subscribe: Posts | Comments

Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news June 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


Rachael Lord is Jenna Sealy in Off Broadway Palm’s ‘Farce of Nature’

Rachael Lord is performing in the Off Broadway Palm now through July 25 in the Southern-fried comedy Farce of Nature. She plays Jenna Sealy, the long-suffering girlfriend of Ty Wilburn who, during his long absence, has become the boytoy of a Chicago gangster’s sexy wife. It’s just how Rachael chooses to prepare for starting the Creative Writing MFA program at Drexel University in the Fall. But fear not, she can do most of the work online so she’s not leaving the area – and that means we can look forward to seeing her in more shows. Go here to view all of Rachael’s stage and other theatrical credits.



Sue Schaffel appears as Norma Desmond for Lab in ‘Sunset Schmoulevard’

Sue Schaffel loves zany, so it should come as no surprise that she’s been cast in the role of Norma Desmond in Lab Theater’s summer parody, Sunset Schmoulevard.  An accomplished EMC actor who is based in Southwest Florida, her roles in Lab’s other summer spoofs include Blanche DuBois in Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody and Velma in Hush Up Sweet Charlotte. She also appeared in the hybrid filmed theater production of The Realish Housewives of Fort Myers during the COVID-19 pandemicPlease go here to see all of Sue’s stage and film credits.



Steven Coe is Joe Gillis in Lab’s ‘Sunset Schmoulevard’ spoof

Steven Coe plays Joe Gillis in Lab’s summer spoof, Sunset Schmoulevard, opening Friday, June 11. Coe is one of Southwest Florida’s most intelligent and engaging actors. His evolving body of work includes starring roles as Sandro Botticelli in the regional premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire, John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Thomas Novachek in David Ives’ Venus in Fur for The Studio Players, Andri in Andorra, The Boy in Veronica’s Room, and Doug in Neil LaBute’s The Way We Get By, as well as memorable supporting and ensemble appearances in Sarah Ruhl’s How to Transcend a Happy MarriageHush Up Sweet Charlotte, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Parody of the Horror, Arthur Kopit’s Wings, Rick Abbot’s Play On!, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. . Go here to see Steven’s impressive resume.



Summer spoof ‘Sunset Schmoulevard’ features actor Madelaine Weymouth

Local actor and director Madelaine Weymouth will be in the cast when the summer spoof Sunset Schmoulevard opens at the Lab on Friday, June 11. Weymouth’s acting credits include Clarice Orsini in the regional premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire, Lab’s production of Kayleigh O’Connell’s Projekt Grotesquerie, Dr. Watson in Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Robyn in Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man (for Lab Theater) and Vandy Jordan in Venus in Fur (for The Studio Players). But go here to see everything she’s been in.



Brian Linthicum appears next for Lab in ‘Sunset Schmoulevard’

On the heels of his performance as wealthy businessman Charles Strickland in David Mamet’s Race, Brian Linthicum appears next for Lab Theater in its traditional June parody, Sunset Schmoulevard, a spoof of the iconic 50s film Sunset Boulevard, which Lab Artistic Director Annette Trossbach has adapted for the stage. Brian Linthicum is a local actor who has been involved in community theater for more than 40 years. Go here to see all the shows in which he’s appeared.



Greg Wojciechowski makes Lab debut in ‘Sunset Schmoulevard’

Greg Wojciechowski is a retired lawyer from Chicago who moved to Fort  Myers in 2011. That’s when he also exchanged the courtroom for the stage. He has been in numerous productions in various venues in Southwest Florida. Some favorite roles include Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond for Cultural Park Theater, Teddy Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, Ken Gorman in Rumors at New Phoenix Theatre, and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest for Cultural Park Theater. He next appears for Lab Theater in its summer spoof Sunset Schmoulevard.



Daniel Sabiston appearing in Lab spoof ‘Sunset Schmoulevard’

Daniel Sabiston is appearing in Lab Theater’s annual summer spoof. This year, that’s Sunset Schmoulevard. Sabiston just completed his run in the regional premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire. Other roles include an oh-so-mean bully (not bunny) rabbit by the name of Serling Hunter in Kayleigh O’Connell’s Projekt Grotesquerie, Ezekiel Cheever in The Crucible and the Journeyman in Andorra, all for the Laboratory Theater of Florida. Daniel also appeared in several staged readings at Lab Theater, including Julia (Stage Manager/Narrator), Routine (Public Radio Announcer/911 Operator 2) and Stop Kiss (Peter).



Sharon Isern plays bride-to-be Courtney in ‘One Slight Hitch’

One Slight Hitch is at the Joan Jenks stage in the Golden Gate Community Center through June 13. In this Lewis Black farce, Doc and Delia Coleman’s daughter is getting married and Sharon Isern plays the blushing bride, Courtney.

A freelance writer, Courtney has just published her first novel, which was almost successful. Like every bride-to-be, Courtney expects just before the ceremony “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” But never in her wildest imagination did she dream that her something old would come in the form of her ex-boyfriend, Ryan, who shows up at her parents’ home on the big day needing a shower and completely oblivious to the fact that Courtney has moved on with a capital “M.” Or has she?

Go here for more.



Danielle Channell plays Melanie in ‘One Slight Hitch’

One Slight Hitch is at the Joan Jenks stage in the Golden Gate Community Center through June 13. In this Lewis Black farce, Doc and Delia Coleman have three winsome daughters. Their eldest, Courtney, is getting married. Their youngest, P.B., is a free spirit trapped in a tightly-wound, button-down family. Their middle girl, Melanie, is an attractive 20-something nurse. She’s not just psychotic. Melanie is distracted. When the vodka-guzzling naughty nurse finds her older sister’s ex half naked downstairs on the day of the wedding, well, let’s just say that her mind’s no longer on the nuptials taking place outside.

Who do you think of when it comes to casting psychotic – especially if you’re staging a farce? While there may be quite a number actors in Southwest Florida who’d be delighted to fill the bill, one choice seems abundantly obvious. That would be Danielle Channell, the Queen of Farce. Go here for more.



Rosie DeLeon plays P.B. in ‘One Slight Hitch’

One Slight Hitch is at the Joan Jenks stage in the Golden Gate Community Center through June 13. In this Lewis Black farce, Doc and Delia Coleman’s daughter, Courtney, is getting married and Rosie DeLeon plays the bride’s youngest sister, P.B., a free spirit in a tight-laced, button-down family.

Rosie last appeared on the Joan Jenks stage in the role of Lauren in Circle Mirror Transformation.

Go here for the rest of her growing resume.



Terry Libby plays mother of the bride, Delia, in ‘One Slight Hitch’

In One Slight HitchTerry Libby’s character plays the mother of the bride. Delia is bound and determined to give her daughter the “perfect wedding.” But things quickly go awry when the florist is arrested on the way to the wedding and needs to be bailed out and her daughter’s ex shows up at the house in need of a shower and a hot meal. But that’s nothing compared to a real life incident that Terry experienced out west. Go here to read this hilarious story and for all of Terry’s stage credits.



John Strealy plays ex-beau Ryan for Studio Players in ‘One Slight Hitch’

One Slight Hitch is at the Joan Jenks stage in the Golden Gate Community Center through June 13. In this Lewis Black farce, Doc and Delia Coleman’s daughter, Courtney, is getting married. But Delia’s plans for the “perfect wedding” go sidewise when her daughter’s ex-beau shows up on the day of the wedding in need of a show and a hot meal but oblivious to Courtney’s impending nuptials. Go here to view John’s stage credits.



Keith Gahagan Plays fiance’ Harper for Studio Players in ‘One Slight Hitch’

One Slight Hitch is at the Joan Jenks stage in the Golden Gate Community Center through June 13. In this Lewis Black farce, Doc and Delia Coleman’s daughter is getting married and Keith Gahagan plays Courtney’s fiance’, a psychologist by the name of Harper. Gahagan has performed in community theater productions in Marco Island, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers since 2007. Go here for more.






What a difference a year can make

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, Broadway and theaters around the country were shuttered, ghost lights barely penetrating the gathering gloom. This year, Broadway is planning to reopen at full capacity beginning September 14 and local theaters are ramping up for reinvigorated 2021-2022 seasons.

Last year, the Trump Administration was threatening to cut all funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. This year, President Joe Biden has proposed a 20 percent increase in the NEA budget to $201 million. If approved by Congress for the 2022 fiscal year, it would be the largest increase in the organization’s history.

“President Biden’s budget represents a significant commitment to the arts and cultural sector and reflects the continued importance of arts organizations and cultural workers to the health and vitality of the country,” NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers said in a statement to the New York Times. “The “increased investment in the agency will allow it to provide critical support to the arts sector as it struggles to reopen, rehire workers, and generate arts activities that will help fuel the economy.”

The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Recently, the NEA awarded Ghostbird Theatre Company a $10,000 Arts Projects grant to support the development and production of an original play by James Brock. With the working title of One Island, Brock’s latest play is among the more than 1,100 projects across America that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding totaling nearly $27 million.

Go here for more on Ghostbird’s NEA grant.



‘Beehive: The 60s Musical’ at Broadway Palm through June 26

Broadway Palm is taking you on a trip down memory lane with Beehive: The 60s Musical playing now through June 26, 2021. Beehive is an exciting and colorful salute to the powerful female voices of the 1960s, from the earliest part of the decade of fun and innocence to the unrest of the mid ‘60s and ending with the era of women discovering their own empowerment. Through the medium of son, Beehive documents the dramatic changes that America underwent during the ‘60s.

Beehive’s talented cast will sing and dance to 40 beloved hits made popular by the Chiffons, the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Connie Francis and more, including My Boyfriend’s Back, Son of A Preacher Man, Me and Bobby McGee, R-E-S-P-E-C-T and many others!

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 Broadway Palm is asking guests that are not fully vaccinated to wear a face mask while not eating or drinking.

Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are $48 to $73. 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.



Southern-fried comedy ‘Farce of Nature’ in Off Broadway Palm through July 25

On stage in the Off Broadway Palm is Farce of Nature by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten – the same trio who produced the Off Broadway Palm fan favs  The Savannah Sipping Society and The Dixie Swim Club.

Farce of Nature is a Southern-fried farce that highlights a day in the life of the Wilburn family of Mayhew, Arkansas. The Wilburnes run a struggling fishing lodge in the Ozarks by the name of the Reel ‘Em Inn, which becomes the backdrop for a motley collection of flawed characters stirring up a hilarious comedic stew – which include an extremely jittery guest by the name of Carmine DeLuca who arrives as a guest because of a glitch in the Witness Protection Program; the lodge’s grizzled proprietor, D. Gene Wilburn; his frustrated wife, Wanelle, who’s fed up with their lackluster romantic life and has taken drastic steps to improve it through hypnotic suggestion; D. Gene’s feisty sister, Maxie, whose efforts to keep Carmine alive is threatened by her proclivity to lose both her gun and the bullets; another Chicago gangster and his sexy wife, Lola, who has driven hundreds of miles to be with her boytoy, Ty, who is D. Gene and Wanelle’s son; and Ty’s seemingly innocent girlfriend Jenna, whose patience has reached the breaking point after months of waiting for Ty to come home.

In the deliciously funny romp that ensues, they all hide, lie, disguise themselves, cross-dress, and slam doors (the hallmark of all farces, n’est pas?), while trying to figure out the source of an increasingly awful stench. By then it’s too late and the lodge is surrounded by vicious critters and hungry varmints that have been lured by the odor from the surrounding hills. In the delightfully chaotic climax of this one outrageous day, love blossoms, truths are revealed, and the lives of all—family, guests and gangsters alike—change in incredible and surprising ways. This side-splittingly funny Jones Hope Wooten comedy is guaranteed to win your audiences over—hook, line, and stinker!

The Off Broadway Palm has adjusted their seating arrangement and is operating at a 50% capacity. For a list of the extensive health and safety measures the theatre has taken, please visit It is important to note that Broadway Palm is asking guests who are not fully vaccinated to wear a face mask while not eating or drinking for the protection of the cast, crew, staff and other patrons.

The show runs through July 25. For tickets, please call the box office at 239-278-4422 or visit



Funny Shorts Live returns to the Moe on June 11

Get your live theater fix next Friday night at CFABS when Funny Shorts Live comes to the Moe Auditorium & Film Center. This fast-paced evening of hysterical entertainment features fully performed short plays—and did we mention they’re funny? You’ll get great variety from this special show highlighting South Florida playwrights—enjoy eccentric plots including aliens, wrestlers and pandemic love – plus a command performance of the Audience Favorite from CFABS’ 2021 Stage It! Ten-Minute Play Festival.

Funny Shorts Live is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and the person wearing the funniest shorts wins free tickets to an upcoming CFABS performance.

In the program are:

  • One More Thing…. by Ruben Dario Vasquez, Naples, FL:  The next big thing in tech, or so it’s being marketed, is waiting to be revealed at a conference, but it doesn’t seem to do anything—or work at all. But it’s all about presentation!
  • SLAMMED! by Jim Kitchens, Orlando, FL: Man informs his wife he wants to become a wrestler, so she enlists their grown son to talk him out of it—but he’s on board, too.
  • Still Life with Grave Juice by Jim Moss, Tampa, FL: In a faraway galaxy, a human tries to inform and educate some misinformed Earth-hating aliens with the truth. But they know better!
  • Until We Meet Again by Frank Shima, Venice, FL: Quarantined next door to each other, a new love begins in pandemic times.
  • Plus, 2021 Stage It! Audience Favorite: The Third Person by Dan Borengasser, AR

The cast list includes:

  • Emilie Baartman
  • Judith Devine
  • Jennifer Driggers
  • Sergio Heliodoro
  • Melissa Hennig
  • Kip Jones
  • Tom Kluko
  • Mickey Lacroix
  • Grace Lyons
  • Angelia Winn

Founded in 1959, the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs (CFABS) is committed to enriching the lives of the community by providing opportunities for artistic expression, education and appreciation. CFABS is comprised of two campuses—one dedicated to the visual and the other to the performing arts. The Visual Arts Center at 26100 Old 41 Road is comprised of multiple fine art galleries and fully equipped art studios, a gift shop, library and beautiful sculpture gardens. A variety of classes are offered at this center, including painting, drawing, clay, sculpture and more. The Performing Arts Center at 10150 Bonita Beach Road is home to the 400-seat Hinman Auditorium and the 200-seat Moe Auditorium & Film Center. At this diverse center, patrons can enjoy an ongoing array of live concerts, dance performances, theater, comedy, film, lectures, youth education classes and more.

Seeking to serve the educational and cultural needs of the diverse community, CFABS offers year-round programing, plus, the highly acclaimed Bonita International Film Festival (BIFF), Stage It! the International Ten-Minute Play Festival, and three top-rated National Art Festivals in January, February and March, which draw hundreds of remarkable artists from around the world.

For tickets, call (239) 495-8989 or visit



‘Sunset Schmoulevard’ will have you laughing all the way home

The Laboratory Theater of Florida will present the world premiere of Sunset Schmoulevard from June 11 through July 3.

“Norma Desmond is back and ready for her close-up with Mr. DeMille,” says Artistic Director Annette Trossbach. “The original screenplay has been revamped into an over-the-top parody that will leave you laughing all the way home.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.




‘Wedding Singer’ plays at The Naples Players June 23-July 25

Big hair and shoulder pads at the ready – It’s time to rediscover the 80’s!  Your favorite Adam Sandler movie in musical form takes the stage in Blackburn Hall at The Naples Players from June 23-July 25.

Sponsored locally by Porsche Naples, The Wedding Singer’s sparkling new score does for the ‘80s what Hairspray did for the ‘60s. Just say “yes” to the most romantic musical in twenty years!

Things are going pretty well for wedding singer Robbie Hart (Joseph Byrne) until he’s left at the altar by his fiancé, Linda (Erica Sample).  As he struggles to pick up the pieces and continue performing at other people’s weddings, he befriends Julia Sullivan (Alyssa Haney).  Julia is preparing for her wedding to long term boyfriend Glen (David Shaffer) –  whose commitment to their relationship is questionable, to say the least.  Robbie agrees to help Julia plan her wedding when complications arise and the two spend more and more time with each other…

With fan-favorite director and choreographer Dawn Lebrecht Fornara and musical director Charles Fornara at the helm of this production, you will certainly be dancing in your seat – and possibly even in the aisles.

“The Wedding Singer musical has been on our to-do list for some time” says Bryce Alexander, CEO & Executive Artistic Director (photo 4). “The show is funny, poignant, and a great way for audiences who have been disconnected, or in quarantine, to have a little fun. As they say in the show, it’s time for our audiences to ‘come out of the dumpster’ of COVID-19.”

The Fornaras will be leading an all-star ensemble cast of Naples favorites, many of whom have become regular staples of The Naples Players most popular shows. The cast includes (in alphabetical order): Joseph Byrne, Adam Fasano (photo 5), Alyssa Haney, Ruth Johnson, Christine Mastrangelo, Erica Sample (photo 6), David Shaffer, Kenny Tran, Lindsey Walsh, and Dominic Young in the principal roles, and features Leonard Allen, Sade Bassan, Abby Ciabaton, Jim Corsica, Jessica Daniels, Luke Danni, Maxine Danni, Kat Ebaugh, Frankie Federico, Kay Harkins, Madeleine Howe, Danaia Ivanov, Naphtailda Jean-Charles, Monica Joyce, Joseph Loiacono, Elizabeth Marcantonio, Sydney Mixon, Lexi Piper, Andrew Reid, Eileen Reynolds, Thomas Richardson and Ciarán Welch in the ensemble.

To alleviate the concern and spread of COVID-19, the theatre will be limiting capacity. Tickets are expected to sell quickly.  A Red Carpet event open to the public is slated for 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23 and will feature local vendors, food, drinks, and live music from the band Chariot.

Performances are Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays & Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Both general public and season tickets are on sale at the TNP Box Office.  Those interested can visit anytime or call the TNP Box Office at (239) 263-7990.



‘One Slight Hitch’ mocks our all-too-human attempts to shape our own destiny

One Slight Hitch is at the Joan Jenks stage in the Golden Gate Community Center through June 13. In this Lewis Black farce, Doc and Delia Coleman’s daughter, Courtney, is getting married. Her mom and maid of honor thought they had the Old English Rhyme covered (you know, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue). But never did Courtney imagine that her something old would come in the form of her ex-lover, Ryan, who shows up clueless on her wedding day grungy and in need of a shower after returning from an extended hiking trip out of state. So much for Delia’s best laid plans for her daughter’s “perfect wedding.”

The rest of this advance is here.





Five artists chosen for Alliance’s 2021 ‘Art Lives Here’ billboard campaign

The Alliance for the Arts Art Lives Here Selection Committee has juried five artists into this year’s billboard campaign. They fabulous five are Tania Alves, Bruce MacKechnie, Doug Smithwick, Khaysie Tiburcio and Susi Wingenroth.

Now in its third year, the Art Lives Here billboard campaign transforms billboard space throughout Lee County into public art. By bringing artwork outside of the traditional context of museum and gallery walls, the campaign draws attention to emerging artists’ work while at the same time making the arts accessible to all.

Go here for the rest of this announcement.



Susi Wingenroth creates ‘Frame of Reference’ for healthier choices to preserve planet

Susi Wingenroth is one of five artists juried into this year’s Alliance for the Arts Art Lives Here Billboard Campaign. The work that will be coming to a billboard near you is titled Frame of Reference.

“This painting shows the morning sun radiating through the cypress trees in the wild heart of the wetlands,” says Susi of Frame of Reference. “It is intended as a call to those who see it to enjoy, care for and preserve these wild places.  When we look up from our busy lives and notice our home, beautiful living planet Earth, we see a frame of reference for making healthier choices to preserve the planet for all living beings and for future generations.”

Wingenroth is a Lee County School District arts educator. Prior to her current post, Susi taught art at Canterbury School from May of 2006 through August of 2016 and Renaissance School from August of 2001 through June of 2016. She has her B.A. Fine and Studio Arts from the University of Maryland College Park.

Go here for more.



Bruce MacKechnie’s ‘Fandiggity Fandango’ expresses ‘some sort of lively, joyful dance’

Bruce MacKechnie is one of five artists juried into this year’s Alliance for the Arts Art Lives Here Billboard Campaign. The work that will be coming to a billboard near you is titled Fandiggity Fandango, which possesses in the words of the artist “an exuberance and rhythm that seemed to express some sort of lively, joyful dance, hence the title.”

“I am inspired by the challenge of translating a composition created with mouse clicks into the physical world of paint strokes,” Bruce amplifies. “As subject matter, I am interested in how pure abstraction is so wide open to interpretation. For this reason, I enjoy playing around with shapes, colors, and compositions to see what comes out of the process—especially surprises and unforeseen meanings.”

You will find the rest of this spotlight here.



For ‘Art Lives Here’ artist Khaysie Tiburcio, art becomes part of the artist

Khaysie Tiburcio is one of five artists juried into this year’s Alliance for the Arts Art Lives Here Billboard Campaign. The work that will be coming to a billboard near you is titled Art Within Their Souls.

“I wanted to create a piece that represented the impact that art has on the painter,” says Khaysie. “This artwork includes portraits of Basquiat, Picasso, and Andy Warhol morphing into their masterpieces. This is used as a metaphor to express how art becomes a part of the artist.”

Tiburcio was inspired to begin painting by her uncle, Cristian Tiburcio, when she was six years old.

Go here for the balance of this spotlight.





Jansen’s ‘Two Decades of Relevance’ at Naples’ Baker Museum through July 25

The Baker Museum is hosting a retrospective of work by internationally-acclaimed artist Marcus Jansen through July 25, 2021. Representing Jansen’s first solo museum exhibition in Southwest Florida, Two Decades of Relevance showcases 18 powerful paintings, including Foreclosures (2008), Spotlight (2020) and The Colonialist (2021).

Over that span, Jansen has garnered numerous attention and accolades. Part of this recognition inheres in incredible technical competency and his revolutionary genre-busting style. But what sets Jansen apart from his contemporaries is his uncompromising critical commentary on global political and socio-economic issues and the world events that have shaped his life.

For Jansen, painting is an act of intense engagement with the world. It is this quality that emerges from his urban landscapes and portraiture and connects viscerally with those who encounter his colorful abstract-and-figurative constructions which, individually and in the aggregate, reflect his sustained preoccupation with the struggles of the displaced and disenfranchised, surveillance and technology, and power structures and their manifestations across different spheres.

Jansen’s response to the foregoing concerns is informed by a series of profound life experiences. He mother is Jamaican; his father German. He spent his formative years in the Bronx and his adolescence in Germany. He was diagnosed and treated for PTSD after fighting in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the first Iraq War. And after losing his first wife to cancer, he struggled as a single dad to two boys saddled with a mountain of medical bills while trying to establish himself as an artist with a story to tell. Jansen has emerged from these life events filled with a passion for universal human rights and improved societal conditions. Charged with a sense of empathy and a commitment to justice, his works are, not surprisingly, simultaneously emotional, introspective and intellectual.

Jansen had his first European solo museum exhibitions at La Triennale di Milano Museum, Milan and the Museum Zitadelle Berlin. He has participated in the 12th International Print and Drawing Biennial in Taiwan at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art. Works by Jansen are in collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), The University of Michigan Museum of Art, The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, The Housatonic Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

In addition to his studio practice, Jansen is founder of the Marcus Jansen Foundation Fund in Fort Myers, which aims to serve veterans with PTSD and economically-disadvantaged children through enhanced cultural awareness of art and music.

The Baker Museum is one of the foremost fine art museums in Southwest Florida. Emphasizing modern and contemporary art, the museum hosts several traveling exhibitions annually to complement installations of works from its permanent collections. Dedicated to stewardship and scholarship, The Baker Museum provides world-class exhibitions and educational opportunities for Southwest Florida’s diverse community.



Van Bergen, McNeil opine on Jansen’s ‘Two Decades of Relevance’

Marcus Jansen: Two Decades of Relevance opens tomorrow (April 24) at The Baker Museum, and Artis-Naples CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen and Museum Director and Chief Curator Courtney McNeil weighed in on the show.

“We are honored to be welcoming Marcus Jansen and his work to The Baker Museum, especially while celebrating the museum’s 20th anniversary,” van Bergen said of the impending show. “Marcus’ works are simultaneously emotional, introspective and intellectual, and he has built an international reputation for fully engaging the viewer in critical topics about our world.”

McNeil’s estimation of the significance of Jansen’s body of work is both interesting and spot-on. “Since the 1990s, Marcus Jansen has been creating powerful, painterly works of art that critically explore urgent topics, from industrial agriculture to the impacts of gentrification on city dwellers. He has experienced a meteoric rise over the past few years as art audiences in the United States and Europe have embraced artists with the ability to compellingly portray the issues and tensions that shape our lives in these challenging and complicated times. Jansen is not only sensitively attuned to the world around him, but he is also a dazzling practitioner of an expressive, gestural style of painting that arrests the viewer’s attention with its vibrancy and energy.”

“We have been thrilled to safely open our doors this season to the community, and we invite everyone to experience Marcus’ show,” van Bergen adds.

Additional information on the exhibition, related event, timed-entry tickets and details on The Baker Museum’s safety protocols (including face masks, social distancing and forehead temperature scans) is available at



‘Postcards for Democracy’ on display at Bob Rauschenberg Gallery through August 8

On display in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW now through August 8 is Postcards for Democracy, the premiere of Mark Mothersbaugh and Beatie Wolfe’s collective art campaign.

Artistic visionaries Mark Mothersbaugh and Beatie Wolfe share a love of tangible art forms. In and amongst their futuristic explorations, they have joined forces to create Postcards for Democracy, a collective art campaign in support of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and its essential role in our elections.

The resulting gallery exhibition is expansive, immersive and participatory, but the concept continues to be quite simple: create and mail your postcard design to 8760 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069 to become part of this art demonstration and, in so doing, support the USPS and democracy in the process.

To date, Mothersbaugh and Wolfe have received thousands of cards, covering themes from Covid and science to democracy, capitalism, the environment, social injustice and even insomnia. Together these postcards (like the exhibition itself) form something of a time capsule – reflecting our collective experience personally, socially, societally, politically, and environmentally – while the archive expands with ongoing contributions

Both Mothersbaugh and Wolfe have strong ties with Bob Rauschenberg’s work and ethos – Mothersbaugh in his adoption of Pop imagery and early experimentation with industrial printing techniques (including cyanotype) and Wolfe due to her reboot of the Rauschenberg founded E.A.T. programme (Experiments in Art and Technology) of the late 60s with her Raw Space project.

Postcards for Democracy also extends the tradition established by the Gallery in 2014 with Yoko Ono Imagine Peace and ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA). The latter, in particular, featured Ono’s Wish Tree, to which attendees attached shipping tags containing scribbled wishes in a process that Yoko likened to a collective prayer. After the exhibition, the Gallery harvested the wishes and sent FSW Studio Art Professor Dana Roes and three “Wish Ambassadors,” Christopher Lacoste, Leila Mesdaghi and Josue’ Charles, to Iceland for purposes of adding them to more than a million others that have been placed in the base of the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy Island in Kollafjordur Bay near Reykjavik.

The difference between Wish Tree and Postcards for Democracy, of course, is that while the shipping tag wishes were kept completely private, the postcards are shared publicly with those who visit the Gallery to take in the site-specific, groundbreaking show.



‘Postcards for Democracy’ artists Mothersbaugh and Wolfe in the frame

On display in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW is Postcards for Democracy, the premiere of Mark Mothersbaugh and Beatie Wolfe’s collective art campaign. A collective art campaign, the exhibition supports the United States Postal Service (USPS) and elucidates its essential role in our elections.

Mothersbaugh first started making postcard art as a young art student at Kent State University in the early ’70s, exchanging work with known and unknown artists alike. Through these exchanges, he realized that he was creating an image bank and a lyric collection that served as a basis of inspiration that he would later use in the creation of his seminal art-rock band, DEVO.  Since then, he has filled over 490 archival volumes of 100 cards each. These cards became the basis of his most recent show, Myopia, a retrospective beginning in 2015 focusing on modern man’s ongoing, internal dialogue of beatnik stream of consciousness poetry, the surrendering of the intellect to the primordial and science vs. faith.

Mark has shown his visual art in over 125 solo exhibits over the last 35 years, with touring shows Homeland Invasion, Beautiful Mutants, and Myopia, a 30,000-object retrospective in 2015. His art has been featured on numerous books, album art, and consumer products. He has collaborated musically with artists such as Brian Eno, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Beck, The B52s, and Neil Young,  to name a few.

He was given an honorary doctorate of humanitarian letters from Kent State in 2008.

“What better way than to use the very system of the USPS as proof of concept that if we protest through art and connection, we not only capture this moment, but we also create a movement and preserve it for posterity,” Mothersbaugh comments.

”Musical weirdo and visionary” Beatie Wolfe is an artist who has beamed her music into space, been appointed a U.N. Women Role Model for Innovation, and held an acclaimed solo exhibition of her ‘world first’ album designs at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Named by WIRED Magazine as one of “22 people changing the world,” singer-songwriter and innovator Beatie Wolfe is at the forefront of pioneering new formats for music that bridge the physical and digital, which include: a 3D theatre for the palm of your hand; a wearable record jacket – cut by Bowie/ Hendrix’s tailor out of fabric woven with Wolfe’s music – and most recently an ‘anti-stream’ from the quietest room on earth and space beam via the Big Bang horn.

The Barbican recently commissioned a documentary about Beatie Wolfe’s pioneering work titled Orange Juice for the Ears: From Space Beams to Anti-Streams and Wolfe’s latest innovation is an environmental protest piece built using 800,000 years of historic data that will be premiered at the London Design Biennale in 2021.

“Lockdown has reminded me of the joy and importance of physical communication at a time when it’s more important than ever,” adds Wolfe. “And mail connects us in a way that technology never can. So let’s use it before we lose it!”

Postcards for Democracy will be on view in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery through August 8.



Alliance’s June show, ‘Voices and Visions,’ celebrates inclusiveness

The Alliance for the Arts’ June exhibition, Voices and Visions, is on display now through June 26. Presented in partnership with Arts4All Florida (which provides support and champions arts education and cultural experiences for and by people with disabilities), the exhibition features adult artists of all abilities sharing their personal voice or statement through text and imagery as a means to celebrate inclusiveness. For more information about the Alliance, visit or call 239-939-2787.



‘uhhhhh…I guess this is my art show opens at DAAS on June 4

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is celebrating Pride month in June by featuring the art of LGBTQ+ member artist Spencer Elles. The opening reception is scheduled for  6:00-9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 4 in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk event. The exhibition will be on display through June 26, 2021.

Spencer Elles is a multifaceted queer artist currently residing in Fort Myers, Florida. Along with being a full-time videographer, musical artist and online content creator, he has been a working digital illustrator since 2003, originally specializing in graphic illustrations for band merchandise, album art and event flyers. Since coming out as an openly gay artist in his early 20s, he has been creating a large body of homo-erotic works that he proudly displays alongside the non-sexually charged pieces of his portfolio. He openly cites as inspiration his “nerdy” love of anime, video games, punk-culture and gay Japanese adult comics.

The concept behind this exhibition titled “uhhhh… I guess this is my art show or whatever (AKA the duality of man) yes… that’s the full title” is to display the juxtaposition of what he describes as “the 2 sides of his brain”- the silly, uplifting, cheeky little punk kid he is at heart and the “sexually-charged” that lies beneath it all, often exemplified thru his lyrics as a gay rap artist.

Also in June, the classes hosted by published author Winslow E. Dixon continue. Topics include book publishing, selfcare and homeopathic home living, among others. Please visit for a class schedule and sign-up link.

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 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. More information about the venue and/or how to become a member can be found at or by calling 239-590-8645.



Comments are closed.