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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news August 1-7, 2020


Grouped under headings that include art openings, film, outdoor art fairs and festivals and theater are advances, announcements and articles about the actors, artists, filmmakers and events making news in Southwest Florida this week:


1     ACTORS


With ‘Ori,’ Shelbie Tyndall takes quantum leap as actor, screenwriter and filmmaker

Shelbie Tyndall plays the part of Miriam in Ghostbird Theatre Company’s upcoming video production of Ori, a new play written by Ghostbird Artistic Director and FGCU Theatre Professor Barry Cavin. It’s a role that represents a quantum leap in this emerging creative’s craft not only as an actor, but as a screenwriter and aspiring filmmaker.

Tyndall’s impressive resume contains numerous screenwriting credits, but not many appearances on stage or in film. In fact, her background as an actor is in musical theater. In high school, she appeared in several musicals, including Man of La Mancha. But Cavin noticed her potential as a dramatic actor during her work in various theater classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. And so he cast her as Bawd in Antonin Artaud’s Jet of Blood, part of Ghostbird’s October House, performed last year in the historic Langford-Kingston Home.

Go here for more.



Post COVID interviews you may have missed

Here are links to stories written on various local actors since the COVID-19 shut-down began:



Other interviews:  oldies but goodies

Here are some other interviews that Southwest Florida’s stage actors have given over the years:





Lesley Morrow’s ‘Feminine Mystique’ opens August 7 at Davis Art Center

Lesley Morrow’s solo show Feminine Mystique opens tonight in the Grand Atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in the downtown Fort Myers River District. Morrow is an artist in residence at the Union Artist Studios in Fort Myers, where she breathes life into luminous works of art rendered in acrylics, oil, airbrush and mixed media. She has exhibited in numerous local art venues, including the Davis Art Center (“Textures, Tones and Textiles” group show in August of 2017),  DAAS CO-OP Gallery, Space 39 Art Bar & Martini Lounge, Bootleggers Gallery, Arts For ACT Gallery, the Loft, Chico’s TAGA Gallery and the Alliance for the Arts (in connection with ArtPoems 2018).

Bold, raw and sensitive, Lesley’s portraiture includes both celebrity and iconic women. Her work doesn’t just capture the strength she sees in her subjects. It reveals the chaos behind the façade.  Through the body of her work you can see a roadmap, almost a narrative, of the pieces of her psyche in such a way as to find her own core strength.

As a child, Lesley was influenced by her parents, who were professional illustrators. She focused on photography, attending The School of Visual Arts in New York City and City College of San Francisco, California. After becoming a wife and mother of two children she took twenty-five years off from her art. Feeling lost and needing to find herself later in life, Lesley turned back to art and found her voice through painting.

Feminine Mystique runs through August 27, 2020.



Winter Park’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum to exhibit Jansen’s first U.S. museum solo show

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is exhibiting a solo show of work by Marcus Jansen September 18, 2020 through January 3, 2021. Titled E Pluribus Unum, the exhibition represents the first ever solo museum exhibition of Jansen’s work in the United States.

This exhibition will focus on works Jansen created in the last 15 years and will be comprised of both large scale paintings and a selection of works on paper (among them a select number of new pieces on view for the first time) that examine Jansen’s visual explorations of structures of power and the struggle to grapple with the nuanced reality of our time. The exhibition is being organized by the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in collaboration with the artist and will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

While E Pluribus Unum may represent Jansen’s first solo museum show in the United States, the Bronx/Fort Myers artist has enjoyed a number of solo shows abroad, including shows at La Triennale di Milano Museum in Milan and the Museum Zitadelle  in Berlin, and he participated in the 12th International Print and Drawing Biennial in Taiwan at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art. Works by Jansen are in collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), The University of Michigan Museum of Art, The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, The Housatonic Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Jansen is known for powerful, monumental canvases that address poignant social and political themes. Through the use of an arresting visual language characterized by colorful and expressive brushwork, and references to contemporary and historical issues, Jansen invites viewers to engage in a reflection about the human condition. Jansen continues to explore surveillance and social divides in society and will place his iconic 2010 piece Obscure Line Between Fact and Fiction (3rd photo) to the museum for the show.





Recent interviews by and articles about filmmakers with ties to Fort Myers

Here are the links to recent interviews by and articles about filmmakers who have ties to Fort Myers:



Other filmmaker interviews

Here are some other interview-based articles posted on Art Southwest Florida since COVID-19’s onset:





Area actors, artists, theaters and arts orgs receive Arts are Vital grants

The Alliance for the Arts has announced the recipients of The Arts are Vital grants, an emergency relief program designed to ensure the sustained viability of Lee County’s arts organizations and individual artists during a time when they are needed most. Formed in partnership with the Meisenberg Family Trust, the program provides one-time grant awards of $5,000 to arts organizations and $500 to professional artists located in Lee County with urgent financial need due to COVID-19. The funds are unrestricted and may be used by the organizations and artists to help with financial issues due to the impact of COVID-19 on their organizations, lives and livelihoods.

Individual artist grantees include Kara Ackley, Cesar Aguilera, Jan Atkielski, Marliss Brockington, Renee Rey, EllaEllis, Lily Hatchett, Monique Olsen, Brendan Powers, Rachel Powers, David Rode, Caitlin Rosolen, Terry Lynn Spry, Timothy Torres, Gregory Van Kirk, Warren Van Kirk and Jeffery Whidby.

Arts organization grantees include ArtFest Fort Myers, BIG ARTS, Cultural Park Theatre Company, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers, Gulfcoast Symphony Orchestra, Gulfshore Ballet, Laboratory Theatre of Florida, Lee County Black History Society, Players Circle Theatre and Southwest Florida Symphony.

This grant is made possible by a generous gift from the Meisenberg Family Trust and was facilitated by Jeremy and Paul Meisenberg in memory of their mom and former Alliance Board Member and cultural supporter Deborah Meisenberg.

“We are honored to partner with the Meisenberg Family Trust to help sustain the work of artists and cultural organizations in these uncertain times,” says Alliance for the Arts executive director, Lydia Black. “Our cultural sector is struggling to survive the massive financial and job losses caused by COVID-19. We understand how urgent the crisis is and how essential the arts are to our economy, our recovery and to our everyday lives.”

For more information, visit or call 239-939-2787.



‘Living Art Exhibition’ opens at DAAS on August 7

During the month of August, DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery is displaying a unique exhibition. The Living Art Exhibition combines the beauty of exotic plants with artworks from the talented Aaron Apsley. The opening reception will take place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2020.

Aaron Apsley is a graduate of the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD). He has resided in Southwest Florida since 2019. However, he became interested in botanical illustration while living in New York City.

The show is co-hosted by neighboring Thrifty Garden, and it features an amazing collection of owner Richard Molek’s indoor and outdoor specimens.

“I see [plants] as exquisite sculptures or three-dimensional masterpieces, with their unique leafs and colors, created by nature itself,” says Molek. “Some of the [plant] species are rare and very dear to me, as I have been growing them for years in my personal collection.”

Congruently, a social distancing-conscious gathering starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Butterfly Estates in the outdoor garden space nestled between DAAS CO-OP and Thrifty Garden. Christened Atala Wine & Beer Garden, this space provides a nature-inspired experience amongst the butterflies and flowers abundant around the complex. A collaborative project by the shops located in the Butterfly Estates, Atala Wine & Beer Garden is a great alternative to the hustle and buzzle of other parts of downtown Fort Myers.

“We invite all Southwest Florida art collectors, supporters and enthusiasts to join us for the opening reception,” states DAAS. “As always, the gallery will be filled with the most beautiful inventory of art, fine crafts, apparel, sculptures, pottery and jewelry, all produced here by the member artists. In addition, all CDC recommendations are enforced during gatherings, including mandatory masks while inside the venue and a limit on the amount of guests inside.”

The exhibition will be on display through August 29, 2020.

DAAS CO-OP and Thrifty Garden are located at 1815 Fowler Street, in the Butterfly Estates conplex in Fort Myers, FL. The gallery’s temporary business hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday.

Thrifty Gardens is open every day in the summer from 10:oo a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

More information about gallery and/or how to become a member can be found at or by calling 239-590-8645.



Call to Artists for joint Alliance/Bailey-Matthews water exhibit

In partnership with the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, the Alliance for the Arts is seeking Florida artists to submit work for an exhibition focused on water.

Water is the source of all life and has been an inspiration for writers, philosophers and artists from around the world for thousands of years. This exhibition hopes to elicit myriad pieces in multiple mediums that explore, explain and inform our infinite individual and communal connections to water.

Entries must be submitted online no later than Friday, November 6, 2020 at All mediums will be considered, including sculpture, jewelry, painting (oil, acrylic, collage, watercolor and mixed media), drawing, printmaking, photography, digital media, fiber or textiles, video and installation. Prizes will be awarded including $1,000 cash for Best in Show, $250 for 2nd place, $100 cash for 3rd place and Juror’s Choice Award of $50. Artists may submit, 1, 2 or 3 artworks for consideration.

The juried exhibit will be on display from February 9 through April 30, 2021 at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, which is located at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road Sanibel, FL 33957. The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to connect people to the natural world through their love of shells and the marvelous animals that create them.  Bailey-Matthews uses its collections, programs, and expertise to inspire learning, support scientific research, and tell the story of mollusks and the ocean that they inhabit.  There are more mollusks in the oceans than all marine mammals and fish species combined, and mollusks are becoming extinct faster than we can name them due to climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution.

Sanibel receives 3.3 million visitors each year.  The Museum expects 100,000 visitors this year.

The exhibit space is a multi-use exhibition space with moderate security.  There are also indoor and outdoor alternative installation spaces available for proposal.

To download full guidelines, learn more or submit artwork, visit For additional questions, contact Alliance for the Arts gallery director Ehren Gerhard at or 239-939-2787.



‘Pain, Process and Promise’ on view now at Alliance for the Arts

Pain, Process and Promise is on exhibition at the Alliance for the Arts through August 20 with limited gallery and gift shop hours. Featuring pieces created by artists working in a wide variety of media, the show seeks to process the multilayered issues facing our society and culture through the medium or art.

Exhibiting artists include Jeff Abbott, Cesar Aguilera, Robert Allen, Coleen Baggot, Kimberly Beckler, C.Kay Best, Katherine Boren, Cath Branwood, Mila Bridger, Annette Brown, Andy Browne, Barbara Carr, Donna Chase, Diane Chernow, Carol Coates, Maria Collier, Patricia Collins, Patrick Conolly, Elodie Cotton, Michael Danley, Rosemary Fineberg, Judith Fletcher, Marian Fuller, Denis Gaston, Geoffrey Hamel, Lily Hatchett, Sharon Isern, Krista and Leo Johnson, Rose Jung, Steve Kalb, Kenneth Lamers, Jill Lindsay, Ray Lyle, Bruce MacKechnie, Helen Mcwilliams, Kellen Beck Mills, Ronald Nowicki, Julie Obney, Tara O’Neill, Chris Owens, Katrina Parker, Caren Pearson, Michael Pinckney, Barbara Piontek, Joel Ralls, Gregory Read, Myra Roberts, Sherry Rohl, Thomas Roth, Eric Rucket, Paula Rucket, Lydia Rupinski, Ellen Sayet, Dale Smith, Grayson Stoff, Patricia Anderson Turner, Jennifer Unwin, Joy Williams, Christina Wyatt, Pat Zalisko and Amanda Zirzow.

The Alliance is hosting a series of free, online artist talks in conjunction with the show. They’ll take place at 6:00 p.m. on July 14, July 28 and August 11. These behind-the-scenes looks offer unique insight into each artists’ inspiration, process and the context behind the work. Be part of the conversation, express your thoughts and ideas or simply sit back and enjoy the discussion of what art means to us as individuals and as a society. Pre-registration is required at

While gallery admission and scheduled artists’ talks are free, a $5 suggested donation sustains the future of arts in southwest Florida.

Beginning July 10, Alliance gallery and gift shop hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. or by appointment by contacting gallery director Ehren Gerhard at

For more information about the exhibit, visit or call 239-939-2787. For details on the Alliance’s current programs and precautions, please visit





ArtFest Fort Myers now accepting applications for 21st annual art festival 

ArtFest Fort Myers is now accepting applications from professional artists for participation in its 2021 juried show. At this time, ArtFest is considering multiple scenarios to maximize both safety and success, but besides the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, new this year will be completion of the Luminary Hotel between Bay and Edwards on the western side of the 1.8 acre water basin.

Well over 1,000 artists vie for the 200 spaces historically allotted for this show. Why? It’s simple. Because ArtFest’s year-round friendly and professional staff places the focus on the artist and the art-selling experience. Targeting art buyers throughout Southwest Florida and beyond – from Marco Island to Sarasota and east to West Palm Beach – ArtFest’s promotional campaign includes all forms of media. Judging from each year’s turn-out, they’re clearly doing something right. No other art festival in Florida comes close to pulling in the number of people or the concentration of collectors that ArtFest does.

The organizers also understand the importance of providing great artist amenities over festival weekend to ensure that its exhibitors are stress free and ready to share their work with the festival’s dedicated and enthusiastic attendees.

How are festival artists chosen?

Each October, ArtFest Fort Myers brings together a panel of professional artists who view submitted images and score each applying artist on a range of 1 – 7 points. The artists with the highest scores are then invited to participate in ArtFest.

“Our jury panel varies each year but always represents a broad base of expertise with regard to artistic mediums,” ArtFest points out. “Theirs is the difficult task of evaluating who is the ‘best-of–the-best’ from the hundreds of artists who wish to join ArtFest Fort Myers! Our jury process is open to artists and patrons – please contact us for more information.”

The application deadline is September 28, 2020. The application fee is $35, with booth fees for a single 10×10′ space costing $454 plus 6.5% Florida sales tax and a $10 City Business Fee.

ArtFest Fort Myers 2021 opens Friday, February 5 with a limited preview and VIP event and continues on Saturday and Sunday, February 6 & 7, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For Artist Application information, please contact ArtFest Fort Myers at 239-768-3602, email or visit



Boulderbrook accepting submissions for Southwest Florida art festivals

Boulderbrook Productions hosts a number of boutique art festivals in Southwest Florida each season. It is currently accepting submissions for:

  • Bonita Springs Invitational Art Festival (November 21 & 22, 2020); application deadline August 30, 2020;
  • Sanibel Masters Art Festival (November 27 & 28, 2020); application deadline August 30, 2020;
  • Peace River National Art Festival (December 5 & 6, 2020); deadline October 20, 2020;
  • The Sanibel SCA Art Festival (January 17 & 18, 2020); deadline: October 4;
  • The Art Festival at Mercato (January 22 & 23, 2021);  application deadline October 10, 2020;
  • The Art Festival at University Village Shops located by Miromar Lakes Country Club on Ben Hill Griffin Parkway (February 5, 6 & 7, 2021); application deadline not given;
  • Sarasota Masters Art Festival (February – dates TBA soon); deadline September 21, 2020;
  • Bonita Springs Fine Arts at The Promenade (February 13 & 14, 2021); application deadline October 15, 2020;
  • Boca Grande Masters Art Festival (March 6 & 7, 2021); application deadline October 14, 2020;
  • Bonita Springs Masters Art Festival (March 13 & 14, 2021); application deadline November 1, 2020;
  • Peace River National March (March 20 & 21, 2021); application deadline October 26, 2020; and
  • Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club Arts and Crafts Fair (March 26 & 27, 2021); application deadline: October 15, 2020.

You must register and apply online at



Hot Works accepting applications for Estero Fine Art Show

Hot Works LLC is now accepting submissions for the 24th Estero Fine Art Show. It will take place on Saturday and Sunday, January 2 & 3, 2021 at JetBlue Park. The show features original work in a wide array of disciplines, including painting, clay, glass, fiber, sculpture, wood, photography, jewelry and more.

Voted a top 100 art show, the Estero Fine Art show is recognized as one of America’s highest quality and most respected art shows in the country. Winter home of the Boston Red Sox, JetBlue Park affords both exhibitors and attendees with numerous benefits, including a location that draws from and is easily accessible from everywhere in Southwest Florida, as well as plenty of convenient, on-site parking.

The application deadline is September 17, 2020. Artist applications are accepted electronically at or manually at For more information, please contact Executive Director Patty Narozny at or 248-684-2613.



Hot Works accepting applications for Naples Fine Art Show

Hot Works LLC is now accepting submissions for the Naples Fine Art Show, which is scheduled for March 27 & 28, 2021 outdoors at the Naples Italian-American Club at the corner of Airport Pulling and Orange Blossom Roads. The show features original work in a wide array of disciplines, including painting, clay, glass, fiber, sculpture, wood, photography, jewelry and more.

The application deadline is November 13, 2020. Artist applications are accepted electronically at or manually at For more information, please contact Executive Director Patty Narozny at or 248-684-2613.



Naples Art Naples New Year’s Art Show 2020 applications open August 20

East Entry 02The Naples Art Association will begin accepting applications for The Naples New Year’s Art Show 2021 on beginning August 20, 2020. This fine art festival draws professional artists from around the country and was ranked #15 in the nation in 2019 by Sunshine Artist Magazine and is included by in its “BLUE CHIP 100” Fine Art Events for 2019.

If you are interested in exhibiting at this show, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, January 2-3, 2021
  • Festival Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Accept 250 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $450 for 10×10
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m. early morning set up only: On street set up in quads; No electrical
  • Application deadline: 10/02/20
  • Jury Process begins: 10/09/20
  • Status Notification: 10/21/20
  • Booth Fee Deposit Due: 11/11/20
  • Wait List Acceptance: 11/11/20
  • Artist Info Emailed: 12/11/20
  • No Refund Deadline:  12/04/20
  • Application available online at ZAPP




Naples Art’s Naples National Art Show application window opens August 20

Crowd Shot BestThe Naples Art Association will begin accepting applications for inclusion in the 42nd Annual Naples National Art Festival on August 20, 2020. Naples National is consistently voted among the top 100 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine and was ranked #24 last year. In addition, Naples National was named one of ARt Fair SourceBook Blue Chip 100 Fine Art Events for 2019 and’s America’s Best Art Fairs. As one of the oldest festivals in Collier County, Naples National is counted by the local community as among its premiere, must–see events, thanks to the high quality of art, the engaging personalities of the artists and the festive atmosphere. The show is held in scenic Cambier Park and along 8th Street South, one block from downtown Naples’ premier shopping and dining district.

If you are interested in exhibiting in the 41st Naples National Art Festival, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday & Sunday, February 20-21, 2021
  • Festival Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Accept 190 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $625 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 01/15/21 (subject to $25 processing fee, $75 deposit fee non-refundable)
  • Set up specifics: Friday set up on 2/19,
  • Park and street setting
  • Application deadline: 11/06/20
  • Jury Process begins: 11/13/20
  • Status Notification: 11/25/20
  • Booth Fee Deposit Due: 12/18/20
  • Artist Info Emailed: 01/22/21
  • Wait List Acceptance: 12/18/20
  • Balance of Exhibit Fee Due:  01/15/21
  • Application available online at beginning June 1, 2019

To improve the quality of the show and to provide more sales opportunities for our artists, NAA has limited the number of booths to 221, with 190 selected by the jury and 31 who are specially invited to participate in the show. “This will allow artists greater exposure and less competition,” states NAA in its prospectus for the show. “Additionally, the park layout, will consist of one loop making it easier for customers to view all artist’s booths. However, there is a corresponding increase in booth fees.”

This is the only Naples Art Association show that offers cash awards for Best of Show, Best 2D, Best 3D and Awards of Distinction in 2D and 3D. The amounts are:

  • Best of Show – $2,000
  • Best 2D – $500
  • Best 3D – $500
  • Awards of Distinction 2D – 5 awards at $200 each
  • Awards of Distinction 3D – 5 awards at $200 each

Awards will be presented at the band shell in Cambier Park at 3:00 pm on Saturday. NAA staff or volunteers will notify an artist if they need to be present at the awards ceremony on Saturday. Awards are given based on the same criteria used for the jury process. The winning artists are invited to participate in the following year’s show and receive jury exempt status but must still pay his/her booth fee.

The mission of the Naples Art Association is to expand cultural opportunities, broaden education and enrich SWF through the visual arts. Proceeds from the Naples National Art Show support educational programming at The Naples Art Association.



Naples Art’s Naples Downtown Art Show application window opens August 20

Crowd Shot 01 (4)The Naples Art Association will begin accepting applications for inclusion in its Naples Downtown Art Show beginning on August 30. The 33rd Annual Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts is one of the last major art festivals of the winter season and a favorite festival for artists, art enthusiasts and collectors.

This festival was rated #24 by Sunshine Artist’s Magazine 2019.

If you would like to exhibit in this show, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, 2021
  • Festival Hours: Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Accept 250 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $450 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: TBA
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m., early morning set up only;
  • On street set up in quads: No electrical
  • Application deadline: TBA
  • Jury Process begins: TBA
  • Status Notification: TBA
  • Booth Fee Due: TBA
  • Artist Info Emailed: TBA
  • Wait List Acceptance: TBA

Last year’s show was cancelled and launched virtually due to COVID-19. Naples Art’s website has yet been updated to provide a prospectus, application or key dates for the 2021 show.



Naples Art accepting submissions for next season’s Art in the Park

Are you ready for the 2020-2021 season of Art in the Park? The Naples Art Association (NAA) proudly connects artists with art shoppers in another terrific season of Art in the Park. The jury process will begin virtually on October 15. You must register by 5:00 p.m. one day before at

Since 1957, Art in the Park has showcased paintings in oil and acrylics, watercolors, mixed Art in the Park 01media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass art, jewelry and wood-working created by members in good standing of the Naples Art Association. For art lovers, it’s a casual, fun-filled venue for meeting local artists and becoming acquainted with their work. It is believed to be the first outdoor art show held in Naples. And the tradition continues for the 2019-2020 art fair and festival season.

Art in the Park 04Art in the Park is held between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month from November through April. Because of its long tradition, prestige and the interest and number of people who routinely turn out for the show, many NAA members seek admission to the show. Applicants go through a jury process.

“Art in the Park is a membership opportunity, providing artists a venue to sell and market their Art in the Park 05work while broadening their customer base,” notes the Naples Art Association in its call to artists for the 2019-2020 season. “It also provides a setting for artists to interact with other artists sharing ideas, industry changes and the camaraderie of creative people. It is an opportunity for both artists and the public to engage in enlightening conversations about art.”

Make and Take Art 01The one-day fair takes place on Park Street adjacent to The Naples Art Association in the northwest corner of Cambier Park. Located just a block and a half from historic Fifth Avenue South, Art in the Park is within walking distance of trendy European boutiques, sidewalk cafes and iconic art galleries such as Sheldon Fine ArtCall of Africa’s Native Visions Gallery and Shaw Gallery of Fine Art Demo Booth 01Art. The show is also just three minutes by car from fabled Gallery Row and the Third Street South Gallery District. The January show is also held in conjunction with the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, which will be held next season on Saturday and Sunday, January 2 & 3, 2021.



6       PUBLIC ART


Buck’s Backyard finalists announced

The Fort Myers Mural Society has announced the three finalists for Buck’s Backyard, a mural project that will be painted on seventeen concrete panels on the eight-foot-tall wall that separates McCollum Hall from the residential neighborhood just to the north. During its heyday, the two-story 10,000-square-foot Art Deco building was considered the jewel of the Dunbar business community.

During the 1930s and ’40s, McCollum Hall became Southwest Florida’s most famous entertainment venue. Part of the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” the second-floor dance hall hosted such internationally-renowned musicians as Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King, Lionel Hampton, Otis Redding, Lucky Milliner and Duke Ellington and his orchestra.

Go here for the rest of this announcement.



Spotlight on ‘Buck’s Backyard’ mural finalist J.P. Almonacid

J.P. Almonacid is one of three finalists chosen by a selection committee to paint a mural out at McCollum Hall. Called Buck’s Backyard, the project is a homage to the Safety Hill gathering place that became an epicenter for entertainment, dances and social events in the 1930s and ‘40s.

Born in Chicago in 1974, Almonacid was raised across the Alley in Broward County where he was heavily influenced by graffiti and graphic arts. He drew upon these artistic sensibilities when he moved to Bogota, Columbia in 1993, pioneering the graffiti and street art culture that exists today throughout the country.

Go here for more.



Spotlight on ‘Buck’s Backyard’ mural finalist Michael Rosato

Michael Rosato is the second of three finalists chosen by a selection committee to paint a mural out at McCollum Hall. Called Buck’s Backyard, the project is a homage to the Safety Hill gathering place that became an epicenter for entertainment, dances and social events in the 1930s and ‘40s.

Rosato specializes in designing and painting large-scale murals for public and private spaces. He paints most of his work on canvas in his studio and then personally installs the finished paintings on site.

Go here for more.



Revisiting Caloosahatchee Manuscripts light sculpture

At night, the tapered Ionic columns and limestone steps of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center glow with the images of thousands of letters like a phosphorous alphabet soup. The source of this bedazzling light show are two large bronze cylinders that sit on the sidewalk at the foot of SBDAC’s stairs. They are a dual point light sculpture called Caloosahatchee Manuscripts, a gift to the City of Fort Myers made in 2001 by Florida Power & Light Co.

FPL commissioned the work to commemorate the conversion of its power plant on the south bank of the Caloosahatchee River from oil to natural gas. A national call to artists was issued and Maryland sculptor Jim Sanborn was ultimately selected. By 2001, Sanborn had built a formidable reputation for heady light sculptures, and he didn’t disappoint with the light sculptures he designed for the sidewalks in front of the Davis Art Center. One (the western drum) is a homage to the experiments Thomas Edison conducted downriver, testing between 13,000 and 17,000 plants in an attempt to find a local source of latex that might supplant the country’s dependence on South American rubber. The other light cylinder (the eastern drum) incorporates text from an ancient Creek migration legend that explains how the Creek migrated to the southeastern United States and eventually made their way into Florida, where they joined with the Seminole Nation.

When Sanborn did his research, he discovered a translation of the migration tale told to James Oglethorpe by the Creeks’ great king Tchiilli. The text had been translated from Creek into English and then German. When the English translation turned up missing, the German text was retranslated into English and that’s the version Sanborn used for the eastern light cylinder. But then, in 2015, Prince Charles’ Assistant Personal Secretary found the original English translation in a wooden crate somewhere in storage in a palace that’s home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. And wouldn’t you know it, the translation from the German turns out not to be all that accurate or complete.

That in no way undermines the story that Sanborn tells through Caloosahatchee Manuscripts, which is simply that the Seminoles played an important role in our early history and, derivatively, their ancestors, the Creek. But to set the record straight, ARTSWFL has updated its Caloosahatchee Manuscripts profile to include the latest information on the migration legend. And in the process, dozens of new photographs have been added to the narrative.

So check it out here.



Revisiting Fort Myers’ 1880 Italian marble sculpture, Lorelei

Lorelei Beyond the Pink Hibiscus 01SArt Southwest Florida has profiled Fort Myers’ 1880 Italian marble sculpture, Lorelei, which resides in the Hibiscus Garden at the Fort Myers Lee County Garden Council on Virginia Street in downtown Fort Myers.

When Lorelei arrived at the Garden Council, she was in dire need of significant conservation. The surface of the sculpture was covered with dirt, grime, mold, mildew, fungus and lichen, largely because the sculpture had been Post-Conservation Lorelei Front View 03Ssurrounded for more than 50 years by firebrush hedge, which served to hold moisture against the surface of the stone. The marble had suffered spalling in several areas, most notably on the siren’s right elbow, and “portions of the surface were slightly friable to the touch, particularly areas that were exposed to constant direct sunlight.”

In furtherance of its agreement with the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee, the Garden Council engaged Rosa Lowinger & Associates to perform the work necessary to clean and stabilize the stone. A full-service conservation firm specializing in the preservation of sculpture, architectural elements, three-dimensional artwork and contemporary art, RLA is considered a national leader in preservation and Lorelei Beyond the Bird of Paradise 01Sconservation of art in the public sector.

The first step in the sculpture’s conservation consisted of washing the marble with filtered water and a conservation grade detergent to remove dirt, grime and soluable salts. Poultices were applied to remove staining, and a fungicide was used to mitigate discoloration from mold and fungus and provide residual protection to the surface. But the Post-Conservation Lorelei Left View 03Smost intricate and important part of the process involved injecting epoxy into the marble to stabilize and repair the spalling that had occurred over time.

The difference in Lorelei’s outward appearance following these measures is stunning. Today, the marble virtually gleams in the sunlight, showing off Emma Elisabeth’s Phinney’s intricate and well-executed craftsmanship. Details that had been lost in the grime and mold, like the comb at the siren’s right hand and the flowers carved into the stacked shale plinth, jump out and, from a distance, the Post-Conservation Lorelei Garden Shot 08Sbody and flowing shift are infused with a fluid, languid movement.

The foregoing work was performed on January 6 and 7, 2015 at a cost of more than $6,000. But Lorelei is not out of danger yet.

Please click here to see the sculpture’s full profile.



7      THEATER


Southwest Florida’s theaters remain closed to the public. However, they may begin reopening now that the State has moved into Phase 2 of Governor Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan. In the meantime, many of Southwest Florida’s community theater companies continue to produce virtual readings and shows, and this online option may continue beyond reopening.


Ghostbirrd to premiere YouTube channel with performance of Barry Cavin’s ‘Ori’

On August 7, Ghostbird Theatre Company will present a YouTube video performance of a play that FGCU Theatre Professor and Ghostbird Artistic Director Barry Cavin intended for the Calusa Nature Center, Ori. But along came the pandemic, and the play had to be performed in an abandoned village. The YouTube event is the video record of that performance.

Ori is the latest from the mind of Barry Cavin, a prolific playwright whose credits include more than 40 plays, including Ibb  and Writing Shadows (performed in the historic Landford-Kingston Home), No. 27 (presented at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita), and ORBS! and The Perfect Island of Dr. Teed (performed at Koreshan State Park in Estero), all produced and performed by Ghostbird Theatre Company.

Ghostbird is known nationwide for site-specific experimental productions. Ori was designed to carry on this tradition by being performed under the stars in the night sky projected above the heads of the actors and audience inside the Calusa Nature Center Planetarium.

Go here for the rest of this advance.



Broadway Palm set to open 2020-21 season with Dean Martin Variety Hour

Broadway Palm has announced that it will open its 2020-2021 main stage season on August 20 with the Dean Martin Variety Hour. Written by Broadway Palm’s own Victor Legarreta and featuring Dean Martin Impersonator Seth Abrahms, it is a throwback to the old Dean Martin Variety Show. Featuring great music, hilarious comedic skits and more, you just never know who is going to knock on the front door of Dino’s place next.  This production is sure to have you singing and laughing the night away!

The Dean Martin Variety Hour is the first of eight main stage productions, five Off Broadway shows and five concerts. Individual tickets are on sale now. Show prices range from $48 to $73 with group and children’s prices available. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings (no Tuesday evening performances May through October) with selected matinees. For more information visit, call (239) 278-4422 or stop by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



Studio Players reopening with ‘Walter Cronkite is Dead’ on September 4

The Studio Players is planning to resume live performances on September 4 – assuming, of course, that theaters have opened and remained open by then. The Players plan to reopen with Joe Calarco’s Walter Cronkite is Dead. Directed by Hollis Galman, the show will star Bonnie Knapp and Cindy Hile as Patty and Margaret, two “funny, difficult, deeply revealing and astonishingly frank” women.

“As you know, our venue at the Golden Gate Community Center’s Joan Jenks Auditorium is a very large open space which will allow us to be able to social distant very easily,” states Scott Lilly. “We are ready to set up our chairs following the social distancing guidelines [in effect at that time].”

Disposable masks, gloves and hand sanitizer will be provided if needed.”

The Golden Gate Community Center will also take extra steps to provide a safe place once the facility is back open.

Walter Cronkite is Dead will run through September 20.

The rest of The Studio Players’ 2020-2021 schedule is:

  • A Nice Family Christmas by Phil Olson – December 4-20, 2020;
  • The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan – January 15-31, 2021; and
  • On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson – March 12-April 14, 2021.

For more information about the theater or Walter Cronkite is Dead, visit or telephone 239-398-9192.



Players Circle targeting an October 20 re-opening

Players Circle Theatre is planning to reopen on October 20, 2020 with a season that includes Ho! Ho! Ho! The Christmas Show, Curious Incident Of The Dog In the Night-Time and Miracle On South Division Street, three shows that never made it to the stage this past season, plus two exciting new shows soon to be announced.

The theater company’s first season encountered permit problems, delays and  the Coronavirus shut-down, but with its certificate of occupancy in hand and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lights, risers, comfortable seats, curtains, computers and box office software, Players Circle anticipates a glitch-free second season.

“We are rebuilding our website and will let you know when and our box office 239 800-9232 will be ready to take orders,” reports Robert Cacioppo. “Donations of any kind, large or small, will be greatly appreciated until we get up in full swing.”

And Players Theatre has more treats in store than its theatrical productions. In between shows, there will be evenings of stand-up comedy and improv, musical cabaret, flamenco, opera, country music, jazz, one person shows and burlesque. Va Va Voom! It’s going to be very exciting. Also, extremely reasonably priced dinner theatre packages will be available.






Dates announced for Fort Myers Beach International Film Festival

The Fort Myers Beach Film Festival will be back for its 14th year from September 22-27. With events for all ages, this five-day event attracts independent film fans, filmmakers, and distributors to the beaches of Fort Myers Beach. Attendees come from all over the world to exchange ideas, make new contacts, and enjoy some compelling and interesting films encompassing a wide range of tastes. Th festival screens at the Beach Theater, 6425 Estero Blvd. Fort Myers Beach,

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