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to use one of his football posters for an alumni fundraiser when they won their first national championship, which was rescinded for rules violations.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
.