Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Reanimations" by Sanibel Artist Andrew Corke, Baseball Art of Michael Pohlman and Mermaids and More by Martha Dodd

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, March 7, from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for our March featured artists, Sanibel Artist, Andrew Corke. In addition, showing off the main gallery are Michael Pohlman and Martha Dodd.  This exhibit continues through March 31, 2014. 

Andrew Corke grew up on Sanibel Island, a community that is very focused on the natural environment in which they live. By growing up next door to places such as the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, he felt the need to create art that brings attention to the ongoing issue of habitat loss, global climate change, over-consumption, and the unstable future of the neighbors he grew up with, such as ospreys, indigo snakes, and sea turtles. Andrew Corke knew he wanted to be an artist from a young age, and graduated with an art degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012. He has since been working on pieces which he labels as Reanimations, further experimenting with new and innovative methods to use the materials he has rescued from their would have been destination of the local dump.  The materials are an important aspect of his work.  By making the work three-dimensional and out of recycled waste Andrew hoped to invoke the feel that these creatures are being reanimated from the trash, reaching out and toward the viewer. The process for most of the Reanimations involves building up a supporting structure out of wire or foam, stuffing it with recycled newspaper and then building up layers of recycled materials on top of this support structure. Andrew states, “We live on a planet that has a limited number of resources, these resources will not be around forever, neither will animals, neither will humans; by using what we already have as wisely as possible, by reducing what we use, reusing and recycling I am confident that we can give the place we live, new life.”

Baseball Art

Michael Pohlman was raised in Beloit, Wisconsin, where his art training started in a well organized public school program. Mike attended Rollins College and Bradley University in the early 60's on a scholarship for baseball.  He was told that Art and athletics did not mix. He graduated with majors in Physical Education, U.S. History, and Art. He taught all three subjects before moving to Chicago Heights, Illinois. He eventually became Coordinator of Physical Education and Varsity Baseball Coach at Bloom High School. His creative energies went into an innovative Outdoor Adventure curriculum and Baseball program that led him to the Illinois Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame Honors.

Mike began painting again in 1988. He won a spot in the Union Street Galley's inaugural show in 1995 and was offered a studio. Over a ten-year period, his work was shown in multiple venues in Chicago and its suburbs. His abstract series "Before Time" is an extension of his 60's training and his sports renderings incorporate his extensive knowledge of baseball and athletics. Mike says, "Art is like athletics to me. The discipline of the process is the same. You train yourself to use skills to compete for a desired outcome. Whatever the results, you continue to refine your performance along with looking for new ways to use your abilities to succeed."

Mike now paints in Fort Myers, Florida and is the Varsity Pitching Coach at Bishop Verot High School
.  Baseball fans and art lovers alike should not miss this mixed media Baseball exhibit.

Martha Dodd grew up in Ohio, the daughter of an artist and a physician. To this day, Martha still finds both sides of her brain battling for superiority, but most days they work well together. She loved to draw, and took every art class that was available to her during the school year, and even some summer courses at the College of Wooster, Ohio.

Martha has found inspiration all around her in Florida, painting everything from humans and animals to birds and fish. She discovered a huge demand for murals, to her delight, and that has been the mainstay of her work for many years. She loves painting portraits. She is now a member of the Portrait and Figure Painters Society of SW Florida.  Her work has been published many times in various magazines such as Florida Design, Naples Illustrated, Gulf Shore Magazine, and the N Magazine.


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 gallery’s featured artist, enjoy some local food and wine, and engage in lively artful discussions.