Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Opening April 4th 2014 at ACT Gallery - George Mitchell, Ray Hernandez and Roy Benton III

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, April 4, from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for our April featured artists Photographer and Author George Mitchell, Painter Ray Hernandez and Sculptor Roy Benton III.  This exhibit continues through April 28, 2014. 
1967 Photography by George Mitchell

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.  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 his first book, Blow My Blues Away, was 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 a number of 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; Jackson, Mississippi (at the Mississippi Museum of Art); Clarksdale, Mississippi; 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.
Bon Bon by Hernandez

Raymond Hernandez was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Puerto Rican, descent.  He grew up amongst the rural nature of LaBelle, Florida and developed a passion for botany, art, and photography.  Hernandez was awarded scholarships from the U.S. Sugar Corp. and the Art Institute of Dallas. His study of fine art and graphic communication, began his career in Texas.  In 1985, he moved to New York City, exhibiting his art while illustrating and designing for such cliental as: Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Lancome, Coty, Revlon and Avon. His art has been published both national and internationally on cosmetic packaging, shopping bags, promotional, and novelty products.  Hernandez returned to Florida in 2005 to focus on his fine art and encountered numerous artists on a similar path of exhibiting, creating and working together to bring the arts to Southwest Florida.  He currently teaches art to children and teens in various Lee, Hendry, and Glades County programs. He was awarded The City of Fort Myers Art and Culture Individual Artist Grant for 2012, 2013 and strives to keep the arts alive.  For more information Email:

Roy L. Benton III a Florida native, grew up in Fort Myers. He is a fourth generation of Marine Contractors and is a Certified General Contractor. Benton, in his spare time enjoys creating art. His art consists of metal, wood sculptures and photography.  “I taught myself how to weld as a young child when I would go to work with my father at his marine construction company.  My grandfather built custom homes and I learned woodworking from him.  My uncle, Darryl Pottorf, an international artist taught me an assortment of valuable techniques. He loves where he grew up and his art reflects things that have been a part of his life.  Benton loves to fish, dive and enjoys the outdoors. His latest collection of artwork reflects this and revolves around the marine life and his passion for nature. 
Roy Benton III Metal Sculpture