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to use one of his football posters for an alumni fundraiser when they won their first national championship, which was rescinded for rules violations.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

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