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Visual and Performing Artists and Their Events in the news August 22-31, 2023


This is who and what’s creating news in Southwest Florida’s visual and performing arts community this week:


1     ACTORS


Emilie Baartman plays Brooke in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab Theater

Emilie Baartman is a Naples actor, singer, dancer and costume and set designer. She appears in the role of Brooke in Noise Off at Lab Theater. Emilie’s stage credits include Lucinda in Into the Woods, Kia in The Last Schwartz for New Phoenix Theatre, work in the ensemble of Head Over Heels for New Phoenix Theatre and Texas flight attendant Gloria in Boeing Boeing for The Naples Players. You will find all of Emilie’s theatrical credits here.



Hayden Barthelmess plays Linus in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

Hayden Barthelmess plays the part of Linus for Fort Myers Theatre in its production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Previous credits include Shrke in Shrek the Musical Jr and the Baker in Into the Woods Jr. He will appear later this Fall in Aladdin Jr. (November ) and Fiddler on the Roof Jr. (December).



Lemec Bernard plays Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Radio Golf’

Lemec Bernard plays the part of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Radio Golf. He has previously appeared in the roles of attorney Henry Brown in David Mamet’s Race at Lab Theater, multiple roles in Confusions (which consisted of three one-act plays, The Still Alarm by George S. Kauffman and Alan Ayckbourn’s Between Mouthfuls and A Talk in the Park), Hedley’s bestie Mister in August Wilson’s King Hedley II,  and Tom in Engagement Rules. Read the rest of Lemec’s theatrical credits here.



Jania Boucher plays Poppy in Noises Off at The Lab

Jania Boucher plays the part of Poppy in Noises Off at Lab Theater. She previously appeared as Marcella in Save Hamlet. Boucher was introduced in the short film Until Then produced by Three Block Radius in 2018. Born with a passion to perform, Jania has more than 20 years of experience in multi-styled dance and is also skilled as a singer-songwriter, making her a genuine triple threat.



Steven Coe is Freddy in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab Theater

Actor Steven appears in the role of Freddy in Noises Off at Lab Theater. Steven’s credits include Hamlet in Lab Theater’s summer spoof Save Hamlet, David in The Foreigner for Players Circle Theatre, Happy Mahoney in Clown Bar for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts, Mitch Brenner in The Birds: A Parody, the impudent, bitingly witty rake Vicomte de Valmont in Lab Theater’s production of Dangerous Liaisons, Chris in Killer Joe and Jim Fingal in Lifespan of a Fact for Players Circle Theatre. Go here for the rest of Steven’s extensive theatrical credits.



Kevin Crumpler plays title role in ‘Willy Wonka’

Kevin Crumpler is Willy Wonka in Fort Myers Theatre’s production of Willy Wonka the Musical. His prior credits include Judas and John the Baptist in Godspell, Professor Bhaer in Little Women (his Florida debut), Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Beast in Beauty & The Beast, Lancelot in Camelot, Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde,



Rosie DeLeon plays TWA flight attendant Gloria in ‘Boeing Boeing’

Rosie DeLeon has appeared often on the boards at various Lee County venues. She plays TWA flight attendant Gloria in Boeing Boeing for Cultural Park Theatre. Rosie’s credits include the role Lilly for The Studio Players in Jonathan Caron’s Need to Know (for which she also served as its Assistant Director), Corrie Bratter for The Studio Players in Barefoot in the Park, P.B. in One Slight Hitch and Lauren in Circle Mirror Transformation for The Studio Players. You can access the rest of Rosie’s stage credits here.



Art Keen appears as Selsdon in ‘Noises Off’

Art Keen appears in the role of Selsdon in Noises Off at Lab Theater. A certified theater arts and social studies teacher with a B.S. in Theater Arts from SUNY Oneonta, Art’s local stage credits include Claudius in Lab’s summer spoof Save Hamlet, Alonso in The Tempest, The Crucible, Jimmy Rogers in Lab Theater’s world premiere of Zalman Velvel’s D.M.V. and Manolo Costazuela in Del Tura Repertory Company’s production of The Odd Couple: Female Version.



Laura LeRoy is trusty housekeeper Berthe in ‘Boeing Boeing’

Laura LeRoy portrays Bernard’s trusty housekeeper, Berthe, in Cultural Park Theatre’s production of Boeing Boeing.  You may have seen her on stage at Cultural Park as Marlafaye Mosely in the Savannah Sipping Society, Polly Benish/Lady Margaret in Play On!, and various musical revues including Jersey Girls, The Spectacular Christmas Revue and Reveille Revue.  Other roles include the Stepmother in Into the Woods, Elsa in The Sound of Music and Mary Bailey  in It’s a Wonderful Life. The rest of Laura’s profile is here.



Rachael Lord is Greta Ohlsson in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Rachael Lord is a professional EMC actor, singer, dancer, poet and fantasy writer. She appears in the role of Greta Ohlsson for Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Murder on the Orient Express. Rachael’s stage credits include Andrina/ensemble in Disney’s Little Mermaid, Kari in Always a Bridesmaid (Off Broadway Palm), work in the ensemble of The Wizard of Oz, a Postulant in The Sound of Music, work in the ensemble of The Wizard of Oz, and a featured singer in Ha! Ha! Ho! The Holiday Show (Off Broadway Palm). Go here to view Rachael’s extensive stage credits.



Emma Luke-Said is Mrs. Beauregarde in ‘Willy Wonka’

Emma Luke-Said appears in the role of Mrs. Beauregarde for Fort Myers Theatre in Willy Wonka. Upon conclusion of that role, she’ll play the part of Princess Badroulbadour for The Belle Theatre in Disenchanted the Musical. Originally from the South-Asian-turned-Middle-Eastern Alladin sagas, Princess Badroulbadour is a sultan’s daughter who’s had enough of being secondary in her own tale. Emma’s prior stage credits include work in the ensemble of Beauty and the Beast for Fort Myers Theatre and the role of Go-to-Hell Kitty and work in the ensemble of Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse. Read the rest of her stage credits here.



Noah Lynch is Schroeder in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

Noah Lynch appears in the role of Schroeder in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Previous roles include the Beast in Beauty and the Beast,  Tom Collins in Rent, Lurch in The Addams Family Musical, Adam in Theory of Relativity, Al Deluca in A Chorus Line and Zeke in High School Musical. When not on stage, Noah works behind the scenes as Lighting Designer and Technical Director at Fort Myers Theatre.



Maliyah Mattis kissed a frog in Belle Theatre’s ‘Disenchanted’

Maliyah Mattis plays the part of the Princess Who Kissed a Frog in Disenchanted the Musical for The Belle Theatre. Having been left out of the kingdom for decades, this Black princess is here to claim her throne and celebrate inclusivity and diversity in fairy tales. Wonderfully witty, joyous, confident and clever with a turn of phrase, this Princess loves a funny pop culture reference. The role follows that of Yellow Heather (Heather McNamara) in Heathers the Musical Teen Edition for The Belle Theatre.



Cicero McCarter plays Old Joe Barlow in August Wilson’s ‘Radio Golf’ 

Cicero McCarter appears in August Wilson’s Radio Golf in the role of Elder Joseph (“Old Joe”) Barlow. An August Wilson veteran, he was previously seen in the role of Wining Boy in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, Canewell (a/k/a Stool Pigeon) in King Hedley II, Bynum Walker in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Hedley in Seven Guitars and Slow Drag in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The rest of Cicero’s stage and film credits are here.



Amy Marie McCleary and the vocabulary of movement

Southwest Florida theater lovers know the name Amy Marie McCleary. Prather Entertainment resident director and choreographer has staged more than 50 productions, including “Chorus Line,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Escape to Margaritaville,” “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Sounds of Christmas,” which she created specifically for Broadway Palm. Her incredible success as both a director and choreographer reflects her gift for storytelling, for which McCleary credits her mom.

Listen on WGCU to the rest of this spotlight.



Anthony Miller is Henry in ‘Sanctuary City’

Anthony Miller appears in the role of Henry in Martyna Majok’s Sanctuary City. Miller was previously seen in the role of the Proprietor in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins and Jack in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Into the Woods. Anthony’s other credits include Spongebob the Musical at Florida Rep and Cabaret at the Alliance for the Arts.



Ariana Milian in role of Mrs. Gloop in ‘Willy Wonka’

Ariana Milian plays Mrs. Gloop for Fort Myers Theatre in Willy Wonka. Ariana’s previous stage credits include Francesca for Lab Theater in the world premiere of Save Hamlet, the ensemble of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Laboratory Theater of Florida, Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music for Fort Myers Theatre, one of the phantoms in The Rocky Horror Show and a member of the ensemble of Rent. Read the rest of Ariana’s stage credits here.



Reuben Morgan is Lloyd in ‘Noises Off ‘ at Lab Theater

Reuben Morgan plays the part of Lloyd in Noises Off at Lab Theater. His first play was By the Way, Meet Vera Stark in September 2022, followed by Kitch in Lab’s production of Antoinette Nwandu’s surrealist drama Pass Over.. His theatrical goals and aspirations are modest. “Connecting with the Lab is my next great step in becoming the greatest actor of all time,” he states with humility. A Fort Myers native, Reuben is the youngest of seven and credits his family (especially is brother Travis) and friends as his greatest influences.



Samantha Pudlin is Lucy in ‘Charlie Brown’

Samantha Pudlin appears as Lucy for Fort Myers Theatre in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Pudlin’s recent stage credits include Gabrielle in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at The Belle Theatre, one of the disciples in Godspell at Fort Myers Theatre, the role of Meg in Little Women for Fort Myers Theatre, ensemble work in Head Over Heels for New Phoenix Theatre, the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors. But there’s more. Read the rest of Samantha’s stage credits here.



Rodney Randall appears as Mr. Salt in ‘Willy Wonka’

Rodney Randall appears in the role of Mr. Salt in Willy Wonka. Prior credits include evil Monsieur D’Arque/ensemble of Beauty and the Beast for Fort Myers Theatre, the ensemble of Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. The rest of Rodney’s theatrical profile is here.



Jake Raterman stars in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

Jake Raterman stars as Charlie Brown in Fort Myers Theatre’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Prior stage credits include Mr. Holgate in Bulletproof Backpack at the Center for Performing Arts Bonita, Hovstad in An Enemy of the People at Florida Gulf Coast University, Max in Cabaret at the Alliance for the Arts, Fred Casely in Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse, Jesus in Odd Couple: Female Version for Belle Theatre and work in the ensemble of Rent. Go here for more about Jake.



Elizabeth Robb is Snoopy in Fort Myers Theatre’s ‘Charlie Brown’

Elizabeth Robb plays the part of Snoopy for Fort Myers Theatre in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Previous stage credits include Evie in Disney’s Descendants: The Musical, Babette in Beauty and the Beast, a member of the ensemble in Les Miserables for Melody Lane Theatre (2021), one of the Venus A-Go-Go Girls in Rock of Ages High School Edition for Melody Lane Theatre (2021) and Bird Girl 1 in Seussical the Musical for Creative Theatre Workshop (2021).



Cassie Sampson is Sleeping Beauty in ‘Disenchanted the Musical’

Cassie Sampson transitions from Witch and Cinderella’s stepmother to Sleeping Beauty in The Belle Theatre’s production of Disenchanted the Musical. Not only is the role perfect for this versatile actor, but the character is a perfect foil for Brandy Miller-Chapman’s Snow White. She’s flippant, irreverent and an unpredictable cut-up who loves to dance, sometimes uncontrollably, as this is part of being perfectly and uniquely herself. Go here to view all of Cassie’s theatrical credits.



Sanderson featured by Arts Center Theatre’s ‘Afternoon of Play Readings’

Leslie Sanderson is an accomplished actor and director. She appeared most recently Hollywood Arms. But she is also a gifted playwright, as evidenced by the fact that the Arts Center Theatre on Marco Island is featuring two of her plays, Other Priorities and Infrequent Flyers, in An Afternoon of Play Readings on August 27. Go here for more.



Kira Michelle Sonin-Dworkin is Grandma Georgina in ‘Willy Wonka’

Kira Michelle Sonin-Dworkin plays the part of Grandma Georgina in Willy Wonka at Fort Myers Theatre. She was last seen as Maurice in Disney’s Descendants. Her favorites roles include Dr. Scott in Rocky Horror at Fort Myers Theatre, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Rizzo in Grease, Nikki in Sweet Charity, and The X Girlfriend and The Bride in Mario and Mary’s Wacky Italian Wedding live dinner theatre show.



John Strealy plays Robert for Cultural Park in ‘Boeing Boeing’

John D. Strealy appears for Cultural Park Theatre in the role of Robert in Boeing Boeing. John’s credits include Steven in Jonathan Caroln’s Need to Know for The Studio Players, Yasmina Reza’s Art, Paul Bratter for The Studio Players in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, Ryan in Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch, Wayne Wellcare in Inspecting Carol for New Phoenix Theatre and klepto-director Sir Frank Finger in It’s Only a Play, and Jason Shelburne in Body & Sold. View more of John’s credits here.



Jennifer Toral is fiery Gabriella in Cultural Park’s ‘Boeing Boeing’

Jennifer Michelle Toral stars as fiery Italian Alitalia flight attendant Gabriella in Cultural Park Theatre’s production of Boeing Boeing. She previously appeared at Cultural Park in the role of Meg Magrath in Crimes of the Heart last season. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she made her first debut in theatre as Helena in Shakespeare’s: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and has worked on many professional film, television and commercial sets. Jennifer also has her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton and loves to sing and go out for karaoke nights!



Cassy Terwilliger is Cinderella for The Belle Theatre in ‘Disenchanted the Musical’

Cassy Terwilliger is perky, quirky Cinderella in The Belle Theatre’s production of Disenchanted the Musical. This Cinderella is impish and enthusiastic, especially when it comes to being a real life princess, but she’s about to discover that there’s more to being a princess than pretty gowns and glass slippers. Cassy was last seen as the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods at New Phoenix. Go here to see all of her stage credits.



Madelaine Weymouth is Belinda in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab

Madelaine Weymouth appears in the role of Belinda in Noises Off at Lab Theater. Maddy’s most recent acting credits include Voice in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Hatmaker’s Wife, Jen in Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake for the Alliance for the Arts, Claudia Faith Draper in Nuts for The Studio Players, Elina in The Chechens, Betty Schaefer in Lab Theater’s summer spoof Sunset Schmoulevard and Clarice Orsini in Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire. Go here for the rest of Madelaine’s theatrical credits.



Holly Zammerilla is Dotty in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab Theater

Holly Bogert Zammerilla appears as Dotty in Noises Off at Lab Theater, where she previously played multiple roles (Mrs. MacGruder, Mrs. Bundy and, of course, a bird) for Lab Theater in its 2022 summer spoof of The Birds. Holly made her stage debut in Lab Theater’s 2019 Christmas Show Let Nothing You Dismay, where she played Noreen, Charlotte and Bubbie. She has also played the part of Tammie Sue in The Lives of Great Waitresses. Go here for the rest of Holly’s theatrical credits.





Carmen Crussard directs ‘Addams Family’ for Alliance Youth Theatre

Carmen Crussard directs Addams Family for Alliance Youth Theatre September 29-October 1. As the Youth Theatre Director for the Alliance for the Arts since 2012 that she has directed PippinThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, Calvin Berger, Monty Python’s Spamalot the Musical, Heathers the Musical, Almost, Maine, Peter Pan, Jr. and Xanadu, Jr. Carmen also works full-time as the Theatre Director at Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts. While bringing out the best in adult actors may indeed be satisfying, what makes Carmen’s heart skip a beat is helping children develop into young actors, directors and stage hands. Read the rest of Carmen’s theatrical credits here.



Sonya McCarter directs August Wilson’s ‘Radio Golf’ for Theatre Conspiracy

Sonya McCarter is an actor, director and instructor. She is directing Radio Golf for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance. Sonya’s other directing credits include Pass Over for Lab Theater, Dorothy Marcic’s SISTAS: the MusicalFairviewThe Color Purple, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s The Piano LessonKing Hedley IISeven Guitars, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Lydia Diamond’s The Bluest Eye and George C. Wolff’s The Colored Museum. You will find the rest of Sonya’s theatrical credits here.





Local photographer provides images of hope at Alliance ‘Storm Stories’ exhibit

One of the artists participating in the Alliance for the Arts’ Storm Stories exhibit in September is photojournalist Kinfay Moroti. Through 11 paired photographs, he presents “Hope: The Other Side of Hurricane Ian.” In this WGCU segment, he shares where his inspiration for the exhibition came from.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist David Acevedo

Pop artist David Acevedo painted two of the murals at the Fort Myers River Basin, #8 depicting the commanding officers quarters of the Seminole/Civil War fort that subsquently became the home of Manuel and Evalina Gonzalez and Harvie and Florida Heitman and #45, which depicts the City of Palms Steamship that made the inaugural trip on the cross-state waterway.

Please go here to learn more about David and his work.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Rod Acosta

Local artist Rodney Acosta painted two murals for the Fort Myers River Basin. The first (#7) depicts the guardhouse and a map of the 1850s fort from which our town takes its name. The second is a mural of Fort Myers most venerable sheriff, Frank Tippins, in a boat with a posse heading to “The Glades.” Rodney works chiefly in mixed media on canvas or board. His compositions often include textiles and found objects. His technique features extreme light contrasts, heavy textures and scratching over layers of oil. Acosta is also a 3D artist, producing steel and wood sculpture. Want more? Go here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Cesar Aguilera

At the basin adjoining the Luminary Hotel, there’s a realist depiction of the Lee County Packing House as it appeared in 1913, about a year before it burned to the water line on January 30 the following year. It is the work of one of Fort Myers’ best known artists, Cesar Aguilera. Many know Aguilera through his mixed media paintings, but he is also accomplished in drawing, painting, sculpture, film, special effects, make-up, costume design, fashion design, acting and even performance art. His mixed media pieces not only embrace traditional media such as oils and acrylics, but such unconventional materials as coffee, bleach, discarded technology and found objects of every ilk and design. Go here for the rest of this post.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Juan Pablo Almonacid

Local artist and Fort Myers Mural Society member Juan Pablo Almonacid is one of the River Basin muralists. He painted Mural #25, the Menge Brothers Steamship Suwanee. Born in Chicago in 1974 and raised in Fort Lauderdale, JP was consumed by drawing from an early age. During his adolescence, he was influenced by graphic and graffiti art. After graduating from high school in 1993, he was accepted into the Fine Arts program of the National University in Bogota, Columbia and completed a four-year apprenticeship in 2001 with Armando Villegas, a pioneer of Modern Art in Latin America. The rest of JP’s bio is here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Israel Alpizar

Local artist and Fort Myers Mural Society member Israel Alpizar is one of the River Basin muralists. He painted mural #39, which depicts legendary Fort Myers High Swim Coach Wes Nott watching one of his student practice diving. Alpizar is an independent art director, web and graphic designer, and video and marketing brander for several companies across the United States. Proficient in both fine art and digital media production, Israel received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. Israel often exhibits his art and conducts live painting demonstrations at art festivals like ArtFest Fort Myers. The rest of this post is here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Lorrie Bennett

Lorrie Bennett is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. Lorrie has painted two River Basin murals – one of Seminole Chief and feared warrior Billy Bowlegs and the other of Jehu Blount’s general store at the northwest corner of Hendry and Front Streets. Lorrie describes herself as a self-taught intuitive, contemporary, and expressive mixed media artist and illustrator who, from an early age, had an affinity for drawing and painting. For Lorrie, creating has always been a journey of experimentation and exploration. Read here to find out more about Lorrie’s work, accomplishments and storied career.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Senaa Bezzaz

Mural #31 at the Fort Myers River Basin is a rendition of the Thomas A. Edison steamship that was lost during the fire that claimed the Lee County Packing Plant on January 30, 1914. The muralist is Senaa Bezzaz. Born in Casablanca in 1981, where she studied art at the University of Fine Arts, Bezzaz now calls Fort Myers home. Senaa is accomplished in various facets of art, from drawing and painting to sculpture, writing, decorative and cinematic set design and construction, a field in which she has excelled and continues to thrive. In the latter regard, her credits include Ben X (2011), Kandisha (2008) and Whatever Lola Wants (2007). Go here for more on Sanaa and her work.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Pat Collins

Mixed media pop artist Patricia Collins painted three River Basin murals: one of Fashionista Flossie Hill, another of Tootie McGregor Terry driving the first piling for the seawall she persuaded riparian owners to install along the bank of the Caloosahatchee River and a third that depicts a turkey hunt in the pine forests east of town. Regrettably, only Turkey Hunt can be viewed right now. The other two are waiting for the stanchions they go on to be repaired of the damage they suffered from the surge generated by Hurricane Ian. Patricia Collins creates mixed media works, with a focus on painting & printmaking, as well as murals and interactive mixed media constructions/installations such as the pieces she presented in her 2022 solo show titled Action Reaction Interaction at Florida Gulf Coast University’s ArtLab. See what else Pat’s done and read about her process here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Sherry Lynn Diaz

Local artist Sherry Lynn Diaz painted two murals for the Fort Myers River Basin project. The first is Mural #3, the great Seminole Alligator Chief and warrior Billy Bowlegs, and the second is Mural #15 of Major James Evans who homesteaded all of the land located within the old Seminole and Civil War fort in 1875. Sherry has exhibited her art in juried local, state and national shows, earning awards on all three levels, including two well-received one-woman shows. Her art can be found in private and corporate collections in the Dominican Republic as well as many places throughout the United States. Go here to access Sherry’s bio and artistic achievements.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Ruben Dimas

On the Hendry Street side of the detention basin next to Luminary Hotel three stanchions south of Edwards Drive is a mural of Henry Ford sitting in a Model T. It’s the car that Ford had the local dealer deliver to his friend and neighbor Thomas Edison on the occasion of the latter’s birthday in 1916. The mural was rendered by Fort Myers Mural Society member Ruben Dimas. Dimas is an automotive artist born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida. He specializes in automotive illustrations, graphic design, and product design for the auto industry. Read about Ruben and his body of work here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Victor Dotres

This is a mural of an unidentified angler posing with a 7’ tarpon outside Fort Myers’ Royal Palm Hotel. Yes, until the late 1920s, it was actually possible to snag trophy-size silver king in the waters of the Caloosahatchee River.

This mural was painted by Victor Dotres, an accomplished artist with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting from the University of Florida. Victor has been a teacher in the Collier County Public School District since 2001 and serves as an esteemed member of the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Carolyn Gora

The 27th mural at the Fort Myers River Basin depicts two men in a boat on the Caloosahatchee River. It was painted by Carolyn Gora, as a nod to her maiden name, Fishman.  The original historic photograph appealed to the native Floridian because it reminded her of growing up in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The sunset in the background was influenced by the sunsets on the Caloosahatchee near her home. Carolyn graduated with a BA and Masters in Art Education from the University of South Florida.  She was an art instructor for thirty years, teaching kindergarten through university.  Go here for more on Carolyn’s career as an arts educator and professional affiliations.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Claudia Goode

Mural 8 in the Fort Myers River Basin Mural Project depicts the town’s namesake, Colonel Abraham C. Myers. But what you probably don’t know is how the fort that the Army built here came to be named for the Colonel – or why the artist who painted his portrait placed a pile of skulls at his feet. Once you do, it will come as no surprise that the artist who rendered this mural is none other than Claudia Goode. Claudia is best known throughout Southwest Florida as the curator and motivating force at Arts for ACT Gallery in the Arcade Building on First Street. The acronym stands for Abuse Counseling and Treatment, which is the domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking center in Fort Myers. Goode has been its Human Resource Director since 2000. And since 2003, she has also served as the curator of the gallery. For more, read here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Bill Kreutz

Mural 29 at the Fort Myers river basin is a depiction of City Transfer. It was painted by artist Bill Kreutz.

Bill has been creating art all of his life. A 1966 graduate of Ivy School of Professional Art, Bill also serves as an instructor at the Center for the Arts in Bonita Springs.

“To create the look and feel I want to achieve, my work relies heavily on contemporary street art, which I call ‘sophisticated graffiti,’” says Bill. “It is done with cans of acrylic spray paint and enhanced with selected brushwork.” Read here for more on Bill and his work.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Donna Kreutz

Mural #34 depicts the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Pier that once extended from the foot of Monroe Street into the Caloosahatchee River. The mural was painted by local artist Donna M. Kreutz. Donna is a realist painter whose art is influenced by her work in advertising, telecommunications, business analysis, corporate training, healthcare, banking and the travel industry. She is currently employed as a villa agent for SunVillas, a company that represents more than 160 luxury villas in Jamaica. Go here to read more about Donna.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist LadyLight

The artist known as LadyLight has painted two of the River Basin murals: #16, which is an aerial view of Fort Myers’ piers in 1927 and #26, the Coca Cola Bottling Plant that briefly set up shop on the City Pier. LadyLight is an emerging artist with a passion for testing the limits of creativity. After discovering the joys of painting at a “girls’ night out” party in 2016, her ideas today are born of dreams and intuition, hence the name “TheiLuminArtist 1.” With a creative background in interior design and custom window treatments, her medium is acrylic on canvas and her genre surrealism, with a flair for color and fun, as evidenced by her familiar signature “LL in Script.” Go here for the rest of this post.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Deb Lawless

Mural #40 at the river basin next to Luminary was painted by artist Deb Lawless. When Deb painted this mural, which depicts an historic poster for a USO-sponsored dance at the Hall of 50 States, she used as her muses an old family photo of her grandmother, her grandmother’s twin sister and their brother, in uniform. You can listen to more about the mural and its use by the USO on Otocast.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Tim Lowry

Tim Lowry is one of 38 River Basin muralists. His mural depicts the Pleasure Pier that was built along the shore of the Caloosahatchee River in 1927. With a degree in graphic design and advertising, Lowry works in multiple media, including fine art, prints, digital artwork and photography. Tim has worked in advertising and marketing for more than three decades.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Michelle J. McDonald

Mural #42 at the river basin next to Luminary depicts the arrival of colorfully attired guests on the pier at Thomas Edison’s home downriver on McGregor Boulevard. It was rendered by Michelle J. McDonald, who currently works primarily in acrylics and pastels. She is also known for her “Beautiful Bookmarks,” which are comprised of scraps of paper that create a collage. Michelle’s story is like that of many other later-in-life Florida artists. As a small child, she enjoyed drawing and arts and crafts of all kinds.

For more on Michelle, go here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Lesley Morrow

Mural #10 at the river basin next to Luminary Hotel Lesley is a portrait of John Alexander Weatherford, who was one of Fort Myers first four settlers, arriving on the shores of the Caloosahatchee River on February 21, 1966. Morrow is locally known for expressive oil, acrylic, airbrush and mixed media paintings that express the feminine experience and mystique. Featuring vibrant brushstrokes and a distinctive palette, Morrow’s paintings are bold, raw and eye-appealing. Go here for the skinny on Lesley.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Tarek Patton

Mural #9 is a portrait of Fort Myers’ early settler and first schoolteacher, Evalina Gonzalez. It was painted by Tarek Patton, a product of Cypress Lake High School, the Florida State University studio art program and member of the Fort Myers Mural Society. In addition to serving as a Printer Operator at Grand Illusions in the River District, Tarek owns and operates Soaking Wet Press in Fort Myers. For more information, please visit or follow him on Facebook at



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Eric Riemenschneider

Mural #5 is a portrait of Miccosukee warrior Billy Fuel. It was rendered in the unmistakable style of art instructor and portrait artist Eric Riemenschneider. Eric graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Illustration. He is the recipient of several awards, including Southwest Florida’s Best Up-and-Coming Artist, Angels of the Arts Award, All Florida Best of Show, Lee County Golden Apple Teacher and Lee County Arts Teacher of the Year. He was also the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Scholarship. Go here for more on Eric and his body of work.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Ava Roeder

Mural #18 at the river basin next to Luminary Hotel depicts a mid-day soiree by guests on the pier at the Royal Palm Hotel. It was rendered by artist, art instructor and original Fort Myers Public Art Committee member Ava Roeder. Ava was a visual arts teacher for thirty-nine years and practiced everyday with her students.  The rest of Ava’s profile is here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Davis Rost

Mural #38 depicts the entrance to Fort Myers’ fabled Pleasure Palace. It was painted by Riverdale High and Full Sail University grad Davis Rost. As an artist, Rost has concentrated on screen printing while seeking to establish a reputation and brand for his work on Instagram. His main passion, however, has been trailblazing his music career. In 2021, he and music collaborator, Nathan Lopez, formed the band Cosmic Caravan. Since then, they have played countless local venues and events, most notably at the Annual Edison Ford Garden Festival and the downtown Fort Myers Music Walk every third Friday of the month.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Tom Rost

Mural #46 at the river basin next to Luminary Hotel depicts the Fort Myers Yacht Basin. It was painted by Tom Rost, a local artist and sculptor under trademark of Tom Rost Custom Carving. A product of Riverdale High, Tom embarked upon his career in art following graduation from Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, where he majored in graphic design. At present, his commissions include a number of corporate and private commissions. His varied past creative projects include painting billboards in Pennsylvania, designing apparel for Seadog Sportswear and designing community logos, creating community maps and executing architectural renderings for a firm specializing in new home construction and community development.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Danilo Rubias

Mural #36 depicts the first passenger train to pull into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Station in 1904. It was painted by Danilo Rubias, who works as Creative Services Producer and Photographer/Editor at WINK TV, where he specializes in camera operation and editing. Rubias previously served as an art instructor for more than six years. Danilo has an Associate of Arts degree from Florida SouthWestern State College.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Roland Ruocco

Roland Ruocco rendered three murals for the river basin next to Luminary Hotel,  #13 of drovers unloading cattle from a barge upriver at Olga (which he painted with his wife, Wendy White), #33, the 1953 Memorial Day Packing House fire and #41, the shuffleboard courts next to the Hall of 50 States. Roland Ruocco is a realist painter whose work has been influenced by comic book illustration, graffiti and old masters from the Romantic period. Go here to read more about Roland, his work and his resume.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Shari Shifrin

Mural #48 at the river basin next to Luminary Hotel is a painting of a shrimp boat moored at the balustrade along the Caloosahatchee River circa 1949, which was a common sight prior to the discovery of “pink gold” in the waters off Fort Myers Beach around that time. It was painted by Shari Shifrin, who not only serves as the Executive Director of the Fort Myers Mural Society, but who played an instrumental role in orchestrating the River Basin Mural Project and overseeing the installation of the murals contained in the City’s walkable outdoor art and history museum. Go here for more on Shari and her art.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Samantha Taylor

Mural #12 at the river basin adjoining Luminary Hotel depicts the Father of Fort Myers, Captain Francis Asbury Hendry. Mural #47 is of Elvis Pressley, who performed at our City Auditorium not once, but twice. The artist who painted both of these portraits is Samantha Taylor. She is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. A native Floridian, Samantha is known for her portrait paintings, local murals and tattoo artistry. As an avid painter specializing in oils and fluid mediums, Sam is inspired by the human form and surrealism. Read here for more on Samantha and her art.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Monika Urbanski

Mural #43 at the river basin next to Luminary Hotel depicts Thomas Edison and his son, Charles, posing with their catches on the Edison Pier. It was rendered by local artist Monika Urbanski. Urbanski is known for oil and acrylic paintings that capture the allure of the water. Monika often utilizes reclaimed live edge wood as a substrate to further connect to our local environment. Please read here for more on Monika.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Jacqueline Virtue

Mural #17 at the river basin adjoining Luminary Hotel depicts Fort Myers’ recreation pier, #20 is a rendition of the fabled Royal Palm Hotel and #28 depicts the business interests that once lined Ireland’s Dock. All three were painted by local artist Jacqueline Virtue, who has been creating works of art since she was 15 years old. With more than four decades of experience, Jacqueline Virtue is an expert painter in the acrylic medium. Entirely self-taught, her Interior Design prowess has led her to create landscape murals and canvases nationwide. Her realistic/impressionist style captures the brilliance of nature in all its complexity. An avid gardener, her work evokes a strong emotional connection to the natural beauty of the world around us.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Brian Weaver

The Florida alligator fascinates out-of-state visitors. This was true of the sportsmen who patronized the Tarpon House on Punta Rassa between 1885 and 1913 and of the tourists who stayed at Hugh O’Neill’s Royal Palm Hotel in downtown Fort Myers beginning in 1897. Back then, many steamship companies through the state touted the opportunity to shoot alligators from the upper decks of their boats. Still, it surprises many that Fort Myers advertised itself to northern and Midwestern visitors by means of postcards like the one that local artist Brian Weaver painted in this mural, titled Gator Hunt, which can be found near the entrance to the river basin at the intersection of Bay and Hendry Streets in downtown Fort Myers. Go here for more on Brian and his body of work.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Dawn Webb

Mural #11 is a portrait of Fort Myers first black settlor, Nelson Tillis, and his wife, Ellen, who were coincidentally Fort Myers’ first interracial couple. It was painted by muralist Dawn Webb. Dawn is a proud born-and-raised Southwest Florida native. Born in Fort Myers, she has watched the city develop and grow since the 1970s. On the fine arts side, Dawn works in the medium of acrylic painting. But she is also a gifted tattoo artist. In that regard, she is most passionate about consulting with clients, designing custom tattoos, and giving them a comfortable tattoo experience. Go here for more on Dawn.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Wendy White

Mural #53 at the river basin next to Luminary Hotel depicts a vintage 1930s-era postcard which depicts the many activities that visitors can enjoy during a fun-filled trip to Fort Myers.Titled Florida Fun, it was rendered Wendy White who is an accomplished artist, curator, director, playwright, screenwriter and teacher. Born in Rockaway Beach, New York, Wendy’s palette and writings are strongly influenced by her early environment of living by the sea. Her father was a painter and while she was growing up, she and her twin brother would frequently model for him as muses. Go here to view Wendy’s voluminous and impressive art, film and other credits.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Alex Wilkinson

One of the murals you’ll see when you walk around the river basin adjoining Luminary Hotel is a painting of a steamboat named the St. Lucie. It’s the steamship where Andrew and George Kinzie got their start as seafarers and that eventually inspired them to form a steamship line that served Fort Myers into the 1960s. The mural was painted by Alex Wilkinson. Alex is a self-educated mixed media artist who works in acrylics, traditional pen and ink, colored pencils, pastels, markers, paper and found objects. A former needle arts designer and instructor, Alex’s oeuvre influences her present-day mixed media “Zen tangle inspired art.” Her designs often include small, stitch-like, black-and-white line patterns in the ancient Zen Tangle-inspired art style. Go here for more on Alex and her art.





Brian Weaver’s ‘A New Beginning’ in Davis Grand Atrium through August 24

On view in the Grand Atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center through August 24 is A New Beginning by artist Brian Weaver. A local favorite, Weaver has traveled down many roads, collecting numerous stories and lifelong memories along the way. Incorporating a unique blend of vibrant colors, intricate designs and thought-provoking messages, A New Beginning invites viewers to experience Weaver’s unparalleled creativity and bold expressions.

Half of Artsemble Underground, Brian strives to bring art to everyone. In addition to “art for the people,” Artsemble was also created to help local businesses attract traffic through murals, sculpture and art events. Toward these ends, he and business partner Cesar Aguilera have forged an all-immersive multimedia experience of art and life, where concepts can be replicated anywhere – without the need of an art institution or gallery – and employed as an instrument of social change instead of serving as a commodity.

Weaver attended the School of Communication Arts in North Carolina, graduating with a degree in Graphic Design and Computer Animation.  He moved to Cape Coral in 2013, where he produced the monthly art festival All Walks of Art at Dolphin Key Resort.

The Fort Myers’ River District Alliance commissioned him to develop Mystery Walk, and Brian also spearheaded “The Epicenter,” an empty warehouse transformed into an artist hub, where artists get together to work and be inspired.

The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First Street in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District.



All the art in ‘World of Skateboarding’ show is on skateboard planks

On view in the Capital Gallery of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center through August 24 is a group exhibition that celebrates the part art plays in the world of skateboarding and the part skateboarding plays in the art world. From graffiti, board art and clothing to skate films, photography, games, and music, visual art isn’t just connected with skateboarding, it’s embedded into the fabric of the culture. Skateboarding has had a surprisingly profound influence on many other unrelated elements, creating a recognizable skateboard art subculture. In this exhibit, selected submissions pay tribute to what started it all- the skateboard – and all of the art on display is actually created on skateboard planks!



Susan Martin ‘Botanical Insights’ on view at Alliance through August 26

On view now through August 26 in the main gallery at the Alliance for the Arts is Into the Green: Botanical Insights by Susan Martin.

Susan’s intense larger-than-life compositions are made with many layers of acrylic paint. While she creates them as abstracts, her subject matter is recognizable. Branches, vines, flowers and leaves become shapes, lines, and textures. From the mass of plant life, Martin carves out tightly cropped compositions, eliminating unessential elements and paring down the painting subject to what first attracted her.

Martin has been fascinated by the visual richness of the botanical world since childhood. Her Botanica Series reflects her consuming interest in the vast variety of colors, shapes and lines found in nature. Strong light reveals intriguing forms and textures. The pieces on display invite viewers to look closely and imagine being a part of the private place Susan Martin has created.



Jade Griffin’s ‘First Theatre Production’ on view in Foulds Theatre lobby through Aug. 26

On view in the Theatre Lobby Gallery at the Alliance for the Arts is The First Theatre Production by Jade Griffin. This body of work crosses the boundaries of normalcy and what is acceptable. It pushes the boundaries of how we see ourselves and strangers in everyday life. Cartoonish facial features, exaggerated scenes, and extended limbs offer a new perspective on humanity through each piece. Jade’s artistic vision is influenced by George Condo’s Artificial Realism movement. This exhibition runs through August 26.



More on Jade Griffin’s First Theatre Production exhibit

The First Theatre Production is on view now in the lobby of the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts. A collection of narrative-driven oil paintings created over the course of this calendar year by Jade Griffin, this body of work crosses the boundaries of normalcy and the acceptable. It pushes the boundaries of how we see ourselves and strangers in everyday life. Cartoonish facial features, exaggerated scenes and extended limbs offer a new perspective on humanity through each piece. Jade’s artistic vision is influenced by George Condo’s Artificial Realism movement. Through fictional characters that are capable of being actual people with real emotions and tendencies, Jade strives to make art that defies norms. Throughout this exhibition, Jade asks, “Who are you behind closed doors when no one is looking?” or “Who are you on the stage of life presenting yourself to others?” and “Who do you wish to become on the inside?”



Alliance state-of-the-arts digital arts lab opening August 23

The Bloom & Wallace Digital Arts Lab will provide the creative community the opportunity to learn and create on eleven computers equipped with state-of-the art hardware and a full suite of Adobe software, DaVinci Resolve and Computer-Aided Design (CAD). These programs will expand arts instruction in response to community needs and provide educational support for future careers and take the Alliance to new heights.

Additional programs and classes will be enacted for all students to explore and hone skills in writing, filmmaking, podcasting, digital design, computer generated paintings, photography, digitally created music, e-books, 3D design, editing and other creative applications.

An invitation-only opening ceremony is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23. The ceremony will include remarks by Bloom & Wallace Digital Arts Lab benefactor Naomi Bloom and AFTA Executive Director  Molly Rowan-Deckart, and the unveiling of the Digital Arts Lab’s mural and logo.



‘One Endless Voice’ exhibits at Marco Island Center for Arts August 7 to October 2

One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions is on exhibition at the Marco Island Center for the Arts now through October 2. This collection of artworks shines a spotlight on the power of art to convey personal family history, traditions, and culture. A testament to the profound impact of artistic expression in sharing and preserving the stories that define us, this unique exhibition celebrates the potent ability of art to transcend time and space, providing a medium through which artists can narrate their family history, traditions, and culture to a captivated audience. Visitors have the privilege of immersing themselves in an array of artistic forms, from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media creations, each masterfully weaving personal narratives into a larger cultural fabric.

The exhibition runs through October 3rd. There will be gallery reception from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on September 12th.

Marco Island Center for the Arts brings a wide variety of arts to its community through art exhibitions, engaging educational programs for adults and children and a diverse assortment of events. The Art Center serves as a professional and financial driver for visual and performing artists and educators through exhibition, performance and teaching opportunities while being a catalyst that fuels economic development, an understanding of cultural diversity and community cohesion.



‘Just Flowers’ and Austin Bell photography at Marco Center for Arts in Aug and Sept

Complementing One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions, the evocative works of Anna Franklin and Austin Bell will be exhibited in La Petite Galerie at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. In her Just Flowers series, Anna Franklin intertwines the delicate beauty of nature with personal history to create a harmonious narrative. Austin Bell’s captivating photography captures moments that resonate with the shared human experience. Just Flowers will be on display in August; Austin Bell’s photography will be featured in September.

Marco Island Center for the Arts inspires artistic expression and advances education and appreciation of the arts. The Art Center honors Marco Island and Southwest Florida’s rich, diverse, and creative heritage through active community engagement in the visual and performing arts.



‘Wild Garden’ opens in the Wasmer Gallery at FGCU on August 28

Wild Garden opens August 28 in the Wasmer Gallery at FGCU. Employing different mediums and methods, the work of five Florida artists – Jen Clay, Cynthia Mason, Luca Molnar, Grace Ramsey and Anastasia Samoylova – drifts between the natural and the surreal to conjure distinctive environments, lifeforms, and habitats. The colors, textures, and narrative mysteries on display create an immersive space–wild and lush. If these works are alluring, even playful, they also hint at darker visions, grappling with questions of control, cultivation, and social responsibility.

The natural world has a history much longer than human culture. In Florida, we are bearing witness to the changes we have wrought. These artists do not shy from away from troubling questions about the future even as they revel in human possibility and natural (or supernatural) wonder.

Jen Clay (Miami, FL), Cynthia Mason (St. Petersburg, FL), Luca Molnar (Deland, FL), Grace Ramsey (Fort Myers, FL), and Anastasia Samoylova (Miami, FL) will be present at the opening for an artist talk event that takes place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 31.

This exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00
p.m.; 239-590-7199 or



DAAS is ‘In My Head Again’ during the month of August

On display at DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts during the month of August is the artwork of visual artist Michael V. Santacroce.

Santacroce uses a stream of consciousness approach in which his line work becomes automatic and a reflection of his own subconscious thoughts. He finds the carving processes involved in relief printmaking therapeutic and focuses on the expressive qualities of his art to help work through complex emotions and ideas. His work draws inspiration from his own personal struggles with identity, sexuality, and mental health. Though he primarily works in ink, Michael has recently been applying his printmaking skills to ceramics and enjoying learning a new medium to create with.

Michael graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in the Spring of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts focusing on printmaking. He currently works as the gallery coordinator at the Cape Coral Art Center. In 2022 he started a collaboration with the FGCU Wasmer Art Gallery to curate an annual alumni exhibition hosted at the Art Center. Additionally, Michael teaches courses on introductory and advanced relief printmaking at the Cape Coral Art Center.

He is currently working on a big project with FGCU that will be unveiled in October 2023.

I’m In My Head Again will be on display through August 27, 2023.

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



Abstract expressionism of Karen Gozzo Nolan at DAAS in September

In September, DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts will exhibit the abstract art of Karen Gozzo Nolan.

Nolan is primarily a self-taught abstract expressionist. Her paintings are influenced by music, the emotion that comes from it, and her love for vibrant color. “The paint and brush become my instrument and my art is the song it plays,” says the artist.

In her artist statement, Nolan describes her painting as very private, exhilarating, yet exhausting in a good way.

“Disappearing into the art, my tools become the instruments, the paint becomes the music,” Nolan expounds. “Once a piece has begun, it moves forward with the same musical artist until complete. I have been labeled an abstract expressionist by my peers. My paintings are emotionally vibrant, painted brightly with the passion of the song. As far as my memory goes, connecting music with color was something I thought everyone did.”

Nolan was born in Connecticut, where she lived until she was 28 years, when she relocated to Vermont. While she has been creative and an art lover since childhood, life as a single mother didn’t allow her to follow her dreams of being a professional artist. While living in Vermont, she was the manager of a home decorating center for over 13 years. This afforded her the opportunity to work closely with contractors, selecting interior and exterior products and color pallets for new homes and condominium construction projects.

After battling a rare disease, Karen vowed to follow her lifelong passion. But it wasn’t until relocating to Rotonda West in 2013 that she was well enough to pursue her dream. Today, painting is an outlet of escape or, as she puts it, “her distraction from life, and a place of total meditation and peace.”

The opening reception for this exhibition is scheduled from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, September 1st, in conjunction with Fort Myers Art Walk.

The exhibition will be on display through October 1st, 2023.

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is located at 1815 Fowler Street, in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers, FL. The gallery’s business hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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


Naples Art Institute invites artists and designers to feature creations at Scene to be Seen

Naples Art Institute is seeking artist submissions of original, creative “wearable art” concepts for the 7th Annual “Scene to Be Seen” Runway Art Show, scheduled for Saturday, February 17, 2024 in Naples. Art in all media and styles will be considered in a blind submission selection process, including but not limited to sculptural creations, repurposed items worn as garments, found object ensembles, and creative accessories for both men and women.

Judges look for unique, out-of-the-box concepts that are bolder and more evocative of living art than typical ready-to-wear runway fashion.  Examples of past creations include porcelain-cast bodices, hand-painted glow-in-the-dark parachute dresses, sculptural gowns and headpieces made of fresh flowers and branches, upcycled foil embellishments, paper origami outfits, and original watercolor paintings applied to silk satin.

This signature annual event of Naples Art provides artists and designers an opportunity to showcase their creative talents in a captivating, imaginative runway show as the centerpiece of a high profile gala attended by hundreds of SWFL’s art-minded community.  The event is publicized and artists are listed in the printed event program and get to participate in a post-show meet and greet with guests.



Sheldon Fine Art featuring hyper-realism of Juan Carlos Mendez

Sheldon Fine Art in Naples is featuring the hyper-realism of Juan Carlos Mendez, who is new to the gallery. His work not only provides an explosion of color and life, his whimsical compositions of lollipops, candy, bubblegum and jawbreakers conveys a nostalgic trip back in time to the viewer’s childhood. Other works focus on the sea and views of Venice, Italy.

Mendez graduated from the School of Applied Arts and Artistic Crafts in Madrid with an emphasis in advertising art and illustration. In addition to founding the Estudio de Arte in Madrid in 2005, Mendez currently teaches drawing and painting at Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Located on historic Fifth Avenue South in Naples, Sheldon Fine Art has been meeting the needs of collectors for more than 30 years.





Alliance Youth Theatre opens Halloween season with Addams Family

The Alliance Youth Theatre opens the Halloween season with The Addams Family (young part). It’s the musical that celebrates the wackiness in every family – as well as every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family whom her parents have never met. She confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before– keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Read the rest of this advance here.



Arts Center Theatre hosts ‘Afternoon of Play Readings’ on August 27

Marco Island Arts Center Theatre is hosting An Afternoon of Play Readings on August 27, at 3:00 p.m. Showcasing the creative talents of two local playwrights, An Afternoon of Play Readings celebrates the rich tapestry of local creativity, offering attendees a unique opportunity to become immersed in the distinctive perspectives of these talented playwrights.

With Other Priorities, local actor, director and playwright Leslie Sanderson delves into the moral apathy toward gun control and school safety while in Infrequent Flyers she explores the intricacies of human interactions in an overcrowded flight that places a no-frills passenger and her service animal alongside a full-price passenger that tests the limits of good will and airline regulations.  Under the skilled direction of Marilee Warner, these performances are set to come alive on stage with remarkable depth and emotion.

Alex Costello’s charming play Famlet offers a fresh take on family dynamics with textual inspiration and excerpts from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Guided by the insightful direction of Mitch Eil, this performance is sure to leave audiences reflecting on the intricacies and humor of domestic life.

“We are proud to showcase the talents of area playwrights, directors, and actors in this special event,” said Arts Center Theatre and Marco Island Center for the Arts Executive Director Hyla Crane. “The Arts Center Theatre is committed to providing a platform for creative expression within our community. We invite everyone to join us for an afternoon of thought-provoking and entertaining play readings.”

To secure your spot for this engaging afternoon, RSVP online at or call Marco Island Center for the Arts at 239-394-4221. Please note that this event will not have reserved seating, so seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.



Broadway Palm’s ‘Murder on Orient Express’ fast-paced odyssey of deception and trickery

Murder on the Orient Express is on the main stage of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre now through September 16. This clever adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic boasts glamour, intrigue, suspense and humor. Like the novel, the stage production is a dazzling meditation on revenge and justice, a fast-paced odyssey of deception and trickery. Read the rest of this advance here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



‘Boeing Boeing’ takes flight at Cultural Park Theatre September 8-18

On stage September 8-17 at Cultural Park Theatre is Marc Camoletti’s Boeing Boeing, a farce that delivers split-second comedic timing and frenetic pacing. At the center of the action in Boeing Boeing is a wealthy American businessman by the name of Bernard (Kevin Velando) who maintains his residence in a luxurious playpen in the City of Love, oui, gay Paree. When his friend, Robert (John Strealy) drops by to look in on him, Bernard smugly divulges that he’s engaged to three flight attendants, a Texan named Gloria (Rosie DeLeon), who flies with TWA, a fiery Italian by the name of Gabriella (Jennifer Toral) who is employed by Alitalia Airline and a seething, sultry German named Gretchen (Isabel Slattery) who works for Lufthansa. What could possibly go wrong? Read here.



‘Charlie Brown’ plays at Fort Myers Theatre August 17-27

Charles Schulz’s beloved comic comes to life at Fort Myers Theatre August 17 through the 27th. In Clark Gesner’s classic musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, with additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and dialogue by Michael Mayer, the sweet, joyful innocence of the Peanuts gang is reclaimed, but with a fresh insouciance and playfulness this time around. The new script features two new songs, particularly funny dialogue, and new, catchy orchestrations. Read the rest of this advance here.

Go here for play dates, times and a full cast list.



‘Willy Wonka’ plays at Fort Myers Theatre August 31 through September 10

Magical and mysterious chocolate factory owner Willy Wonka decides to hold a contest. The five lucky kids who find Golden Tickets in the chocolate bars sold by Wonka’s company will receive a tour of the chocolate factory along with a lifetime supply of candy. With a touch of “pure imagination,” Fort Myers Theatre produces Willy Wonka August 31 through September 10. Go here for play dates, times and a cast list.



Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off’ opens September 8 at Lab Theater

Noises Off opens at Lab Theater on September 8th. An ineffective director, actor love triangles, a drama queen, and a perpetually drunk actor are only the beginning of the problems with getting a British sex comedy in front of an audience. A play within a play, Noises Off is a slapstick farce with outrageous onstage and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that’ll leave you gasping for air.

Read here for play dates, times and a cast list.



‘Sanctuary City’ asks what we’re prepared to lose for a future and those we love

Theatre Conspiracy opens its 2023-2024 season with Martyna Majok’s touching drama Sanctuary City August 17 through the 27th. Directed by Miguel Cintron, the cast includes the director’s daughter Isabella Cintron, Nicholas Salerno and Anthony Miller.

The story follows two young DACA DREAMers who are struggling to establish their place in America, the only country they know as home. Poignant, timely, and highly theatrical, Sanctuary City illuminates the triumphs and challenges these lifelong friends face, and how much they are willing to risk for each other when they have everything to lose. The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates and times.



Timely and tense drama, ‘Sanctuary City’ makes it to Alliance for the Arts in August

Martyna Majok’s “Sanctuary City ” opened Off-Broadway in the Fall of 2019. Before its run was halted just six weeks later by the COVID pandemic, the dense drama garnered a number of awards, including the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and a Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Theater Development Grant. The play opens locally at the Alliance for the Arts on August 17. Miguel Cintron directs a cast that includes his talented daughter, Isabella, along with rising stars Nicholas Salerno and Anthony MillerListen to a preview of the play on WGCU.



‘Sanctuary City’ rare play that blurs rules of linear progression and temporality

On stage this weekend and next in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts is Martyna Majok’s important drama Sanctuary City. It’s a play that puts a human face on the dilemma experienced by children brought to the United States by their undocumented parents when they are very young. With no papers or promise of becoming citizens, they find themselves at the mercy of partners and employers who abuse and take advantage of them in myriad ways.

But there’s another reason to see Sanctuary City, and it has to do with Martyna Majok’s disregard of the normal rules of theatrical construction. The first is her disregard of temporality, or the linear progression of past, present and future.

The rest of this review can be found here.



Spotlight on ‘Sanctuary City’ playwright Martyna Majok

Theatre Conspiracy opens its 2023-2024 season with Martyna Majok’s touching drama Sanctuary City August 17 through the 27th. Majok was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Cost of Living. Besides Cost of Living and Sanctuary City, the Polish born, Jersey/Chicago product is also known for Queens and Ironbound, which have been produced on both American and international stages. Supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, Sanctuary City was the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and a Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Theater Development Grant. Majok’s other awards include The Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play, The Greenfield Prize, as the first female recipient in drama,  and The Champions of Change Award from the NYC Mayor’s Office. There’s more! Go here for the rest of this spotlight.



Theatre Conspiracy producing August Wilson’s last play

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts is producing August Wilson’s last play, Radio Golf, October 19-29. Radio Golf is also the last of the ten plays comprising Wilson’s Century Cycle. Wilson died several months after Radio Golf‘s premiere in 2005 from cancer at the age of 60.

Read the rest of this advance here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.

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