is a “must see” destination for all art lovers and collectors, providing a unique opportunity for everyone to learn and enjoy art.  Highlighting the art of the current featured artist, the front gallery, reminiscent of galleries in SoHo, has 12 to 16 foot high ceilings, distressed brick walls, and warm wooden floors. It is a great opportunity to meet the   featured artists, enjoy some local food and have a glass of wine, and engage in lively artful repartee.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Are you ready to sell your ART at the Downtown Fort Myers Saturday Art Fair?

You have a passion to create and enthusiasm to sell what you create.  You have the inventory required to enter a art or craft fair, the physical stamina and support from your family or friends.  But are you ready to join a retail art and craft fair?  Answer the questions below and see if you are ready to sell your art or craft.
Art Display of Brian Christensen
Bill Hofer - a photography vendor

  1. You have sold items you hand-created to your friends.
  2. You have given your hand-made items to family and friends; who in turn said they would buy items from you.
  3. Your art or craft is well made.
  4. You have money put aside for entering a fair, usually around $200.00 to $300.00
  5. You enjoy talking about your art.
  6. You want to commit your time to producing art and selling it at a fair.
  7. You have 50 pieces of art or fine crafts or have the time, money and materials to produce them for a fair.
  8. Friends have commissioned pieces of art or fine crafts from you and you have been able to produce the piece to their satisfaction and by the deadline they ask.
  9. You can spend 2 to 4 hours at a time, smiling and talking to possible customers.
  10. You can take some criticism on your product without getting angry, upset or having your feeling hurt.
If you answered YES to 6 or more of these statements:  
You are ready to get into an art and fine craft fair.
Download the prospectus now and join us the the November 17th for the 
Downtown Fort Myers Saturday Art Fair    Click on download the prospectus now.

If you answered NO to 5 or more statements:
Something is holding you back - look at what you answered no to and try to turn it into a YES.

Remember to sell your work, it has to be good quality, you have to be able to make it regularly, you have to want to sell and talk about your work.  Buyers must like your works as much as you do.  

If you enter an art and fine craft fair and your works are not selling.  
  1. You should look at what the other vendors are producing and selling.
  2.  Look at the quality of your art or fine craft.
  3.  Look at your presentation - presentation of your works is everything!  A great presentation will sell even mediocre art or fine craft.  
  4. Make sure that your space is not over crowded, if you made 25 Halloween pumpkin pins - you don't have to place all 25 on the table.  
  5. Think in numbers of 3 or 5....this is a pleasing number and makes for better arrangements.  
  6. If you have fine art - have an assortment of your best hung and have the rest in browse bins.  
Painted Palm Fronds of  Jean Stanish
Jewelry Creations of Anita Coppolino

ACT Gallery will exhibit Tiite & Kalon Baquero, Jamie Bendola and Tracy Owen-Cullimore in November 2012.

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, November 2, 2012 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for November 2012.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature “A Quick Recap” a retrospective of culturally significant works from two generations, Artist Tiité Baquero and daughter Kalon Baquero. Father and daughter will transform ACT’s main gallery room into a place of earthy discovery.  The exhibit will be a celebration of Nature, Humanity and the Cultural Innovation.  In a world of chaos and uncertainty, these two artists will bring hope, confidence, and the vigor necessary to overcome the challenges of a modern day world.  Included in this exhibition are the narrative and works of Tiité Baquero’s “Homage to the Orange River Valley, 1982” and “Earth Gallery One, 1990”, histories deeply significant to a critical role for the Arts and to Lee County history itself.  Kalon Baquero will revisit her 2005 Data-A installation “Inappreciable Realities and the Words that Surround Them.”  Gallery visitors will become discoverers of the minute flora and fauna that constitute the environments that in turn, constitute us.  Closer looks at these minute beings reveal an inspiring array of lifestyles, adaptations, and modes of survival that we humans might take great note of in the advancement of our own cultural strategies.  Also featured off the main gallery are Jamie Bendola’s mixed media photographic series “Dead People for Sale to Keep People Alive” proceeds benefit FMCancer, Inc. and Tracy Owen-Cullimore brings her impressionistic paintings of people, pets and more in her wonderfully jewel colored palette. Come downtown for great art and support ACT Gallery and Boutique. 

Tiité Baquero Artist Statement: “The synthesis of my life’s work has been, to give the arts back something that was lost and something that art never had; meaning and a critical function that contains practical utility.  Happily both have been accomplished.”

Tiité Baquero was born in Bogotá Colombia, South America in 1949.  He became an American citizen in 1996.  He managed to survive to the age of 63 this year and is glad to be able to exhibit a lifetime of work, representing a timely contribution to civilization.  Tiité thinks humanity has come to this axis age where the effect of our technological development and the structure of our cultural context is no longer sustainable by any measure or can no longer be obscured by the best creative form of denial. His work is at this time, a viable contribution of what we can do to evolve and gradually replace one current unsustainable cultural strategy.  His life’s work dovetails, in the worldwide Peace Marker Project, which is currently making forward progress to create our specie’s first global work of art.  Baquero completed 52 new works, which bring to the foreground the strength, and maturity of what will be called “Data A” art, a new art form in the context of life.  A mature art form developed from and because of the work of the preceding years.    

Kalon Lucia Baquero was born in Fort Myers, Florida but raised on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.  Kalon has been traversing the landscape where art dances in synchrony with life since an early age.  Her father, Tiité and nature have been her teachers, one forever commenting on and exploring the lessons of the other, always inviting conversation and contemplation on life and art.  Her work have been exhibited in Hawaii and Florida, and recognized by the respective local governments, media outlets, and a wide range of members in both communities.   

Kalon’s Artist Statement: In Kalon’s mind’s eye, she muses on a new era for the Arts; one in which the ingenuity and brilliance of creative minds are applied towards devising solutions to the very real and overwhelming problems that our world currently faces.  She made a conscious decision at age 20 to dedicate her life’s work to the exploration of this possible new era.  Kalon had been creating “seed projects” within the “Data-A Art” of her fathers.  It is her ideal that each of these “seed projects” arouses new collaborations between art and life, humanity and Nature, you and I and us and them.    

Jamie Bendola, two years ago at 25 years old, went into the emergency room.  The doctors found a large mass of fluid in her stomach that was surrounding a tumor on the ovary. She diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Two months later, she went to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida and had a second staging performed along with a complete abdominal hysterectomy.  During this time, she missed a significant amount of work. If it had not been for financial support from friends she would have lost her car or been evicted from my apartment. Many young cancer patients are not as fortunate. This is why Bendola decided to start a non-profit called FMCancer. 

FMC MISSION: Provide hope, humor, resources and grants to help YOUNG ADULTS both FIGHT cancer and SURVIVE the wrath it can leave behind.

Bendola’s main focus is to provide free resources and yearly grants to young adults with cancer and survivors. FMC is an art based non-profit, with the motto "Live Life Outside The Lines". Her new series entitled "Dead People For Sale To Keep People Alive," is a creative series of enhanced photography featuring mega-celebrities that have died.  Prints will also be available.  

Tracy Owen Cullimore paints in both watercolor and oil, specializing in portraits of animals and people, and she happily does custom commission work.  Tracy is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Art History and Economics. Upon graduation, she returned to school to pursue formal training in Advertising and Graphic Design as well as the traditional fine arts.

Tracy is a member and supporter of ACT, the American Impressionists Society, Art League of Fort Myers, The Florida Watercolor Society, The Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers Beach Art Association, The Portrait and Figure Painters Society of SW Florida and the Sanibel/Captiva Art League.  She was a long time acrylic student of the late Gale Bennett as well as Lucy Macherowski.  She studied oil with national masters: Rose Frantzen, CW Mundy, Quang Ho and Carolyn Anderson and watercolor under Pat Weaver and Janet Rogers.

Tracy enjoys teaching and helping her student's develop their individual styles.  

Cullimore’s Artist’s Statement “As an artist, my mission is to record moments in time with a personal perspective, not a direct reflection as a photograph would replicate. I am not the reporter with a camera, but the artist with a brush.”~ Tracy Owen Cullimore

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jamie Golob to donate a portion of her proceeds from workshops at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts to ACT Shelter

Jamie Golob instructor at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts will donate a portion of her proceeds from her classes offered Oct 25 – Oct 27, 2012 and Feb 21 – Feb 23, 2013 at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts to Abuse Counseling and Treatment’s clients, the survivors of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking.

Jamie Golob is happy to collaborate with ACT and bring the arts and community together to benefit the ACT shelter. Students can register through the Lee County Alliance for the Arts at or by calling 239-939-2787.  Prospective students may view Golob’s works at Arts for ACT Gallery through October 1, 2012, where she is the featured artist in the main gallery, displaying over 25 works with a variety of styles and media. 

Here is the description of Golob’s workshop and price
Three Class Sessions, Thurs-Sat, 9AM-4PM
Instructor: Jamie L. Golob
JG49 Oct 25 - Oct 27
JG10 Feb 21 - Feb 23
Price: $125 Member/$150 Non-Member


Jamie Golob earned her BFA from Eastern Michigan University and has trained privately in the area of Classical Realism. Her work can be found and has been shown throughout the states.  Jamie pursues her passion as an award winning artist and teacher instructing art/life-drawing and painting workshops abroad. Ms. Golob is affiliated with community outreach efforts and champions fine arts programs in southwest Florida. She is currently the Education Director for Lee County’s Alliance for the Arts and Co-Executive Director of the Southern Atelier in Sarasota Florida. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

October 2012 brings 4 Talented Female Artists

Anne McCarty’s name was up in lights as the winner of an Easter coloring contest at age 5.  She has taught for 14 years to both children and adults at the Alliance for the Arts, Art League of Bonita Springs, Visual Arts Center, Punta Gorda, Pine Island Art Association and other venues. Many local, state and national shows have given awards to McCarty’s work. Oil, acrylic, watercolor, drawing and mixed media are part of the repertoire. Artwork bearing the name McCarty is collected across the nation and internationally.

McCarty Artist Statement: “Art comes from a place beyond other worldly reach.  It controls, contorts, manipulates and when it is done, no one is the same.  We are transported there through the images. Wild, calm, reverent, irreverent, it matters not.  All that matters is the journey.  Things seen, yet unseen, unfold under the artists hand and before the viewers’ eyes.  Both are enriched by the experience.  Where does this force come from and where does it lead us, we don’t know.  All we know is we must follow its beck and call.  This is a call to the artist to express what needs expression.  A color, a glance, a line, a form, all has its’ place in art.  Personal, yet universal, understood, yet mystifying, this is art.” ~ Anne McCarty

Terry Lynn Spry’s paintings have been exhibited in national and local juried art exhibitions.  Her work can be found in private collections across the country.  Terry graduated from the Phoenix Institute of Technology with a degree in production art and went on to study with Nina Connor.  Her desire to pass on her passion and love for the arts lead her to begin teaching at the Alliance of the Arts.  She considers painting to be “better than chocolate and kinda like breathing you just don’t want to stop.”

Judy Quest produces softy muted, ethereal works in oil and pastel in a wide range of natural subjects, all cast in a pearly sheen that adds a romantic feeling to her sunsets, figures, seascapes, landscapes, flowers, foliage and wildlife.  The artist layers, blends, and juxtaposes colors, and through these methods, the saturated surface seems to glow with pigments.  There is always a sense of movement stilled in the depth of many subtle colors.  Her female figures often the subject of her artwork are caught out of time, frozen in a moment of kinetic energy.  Judy’s dreamlike snapshots of Floridian landscape and female figures engender a uniquely feminine pastoral sensibility.  Luminous, omnipresent, and charmingly embellished with details worth exploring, Quest’s work achieves a painterly quality all her own.

Pam Peters’  artwork is a celebration of life and nature. The most recent works, Portraits of the Earth & Portraits of Peru, are mixed media presentations of original photography printed on watercolor paper and enhanced with watercolor paint.

Peters’ Art Statement – “I believe that my art provides a window in time that we look through together to simultaneously share the emotional experience evoked by my work.    I use various media, primarily watercolor, because I love the movement of water and paint across the surface of the paper.   The fluidity and transparency of the medium matches the rhythm and visual impact of the patterns that nature creates and that I am reflecting in my work.” ~ Pam Peters    

These exhibits continue through Monday, October 30, 2012.   

Join ACT Gallery on October 5th from 6 to 10 pm at Art with the artists and enjoy the great ART!  Remember Buy ART at ACT and Save or Change a LIFE!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Arts for Act: September Artists bring Classical Painting, Abstra...

Arts for Act: September Artists bring Classical Painting, Abstra...: Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, September 7, 2012 from 6 to 10 pm for the openi...

September Artists bring Classical Painting, Abstraction and Collage

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, September 7, 2012 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for September 2012.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature Jamie L. Golob, Collagist, Dale Weber and Troy Thomas. These creative artists should not be missed.  Come downtown and support ACT Gallery and Boutique.  

Arts for ACT Gallery's Boutique will be featured in the Davis Art Center's Fashion Show on September 7th during Art Walk starting at 7 pm. Come down and see the great fashion items available at our boutique. 

Jamie Golob earned her BFA from Eastern Michigan University and has trained privately in the area of Classical Realism. Her work can be found and has been shown throughout the states.  Jamie pursues her passion as an award winning artist and teacher instructing art/life-drawing and painting workshops abroad. Ms. Golob is affiliated with community outreach efforts and champions fine arts programs in southwest Florida. She is currently the Education Director for Lee County’s Alliance for the Arts and Co-Executive Director of the Southern Atelier in Sarasota Florida. 
Jamie Golob Artist Statement:
“My work is inspired by my impressions of life- the good the bad and the ugly. As I continue to grow not only as a person but as an artist I find myself seeing more and more that in one way or another - everything is connected. I have this sense of urgency in trying to define and understand the world and people around me. There are times that I feel as though being able to express myself through my painting is my only true way of reaching out and belonging to something bigger and complete. I view the arts as a place where all people come together, even if for just one instant, not for any other reason than the simple joy and appreciation of beauty and expression. We may all find something different for ourselves from the very same piece. The greatest thing of all is that beauty in art can be so many things, a certain color or fleeting brush stroke can bring back a memory, a thought, an image of childhood. Sometimes the best memories are even the sad ones. Sad for a while but happy in that they simply must be. Some of my work has a definite subject matter and at times is more abstract in thought- but always expressive. When I paint it is my time to let out my interpretations of what I've seen and have experienced. I find a definite connection between positive and negative in life and so in my art as well. It's the spirit of life that I wish to capture. Happy compliments sorrow just as blue does orange. Turbulent times and days of rest stumble across our paths like multi dimensional textures and sheens of brilliance or opalescence. It's the variety in life and art that ultimately give it harmony. This is something I've purposely sought to include. I find that, as many, I am at times a person of habit. Repetition and a hint of consistency, I feel often, keep me sane. I use patterns and color literally in my work to function as the underlying stability of any situation we may be faced with in life. Sometimes, when life is being particularly tough, this can be our salvation. My hope is that it in my reaching out with every piece I will find common ground with many who can share in my love.” ~ Jamie Golob

Troy Thomas a local artist based in Fort Myers, has been dabbling in art since he was a child.  However, it wasn’t until after returning from a combat mission to Iraq in 2004 that he got serious about creating paintings and other art.  Troy moved to Southwest Florida in 2005 and immediately started getting involved in the local art scene.  He often experiments in other genres of art, but his main passion lies in paintings.  Many of his works include vibrant colors.  His current series of paintings are heavily influenced by geometric abstraction.

Dale Weber's found object assemblages and collages reflect his interest in the eastern aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi combined with his personal view of reincarnation. Since all matter is energy, he feels the inanimate is also destined to lead subsequent lives. He senses that hidden purpose of each bit of refuse he finds and cultivates its new growth. When asked about his process, he replies, "If I listen carefully the relic will speak not of its past but of its possibilities." Under his guidance, its previous life disappears as it takes on a new role.  When dissimilar pieces are enjoined in conversation, individual contexts disappear creating new meanings. Sometimes philosophical; sometimes whimsical; always uniquely different.

September Art Exhibits continue through Monday, October 1, 2012.

Remember ~ Buy at ACT and Save or Change a LIFE! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

June at Arts for ACT Gallery

 JoAnne Bedient, Charlie Brown, Andy Browne, Lalita Cofer, Katie Gardenia, Kim Hambor, Charles Lister, Barbara Murdoch, Carole Nasters, Rod Busch, Joan Roberts, Susan Sadler,Sarah Kiser, Connie Sebring, Ron Sebring, Christina Wyatt and Steve Bufter from Sanibel's Tower Gallery will be displaying their works in the main gallery salon.  These creative artists will come together to share this special exhibit with Fort Myers residents and tourists and to celebrate the fine arts!  Expect to see eclectic paintings on wood and wood carvings, acrylic and oil paintings, watercolors, paintings painted with paper, hand-sculpted fantasy art dolls, whimsical magical and endearing mermaids, adornments, raku fired clay, Gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish painting, photography, paintings in the surrealism style, fused glass artistry and more.

     Also exhibiting off the main salon, Alisha Koyanis will be displaying her "Paper Doll Shadow Box Series."  Alisha Koyanis is an upcoming  self-taught painter residing in sunny southwest Florida. Born in Nashua, New Hampshire and raised in the tiny state of Rhode Island. Alisha is known for her colorful and whimsical style that started at an early age. Raised by a mother who dressed her from head to toe in brightly colored outfits which usually never matched.  The creativity does not stop there, she also creates; rock stars on records, weird colorful beasts on canvas and oil paintings of her three fuzzy bunnies. Found objects are her pallet of choice. If it doesn’t move there is a good chance she will paint on it and no guarantees if it does move.  She has painted murals in local businesses and private residences. When Alisha is not painting she can be found teaching art to her elementary and middle school students. A source in which she also draws great inspiration.

Gael Collar will be exhibiting "Cues from Picasso's Cubism" off the main gallery in the white gallery room. She works in mostly acrylics, but does portraits and sketches in other mediums as well.  Gael studied art in New York, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and now in Florida, where she continues to train in workshops and classes.  She has many varieties of styles, and is always trying new methods to attain higher levels of understanding in what she feels is right for her.  Often she mixes old and new works together to demonstrate her thinking and changes over the years.  Now Gael is taking "Cues from Picasso's Cubism" for this exhibit.   

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jeffrey Scott Lewis, "As I AM" ~ Photography of Marvin Weiner and Dog DIVA Charlene Ewen

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, April 6, 2012 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for April 2012.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature local artist and designer Jeffery Scott Lewis in the main gallery.  Also exhibiting this month, in the office gallery is Dog Art Diva artist, Charlene Ewen. The photography of Marvin Weiner will be exhibited in the middle gallery room.  Three creative exhibits you will not want to miss!

Jeffrey Scott Lewis was recently featured in Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs new “Culture Builds Florida” campaign, Jeffrey Scott is known as an artist with a message.  Using characteristically bold color palettes and abstract compositions, Lewis attempts to convey messages through emotional responses to color, line, texture and scale. Always experimenting and pushing boundaries, his newest series explores self-acceptance and the process of shedding layers of false identity in pursuit of the love of self and the sense of relief that is experienced in that discovery.  Abstraction in photography is something new for the artist, known primarily for mixed media painting and sculpture. 

"I am not a photographer" states artist Jeffrey Scott Lewis in regards to his new body of work, "As I Am".  "I have always been a mixed media artist incorporating various media into most of my work", he explains.  "This series is no different.  Just because the final result is a photographic print, does not make me a photographer.  The works incorporate body painting, elements of performance, digital technology, and photography." continues the artist.  "As I Am" celebrates self-acceptance and the process of learning to love oneself.  "Being who we were born to be and learning to love ourselves for who we truly are is one of life's most challenging issues." says Lewis.  "Family pressures, societal influences and prejudices all influence who we become as we all want to be accepted.  Overcoming those influences in the process of becoming our true selves is the key to reaching our potential and ultimately our happiness.  Acceptance may be comforting, but it does not assure happiness.  Only when we learn to accept ourselves can we be truly happy."  says the artist about the abstract images.  

Though the works are predominately abstract, they convey a sense of freedom, release, and individuality through the use of color, implied motion, and brief glimpses of raw skin. They are meant to make one feel free, to see what one sees, and hopefully to find their own passion in mine.  

Charlene Ewen really can’t remember when she was not creating something, painting, crafts, jewelry, ceramics, you name it she tried it!  As a child going through so many coloring books and crayon boxes. She was the kid who “did” stay inside the lines in fact she would actually create shading around the edges and use more than one color crayon in a space.  Her biggest fan was her Dad who spent weekends driving Charlene to Downtown Chicago so she could attend the Art Institute of Chicago and the American Academy of Fine Arts for art classes. Her favorite place was the Field Museum and the animal displays, she was never without a sketchbook and her love of animals grew over the years.

Ewen enjoyed a career in lithograph printing when everything done by hand and with an artist eye, specializing in color correction of film for the printing press. Her hands are always doing something creative. Charlene was an artist for Pelicans in Paradise Gala and Auction, Annual Island Celebration of the Arts and others.  For the last 19 years, she enjoyed showing her dogs in Conformation showing. It is there that Charlene was inspired to start painting again, this time it was not just paint but mixed media that gave her inspiration to create one of a kind art using her favorite subject “Animals”, especially dogs and cats.
Her dog “Leo” who is a Cesky Terrier is her MUSE and is always at her side while she is working in the studio.  Charlene says, “I’ve found once you are used to a creative life, an ordinary life is blank and plain.”  Come see Charlene’s wonderful array of animals!

Marvin Weiner is a retired teacher, principal,and area superintendent from the Miami Dade County School System.  Upon retiring, he began visiting many parts of the United States, as well as, taking various trips abroad.  Thus began his interest in photography as a hobby, and, ultimately, as a second profession.  As he states, “His photography is a means of interpreting the beauty, history and moments in time for the purpose of sharing this pure joy with others.”  He has shown his photography, as well as, participated in art festivals where his work has won awards.  He spent several years as a managing partner at Harbour View Gallery in Cape Coral, Florida.  As a means of artistic expression, he chooses to photograph a variety of subject matter while utilizing various techniques and digital manipulations.  Although Marv is basically self taught, he continues to improve his skills through participation in a variety of photography and Photoshop courses. 
He is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. 

These exhibits continue through Monday, April 30, 2012.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meet Hooper, Rothaker and Freidus at ACT Gallery on Friday, March 2 from 6 to 9 pm

Mary-Louise Biasotti Hooper calls herself a slightly expressionistic international artist, due to the influence of Pissarro and Cezanne. Her process of under-painting in opposite colors and using knife techniques for the final layer while scrumbling is unique and offers the viewer true, clear colors, which add to the intrinsic value of each piece. Hooper, a prize-winning artist paints seascapes, landscapes, cityscapes and still life. Her purpose is to bring viewers a moment of respite and beauty by taking them to the place she portrays. She paints calming nature scenes with an ability to convert deep feelings to her canvas. Her works have been seen in Florence, Italy, Michigan, California, North Carolina, Kansas, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida. Born in Greenwich Village, New York City, to an immigrant family, the art shows in Washington Square Park inspired her desire to paint. Since art was not encouraged as a way to make a living, Hooper earned three degrees in the field of Education. Art was a self-taught hobby until she earned two art degrees. Today, she produces markets and sells art, as well as teaches, giving demonstrations and delivers art presentations and speeches. Hooper lives in Venice, Florida and is presently a member of the International Fulbright Arts Task Force, the Venice Art Center and the Oil Painters of America.

"Sunset on the Sea" by Mary-Louise Biasotti Hooper

Michelle Rothaker was fortunate to have the opportunity to make a living as a ceramic’s artist, after graduating with a BFA from Middle Tennessee State University. Then her journey led her to graphic design and papermaking. Along the way, she took a yearlong trip on a sailboat and landed in Fort Myers, Florida in 2002. Her ideas for her art come from watching her surroundings. Living in Nashville, Tennessee influenced floral and plant designs. Bright, bold colors began to appear after sailing to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Jamaica and settling in Fort Myers. Rothaker is currently fascinated with the many birds and animals living in Florida. Her artwork is created using a multi-step process. First, she makes the paper that is the background, with paper fibers, tea, feathers and coffee to allow for a variety of textures. Her hand-painted images, cut paper and natural elements are carefully composed to complete the artwork piece. The hand-made materials are carefully coordinated in a way that brings all the design elements into harmony. Once this process is finished, each completed design is mounted on a background specifically chosen to compliment the arrangement in color, texture and mood of the piece.

"Soaring Eagle" By Michelle Rothaker

Lisa Freidus, is the creator of Whimsical Mixed Media Collages, Monotypes and Impressionistic Watercolor and Acrylics from Cape Coral, Florida. Her art reminds people of the inner joy and hope to achieve this through her love of color, choice of subject matter, and the light in her paintings. Freidus creates landscapes, seascapes and architectural edifices from her own photographs and whimsical places from her imagination. She sets out to create a painting long before paint and brush touch canvas. Ideas come from many places and at all hours of the night. Her greatest satisfaction comes when one of her pieces reaches out to another in a positive way. Their reaction stimulates her creativity. Freidus’ houses, sailboats, trees and beach umbrellas are slightly off-balance and often extend beyond the confines of the canvas creating the whimsy in her pieces. Her work is unique in an edgy, creative sort of way. Lisa is a “multi-mediaist” whose collages are comprised of wood, canvas, paper and acrylic. Her husband cuts the wood with a router or skill saw after Lisa draws the pattern, and the paper sometimes comes from Thailand or Japan, sometimes is papyrus, and occasionally is just plain old wallpaper in the manner of Matisse. Interiors are an important component for Freidus, giving her the opportunity for more detail in these works.

"Summer Vacation" by Lisa Freidus

These exhibits continue through Monday, April 2, 2012.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"MOJO Hands" opening February 3rd at Art Walk Fort Myers

Photograph by George Mitchell

The painting by Lennie Jones

Arts for ACT Gallery is pleased to present "MOJO HANDS' Opening Friday, February 3rd, from 6 to 10pm.  This visionary celebration of America's musical heritage featuring paintings by primitive folk artist, Lennie Jones and the photography of pioneering Blues Historian, George Mitchell.  Jones has painted his rendition of several of Mitchell's blues photographs.

Lennie Jones is  an outsider artist, a primitive self-taught painter of the holistic Blues experience as he envisions and experienced it.  As a young boy, his South Louisiana father instilled in me a deep love of Blues music, drawing pictures, and endless swampy wilderness. His mother was also a talented artistic influence. These positive connections luckily cradled him through a very troubled youth, and have remained yet the most powerful motivations in his adulthood. After his father left, the bulk of his youthful years were heavily influenced by a wonderful vibrant one-eyed Southern African-American woman aptly named “Tex.” She was a substitute for his mother, who was constantly away pursuing other ventures. Tex has a boisterous an’ soulful love of Blues, God, booze and fishin’... all of which became very important to him as well.

As a traveling blues musician, gigging in New York City in March, 1968, he met and heard the incredible Albert King. His unique combination of incomparable power, heartfelt pain, passionate subtlety and compelling musicianship moved Lennie's  soul like no music ever had before or since...Opening for the original Canned Heat,shakin’ hands with Muddy Waters, Bill Monroe, Bill Graham, seein’ the immortal Jimmy Reed and giggin’ for Zappa further solidified his love of playing, hearing and living the Blues.

Unfortunately, years of continued professional playing resulted in a habitual wrestling match with his alcohol demons, and repeated brushes with the law. As often lamented by blues men, “when you let the Devil ride, he wanna drive.” This struggle culminated with his final arrest following a late night gig in a rural Southern enclave in March, 1980. Police roughed me up, which I fully deserved. Thrown into a tiny dark jail, I was chained to an unfortunate black convict who had murdered his wife that very night with a knife.  Early the next morning, the Lennie and the other convict were paraded barefoot through several blocks of a small town and presented to a hard-time judge. This was his very own Crossroads, and he never drank alcohol again. Possibly the best night and finest morning of his entire life.

Only a few years later, miraculously overlooking my “shady” past and welcoming my unique wilderness skills, I was hired by the Federal government as a Ranger in the remote Florida Everglades. There I wandered for over twenty years, working alone and chasing poachers, renegade ‘gators, smugglers and other wonderful characters.  For many years, I have thrived in the mysterious and primitive wilderness, happy, healthy and blessed with a timeless source of spiritual inspiration to my art and soul...An’ the music never left him!

After retiring from the federal government, Lennie picked up a paint brush and started painting his passion.  Painting his beloved Blues musicians and instruments.  He works primarily with acrylic paint on linen canvas, as well as occasional works on driftwood that he has discovered deep in the Everglades.  Lennie’s subjects generally revolve around Southern blues & roots music themes, and his creations are colorful, soulful & singularly unique.  Lennie’s completed works have included Festival & Event Posters, CD Covers, Magazine & Media, Prints & Portraits and he has received a wide variety of appreciative testimonials & accolades.

George Mitchell has been making serious photographs since his senior year in high school, when he began photographing traditional blues artists he located or visited with a Kodak Instamatic camera. He began making more professional photographs in 1967, when the University of Minnesota School of Mass Communication and Journalism lent him a camera, and his wife and he went to Mississippi for the summer to record, photograph, and interview traditional blues musicians.  This trip resulted in a master of arts paper and also his first book, Blow My Blues Away, published by Louisiana State University Press.  For several years in the late 1960's and early 1970's, he was a reporter in Columbus, Georgia.  Under the tutelage of the photographers at the Columbus Ledger, he took the photographs which appeared with his stories.  At the Columbus Times, he was a reporter, a photographer, and later executive editor.  During that period, he produced his second book of photographs and text, I'm Somebody Important.  He then decided to become a photography teacher, and returned to the University of Minnesota where he studied photography teaching in both the journalism and art departments.  He taught photography in Atlanta at four high schools for a total of 25 years.  He also authored five more books of photographs and interviews.

There have been several solo exhibitions of his photographs over the years, including three in Atlanta; one in Columbus, Georgia (a number of his photographs are in the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art); Sacramento, California; Utrecht, Holland; and Fort Myers.

Mitchell, who spent his first two years in Fort Myers, before moving to Atlanta, has returned to Fort Myers, where he continues to photograph for exhibition and publication.

 (All are books of photographs, most with text as well, both by Mitchell)
 BLOW MY BLUES AWAY (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971; New York: DaCapo Press, 1984)
 I'M SOMEBODY IMPORTANT (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973)
 YESSIR, I'VE BEEN HERE A LONG TIME (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1975)
 IN CELEBRATION OF A LEGACY (Columbus: Columbus Museum of Art, 1981; re-published 1999, distributed by University of Georgia Press)
 SOUTHERN PORTRAITS (Bear Creek, AL: Bear Creek Books, 1981)

This collaboration of Jones and Mitchell is not to be missed.  Jones will have all new works and many of Mitchell's photographs have never been seen in this area.