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Art Walk September 6, 2013

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034 (2)Art Walk returns to downtown Fort Myers on Friday, September 6. Come join the monthly self-guided tour of new art exhibits opening in the River District’s art galleries and boutiques from 6-10 p.m. With exceptional venues like the Art League of Fort Myers on Monroe, Articulture Gallery & Tattoo Studio, Arts for ACT Gallery & BoutiqueEnjewelOcasiocasa Studio Gallery, Reverie & Rock Art Gallery, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and UNIT A Contemporary Art Space on Evans Avenue, there’s much to sample and savor.

Art Walk now includes a monthly theme.

Here’s a summary of everything there is to see and do in the River District this Friday night:

Moraine Lake Sunrise 011. At the Art League of Fort Myers, it’s all about the shuttered image. The Art League’s “September’s Song” show features photography only. But unlike other shows (which are restricted to members of the Art League or Art Council of Southwest Florida), “September Song” is open to the public. Since anyone could submit up to four images, the keynote for the show will be diversity – diversity of talent, experience, equipment and, of course, subject matter. Although this is a judged show, Art Walkers always get to vote for the People’s Choice. So be sure to include the Art League of Fort Myers among your walking tour art stops. The Art League is located at 1451 Monroe Street, on the ground floor of the City of Palms Parking Garage. For more information, please visit www.artleagueoffortmyers.org or telephone 239-275-3970.

Night view2.  On July 17, Art of the Olympians closed its doors after five years of service to the community. No decision has been made as to the future of the City Pier Building, but it is likely that the picturesque waterfront site will become a venue for a top-end restaurant or retail/restaurant combination. Until then, however, the building will remain closed to the public.

3. Articulture Gallery & Tattoo Studio is holding a group exhibit. Articulture’s tattoo artists have had work featured in numerous online magazines. They specialize in original art, cover ups, and all around quality tattoo work.

Dr. Kyra Belan_PostCard4. Cape Coral resident, artist, author, and scholar Dr. Kyra Belan is being featured by Arts for ACT Gallery in its Soho-style main viewing space during the month of September. On view will be “Sacred Ladies,” an exhibition about celebrating the Sacred Ladies that have appeared in the legends and myths of humanity since prehistoric to contemporary times. “They are a part of our culture, and deeply affect our perceptions of reality and spirituality,” notes Dr. Belan. “Beyond these myths, I celebrate the supreme Sacred Lady, our Mother Earth. I hope that this show correctly reflects the beauty of every being that exists on the planet, as we are the children of our Mother.”

Kyra Belan Sophia MariaBelan’s career has been distinguished by numerous awards, honors and grants, and her artworks are in public and private collections. Most recently, Dr. Belan won the Special Merit Award in Light, Space & Time Online Gallery’s August botanical exhibition. Belan’s acrylic painting Sophia Maria (right) received this distinction out of a field of submissions received from over 700 artists from 41 states, the District of Colombia and 27 different countries. During Art Walk, the artist will sign copies of her recently published book, Lucid Future. Music will be provided by Frank Tuma.

553812_393322830758992_1278990509_nLynne Reinas and Suzanne Mikulka will be showing work off the main gallery. And special for September, Drink and Doodle joins Art Walk on the sidewalk outside Arts for ACT from 5-10 p.m. Stop by and check out the artists who will be creating live and selling their creations, with 20% of each sale going to ACT (Abuse Counselling & Treatment), the non-profit agency that provides safe shelter and counselling services to victims of domestic violence (and their children), survivors of sexual assault (and their families) and the new and temporarily homeless. ACT also provides a 24-hour crisis hotline, forensic examinations, advocacy, education, information and referrals.

ac319b4f9dcd99fff49963b2b0aff534_fr305. Charme carries women’s clothing and accessories, including purses, jewelry, hats and shoes. It also stocks the very funny “Laugh with Leslie” cards along with “Dolly Mama.” During this Friday’s Art Walk, artist Sarah Kiser will provide a free demonstration outside the boutique. For the last decade, Kiser has studied art and taught herself to paint by copying famous portraits. In the process, she’s evolved into her own brand with a fan base to match. Several galleries represent her jewelry, paintings and “Eco-Fish,” including Island Visions in Matlacha and Arts for ACT Gallery on First Street.

100_1158 (3)6Enjewel is the hip First Street boutique that caters to confident and fashion-forward women. Operating under the banner that “with the right accessories [a woman] can do anything,” Enjewel offers vintage purses, handmade Mother of Pearl and natural horn bags, faux fur scarves with pockets, and chic dresses galore. “We love supporting local designers with our made in the USA collections,” Lynne Routhier posts on Facebook. “These apparel pieces will provide your wardrobe with classic colors and fun prints and you’ll be sure to turn a few heads.”

Lynne 06 (3)Enjewel also has a long history of sourcing and providing sensibly-priced art jewelry to its patrons, an jewelry artist Cheryl Dillon will be on hand for Art Walk. But the boutique will also be offering pieces created by Lynne Routhier herself. “I actually started making jewelry nearly a decade ago when I visited my brother in New Hampshire,” Lynne explained during June’s Stroll the Arcade. “He was making some jewelry at the time and let me join in. But I’ve been so busy with the store that I didn’t really pursue it in earnest until a few months ago.” Her pieces reflect the chic, trendy casual and business wear for which Enjewel is known. They are full of colorful, highly textural stones and baubles that glint and sparkle in the Florida sun … or the low lights of your favorite restaurant or nightclub. While Routhier may not be in their class – yet – she aspires to follow in some pretty big footsteps. Picasso, Dali, Max Ernst, Georges Braque, Fernand Leger, Man Ray, Josep Hoffmann, Hector Guimard, Auguste Rodin and Alexander Calder all tried their hand at the genre of fine art jewelry.

100_0750 (3)7. In June, the Franklin Shops on First introduced ARTlocale, a program that includes special exhibits, live art performances, entertainment and art talks. “The events of ARTlocale are meant to support local artists and at the same time stimulate the artistic scene in the River District,” notes Franklin Shops owner Rene Miville. Last month, Bonita based painter and dancer Angela Hicks set up a makeshift studio in the Franklin Shops’ picture window while Katie Gardenia, creator of the legendary Bubble Room restaurant in Captiva, signed copies of her book, A Bubble Moment, inside. Well, by popular demand, Angela Hicks will be back for Art Walk on September 6. This month, Angela will perform sword balancing.

Terry Tincher (2)The Franklin Shops are home to permanent exhibits by the Fort Myers based sculptor Steven Swenor – aka The Dragonfly Guy – and local painters George Settos, Lourdes Mora-Shay, Lilia Lopez, and Joe Rossi. Art dealer and entrepreneur Terry Tincher has also established his Art & Odditorium gallery at the shops, specializing in antiques and artistic works for collectors who are attracted to the unique and unusual. Terry Tincher presents his distinctive personal collection, which includes artworks by Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg.

LAEA at Fire Dance 02The Franklin Shops on First is also home to True Tours, which offers a highly informative historical walking tours, spooky haunted history tour, architectural and public art walking tours. So if you’ve ever wondered about the history of the old buildings downtown or the public artworks that dot the River District, then stop into the Franklin Shops during Art Walk and book your tour with Gina Taylor. (For more information, you can reach Gina by phone at 239-945-0405 or at www.TrueTours.net.)

The Franklin Shops are located at the corner of Broadway and First in the downtown Fort Myers River District.

hotel-indigo-fort-myers8. Part of the InterContinental Hotel Group, Hotel Indigo is known for plush guest rooms and swank public spaces that are transformed seasonally through changing signage, aromas, music and artwork. With Vino de Notte, a newly-renovated lobby lounge and its Phi in the Sky rooftop lounge, Hotel Indigo always figures prominently in the Art Walk scene.

011 (6)Phi in the Sky is home to David Acevedo’s mural, The Heart of the City’s SkyOwners Tim and Catherine O’Brien commissioned the work in August, 2011 following a month-long competition, Acevedo won because of his superb attention to detail, space, color and deep concentration on Fort Myers’ cultural society. Says the hotel’s social media director, Kayla Dacosta, “David is not only a sensational artist, but his spirit runs deep and his work is an obvious statement of all things beautiful and exceptional in the world. He grasps color and moves paint in such a way that viewers feel awakened by his work. Hotel Indigo is very pleased and grateful to have David lending inspiration to the Phi in the Sky!”

Jeff Ocasio and Elijah Masathi 01 (3)9. Ocasiocasa Studio Gallery presents new artwork by owners Jeff and Dale Ocasio. In the House of Ocasio, sculpture is molded, modelled, crafted and formed through the successive application of layers of masking tape over old vinyl dolls and other found objects that are recycled, upcycled, modified, customized and re-purposed into other-worldly creatures that spring from the fertile imaginations of Jeff and Dale Ocasio. Jeff experiments on these “found canvases,” using masking tape to give life to his one-of-a-kind designs. When he’s done, Dale takes over, adding water-based professional glue, acrylic paint and varnish. She also photographs each piece at varying stages throughout the creative process and collages the digital images into illustrations that hang on Ocasiocasa’s cream-colored plaster walls.

Art of the BookFor Art Walk, the gallery presents the Ocasiocasa Museum of Books, a new collection of sculptured masking tape art on salvaged old books. Thirteen of these never-shown-before books will be featured in the studio gallery for the September show. The Museum of Books includes classics, mystery, 1234792_10151609508958240_2038670820_nvintage children’s readers, science fiction, and more. Love Story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Viking Book of Aphorisms are some of the featured titles you’ll see at Ocasiocasa.

Carley and HannahAs an added bonus, Young Artists Awards vocalists Carley Levy and Hannah Steele will be performing at Ocasiocasa Studio Gallery from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Carley Levy is a student at Fort Myers High School and Hannah Steele is a freshman attending North Fort Myers High. The Young Artists Awards, in its eleventh year of programming, is a not for profit education, performance, audition and scholarship program for students from throughout Southwest Florida.  The organization is also a monthly partner with Art Walk.

Ocasiocasa is located at 1540 Broadway. For more information, please visit www.ocasiocasa.com (where you can preview Jeff and Dale’s work, see some of Dale’s illustrations and watch several short, stop-action film clips) or telephone 239-691-8292.

10. The Open Door Shoppes on Hendry is featuring live artist demos by Greg Wiegand (copper wire sculptures) and Carmen Munoz (hand-crafted jewelry).

Kathy Kuser Box 511. Reverie & Rock Art Gallery features the digital surrealism of Kathy Kuser and the rock and country concert photography of Jamie Kuser. “With my art, I want to bring a fresh and contemporary twist to a long established medium – surrealism,” says Kathy Kuser. “I find that through tragedy comes hurt and healing. At 50, I am at a point of re-evaluating life’s direction and I find myself invigorated by my new form of artistic expression. Using my skills as a graphic designer, I create 2D/3D digital surrealism. Through a mystical and fantasy driven vision, a story emerges from my canvas. I use stark details with transitional blending; thus my art takes flight.”

Reverie and Rock 04The new downtown Fort Myers art space also showcases the concert photography of Jamie Kuser. For more than 15 years, Jamie has been photographing national recording artists while they perform on stage. From AC/DC to ZZ Top, and from Alan Jackson to Sugarland, Jamie has photographed more than 150 national artists live in concert. His photos have appeared on national tour T-shirts, VH1’s Behind the Music, the Associated Press Photo Archives, published in daily newspapers and, of course, in Southwest Florida’s own Happenings Magazine.

Also, Emily Alvarado will sing and perform on the keys.

SBDAC Aerial (7)12. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center will be celebrating its 5-year anniversary this season, and for its September exhibit, SBDAC is presenting a retrospective including many of the artists who have exhibited at the Davis over the years. Among the fifty artists represented in the show are Marcus JansenLeoma LovegroveDavid Acevedo, Ronnie Ford, Lawrence Voytek, Michael St. Amand, Cesar Aguilera, David and Lily Hatchett, and Daniel Venditti. There will also be entertainment by performing artists who have presented at the Davis in past years. The star-studded celebratory opening will take place during Art Walk on September 6 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.Celebrating 5 Years of the Arts will be on display through September 26.

13. Space 39 is holding a Chinese Raffle for a chance to win a painting by award-winning modern portrait artist Eric Riemenschneider. Tickets cost just $20, and if you’re the lucky winner, you’ll walk away with a painting worth more than $700. To entice you inside, Space 39 is providing complimentary hors d’oeuvres along with live music from High Voltage Motown Trio.

14. UNIT A Contemporary Art Space will be exhibiting Marcus Jansen’s 2008 painting War Games during September Art Walk. This 60 x 72″ oil and enamel on canvas is being displayed for the first time in Fort Myers in observance of 9/11.  This important work showed last in London in 2008 at Marcus’ solo Urban Expressionism show at Stolen Space Gallery (which followed Shepard Fairey’s opening the month earlier). Next stop is ART VERONA Italy on October 10, 2013. New work by former Rauschenberg assistant Jonas Stirner will also be unveiled. Visit the Unit for updates at www.unitaspace.com.

Horse Drawn Carriage 01 (4)More than 35 participants make Art Walk successful each month and they include the Art League of Fort MyersArt of the OlympiansArts for ACT Gallery and Boutique, Charme, Cigar Bar, The Deli, Downtown House of Pizza, Enjewel, First United Methodist Church, Florida Repertory Theatre, Ford’s Garage, Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency, French Connection, Franklin Shops, Gulf Coast Times, Happenings Magazine, Hotel Indigo, Legacy Harbour Hotel & Suites, Linen Cottage, Lush Bakery, Market America Realty & Investments, The Nest Home & Garden, Ocasiocasa Gallery Studio, The Open Door Shoppes on Hendry, Palm Printing, River District Alliance, The Shoppes at Broadway, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Spirits of Bacchus, Twisted Vine Bistro, UNIT A Contemporary Art Space, United Café Bar & Bistro, The Veranda Restaurant and the Young Artists Awards Program.

100_1160 (5)Held the first Friday of every month from 6 to 10 p.m., Art Walk features local and national artwork in the downtown art galleries and several art stops in the Fort Myers River District. While thousands will be making their way to the River District for this month’s Art Walk and party opportunities, fret not. There’s plenty of free parking within easy walking distance of the galleries, shops, restaurants and bars along First and adjoining streets. So call your friends and meet downtown in the city on the Caloosahatchee that’s quickly gaining a worldwide reputation as the art center of southwest Florida.

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