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Actors, artists, directors, filmmakers and events in the news January 8-14, 2021


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

Matt Flynn appears next in Studio Players’ ‘The Waverly Gallery’

Fresh from back to back performances for The Marco Players in Born Yesterday and The Farce Before Christmas, Naples actor Matt Flynn will appear next in The Studio Players’ production of The Waverly Gallery. Powerful, poignant and often hilarious, The Waverly Gallery follows the final years of a grandmother’s battle against Alzheimer’s disease and explores her fight to retain her independence and the effect her decline has on her family (which, ironically, includes two psychiatrists).  Go here for all of Matt’s stage credits.



Marilyn Hilbert will appear in the role of Gladys Green in ‘The Waverly Gallery’

Marilyn Hilbert will appear in the role of retired lawyer, Greenwich Village activist and art gallery proprietor Gladys Green in The Studio Players’ production of The Waverly Gallery. She last appeared for The Studio Players in the Joan Jenks Auditorium in Over the River. Her other stage credits include Sonja in the Marco Players’ production of Tango at 2:30, Ethyl in On Golden Pond, Daisy in Driving Miss DaisyRose’s Dilemma, Take Five, Plaza Suite, The Last Romance, Sunset Park and Love Loss and What I Wore, as well as Second Lady by M. Kilburg Reedy and Love Letters in The Marco Players’ Lunch Box Series. She also performs her one woman show, Her Last Starring Role, at various venues throughout Naples.



Gianni Gizzi plays Chip Tolentino in ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’

On stage for three performances on the Cape Cabaret stage is Melody Lane Performing Arts Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In the role of Chip Tolentino is Gianni Gizzi, who was the High School Musical Best Performer in a musical 2019 for his role in Theory of Relativity.

Last year’s spelling champ, the Chipster comes across initially as a little too cocksure. But it’s not exactly his overconfidence that does him in during the spelling bee. Studies show that boys think about sex every 13 minutes and, as comedienne Paula Poundstone is wont to point out in her stand-up act, that doesn’t indicate how long the thought lasts! Poor Chip’s mind wanders at a most inopportune time and he’s more than a little, er, wooden when he’s called to the microphone for his next turn. Gizzi is at his Spelling Bee best during this scene and his solo song, “My Unfortunate Erection/Distraction (Chip’s Lament),” gets a rise out of the audience at the advent of Act Two.

Gianni attends the Institute for American Musical Theatre in New York City. Among his favorite roles is that of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.



Spotlight on Putnam County Spelling Bee’s Marianna Rose Young who plays Marcy Park

On stage for three performances on the Cape Cabaret stage is Melody Lane Performing Arts Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In the role of Marcy Park is Marianna Rose Young.

Park is the penultimate overachiever. In “I Speak Six Languages,” we learn that not only is Marcy multilingual, she plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, is a member of all-American hockey and a championship rugby player. But her clichéd Asian quest for multi-disciplinary perfection comes at a price. She only sleeps three hours a night (Sanjay Gupta’s Keep Sharp be damned), hides in the bathroom cabinet and is not allowed to cry. But she knows both intuitively and intellectually that she has to restore some balance to her frantic, frenetic life. She desperately needs to rebel against the messages she’s internalized from an early age that she must be the best at everything she attempts. So to the horror and bafflement of her misfit peers, she chooses the Putnam County Spelling Bee to make her last stand.

The trick to playing this character convincingly is to provide her with a veneer of self-confidence-bordering-on-arrogance (think Sheldon Cooper from Big Bank Theory) that tamps down the cauldron of anxiety and depression gurgling beneath the surface, and Miss Young strikes just the right chord.

Although she is just a freshman at Cypress Lake High Center for the Arts, Marianne already has a number of theater productions under her belt. She counts Elsa in Frozen, Miss Andrew in Mary Poppins, and Martha in Miracle Worker among her favorite roles. She’s also won The People’s Choice “Overall” Award at the District Jr Thespian Competition and was invited to sing her Solo Musical at the States Opening Ceremony.



Autumn Pepper Rhodes is Olive Ostrovsky in ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’

On stage for three performances on the Cape Cabaret stage is Melody Lane Performing Arts Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In the role of Olive Ostrovsky is Autumn Pepper Rhodes.

Rhodes has the most poignant song in the show. Olive’s mom has been in an ashram in India for months, and the seat that Olive has saved in the audience for her dad remains empty. Hell, the inveterate workaholic didn’t even make the time to pay her $25 entry fee.

But it’s when Rhodes launches melodically into “The I Love You Song” that the audience’s hearts truly dissolve. Olive reveals plaintively that she’d quietly packed a suitcase in hopes that her mom would ask her to join her in Bombay. Then she morosely adds that her angry dad “takes out on me what he wants to take out on you.” Turning chimerical, she fantasizes about having loving parents, who tell her they couldn’t be prouder and that they love everything about her.

Chimerical. C-H-I-M-E-R-I-C-A-L.

And so, Olive is supalonely – her only friend a dictionary. And it’s been that way from an early age. Just a sad girl in this big world, in the sad club (Ooh ooh ooh).

But unlike the principal in the BENEE tune, Olive Ostrovsky is no quitter. While she starts out enormously shy, by the end of the competition, she shyly blossoms.

And Rhodes similarly blossoms in the role, playing at the audience’s heartstrings with the mastery of a classical violinist like a Hilary Hahn or Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Autumn is a theater major at Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts. A frequent performer, her favorite roles include The Bakers Wife in Into the Woods Jr and Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray Jr.



Spotlight on Putnam County speller Logainne ‘Schwartz’ Schwartzandgrubenierre

On stage for three performances on the Cape Cabaret stage is Melody Lane Performing Arts Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. And one of the aspirants in the silver anniversary competition is Logainne “Schwartzy” Schwartzandgrubenierre played by Julia Styner and Sophia Albrecht.

Like the other spellers, Schwartzy is abjectly afflicted. Sporting age-inappropriate pigtails and contending with a nettlesome lisp, the only boys she’s worried about pleasing are her two gay dads, who fuel her need to succeed and astronomical levels of cortisol. Although she’s the youngest of the competitors, she’s also the most politically aware and she has a thing or two to say about the current state of affairs in our nation.

Julia Styner portrayed Schwartz in the dress rehearsal I attended, and she was delightful in the role, which she played with a precocious sauciness that quickly endears her to the audience and makes her a fan favorite to win the bee in spite of her tender age. Julia is a freshman at Cape Coral High School. Her favorite roles to date have been Gertrude Mcfuzz in Suessical Jr and Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. She has been a student at Melody Lane for 3 years and counting.

Sophia Albrecht (not pictured) attends Bishop Verot High School, who dances both at and outside of school and does theater in her free time. She confides that Bet in the musical Oliver Twist is among her favorite all-time roles.

Oh, in case you’re wondering who holds the record for youngest contestant in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, that would be 5-year-old Edith Fuller from Tulsa, Oklahoma. At regionals in 2017, she correctly spelled 37 words including sevruga (a type of caviar); virgule (an accent mark); Nisei (a child of Japanese immigrants who is born in the U.S.); jacamar (a long-billed bird); and alim (a Muslim scholar). Her final word was, appropriately, “jnana,” a Sanskrit word that refers to an elevated state of knowledge.



Shannon Gray is moderator Rona Lisa Perretti in ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’

On stage for three performances on the Cape Cabaret stage is Melody Lane Performing Arts Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In the role of Rona Lisa Perretti is Shannon Gray.

Rona Perretti is an interesting study. A former spelling champion, she now functions as the Bee’s moderator. In that capacity, it’s her job it is to encapsulate each contestant in a sentence or tag line as they come to the microphone. It’s also her responsibility to keep her prepubescent brood in line, and for that reason the role is normally played by a much older actor. So instead of meting out discipline with the air of a matron, Gray substitutes youthful enthusiasm. Her love and respect for the competition is unwavering, and she uses that to drive the bee forward to its ultimate conclusion.

Shannon attends Cypress Lake High School. She has done numerous shows to date, but confides that her favorite role so far has been that of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Shannon was also an all star in JTF (Junior Theater Festival) California 2020.



Sophia Albrecht distinguishes herself as Rona Perretti understudy during dress rehearsal

Sophia Albrecht will play Logainne “Schwartz” Schwartzandgrubenierre in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, splitting time with Julia Styner. She is also functioning as “swing” or understudy for a number of other roles, which takes on added importance since one or more actors could at a moment’s notice become unavailable if, for example, they are required to self-quarantine due to exposure to the COVID-19 virus. In fact, the rehearsal process for this show has been marred by is very circumstance and on the night of final dress rehearsal, Sophia was called upon to appear in the role of Spelling Bee moderator Rona Lisa Perretti.

Sophia is a leggy, statuesque 15-year-old who imbued her character with all the charm and panache of a former beauty pageant winner. (Think Vanessa Williams in Bye Bye Birdie or Dance with Me.) But what was most remarkable about her performance was not simply the fact that she was off-book from start to finish, but that she was laser focused on the action unfolding on stage in every single scene.

The mark of an actor who takes her craft seriously is that she doesn’t take any scenes off, even when the action is away from her and the focus is on other characters. Sophia is of that caliber. During final dress, she never lost focus at any point during the show.

Albrecht attends Bishop Verot High School. She dances both in and out of school, doing theater in her free time. To date, Bet in the musical Oliver Twist has been her favorite role. But keep an eye out for Sophia. Given her skills, talent and work ethic, it’s a good bet we’ll be seeing more of her going forward.



Sam Pucin is the Cat in the Hat in CTW’s production of ‘Seussical the Musical’

Sam Pucin is cast in the role of The Cat in the Hat in Creative Theater Workshop’s production of Seussical the Musical. It’s a part tailor-made for Pucin, who last appeared for CTW as the narrator in The Drowsy Chaperone, the ubiquitous The Man in the Chair. The North Fort Myers High grad is now attending FSW with the expectation of transferring to UCF to earn a degree in Entertainment Hospitality. Previously part of the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Resort, Sam hopes to return to Disney after receiving his degree as an Entertainment Executive. Sam will next appear as the Baker in Florida Rep’s upcoming production of Into the Woods.



Lemec Bernard to appear in Alliance’s production of ‘Confusions’

Lemec Bernard will appear for the Alliance for the Arts in Confusions, which consists of three one-act plays, The Still Alarm by George S. Kauffman and Alan Ayckbourn’s Between Mouthfuls and A Talk in the Park. Lemec is relatively new to acting. He got his start after responding to an ad for a free class being offered by Marcus Colon. He’s been productive since then. Go here to view all of his acting credits.

And go here to read how Lemec approaches acting as a “blood sport.”



Rob Green to appear in Alliance’s production of ‘Confusions’

Rob Green will appear for the Alliance for the Arts in Confusions, which consists of three one-act plays, The Still Alarm by George S. Kauffman and Alan Ayckbourn’s Between Mouthfuls and A Talk in the Park that will be performed on the GreenMarket stage beginning January 21. Rob last appeared on the Foulds Theatre stage as Sherlock Holmes in Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Go here to see Rob’s other stage credits.



Thomas Marsh to appear in Alliance’s production of ‘Confusions’

Thomas Marsh will appear for the Alliance for the Arts in Confusions, which consists of three one-act plays, The Still Alarm by George S. Kauffman and Alan Ayckbourn’s Between Mouthfuls and A Talk in the Park that will be performed on the GreenMarket stage beginning January 21. Marsh is building an impressive resume of work as a character actor. Go here to view his stage and other credits.



Sonya McCarter to appear in Alliance’s production of ‘Confusions’

Sonya McCarter will appear for the Alliance for the Arts in Confusions, which consists of three one-act plays, The Still Alarm by George S. Kauffman and Alan Ayckbourn’s Between Mouthfuls and A Talk in the Park that will be performed on the GreenMarket stage beginning January 21. Sonya has impressive acting and directing credentials, and is also an instructor in the Alliance for the Arts’ CHANGE (Communities Harnessing the Arts to Nurture and Grow Equity) program and the Alliance’s Community Engagement Coordinator. Go here to access her complete profile.



Lucy Sundby to appear in Alliance’s production of ‘Confusions’

Lucy Sundby will appear for the Alliance for the Arts in Confusions, which consists of three one-act plays, The Still Alarm by George S. Kauffman and Alan Ayckbourn’s Between Mouthfuls and A Talk in the Park that will be performed on the GreenMarket stage beginning January 21. Lucy has extensive theatrical credits, including Claudia Louise (CL) in LabTV’s production of The Realish Housewives of Fort Myers. 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts, “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” in The Vagina Monologues, Lenny in Crimes of the Heart, Nicky in Michele Lowe’s murderously funny tragi-comedy, The Smell of the Kill and Cabaret. Go here to access Lucy’s full profile.




Focus on Melody Lane Theatre Director Dana Alvarez

Melody Lanes Performing Arts Center is producing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, with Artistic Director Dana Alvarez both directing and collaborating with Christopher Alan Russell as the show’s musical directors.

A storied theater veteran, Alvarez is intimately familiar with both sides of the footlights. As a performer, she has appeared in the roles of Gertrude in Seussical, Marian in Music Man, Emma in Jekyll and Hyde and Nellie in South Pacific, all at Cultural Park Theater. She also honed her craft aboard the Seminole Railway’s Murder Mystery Train. On the other side of the boards, she has directed more than 25 major musicals, including three Disney pilot productions.

Go here for the rest of Dana’s credits.





The 3 one-act plays in ‘Confusions’ provide masterclass in comedic acting

Live theatre returns – outdoors and with social distancing – at the Alliance for the Arts, which has been working hard to create an intimate, open-air venue where folks can safely enjoy live entertainment. Opening January 21 is Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn and George S. Kauffman, which consists of three unrelated one-act plays.

In the aggregate, the plays deal with the theme of loneliness and relationships. But make no mistake. Individually and in combination, they provide masterclass in disparate comedic acting ranging from dry British wit in the tradition of Monty Python to the hilarious. But thanks to masking and social distancing, the only thing that will be infectious during Confusions is the laughter.

Go here for the balance of this advance.



‘Happy Days’ on Broadway Palm main stage through February 14

Happy Days, A New Musical is on the Broadway Palm main stage through February 14, 2021. Based on the hit Paramount Pictures television series, Happy Days, this all-new musical will bring you back to 1959 complete with varsity sweaters, hula hoops and jukebox fun. This family friendly musical will have you rockin’ and rollin’ all night long!

Happy days are here again with Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the unforgettable “king of cool” Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli. The famed drive-in malt shop and number one hangout, Arnold’s, is in danger of demolition. The gang comes up with a plan to save it with a dance contest and a TV-worthy wrestling match. Even Pinky Tuscadero, Fonzie’s childhood sweetheart, returns to help and, what do you know, they rekindle their old flame. With delightful music from Oscar-winner Paul Williams and a book by the TV series original creator Garry Marshall, this is one trip down memory lane you will not want to miss!

Broadway Palm is continuing to follow CDC guidelines while providing a delicious meal and exceptional entertainment in a safe and socially distanced environment. For a list of the extensive health and safety measures they have taken, please visit It is important to note that guests are required to wear masks while not eating or drinking. In addition, a temperature check will be performed on everyone that enters the building and admittance will not be allowed to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher.

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are $48 to $73, with the exception of New Year’s Eve which is $125 per person. Children and group prices are available.

Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



‘Till Theft Do Us Part’ on stage in Off Broadway Palm January 14 through March 6

The world premiere of Til Theft Do Us Part plays in the Off Broadway Palm Theatre January 14 through March 6. Three years in the writing, this laugh-out-loud British farce was written by Broadway Palm fav and Southwest Florida resident Victor J. Legarreta.

The comedy is centered around Winston Johnson, an investment banker who was sacked. He didn’t have the heart to tell his wife, so he resorted to theft. But then his conscience gets the best of him and he goes back to the homes he robbed to return what he stole. These “outings” provoke suspicion on the part of his wife, so she sets about to “catch him in the act,” turning his life upside down in the process.

The Off Broadway Palm has adjusted its seating arrangement and is operating at a 50% capacity. For a list of the extensive health and safety measures the theatre has taken, visit It is important to note that guests are required to wear masks while not eating or drinking including during the performance. In addition, a temperature check will be performed on everyone that enters the building and admittance will not be allowed to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher.

The Off Broadway Palm is an intimate theatre, located in the main lobby of Broadway Palm. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with select matinees. Ticket prices range from $42 to $62. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling 239-278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers.



CFABS’ ‘Funny Shorts LIVE!’ returns January 15

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs presents Funny Shorts LIVE! at 7:30 on Friday, January 15. This fast-moving evening consists of five short, fully-performed comedic 10-Minute Plays, one written by a local playwright such as Leslie Sanderson and Peter De Fresco. Many of the plays were published as part of CFABS’ Stage It, the annual international 10-Minute Play Competition. More than 200 plays were entered in the 2020 competition alone!

The January 15 performances kicks off a new year of Funny Shorts LIVE!, which is performed every four months throughout the year in rotation with The Staged Reading Series and Just for Laughs.  Each series includes five 10-minute plays (total of 20 performed through the year).

To amp up the humor, wear your funny shorts to this event. CFABS  gives away free tickets for upcoming shows at Center for the Performing Arts to the person wearing the funniest shorts!

The show takes place in the Moe Auditorium. Tickets start at $18.



Seussical the Musical weaves a story of friendship, loyalty and love

Seussical the Musical comes to the stage at Creative Theater Workshop on January 15. Through beloved characters that include the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and JoJo, the musical weaves a story of friendship, loyalty, and love, teaches us the power of being unique, and stresses the importance of fighting for your beliefs. No wonder Seussical has become one of the most widely produced musicals in the country.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

And go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



Cultural Park looking for actor for Gore Vidal’s ‘Visit to a Small Planet’

Cultural Park Theatre is seeking a young man between 25 and 35 years of age to play the part of Conrad, the pacifist farmer boyfriend of Ellen, daughter of Reba and Roger Spelding, in Gore Vidal’s Visit to a Small Planet. This was the very first play that Cultural Park produced and so the Theatre thought it only fitting to celebrate its 58th Season with a revival of its inaugural production.

The story follows the exploits of Kreton, an alien who lands on Earth hoping to catch a glimpse of the American Civil War. But he quickly discovers that something went wrong with his calculations and he has landed outside the Spelding family home in Virginia in 1958. Despite learning that’s it is not 1861, Kreton decides to stay and observe human behavior. “You are my hobby,” he tells the Speldings.

Christi Wengerter and Joy Ursillo are co-directing the show, which will open March 25. Nightly Monday through Thursday rehearsal will begin soon.

If you are interested in auditioning for the part of Conrad, please contact the theater at 239-772-5862 and leave a message for Joy. Please note that all other parts have been cast.



Melody Lane producing ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’ September 9 & 10

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is known for its edgy humor, effortless wit, originality, and heartfelt story. And it comes to Melody Lane Performing Arts Center for three performances only – at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 9, and at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 10.

“Our production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is finally happening,” exclaims over-the-moon Drama Director Dana Alvarez. As happened with so many other productions, the riotous musical comedy was postponed in May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

Go here for cast, play dates, times and ticket information.



The Naples Players hosting Drive-In Movie Nights off 5th Avenue

The Naples Players (TNP) is hosting bi-monthly TNP Drive-In Movie Nights. Sponsored by The Inn on 5th, these events are held in the newly refinished 50-car lot located at 300 8th Street South, just one block north of the iconic 5th Avenue South home of The Naples Players Community Theatre.

Drive-In Movie Nights are part of Discover Culture in Collier, an alternative season of outdoor arts and culture events recently announced by The Naples Players. Each month, two different films will featured.  The scheduled films  will be projected onto a 33-foot screen using a state-of-the-art projection system.  The movie soundtracks will be broadcast over short-range FM radio to the cars in attendance.

The series continues with Singin’ in the Rain on January 12 & 13. The rest of the schedule through April 2021 is as follows:

  • January 26-27: Ghostbusters
  • February 2-3: Twister
  • February 16-17: Hairspray
  • March 9-10: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • March 23-24: Beauty & The Beast
  • April 6-7 :Dirty Dancing

The lot opens for parking at 7:00 p.m. and movies begin promptly at 8:00 p.m. Concessions and non-alcoholic refreshments are available for purchase.

Due to space, ticketing is required in advance. General admission is $45 per vehicle, but current TNP Season Ticket Subscribers receive free admission on select “Season Ticket Holder Nights.”

Tickets are available for purchase now at or by calling the TNP Box Office at (239) 263-7990.



TNP optimistic that ‘Calendar Girls’ a go for live performance this Spring 

Leadership at The Naples Players has expressed optimism that with the vaccine rollout, the implementation of additional safety precautions in the theater and the recent installation of state-of-the-art sanitation equipment they will be able to move forward with the Spring 2021 production of the rousing comedy Calendar Girls, as planned. Calendar Girls will also re-open the theatre – with shows beginning on April 28, 2021 and running through May 23rd. Tickets for Calendar Girls are available at – running April 28 to May 23, 2021 – $35 for subscribers, veterans, and first responders; $42 for the General Public.



Studio Players casting for male actor to play Bill Ray in ‘On Golden Pond’

The Studio Players is seeking a 35-45 –year-old actor to play the part of Bill Ray in its upcoming production of On Golden Pond. If you are interested in being considered for the part, please contact Director Brett Marston at or the theater at

There will be 14 performances, with the show opening March 12 and running through April 4. Rehearsal begins January 27 and will be three days per week from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Joan Jenks Auditorium of the Golden Gate Community Center.



More than a memory play, Waverly Gallery focuses on family in crisis

The Studio Players’ production of award-winning playwright Kenneth Lonergan’s Waverly Gallery opens January 15, 2021 in the Joan Jenks Auditorium at Golden Gate Cultural Center.

Powerful, poignant and often hilarious, The Waverly Gallery follows the final years of a grandmother’s battle against Alzheimer’s disease and explores her fight to retain her independence and the effect her decline has on her family (which, ironically, includes two psychiatrists). Inspired by Lonergan’s own grandmother, it’s an ode to an extraordinary woman and to the humor and strength of a family in crisis. More than a memory play, The Waverly Gallery captures the humor and strength of a family in the face of crisis.

The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates and ticket information.



Focus on ‘Waverly Gallery’ playwright Kenneth Lonergan

The Studio Players’ production of The Waverly Gallery opens January 15 in the Joan Jenks Auditorium at Golden Gate Cultural Center. It comes from the desk of playwright Kenneth Lonergan.

Lonergan playwriting credits include The Starry Messenger (New Group), Lobby Hero (Playwrights Horizons, John Houseman Theatre, Drama Desk Best Play Nominee, Outer Critics Circle Best Play and John Gassner Playwriting Nominee, included in the 2000-2001 Best Plays Annual), The Waverly Gallery (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Promenade; 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist), and This Is Our Youth (Drama Desk Best Play Nominee). Lobby Hero (Olivier Award Nominee for Best Play) and This Is Our Youth have also received productions on London’s West End.

The rest of Kenneth Lonergan’s profile is here.




4      ARTISTS


Surrealist Danielle Branchaud exhibits retrospective, new work at Davis Art Center 

On view through Wednesday, January 27, in the grand atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is Visions of the Underworld, a collection of work by Danielle Branchaud, one of Southwest Florida’s most cognizable surrealists.

Canadian-born but locally grown, Branchaud grew up surrounded by art. But where her mother was inspired by the Southwest Florida landscape, Branchaud’s introspective work brings personal and universal dreamscapes to life. And through these inner-world explorations, Danielle resolutely demonstrates that our emotions – from pain and sorrow to happiness and joy – are universal.

“The things that drive the human experience are based on instinct and emotion,” the artist amplifies. “Since the beginning of mankind the ways in which we relate to one another, connect, and evolve have consistently been revolving around those basic drives. And these instincts lurk still, within the depths of the human subconscious.”

Branchaud has pursued her forays into the subconscious through a number of disparate yet integrated series – Emotive (2006-2012) her earliest explorations of surrealism; Visceral (2012-2015), a series illustrating pure and personal dreamscapes; and Psychopomp (2015-2017), an innovative series of work that explores Jungian archetypes. Visions of the Underworld includes representative works from each. The aggregation of these works not only provides a haunting experience, but facilitates a fascinating journey into the depths of the human experience. Viewers aren’t just exposed to Branchaud’s visions of an alternate reality; they are enchanted and beguiled by her uncanny ability to manipulate acrylics into realistic figurative paintings that belie intense introspection and imagination.

Visions of the Underworld is not only a retrospective of past works, but the debut of a new series of paintings titled Anima Vetus, which expresses the theme of following the journey of the soul as it moves from one life to the next (which Branchaud and Capital Gallery exhibitor Ndola Pensy underscored on opening night through a unique performance called “Revival” that featured the artists in full costume, along with a tribe of local artists and performers that spilled out onto the Davis Art Center steps with a special display by the We Bleed Fire entertainment team).

“By reaching into her subconscious, her body of work exemplifies what she describes as ‘the things that we feel on the deepest level, and often fail to acknowledge,’” Rene Miville noted in 2014. “When you see one of her paintings on a gallery wall, it’s almost certain that this work was ‘birthed from a dream.’”

Branchaud’s new work is intended to reach new depths, delving into her personal world of dreamscapes. The nightmarish imagery used to illuminate those unconscious thoughts serve as further exploration into the things that make us human.

The Davis Center is located at 2301 First Street in the heart of Fort Myers’ downtown River District.

For more information, please call 239-333-1933 or visit



Ndola Pensy’s ‘Sanctus Carnem’ reflects unmistakable influence of Byzantine icon art

On view through Wednesday, January 27, in the Capital Gallery of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is Ndola Pensy’s solo show, Sanctus Carnem. The work in this exhibition explores the relationship between light and meaningful introspection. It evinces the power that light wields to transform a moment from ordinary to fearsome awe.

Pensy’s work reflects the unmistakable influence of Russian icon painting, a carryover from the time Pensy spent in Russia during her early, formative years. Byzantine icon painters were governed by strict rules. Not only did strict rules regulate their palettes. In early icons, the background was gold or silver – although later, white, green and blues were added. So not surprisingly, Pensy employs watercolor, ink, gold and silver leaf in aid of her studies of the interplay between light and introspection.

A reliance on gold and silver leaf and a limited palette of muted pastels, however, is not the only indicia of Russian icon painting. The genre also derived its unique attributes from Byzantine mosaics, frescoes, miniatures and church ornamentation.

“Exterior facades, rizas, or oklads are usually highly embellished and often multi-dimensional,” Pensy notes in her Artist Statement that accompanies the show. “[M]y narrative, however, is not limited to the monumental decoration of church interiors. Instead, it dances on the edge of the profane. With influences from the Macedonian and Palaeologan age, new stories are crafted from both constructed and discovered references.”

While Byzantine icons must follow traditional standards, Pensy’s studies fly in the face of ritual, tweaking and weaving a new narrative while maintaining core characteristics. Within this work, what starts out as triumph soon becomes corrupted into a manifesto of grief, desperation, and heartache, leaving only a sense of nihilism and the possibility of a new beginning.

It is this beginning that demands viewers’ attention.

The Davis Center is located at 2301 First Street in the heart of the downtown Fort Myers River District. For more information, please call 239-333-1933 or visit





CFABS’ ‘Off the Walls 2021’ rescheduled to Friday, April 9

The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs’ Off the Walls 2021 has been rescheduled to Friday, April 9.

Here’s how it works. Three hundred items ranging from trips to artworks have been donated to CFABS, which will sell just 200 tickets to the virtual event. On the night of the event, tickets are drawn at random. Since all of the tickets will be drawn, every ticket is a winner – even if yours is the last ticket drawn since there are more items than tickets. And, you’ll receive a gift certificate for a ticket to next year’s Off The Walls event, absolutely free. So truly, everyone is a winner.

CFABS’ entire catalog of items will be posted on its website Tuesday morning, January 12. Explore the phenomenal selections, and create your priority list of top 15 choices. You don’t even need to be present to be a part of this year’s amazing ‘lottery’ event. Nor do you need to personally select your winning item. CFABS has a cadre of ‘Personal Shoppers’ ready and excited to help you. Just provide CFABS with your Personal Priority List of pre-selected items, and they’ll take it from there. Simply tune in the evening of the Off the Walls Ticket Draw to share in the fun and excitement. Your Personal Shopper will select your item and the Centers’ staff will wrap and hold your winning item until you’re ready.

“This year is certainly a challenge,” concedes CFABS President Susan Bridges. “But we worked hard to design a terrific virtual experience on Zoom that you can enjoy from the [safety and] comfort of home. And we’ve come up with some brilliant 2021 alterations we think everyone will appreciate, incorporating all the needed safety precautions.”

Those who have attended this unique event in the past know what a great evening it is.

No auction, no bidding. Just purchase a ticket and you’re entered into the random drawing for beautiful artworks, collectibles, travel experiences, cuisine adventures, décor and luxury living items valued from $275.00 to $6,000.00.

To purchase tickets or for more information please call 239-495-8989 or email:



Shaw Gallery to exhibit Oleg Trofimov’s ‘Russian Realism’ beginning January 21

Shaw Gallery of Fine Art will exhibit work by Russian artist Oleg Trofimov beginning Thursday, January 21. Trofimov’s style has been described as Russian Realism – a combination of traditional realism and impressionism and his motifs focus on various aspects of life along the shore.

“I don’t think there are many people who aren’t touched by the ocean, by the romance of traveling, and capturing beautiful moments in life,” Trofimov comments. “I’m no exception. This is why on many of my canvases you will see ships, sails, foreign lands, and cozy corners of the world I have visited and loved.”

The artist will be in attendance at the 6:00-9:00 p.m. opening reception on January 21.

Shaw Gallery is located at 761 5th Ave S in Naples.



Sheldon Fine Art on Naples 5th Ave S is featuring work by Craig Mooney

Sheldon Fine Art on Naples 5th Ave S is featuring work by Craig Mooney.

Mooney makes paintings of dramatic moments and heightened emotionality that are known for being expansive and expressive. Though a representational painter, the artist incorporates a myriad of abstract qualities throughout his paintings. In his figurative work, Mooney romanticizes his subjects and presents them in an atmospheric lens that is best described as dreamlike. His paintings appear to be capturing a moment suspended in time. While his work feels familiar, it is not specific. Rather it is, on a very basic level, symbolism of what could have been, has been or will be…

Born and raised in the heart of midtown Manhattan (NY), Mooney’s roots in art go back to his youth. His father, an amateur artist, taught him how to create oil paintings from discarded art supplies found on city streets. To Mooney, the city was an endless source of inspiration from an early age. Though the artist would later take classes in art both in high school and college, he regards this early exposure as the truest form of training he ever received,

The artist moved to rural Vermont in the mid-nineties after a brief career in the film industry. The open and bucolic countryside settings provided him new sources of inspiration. Today, Mooney devotes himself full time to his art at his studio in Vermont.



Diana Stetson solo show on exhibit at Sanibel’s Watson MacRae Gallery

Online and in the gallery at Sanibel’s Watson MacRae Gallery is Diana Stetson: In Love with this Earth. Using various media and techniques, Stetson layers acrylic paint, Frank Lloyd Wright stencils, vintage papers, antique lithographs and creatures painted in oil to create beautiful, uplifting paintings and collages that combine realism and abstraction. Though multi-layered, Stetson’s work is clear and fresh allowing each medium to be seen.

“To create my paintings I use custom wood panels of Baltic birch, which have high integrity,” Diana notes. “After I seal them, I can throw buckets of paint on them, sand, layer, scratch, splatter, mark, collage, stencil, throw more paint forming the abstract background. This is the atmosphere for the graphic images to be laid down. On this I paint birds, animals and/or plants, carefully rendered in oils. This layering allows me to take advantage of abstraction, as well as both graphic and representational imagery.”

Although Stetson resides in New Mexico, she is a citizen of the world, having worked and studied in various parts of the world – Greece, France, London, Japan, and Turkmenistan, as well as both coasts of the United States. These experiences inform her work, which incorporates lyrical images from the natural world in her monotypes and mixed media paintings.

You can view selected works from Diana’s oeuvre here or visit the gallery between 10:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Watson MacRae is located in Unit B3 at 2340 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island. For more information, please telephone 239-472-3386.



Carmelo Blandino exhibit at Naples Botanical Garden through January 10

Carmelo Blandino: Convergence​ is on view now through January 10, 2021 in Kapnick Hall at the Naples Botanical Gardens. The paintings in the show were inspired by the Gardens. ​

Blandino is known for luscious, abstract floral paintings that combine the subtleties of classicism with the crackling energy of contemporary expressionism, and this new exhibition brings the viewer in contemplative observation of our interconnected biosphere. Consisting of large-scale, mixed-media paintings featuring flora and fauna in their various stages of magnificent beauty and delicate vulnerability, these paintings reflect human connection to nature and communicate the urgency of our role in its preservation.

Blandino—whose interactive painting process and creative energy encourage the viewer to become part of his work—has produced a new series for this exhibition, drawing inspiration from the living collection at the Garden.

This exhibition is part of the Garden’s 2020-21 season dedicated to ​Roots: Power of the Unseen, which seeks to explore the underground foundations that are the lifeblood of our plants, their energy source and their connection to the earth.

Naples Botanical Garden​ is a 170-acre, world-class garden paradise that features plants from around the world. The Garden provides arts, culture, youth and adult education, conservation, wellness and volunteer programs that contribute to the quality of life in Southwest Florida onsite and online at The Garden’s living collections are always growing and evolving, leaving our audiences with a deeper engagement with our curated gardens and preserve. Beginning October 1, seasonal hours of 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Timed entry tickets must be purchased in advance at Regular admission is$20 for adults, $10 for children (4–14). Members and children three and under get in free.

The exhibition has been staged in collaboration with METHOD & CONCEPT. Located at 111​ 10th St South, Unit 112, ​Naples, METHOD & CONCEPT is a gallery, art consultancy and design atelier serving as an incubator, catalyst and purveyor of international emerging and mid-career interdisciplinary artists. METHOD & CONCEPT believes that contemporary craft, fine art and design share a symbiotic relationship, each building upon the other to form a holistic view of the world in which we live. METHOD & CONCEPT is a Thomas Riley Company.



DAAS January show features wood print works of Lafe James

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts has started the year right by presenting the works of multifaceted artist Lafe James. The exhibition features a selection of old Florida inspired works printed on wood, from the artist’s 1923 Trading Co. project. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, January 8, 2021 from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with Fort Myers Art Walk event. The exhibition will be on display through January 30, 2021.

The art created for the 1923 Trading Co. Project and this exhibition is inspired by the old Florida way of life. This is a wood print project that features old Florida map designs, Florida wildlife photography, and vintage posters and postcard designs. James has created a unique print process that gives the wood print a distressed, vintage aesthetic. Each print is 100% unique and individually handcrafted in Cape Coral, Florida.

“I am a 90’s kid raised on gangster rap and death metal, poisoned by television, guided by the internet, misled by society, educated through experience, self-medicated and overly analytical, but optimist and realistic with a mind polluted with images and information,” James confesses.

While the visual arts were always a hobby, a different art from was actually his first calling. He spent “the first half of my life working my way through the culinary arts.”

But then the glow of a computer monitor lured him away.

“I’ve spent the past 18 years weaving through all facets of visual design: photography, print layout, web design, brand development, packaging design, and all the posters and tee shirt graphics in between.”

James currently serves as the Art Director for a Fort Myers-based marine and paddle sport accessory development agency. But when he’s not designing for them, he’s running and working on his own business and projects. The latter include his wood print project (1923 Trading Co.) and clothing line (Nineteen Twenty Three).

The personal artworks of this talented visionary can be found online, along with his music project Massive Degree at

DAAS CO-OP is located at 1815 Fowler Street, in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers, FL. The gallery’s temporary business hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. More information about the venue and/or how to become a member can be found at or by calling 239-590-8645.



DAAS’ February show will highlight art of Columbian artist Dilya Schauer

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery’s February show will highlight the art of Colombian artist Dilya Schauer. The exhibition will feature a selection of newer works as well as retrospective pieces from the artist’s collection.

Schauer is a veteran still life, portrait and nature painter who studied art in her native Colombia under the tutelage of prominent figures like Luis A. Acuna, S.A. Gelvis and Rodriguez Naranjo. She then furthered her studies at the Art Students League in New York. She has been a resident of Southwest Florida for more than a decade.

“For a still life painter, the initial challenge is to create a picture before the brush is put on the canvas,” Schauer explains. “I arrange the items carefully, so that they become an artistic statement themselves, establishing by association significance and dynamic relationships through specific positioning.”

The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, February 5, 2021 from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk event. The exhibition will be on display through February 27, 2021.



Artists have until January 25 to submit for 35th Annual All Florida Show

The Alliance for the Arts’ annual All Florida Exhibition is the most anticipated art show of the year. As the name suggests, this exhibition features pieces created by artists working in a wide variety of media from all over the 65,000 square miles that make up Florida. The juried entries come together for an award-winning and exciting exhibition representing today’s contemporary Florida artists.

The show is open to all artists residing in Florida, but only original artwork will be accepted. Categories are

  • painting (including oil, acrylic, collage, watercolor and mixed media),
  • drawing,
  • photography,
  • sculpture,
  • ceramics,
  • metalsmithing,
  • glass,
  • digital media,
  • video,
  • printmaking,
  • fiber and
  • textiles.

Awards include $1000 cash for Best in Show, 2nd Place- $250 Gift Certificate TBD, 3rd Place-$100 cash, Jurors Choice Award-Artist Membership ($55).

The 35th Annual All Florida Exhibition will open March 5 and run through March 27, 2021. The deadline for entries is Monday, January 25. Acceptance/rejection notices will be emailed on Friday, February 12.



Davis Art Center accepting submissions for Functional Art Show 

The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center will be staging a functional art exhibit in May. Functional art is art created for use. However, while it functional art is intended to serve a utilitarian purpose, it is designed artistically, with an aesthetic or “chi” in mind so that it takes on a life of its own.

The genre is remarkably inclusive. It encompasses everything from furniture and lighting to dishes and even books. While the terms “fine” or “high” art typically apply to works that carry an intellectual and emotional sensibility alongside a dose of old-fashioned beauty, functional art infuses these aesthetic ideals into things that you might never have expected to view as art, like, say, a switchblade.

From an art history perspective, you could say that functional art is the inverse of Marcel Duchamp’s famous readymades, where he transformed utilitarian objects—a urinal, a bottle rack, etc.—into conceptual artworks by fiat. It became art because he said it was. Functional artworks, by contrast, are highly crafted artistic creations that can perform utilitarian jobs, but that collector’s might prefer to keep on the display shelf.

Today many functional art objects are as avidly acquired by collectors as their fine-art brethren, and are appreciated just as much for their beauty as their use. Ancient Chinese vases, for example, while still capable of performing their originally intended function (displaying flowers), are prized for their historic and aesthetic value more than anything else. And this is equally true of clocks, jewelry and valet boxes, lights and chandeliers, intricately-carved limestone fireplaces, and life-size figurines and wildlife sculptures which, positioned at the edge of a pond or pool, function as fountains, helping purify and circulate its water. Of course, one need look no farther than Artis Naples for two prominent examples of functional art – the Paley Gates at the Baker Museum of Art and the door handles to the performing arts hall.

The deadline for submissions is April 23, 2021. The exhibition will show in the grand atrium from May 7 through May 27, 2021.



Davis Art Center issues call for June show ‘Recaptured’

In June, the Davis Art Center will host Recaptured, a juried art exhibition that focuses on “recapturing” waste and turning it into a desirable piece of art.

For thousands of years, what was discarded by one creature was a resource of another. Then along came humans. Today, mankind generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste a day, 10 times the amount a century ago. The U.S. is the king of trash, producing a world-leading 250 million tons a year—roughly 4.4 pounds of trash per person per day. But because we’ve become very good at hiding it, the problem of disposing of this among of trash does not seem particularly impending. But make no mistake. Waste poses a major problem not only for our species, but for the survival of the planet as a whole.

As a result, recycling has become an integral part of protecting the environment. Within this rubric, two approaches have emerged – downcycling and upcycling. In the former, the destructive cycle is slowed down but the resulting objects lose quality as a result of the process. In the latter, they acquire value thanks to creative intervention.

In this regard, artists are converting glass bottles, plastic bags and other waste that would end up filling landfills or floating in the sea into a sustainable art that highlights the degradation of the planet by drawing attention to excessive or conspicuous consumption, the depletion of natural resources and the resulting environmental pollution. Artists engaged in this new genre and movement seek to transform waste such as paper, cardboard, wood, glass, plastics, metals and rubber into works of art.

The concept goes beyond the mere conventional of recycling. In fact, it goes well beyond the principle espoused by French artist Marcel Duchamps, Pablo Picasso and their contemporaries roughly a century ago that an artist transforms a manufactured object into art just by giving it a title and exhibiting it in a museum, gallery or art show. As a movement, the inclusion of waste in artistic compositions has morphed from “ready-mades,” “junk art” and the “accumulations” of Franco-American artist Arman (who aggregated trash in airtight glass cylinders and boxes) to the use of waste as an artistic medium on a par with oil, acrylic and epoxy paints or marble, stone and metal. And from this detritus a generation of eco-artists has emerged who bring new meaning to their two and three dimensional works and installation by engaging with the “reuse, reduce, and recycle” slogan through their craft.

With Recaptured, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center not only highlights this new artistic movement and genre. It joins eco-friendly initiatives and festivals springing up around the world such as Art of Recycle in Pennsylvania and the Seattle Recycled Arts Festival that have advanced the motto of “Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim, Repurpose, and Recycle,” showing communities how they can express their creativity with extensive range by using recycled materials – and furthers the tradition of such local shows as the Alliance for the Arts’ Rejectamenta show and the Ding Darling Wildlife Society’s 2015 Upcycle! Art Fest.

Will you be – or see – the next Chiharu Shiota (whose Over the Continents installation featured an accumulation of nearly 400 individual shoes that Shiota personally collected, along with a note from each donor describing the people they have lost along with past moments, creating an emotionally charged installation), Von Wong (who created a large scale installation entitled Parting of the Sea that highlights the consumption of single-use plastics that he made from 168,000 plastic straws and recovered plastic packaging collected from the streets of Vietnam with the help of volunteers) or Susan Stockwell (whose work World features a gigantic world map made from recycled computer components, motherboards, electrical wiring, fans and myriad other components).

The deadline for submissions is May 20. The show will be displayed in the grand atrium between June 4 and June 24, and offers a $500 prize for Best in Show, $250 for SBDAC Staff Pick and $250 for People’s Choice.


  • No. 2: Gift by Patricia Esposito
  • No. 3: Ride Eternal by Jay Lana
  • No. 4:  Death Owl by Andrew Corke
  • No. 5:  Aerial by Marcus Jansen
  • No. 6:  Over the Continents by Chiharu Shiota
  • No. 7:  Parting of the Sea by Von Wong
  • No. 8:  World by Susan Stockwell
  • No. 9:  City of Dreams by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects
  • No.10: Red, Yellow & Blue by Orly Genger
  • No.11:  Jurassic Plastic by Hiroshi Fuji
  • No.12:  Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 core exhibit by Alejandro Aravena



SBDAC issues call for Artist Trading Card exhibit

The Davis Art Center has issued a Call to Artists for its August show, Carded: Miniature Masterpieces. The exhibition will feature artist trading cards or ATC, tiny (2.5 x 3.5 inches) original pieces of art created with the intention of swapping or trading with another artist. On the front of an ATC, an artist creates an original work to showcase their art. It can be a one-off, part of a series, or a limited edition. On the back, the artist puts their name, contact details, title of the ATC, number if it’s a limited edition, and sometimes the date it was created. The can be made in any medium and using any technique, whether it’s painting, drawing or collage.

ATCs date back to 1997 when M. Vanci Stirnemann, a Swiss artist, created 1200 cards by hand as part of an exhibit. On the last day, he invited others to create their own cards and trade with him during the closing reception. The movement took off and, today, there are ATC swaps in almost every major city around the world. There are also many online swaps.

The movement builds on different traditions, including miniature art, which has been in existence for centuries beginning with the illustrated manuscripts of scribes in the Far East and Europe prior to the 15th century. ATCs also reflect the influence of pop art, which features motifs taken from everyday life. In this regard, ATCs share an affinity with the Fluxus movement and with Robert Filliou’s notions of a “fête permanente,” a “création permanente” or an “eternal network.”

The origin of the modern trading card is associated with cigarette cards first issued by the US-based Allen and Ginter tobacco company in 1875.

Artist Ndola Pensy introduced the artist trading card idea to Southwest Florida in 2017 with great reception among artists of different mediums in the area. Carded: Miniature Masterpieces will be curated by Cesar Aguilera.

The deadline for submissions is July 24. There is no limit on the number of submissions.

Any medium, motif and theme is acceptable, but no prints or reproductions will be curated into the show (digital art excepted). Submit your good quality images to with your name, medium, and title of each piece.

The show exhibits August 6-26. Cards will not be for sale, but in the tradition of ATC events, there will be an optional trading part at the end of the show.





Marco Fine Craft Fair takes place on January 8 & 9

The Art League of Marco Island Fine Craft Fair takes place on Marco Island on FridayJanuary 8, and SaturdayJanuary 9. This fair is held at 1010 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, Florida 34145, which is toward the southern end of the island. Now in its 18th year, this craft fair provides browsers and art enthusiasts with some of the region’s best original artwork, including paintings, watercolors, photography and digital art, ceramics, pottery, glass, clothing, jewelry and mixed media work.



Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show takes place in Cambier Park on January 9

On SaturdayJanuary 9 the Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show returns to Cambier Park. The Artcrafters have been committed for more than 52 years to promoting excellence in arts and crafts and to supporting established artists, craftspersons and students by providing a venue for the display and sale of their work in a beautiful setting. At their shows, they present a wide array of artistic genres, styles and media, including paintings in oils, acrylics and watercolors, drawings in pen and ink and pencil, pastels, scissors art, multi-media and collage, photography, ceramics, jewelry (including metalsmithing, metal clays, lapidary and beading), sculptures, pottery, clay, stained glass and fused glass, wood turning and carving, basket weaving, and more. The show features work by 90 juried artists.



Bonita National returns to Riverside Park on January 9 & 10

The Bonita Springs National Art Festival invades Riverside Park on Old 41 in historic downtown Bonita Springs again this year, and its first of three fine art festivals takes place on Saturday, January 9 and Sunday, January 10. In 2011, Bonita Springs National was ranked the #10 art festival in the nation by The Art Fair SourceBook and #11 by Sunshine Artist Magazine, and in 2017 it received a #2 national rankingThis festival stresses quality and originality, with the 211 artists juried into the show from across the United States, Canada, and even Europe exhibiting and selling original paintings, drawings, pastels, photography, handcrafted jewelry, clay works and ceramics, glass art, metal sculpture and more. Riverside Park is located at 10450 Reynolds Street or 27000 Old 41 Road in central Bonita Springs, Florida 34135.



Covid-19 compels Cape Coral Art Festival to go virtual this year

Covid-19 has forced a change in the 36th Annual Cape Coral Festival of the Arts. Last year, more than 120,000 people mobbed the Cape Coral Parkway to take in the art show and associated music festival. But in response to the pandemic, the Rotary Club of Cape Coral is taking this year’s festival, but there will still be plenty to see and do. With live online events concentrated around January 9 & 10, you can enjoy nature and park tours, city activities, and demonstrations by chefs and mixologist. And, of course, art abounds in genres that include fine crafts, woodcrafts, ceramics, glass, fiber, jewelry, mixed media, digital drawing, painting, photography, metalworks and sculpture, which you can view here. For more information, please telephone 239-699-7942.



January 16 is ‘Super Saturday’ in the Naples Art District

The “Super Saturday” Naples Art District Studio and Gallery Tours is January 16. This event features more than 50 artists, who will be showcasing their recent works of art and demonstrating their medium. The Naples Art District is located north of Pine Ridge Road and west of Airport Road. Participating galleries and studios are open from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Just look for the magenta flags.



‘Art After Dark’ descends on Galleries of Crayton Cove on January 16

Just steps away in Crayton Cove from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 16 is Art After Dark, an Art-Walk-type evening that gives art enthusiasts and collectors an exceptional opportunity to combine fine art with fine dining alongside picturesque Naples Bay. For more information, please telephone 239-403-8393.



Art Fest Naples in Fleischmann Park is January 16 & 17

Art Fest Naples at Fleischmann Park will be held January 16 & 17 in Naples’ Fleischmann Park, which is located just south of the Coastland Center Mall on Fleischmann Boulevard at Goodlette-Frank Road. Now in its 24th year, the show is consistently ranked in the top 100 shows in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine. Art Fest Naples takes place along the sidewalks that bisect the park, connecting the tennis courts on the east with the picnic pavilion, playgrounds and one of the baseball/softball fields. Because of the festival’s size and configuration, Art Fest Naples represents an opportunity for artists and collectors to exchange ideas and information while supporting the Additional Needs, Inc., whose mission is to provide a user-friendly and time-saving website with current and comprehensive information of available resources to assist children and adults with additional needs and their families in finding appropriate services. The show runs 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.



Bonita Springs ArtWalk at The Promenade is January 16 & 17

Bonita Springs ArWalk at The Promenade is also January 16 & 17. This is a small event as organizer Boulderbrook Productions only accepts 25 artists for the art fair. Because of the modest number of exhibitors, Boulderbrooks is about to lay out the event so that there is a minimum of eight feet between artist booths. The fair opens at noon and runs until 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.



Boulderbrook has postponed Sanibel SCA Fine Arts Festival

Because it was unable to obtain a permit, Boulderbrook Production has been forced to postpone the Sanibel SCA Fine Arts Festival, which has been scheduled to take place on Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23 on the  grounds of the Sanibel Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way.



Estero Fine Art Show at JetBlue Park on January 30 and 31

The Estero Fine Art Show  returns to JetBlue Park (winter home of the Boston Red Sox) on Saturday, January 30, and Sunday, January 31. Since 2003 Hot Works has earned a national reputation for producing high end fine art and fine craft shows, and the Estero Fine Art Show lands in the top 100 outdoor shows in America every year. All work is original and personally handmade by the 70 quality juried artists who participate in the show. While at the art show, be sure to visit the Youth Art Competition for grades K-8 or ages 5-13 that is integrated within the art show. [Please note that while admission is free, JetBlue Park charges $5 for parking, good for both days with receipt.]




Remaining 2020-2021 season covered in Art Festival Calendar on ARTSWFL

Given COVID-19, no one really knows what to expect from Southwest Florida’s 2020-2021 art fair and festival season. At present, Florida has re-opened all venues, most at full capacity, and organizers are proceeding on the premise that they will be able to produce their outdoor art fairs and festivals as they have in the past. So subject to that caveat, here are the outdoor art fairs and festivals you will see throughout Southwest Florida through April 30, 2021.





Public Art Committee seeks artist for aesthetic centerpiece for new park at The Forum

here’s a new park being constructed out at The Forum, and the City’s Public Art Committee is seeking an artist to create a $50,000 artwork to serve as the park’s aesthetic centerpiece.

The Forum is a 706-acre master-planned, mixed-use development located between Colonial Boulevard and SR. 82 east of I-75. It contains retail, residential, and office sites. Originally developed by a group spearheaded by former NBA star and renowned coach Pat Riley, The Forum takes its name from the arena that is home to the world champion Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. Riley won an NBA title as a player for the Lakers in 1972 and coached the team to championships in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.

Prior to its development, three generations of the Zipperer family raised gladiolus on the property. John O. Zipperer and his family were part of a group on entrepreneurs who established an industry based in Iona beginning in 1935 that millions of glads for more than five decades to every state in the Union east of the Rocky Mountains.

You will find the rest of this announcement here.

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