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This is what’s happening between February 1 and 7, 2018


Here’s what’s taking place in the arts, indie films and community theater between February 1-7, 2018:


Alliance presenting ‘Intimate to Strange’ featuring paintings by Paula Eckerty (02-07-18)

The Alliance of the Arts will present “Intimate to Strange,” paintings by Paula Eckerty, from February 9 through March 3. The opening reception takes place Friday, February 9 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Paula Eckerty began her love affair with art in farm country in northern Indiana, where she pursued interests in stained glass, quilting and needlework. Following her arrival in Cape Coral some 30 years ago, Eckerty spent many years in the field of decorative painting. During that span, she painted murals and furniture, and introduced students to the love of paint and brush inside her comfortable home studio.

“If it sat still, it got painted.” Paula quips.

Then, several years ago, Eckerty had an epiphany after enrolling in a class taught by the late Gale Bennett, who has been called Southwest Florida’s most renowned native artist and art teacher. Between 1996 to 2007, Bennett welcomed nearly 1,000 artists to his workshops in Monet’s famous village of Giverny, where his pupils were treated to the rare privilege of painting in Monet’s gardens. In fact, in 2002 the French magazine Plaisir de pendre called Bennett “one who could justly lay claim to the title of successor to the great Monet.”

The experience opened her eyes and gave her sight, says Eckerty, who was one of 15 workshop alumni invited to help Bennett’s widow, Cello, complete a book Gale started nearly 30 years prior to his death. (The other 14 participants were Sanibel residents Marcy Calkins, Sheila Hoen, Jane Hudson, and Marilyn Miglio; Cape Coral residents Barbara Mintz, and Joanna Olsen; Fort Myers resident Barbara Wilson; former resident Pat Dunn (now of Nashville, TN); Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte residents Liz Hutchinson-Sperry, Jane Geronime, and the late Muriel Van Patten; as well as Gayle Keith Ashley of Useppa and Caroline Homes Nuckolls of Marietta, GA. Eyes into Art was released in 2014 at a retrospective held at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts.)

Today, Eckerty paints mostly from her imagination, deep memories of nature and the intense beauty of her surroundings in Southwest Florida. Paula believes it is impossible to compete with Mother Nature in a painting so she tries to grab an impression and create as much movement and light in her painting as possible. She has had shows at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island, Florida West Arts and Arts for Act Gallery, of which she is a proud supporter.

“My eyes have been opened to the beauty and complexity of nature,” Paula states.” I rarely paint a specific view or person, but mostly from my mind…what I remember from seeing and experiencing is in the bank somewhere in my head.”



Meet some of the artists exhibiting at Bonita National this weekend (02-07-18)

The Bonita Springs National Art Festival returns to Riverside Park on Old 41 in historic downtown Bonita Springs on Saturday and Sunday, February 10 & 11 for the second of its three fine art festivals. This festival stresses quality and originality, with the 211 artists juried into the show from across the United States, Canada, South America and even Europe exhibiting and selling original paintings, drawings, pastels, photography, handcrafted jewelry, clay works and ceramics, glass art, metal sculpture and more. Follow these links for information about some of the artists whose work you’ll see:



Fort Myers Film Festival to open with ‘Melody Makers’ rock doc (02-o6-18)

At the close of last night’s season-ending T.G.I.M., host Eric Raddatz announced that the opening night film for this year’s Fort Myers Film Festival will be the rock documentary Melody Makers directed by Leslie Ann Coles.

The documentary captures the birth of rock ’n’ roll journalism through the aperture of Melody Maker magazine. Originally established in 1926 as a weekly trade paper for jazz musicians, Melody Maker morphed in the mid-1960s into an internationally-recognized “must read” for rock and roll musicians and their fans. A forerunner to Rolling Stone magazine, Melody Maker played a pivotal role in helping shape the genre, rock ‘n’ roll bands and individual recording artists. In fact, it was such an influential pop culture phenomenon that musicians flocked to the publication’s Fleet Street office eager to be interviewed by the magazine’s journalists in much the same way that vaudeville actors were drawn to Menlo Park, New Jersey in hopes of being cast in one of Thomas Edison’s seminal Black Maria moving pictures.

Want to know more? Read here for the rest of this announcement.



Photographer Barrie Wentzell in the frame (02-06-18)

At the close of last night’s season-ending T.G.I.M., host Eric Raddatz announced that the opening night film for this year’s Fort Myers Film Festival will be the rock documentary Melody Makers directed by Leslie Ann Coles. The documentary captures the birth of rock ’n’ roll journalism through the aperture of Melody Maker magazine and its chief contributing photographer from 1965 to 1975, Barrie Wentzell.

Born on May 25, 1942 in northern England, Barrie was educated in Kent and London, attending Maidstone Art School in Kent in the late 1950s. During the early 1960s, Barrie worked in the worlds of fashion, music and advertising. But in 1965, the image he made of a young Diana Ross during a chance encounter with the yet-to-be global superstar made the front cover of The Melody Maker, England’s most renowned music publication. The photo caught the attention of Bob Houston, the assistant editor at the time. Houston contacted Barrie and signed him on as exclusive chief photographer for the paper.

Read here for more.




‘Money Makers’ director Leslie Ann Coles in the frame (02-06-18)

At the close of last night’s season-ending T.G.I.M., host Eric Raddatz announced that the opening night film for this year’s Fort Myers Film Festival will be the rock documentary Melody Makers directed by Leslie Ann Coles. The documentary captures the birth of rock ’n’ roll journalism through the aperture of Melody Maker magazine and its chief contributing photographer from 1965 to 1975, Barrie Wentzell.

Although she has starred in, produced and directed several other films, Melody Makers, should’ve been there (2016) marked her debut feature documentary. The film tells the story of the birth of music journalism during the zeitgeist of rock ’n’ roll (1954–1975).

Coles dedicated 18 years to modern dance, choreography and mixed media performance art prior to transitioning from the stage to the screen as a filmmaker/ actress in 2000. Her debut film, In The Refrigerator, screened in 35 international film festivals and garnered 13 international awards for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Short Film, Best Film, Best Debut Filmmaker, Best Avant-Garde, and the Grand Jury Award: “Filmmaker In an Acting Role.”

Read the rest of this profile here.



Dunbar sculpture included in City’s mobile phone app initiative (02-05-18)

In order to familiarize the public with the public artworks in its collection, the City of Fort Myers is putting in place a free iPhone app called Otocast that will provide citizens and visitors alike with fun facts, behind-the-scenes stories and audio recordings about the art people see interspersed throughout the city. One of those works is a sculpture located in Clemente Park in the Dunbar community that was created by Maryland artist Cheryl Foster in 2015. It’s called What Dreams May Fly and How They Fly and is a 5 x 10 foot linear steel sculpture with mosaic elements that can be enjoyed by both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The sculpture depicts the silhouetted heads of two African-American adults and one child, and was plasma cut from steel.  The colorful mosaic tile design references accomplishments in the Dunbar community, past and future, thereby speaking to the rich and complex history of Fort Myers’ local African-American community. At the same time, the artwork enhances the park, promotes community and reinforces the mission of the Black Historical Society.

Foster elicited help from the community on Easter Sunday in 2015 to make the fused glass pieces included in the sculpture.

Foster was selected in 2014 by the Public Art Committee from a national field of 67 applicants for the $20,000 commission. Foster is a multi-media artist specializing in large-scale public art. A graduate of Howard University and Master Artist in Residence with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ms. Foster designs and executes visual arts programs integrated with local content standards. She can be found along the east coast throwing paint, welding metal, sculpting and painting with stained glass. Knee-deep in color, she works with communities, art councils, architects, and developers, enhancing environments.

This public artwork was installed in 2015.


  • Clemente Park is located at 1936 Henderson Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33916. Its southern perimeter fronts on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
  • The artwork is located at Latitude 26 degrees, 64’ and 1/557” and Longitude 81 degrees, 84’ and 6.643”.

For more information about this piece and the rest of Fort Myers’ public art collection, please visit



Cattle brand totem at library being uploaded on Otocast phone app (02-05-18)

In order to familiarize the public with the public artworks in its collection, the City of Fort Myers is putting in place a free iPhone app called Otocast that will provide citizens and visitors alike with fun facts, behind-the-scenes stories and audio recordings about the art people see interspersed throughout the city. One of those works is a sculpture located in the courtyard of the library in downtown Fort Myers. It’s name is Stacked Brands and was created by California sculptor Peter Mitten.

Stacked Brands is a site-specific sculptural installation that commemorates the rich traditions of the cattle industry that flourished in Southwest Florida during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was conceived, designed and fabricated by California sculptor and art instructor Peter Mitten, who was chosen from a field of 112 applicants.

The installation consists of a large three-dimensional ferrous metal sculpture that is located in the courtyard of the new Fort Myers Regional Library on First Street and Royal Palm Boulevard. It is comprised of cattle brands assembled in a calligraphic linear configuration that pays tribute to the branding irons utilized by Lee County’s cattle ranchers to mark their cattle. The 400-500 pound rust-colored sculpture stands eight feet in height, although it appears taller because it has been mounted on a 4 x 4 foot travertine clad pedestal which resides in the center of a shallow 12 foot wide by 77 foot long water feature that runs along the west side of the plaza opposite the library’s entrance. It has been sealed with three coats of clear Smart Coat sealer to protect it from corrosion and the sun’s UV rays.

There are also four one-by-two foot bronze relief panels associated with Stacked Brands. Containing imprints of cattle hooves, these panels have been inset in the sidewalk at strategic points along First Street to inform residents and visitors alike that Fort Myers was once a rough-and-tumble cow town, with First Street serving as the site of the historic cattle trail that cut through heart of the city. Between 1865 and the early part of the 20th century, cow hands known as “crackers” drove herds of cattle pastured in Fort Ogden and Fort Thompson through the business district on their way to the deep water port at Punta Rassa, where the steers were shipped to Key West, Havana and other destinations in Cuba and the Caribbean.

The totemic piece and sidewalk panels are collectively known as Marks & Brands. See if you can find the four bronze relief panels. [Hint, they are located between the library and Monroe Street to the west.]

Peter Mitten has been making and exhibiting sculptural ideas, drawings, and architectural designs for nearly forty years. He teaches life sculpture and three dimensional design at Mt. San Jacinto College in Menifee, and is involved in curriculum and teaching for the Oak Lake Art Center in Julian, California. Peter’s most recent work explores modular sculptural interpretations of micro and macroscopic systems.


  • Stacked Brands is located in the courtyard of the Fort Myers Regional Library at 2450 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901.
  • It is at Latitude 26 degrees 64’ and 5.435” and Longitude 81 degrees, 86’ and 7.041”.

For more information about this public artwork, please visit For more on sculptor Peter Mitten, visit



‘Fire Dance’ one of 20 artworks Fort Myers placing on Otocast phone app (02-05-18)

In order to familiarize the public with the public artworks in its collection, the City of Fort Myers is putting in place a free iPhone app called Otocast that will provide citizens and visitors alike with fun facts, behind-the-scenes stories and audio recordings about the art people see interspersed throughout the city. One of those works is a sculpture located in Centennial Park named Fire Dance.

Fire Dance is the first commission awarded to an artist by the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee. Located in a circle where Bay Street dead-ends at the eastern edge of Centennial Park, the 25-foot-tall Dupont red aluminum sculpture is a magnet that draws art lovers from far and wide. A medley of circles, spirals and counterbalances, Fire Dance inspires children playing on the swings and in the nearby playground to become the visual artists, sculptors, architects, civil engineers and city planners of tomorrow.

The sculptor is David Black. He was chosen by the Public Art Committee from a field of 162 artists who responded to the City’s national call to artists. Black characterizes himself as a “hands-on” sculptor-innovator with a wide interest in architecture, past and present. He calls his public sculpture “proto-architecture” because it combines architectural elements such as pillars, arches, canopies and the use of light with the energy and references of sculpture. His community landmarks engage their environments spatially as well as culturally.

“When designing a sculpture,” Black observes, “you have to consider the site. Here, I wanted my piece to be taller than the surrounding palm trees. You must consider the elements as well. Because of southwest Florida’s intense sunlight, I had Dupont add UV protection, like sunscreen, to the paint to retard fading.”

The sculpture is open so that people can walk through it and look up. “Inside the piece are four hidden spirals that create a story for your imagination,” Black reveals. “I like the idea of letting people walk around the sculpture and see it from underneath. I want them to enjoy the piece from every angle.” Toward that end, Fire Dance has been encircled by a sidewalk and landscaping, and is framed by park benches so that visitors to Centennial Park can freely interact with the sculpture from every conceivable vantage.

Fire Dance represents Black’s interpretation of the park’s energy and vitality during events. “My wife, Karlita, and I first visited Centennial Park at night. We walked right into a jazz festival. Fire Dance incorporates the sounds of the music and the noise of the crowd. Circles within circles; it’s active, open, airy and rhythmic, just like jazz,” with those circles evoking images of musical notes wafting skyward into the night air.

“Imagination is always the fire; improv the heart,” says the sculptor of his creation, which was dedicated on March 2, 2012. “It is my hope that Fire Dance will lift each viewer’s spirits and deepen their sense of community with Fort Myers by engendering a sense of civic pride.”


  • The sculpture’s street address is 1411 Heitman Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901.
  • It is located at Latitude 26 degrees, 64’ and 3.3365” and Longitude 81 degrees, 87’ and 2.985”

For more information about this piece and the rest of Fort Myers’ public art collection, please visit For more on David Black, visit



CFABS Members-Only show on exhibit through February 22 (02-05-18)

On view now in the main gallery at the Center for Visual Arts Bonita Springs is its annual members-only exhibition. The show is a dynamic exhibition of awe-inspiring artwork in a wide array of media that celebrates 29 years of great member art (which just keeps getting better and better). The show runs through February 22. The Center for Visual Arts is located at 26100 Old 41 Rd. in Bonita Springs.



Alliance to observe Women’s History Month with all-female artist studio tour (02-05-18)

2018 Artist Studio Tour 01The Alliance for the Arts is planning to celebrate Women’s History Month in a unique way. On March 3, the Alliance will throw open the doors of the working studios of seven local female artists.

“Southwest Florida is home to an abundantly diverse collection of visual artists,” notes Alliance Exhibitions Coordinator Krista Johnson. “By illuminating the talent of females, we celebrate each woman’s creative contribution to our community.”

Participants are welcome to visit any or all of the studios. Tours are self-guided. 2018 Artist Studio Tour 02Ticket holders assemble at the Alliance at 10:00 a.m., receive a program and map, and then decide the order in which to visit the studios, and how long to remain once they arrive at each one. Then to close out the day, DAAS CO-OP will host a closing reception at 4:00 p.m.

“It’s a rare opportunity to experience the sanctuaries where art is 2018 Artist Studio Tour 03created while getting acquainted with the makers and gaining a close-up view of the materials each artist employs,” touts the Alliance in the press release announcing its artist studio tour.

So which artists are taking part in the Alliance’s March 3 artist studio tour? They are Annette Brown, Stacey Brown, Donna Chase, Kathy Danca Galli, Julie Griffin, Mariapia Malerba and MiMi Stim.

Annette Brown has always been an artist. For many years, her art expression was as a professional hair stylist. Now, Brown gets creative energy expressing herself through mixed media.

2018 Artist Studio Tour 04Stacey Brown uses an intuitive creative process which incorporates the use of paper, paint, ink, crayon, pencil, ephemera and other materials. Her creations include paintings, collage, mixed media, jewelry and furniture.

Donna Chase is relatively new in the local art scene. Her math and business training prepared her for an unusual path into the world of art. Her creative outlet had been limited to helping friends decorate their homes. That changed a few years ago and her paintings have been shown in numerous juried 2018 Artist Studio Tour 05shows throughout Southwest Florida. Her Pop Art chairs were accepted in the 2015 All Florida Show at the Alliance for the Arts and at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. She also has exhibited paintings at Arts for Act, The Visual Arts Center and the Cape Coral Art League. Her style is playful, colorful and diverse. Donna does not limit herself to a particular style but sees each painting as an 2018 Artist Studio Tour 07expression of her love for life.

Growing up on the west coast of Florida, Kathy Danca Galli has been  grateful to experience the beauty of our blue planet first hand. She is a photographer, former photo editor for Scuba Diving magazine, master diver, former registered boy scout (seriously), ocean advocate and lover of all bodies of water. Kathy’s work has been featured with Captains for Clean Water, Scuba Diving magazine, Sport Diver Magazine, and has won contests with the Ocean Conservancy, Our World Underwater, and the Florida Skin Divers Association.

2018 Artist Studio Tour 06Julie Dean Griffin is a native of Fort Myers, Florida and has been an artist for over 40 years. Griffin graduated from Florida State University where she finished with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and supporting minors in Art Education, Marketing and Art History. Primarily working in the medium of oil painting, she specializes in the Academic Method of Painting. She now resides in Fort Myers and Mariapia Malerba 05continues her work mainly producing landscapes and portraiture.

Mariapia Malerba is an Italian-American artist who was  born in Puglia, a region in Southern Italy.  She studied art in high school and went on to study at Accademia di Belle Arti, a fine art institute in Lecce, Italy. After earning a degree in art, with primary coursework in scenography, set design and costume history, Mariapia moved to Lake Como in Lombardy, Italy to work as a textile designer. She has created textile designs for well-known fashion designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Cavalli.

MiMi 2018 Artist Studio Tour 09Stirn’s art is pure symbolism and surrealism embodied in 2D mixed media resins.  Influences of Klimt, Dali, and O’Keefe are apparent in both message and stylings.  Works include sculpted modeling paste, hand-mixed acrylics from pigments purchased from a distributor who is part of The Society of Ochers of France, operators of the last remaining Ocher quarry in the Provence region. She proceeds to mix elements, layers of staining, finished with colored and clear coated resins.  With her art career stretching as far back as high school, sh2018 Artist Studio Tour 10e studied sculpture and through the years mastered the embodiment of both her love of sculpture and painting into dynamic and unique works of art.

Tickets for Alliance members are $25 or $35 for non-members and can be purchased online at or by calling 239-939-2787.



Last chance to catch T.G.I.M. this season (02-04-18)

The final T.G.I.M. of the 2017-2018 season takes place in the grand atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center on Monday, February 5. Join Eric Raddatz and Melissa DeHaven as they screen more of the films that are being considered for inclusion in this year’s film festival, which takes place March 21-25. To help get the post-screening discussion going, Robert Cacioppo, Charles Runnells and Jason Maughan have been empaneled as celebrity judges. Morgan Marie and Alec Prorock will be on hand to provide fresh local indie music.

Doors open for cocktails at 6:30, with screenings beginning promptly at 7:00.




Morgan Marie and Alec Prorock to entertain at February T.G.I.M. (02-04-18)

Cineastes are in for a treat at tomorrow night’s season-ending T.G.I.M. screenings. That’s because the evening’s entertainment consists of the indie sounds of Morgan Marie and Alec Prorock.

Morgan Marie is a vocalist from SWFL best known for her throwback sound. A jazz singer at heart, Morgan Marie has been involved in a variety of projects, from country and pop to jazz and blues.

Her musical companion, Alec Prorock, is a musician and multi-instrumentalist residing in Fort Myers, Florida, where he attends the Bower School of Music & The Arts at Florida Gulf Coast University. He released his debut solo album “Cloud Chameleon” on February 14, 2016. Alec is a student of the master musicians Matthew Sonneborn, Dan Miller, and Danny Jordan. Learn more about them at

For more, read here.



Florida Rep’s Cacioppo one of Feb T.G.I.M. celebrity judges (02-04-18)

The final T.G.I.M. of the 2017-2018 season takes place in the grand atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center on Monday, February 5. To help get the post-screening discussion going, hosts Eric Raddatz and Melissa DeHaven have empaneled Robert Cacioppo, Charles Runnells and Jason Maughan as celebrity judges. Cacioppo is founder and Producing Artistic Director of Florida Repertory Theatre, which was named “Best Performing Arts Group in Southwest Florida” in 2001, 2004 and 2006.

Robert has received numerous honors, including the Florida Professional Theatres Association’s Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre for his tenacity, vision, passion, and leadership in creating professional theatre in the state of Florida. He was also selected by Gulfshore Business Magazine as one of its Top 40 Influential Leaders, The News- Press as one of its “125 Influential Local Leaders in the past 125 years” and the recent “130 People of Influence” in Fort Myers, and the Alliance for the Arts with its Angel of the Arts Award for Arts Organization Leader of the Year in 2005. Robert is a proud member of SSDC (Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers).

Individual honors aside, Cacioppo is most proud of the accolades Florida Repertory Theatre has earned over the years. In this regard, Gulfshore Life Magazine has named Florida Rep Southwest Florida’s Best Performing Arts Group six times. In addition, the theatre has received seven glowing reviews from The Wall Street Journal since 2009, most recently in January 2015 for Lewis Black’s romantic comedy, One Slight Hitch.

There’s more here.



News-Press’ Charles Runnells one of February T.G.I.M. celebrity judges (02-04-18)

One of the celebrity judges who will be on hand to get the discussion going after the presentation of each film screened at the February T.G.I.M. is Fort Myers News-Press arts and entertainment journalist Charles Runnells. You’ll often find him sitting in a theater scribbling notes for a play review. But since joining the News-Press in 1998 as a lifestyles reporter, Charles has enjoyed the privilege of interviewing lots of celebrities, including (to name drop just a few) Kevin Costner, ex-Beatle Pete Best, Star Trek’s William Shatner, John Cleese of Monty Python, Woody Allen, Kevin Bacon, Loretta Lynn, Spider-Man creator Stan Lee and punk icon Henry Rollins.

Charles was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but he grew up all over the place thanks to his Army father. He has a journalism degree from Auburn University. Journalism wasn’t his first love. He actually wanted to be the next Stephen King. But becoming a famous fiction writer takes more than just talent, so he hedged his bets and became a journalist. The rest is history.

Read here for more.




Sanibel attorney Jason Maughan one of February T.G.I.M. celebrity judges (02-04-18)

One of the celebrity judges who will be on hand to get the discussion going after the presentation of each film screened at the February T.G.I.M. is Sanibel attorney Jason Maughan.

A devoted husband and involved father, Maughan is one of Southwest Florida’s best lawyers and civic activists. Specializing in real estate, corporate law, construction and commercial litigation, Jason has been voted “Best Attorney and Law Firm of Sanibel and Captiva Islands” in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Among his other accolades and awards are:

  • Florida Businessman of the Year,
  • National Republican Congressional Committee,
  • 2006 & 2007 Honorary Chairman Business Advisory Counsel, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2006
  • Congressional Medal of Distinction, 2007

Crediting his success to the many opportunities provided by the local community, Jason expresses his appreciation by serving as director and general counsel on the boards of numerous area charitable and philanthropic organizations, including Community Housing Resource (providing below market housing), Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), Med Vets Charitable Foundation (providing free prescription medicine to Veterans’ service dogs), Sanibel School Fund (raising funds to hire additional public language teachers and technology), School Advisory Council (SAC) and Children’s Education Center. In spite of only having two attorneys, Jason’s firm donates more than $100,000 a year in pro bono services to people and groups who cannot afford, but need, quality legal representation.

“I follow the rule that we pay back by giving, not taking,” Jason demurs.

Jason has also earned two consecutive appointments to the City of Sanibel Planning Commission, where he has earned a reputation for protecting citizens’ rights, and is currently the Chair of the Land Development Code Review Subcommittee.

You can read the remainder of Jason’s profile here.



Tower Gallery hosting photo show and film featuring Charlie McCullough photos (02-04-18)

Sanibel’s Tower Gallery is exhibiting a retrospective of J. Charles McCullough II photography. The show includes historical images of Sanibel and Captiva islands and the world since 1939. The show’s opening reception takes place from 5:00-9:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 8. Admission is free and there is plenty of parking located at the gallery.

McCullough’s career as a photograph began in 1939 when, as a 13-year-old, he picked up his first camera. Between that time and his death in 2013, Charlie’s goals had been to capture on film how people respond to their environment and how the natural world develops and takes form.

McCullough took photos throughout high school and college. But his studies at Cornell were interrupted by World War II. (He served in the 10th Mountain Division.) After the war, he mrried his high school sweetheart, Ann, completed his studies at Cornell, and celebrated the birth of his daughter, MaryAnne. (She can be seen in the photo “Boardwalkin’ at Bailey’s”) After a long career in sailboat sales and three more children, Charlie and his wife retired to his grandfather’s fishing clubhouse on Sanibel. The house was built in 1908 and was Charlie’s home until his death.

The exhibition contains newly-discovered photos from Charlie’s private collection. Interestingly, prints are framed with wood from the photographer’s 1908 home, which teens set fire to in 2016, three years after McCullough’s passing. Some of the architectural elements were salvaged and were used to make frames for McCullough’s photographs. These specially-framed prints will be available for purchase at the opening.

Tower Gallery will also be showing the latest documentary created by seven-time Emmy Award winner David E. Carter, Postcards & Photos from Sanibel, which includes many photographs from McCullough’s collection. The documentary is a feature-length film done “Ken Burns style,” with narrators reading “postcards and photos from Sanibel” with a storyline that follows life on Sanibel from 1946 through 1984.

“What started as an initiative from Eric Pfeifer to expand the Sanibel Public Library’s vintage photo collection eventually became the basis for this new film,” says Carter. “When I originally went to the library and asked to see their collection, they had about 500 photographs, but more than 2,000 additional images to be scanned.”

According to Carter, a large majority of the images in the library collection featured photographs of Sanibel prior to the construction of the causeway, which opened on May 26, 1963. More recent images were scarce. That is, until members of the McCullough family stepped forward and offered the filmmaker total access to the Charlie McCullough collection, many of which were taken between the late 1960s and early 1980s.

“This sequel is truly going to be a tribute to Charlie McCullough’s work,” noted Carter. “His family has been so generous to make these images available to me.”

Tower Gallery is located at 751 Tarpon Bay Road on Sanibel Island. For more information, please telephone 239-472-4557.



Recap of Bonita International Film Festival movies, event (02-04-18)

The 3rd Annual Bonita Springs International Film Festival took place January 26 -28, and featured numerous feature films, documentaries, short films and event. Here are links to the articles posted on the films, Q&A sessions and other events during its four day run:



Feminine Magic and Mystery’ opens at Watson MacRae on February 6 (02-03-18)

Feminine Magic and Mystery is an exciting and different exhibit that combines paintings, sculpture and mixed media works that honor the feminine. It opens at Sanibel’s Watson MacRae Gallery on Tuesday, February 6 with a 5:00-7:00 p.m. artists’ reception.

The exhibit features the work of five highly accomplished and national recognized female artists who create a diverse and exciting visual narrative of the feminine mystique:

  • Cathy Hegman (Holly Bluff, Mississippi Delta) returns to the gallery with her woman of mystery. Set in surreal atmospheric spaces, Hegman’s paintings tell tales of female accomplishments beyond the realm of the possible.
  • New Orleans-based Cathy Rose’s sculptures continue to evolve as they become more textured and complex. Her figures, often androgynous, combine delicate porcelain features with sturdy rustic bodies that perform dangerous or unlikely feats with courage and grace.

The rest of this announcement is here.



Naples Art District’s 1st Wednesday Studio and Gallery Tour is February 7 (02-03-18)

live-music-01The next 1st Wednesday Studio and Gallery Tour takes place in the Naples Art District on February 7. The event is a unique opportunity to not only visit some of Southwest Florida’s most interesting galleries, but immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of the studios of dozens of emerging and mid-career artists working in a broad cross-section of genres and media. The event takes place from 5-8 p.m., is free, and many of the galleries and studios serve complimentary beverages and light fare. Some offer musical entertainment, as well. Participating galleries and studios have maps and information sheets so that you can find your way around the Naples Art District.




1st Wednesday event allows new collectors to find out what they like (02-03-18)

The Kesslers 02On the first Wednesday of each month, the Naples Art District sponsors a studio and gallery tour. A couple of years ago, long-time collectors and art connoisseurs Joel and Joan Kessler made the rounds nd offered some important reasons why you should take the time to participate in the 1st Wednesday Studio and Gallery Tour.

Joel Kessler 05The couple first began collecting during the 1960s. Today, their walls feature exceptional originals and limited edition prints by the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and other contemporary art heavyweights. “We ran out of wall space,” Joel chuckled while he eyed photographs by Jack Megela in the The Artists’ Gallery. “I used to joke that I had Andy Warhol living in my closet.”

Joan Kessler 01While the Kesslers are in the process of downsizing their private collection (called “de-accessioning” in art circles), they still periodically take part in the studio and gallery tour and visit outdoor art fairs and festivals. Happenings like these enable them to maintain their associations with area artists and gallery owners and keep their fingers on the pulse of the local, regional and even national art scene. But in their estimation, the real value of the event, Fort Myers Art Walk and the myriad art fairs and Kesslers and Richard Rosen 01festivals that take place each year throughout Southwest Florida is what they do for newbie art enthusiasts and collectors and beginning to mid-career local artists.

Starting out, lots of people believe they need to find the next Rauschenberg, Warhol or Rosenquist. In the Kesslers’ experience, that’s a mistake. “I never bought a painting because I The Kesslers 05thought it was going to be valuable or because I thought the artist was going to have a good career,” says Joel with conviction. “We only bought what we thought we’d like to live with on our walls,” adds Joan with equal insistence. As a result, they admonish first-time and neophyte collectors to only purchase pieces that they like.

To read more, please click here.






Thomas Riley Studio featuring work by master painter Carmelo Blandino (02-03-18)

Thomas Riley Studio will be hosting painter Carmelo Blandino for an artist talk and reception at the Naples Botanical Garden on February 6, 2018. The event will take place from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. in Kapnick Hall, with the talk beginning promptly at 6:00. Tickets are 10$ via Eventbrite. One drink voucher is included with each admission ticket. Lite bites and a cash bar will also be available.

Heavily informed by his multicultural heritage and imbued with a sensual, expressionistic exuberance, Blandino’s paintings are renowned for their immediacy and intensity – color, movement, and combustible forms display elemental deconstruction, rebuilt into alluring visions of harmonious appeal. The transcendental narrative, which lies at the heart of Carmelo’s work, is achieved via a symbolic abstraction of the flowers, landscapes, and faces that he renders.

The artist talk will prelude a solo exhibition of Blandino’s new series of paintings, opening at Thomas Riley Studio on February 15 with a 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. reception. The exhibition will remain on view until March 23. Thomas Riley Studio is a gallery and design atelier specializing in contemporary craft, fine art, and design, embodying an interdisciplinary philosophy that encourages the exchange of ideas across all platforms, including science and technology. It represents a range of international emerging, mid-career, and established artists and designers.

To RSVP, please visit



Fort Myers Art Walk returns to River District tonight (02-02-18)

June 2016 Music Walk 01The River District will come alive tonight (February 2) when Art Walk returns to downtown Fort Myers. Now a two-day event, Art Walk will continue Saturday, February 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. With exciting new exhibits and live art demonstrations, rain or shine, this is a “must attend event.”

New exhibits include exceptional art in a variety of mediums done by a bevy of local artists and some June 2016 Music Walk 02national and international artists as well.  You can meet the artists and talk art at the self-guided Friday night event, which brings together art enthusiasts, collectors and community friends who celebrate the arts each month. The Friday night Art Walk sees First Street closed to traffic. Local artists set up in the street selling their art, and face painting is offered at several Bicycles on Parade 03locations along First Street. And at the Broadway and First Street intersection, the Fort Myers Art League will be hosting a “Make It/Take It” table for children of all ages.

Saturday Art Walk is a quieter affair with most of the galleries open for examining the art at more leisurely pace. This new and improved version of Art Walk includes 14 galleries and art stops, including:

  • Anything GoesAmerican Legion Veterans Gallery showing Art done by Veterans
  • Art League of Fort Myers – new exhibits each month
  • Arts for ACT Gallery – features three or more art exhibits every month plus co-op members art
  • Bootlegger Alley Gallery – outdoor gallery open only during Art Walk in The Patio de Leon
  • Ford's GarageGrand Illusion Gallery – art, tee shirts and more
  • Marc Harris Wildlife Photography – on Jackson Street
  • Miville Art Gallery – art and photography in the Franklin Shops
  • Ollie Mack Gentry Photography – photography  at 2180 West First Street
  • Reverie & Rock Art Gallery – concert Hideaway Sports Bar April 2013B (3)photography and Surrealistic digital art
  • Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center – Main Gallery Exhibit and Capitol Exhibit on the 3rd Floor
  • The Barrel Room – Jazz art – on Bay Street
  • Timeless Gallery – gallery and gift shop featuring steampunk art and more
  • Two Newts Gallery – co-op gallery located off Horse Drawn Carriage 01 (4)West First Street at 2064 Bayside Parkway
  • Unit A – urban contemporary gallery of internationally-acclaimed artist Marcus Jansen located in Gardener’s Park

As this survey of participating galleries reveals, Fort Myers Art Walk spans the core of downtown Fort Myers and includes the Gardener’s Park area Trolleyand West First Street. Most of the action is located on First Street, but you can obtain a Fort Myers Art Walk map at any of the galleries that will lead you to all the art venues and Art Walk partners.  “Enjoy cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses, plus live music,” touts the River District Alliance. “Watch live art demos on First Street, eat amazing food, shop the unique local boutiques or just enjoy the atmosphere.”

United Cafe Under the LightsSo whether you prefer the energy of night or the calm of day, there’s something for everyone during this new-and-improved weekend of art that Fort Myers still calls Art Walk.

The best way to get to Fort Myers Art Walk:

  • off I-75 North: Exit #141 then west on Palm Lambo 2Beach Blvd
  • off I-75 South: Exit #138 then west on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
  • From U.S. 41 Northbound: exit at Historic District McGregor Blvd., Right turn or
  • From U.S. 41 Southbound Exit before the Caloosahatchee bridge.

Sax outside Hotel IndigoThere is free street parking and $5.00 at any of the parking garages.  In season ride the free River District Trolley. Fort Myers Art Walk is a Pet and Family Friendly free event! Fort Myers Art Walk is hosted by The River District Alliance, a non-profit organization. For more information, please visit

To become a volunteer, partner or sponsor of Fort Myers Art Walk, contact Claudia Goode via






ArtFest Fort Myers invades River District February 2-4 (02-02-18)

ArtFest Fort Myers takes place Friday night, February 2, and Saturday and Sunday, February 3 & 4, 2018 in the downtown Fort Myers River District. Once again, Fort Myers’ 1.8 acre river basin, the Fort Myers Marina, City Pier Building, Harborside Event Center and Centennial Park serve as a picturesque backdrop for the tents and booths of the more than 200 artists who have been juried into this year’s festival. As in years past, a wide array of genres and media will be represented in this year’s festival, including works in sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography, printmaking, drawing, digital, mixed media, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, wearable fiber and wood. And be sure to check out the chalk art competition featuring entries by area high schools.



Naples Art in the Park is on February 3 (02-02-18)

Down the road on Saturday, February 3 is Naples Art in the Park. This one-day fair showcases paintings in oil and acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass art, jewelry and wood-working created by members in good standing of the Naples Art Association.

For art lovers, it’s a casual, fun-filled venue for meeting local artists and becoming acquainted with their work. On the flip side, Art in the Park not only gives participating artists the opportunity to show and sell their work, it affords them a terrific platform in which to build rapport with collectors while fostering their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the arts and their own extensive portfolios. One of the special features of this outdoor art fair is its art demonstration booths, where Naples Art members introduce the art community to process, technique and methodology.






Art League of Marco Island Fine Craft Fair is February 3 & 4 (02-02-18)

On Marco Island, the Art League of Marco Island Fine Craft Fair takes place on February 3 & 4. This fair is held at 1010 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, Florida 34145, which is toward the southern end of the island. Now in its 18th year, this craft fair provides browsers and art enthusiasts with some of the region’s best original artwork, including paintings, watercolors, photography and digital art, ceramics, pottery, glass, clothing, children’s clothing, jewelry and mixed media work.



SoCo Second Saturday Art Crawl returns February 10 (02-02-18)

SoCo Second Saturday 05The next SoCo Second Saturday art event takes place February 10. The event continues to grow, with more cultural venues, new vendors and a redesigned map that includes all of the night’s attractions and the details on how to win a great prize from one of the participating SoCo stops. (To qualify for the prize, simply visit each of the SoCo Second Saturday venues and get a Golden Ticket at each location. The winner will be announced one week after the event.)

January’s participating SoCo Cultural Venues SoCo Bannerare:

  • Alliance for the Arts
  • DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts
  • Ocasiocasa
  • The Union Artist Studios and the CRAFTED Shop
  • Catch 22
  • More SoCo 02A Swedish Affair
  • Broadway Palm Dinner Theater
  • Suzanne’s Dance Fitness
  • Studio Os Urbanos
  • City of Palms Studio
  • DM Paper Designs

In addition, more than 10 vendors, located at various spots in Royal Palms Square, will be offering SoCo Second Saturday 04their handmade, fine-crafts during the event. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m., rain or shine.

The SoCo Cultural District location encompasses the block south of Colonial Blvd., from the corner of McGregor Blvd. to Summerlin Rd., to Royal Palm Square Blvd. and back to McGregor Blvd. More information about the event and vendor opportunity information is available at



Art of member artist Bill Kramer being featured by DAAS in February (02-02-18)

During the month of February, DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts will showcase the art of member artist Bill Kramer. The exhibition, entitled Variations on Thought, is a collection of bold, colorful and large scale pieces that were created by the artist exclusively for the event. The opening reception coincides with the monthly SoCo Second Saturday art crawl, which is held in the SoCo Cultural District (Alliance for the Arts and Royal Palm Square block) on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Bill Kramer began his career as an artist later in life. “I started painting in 2003 at the age of 61,” says Bill, who has been a member of the DAAS cooperative gallery for over a year. “Today, I am 75 and my style has changed completely. My attitudes and ideas have changed, but my commitment to expressing myself with design and color will always be part of the way I live.”

The pieces in this collection are large scale, bold and vibrant. They are filled with the energy of this artist, whose age may contrast with the contemporary-abstract feel of his multi-media creations. Kramer does not sign his pieces in the front because he wants the collector to hang the piece in whatever angle they wish. Of course, he is happy to sign his pieces upon request.

For more information about the gallery, please visit or call 239-590-8645. DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery is conveniently located in the Royal Palm Square at 1400 Colonial Blvd in Suite 84. Season hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

More information about the SoCo Second Saturday Art Crawl can be found at



Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show returns February 10 (02-02-18)

Saturday, February 10 is the date for the Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show. Naples Artcrafters is committed to promoting excellence in arts and crafts and to supporting established artists, craftspersons and students by providing a venue for the display and sale of their work in a beautiful setting. At this show more than 90 artists will display a wide array of artistic genres, styles and media, including paintings in oils, acrylics, watercolors, drawings in pen and ink and pencil, pastels, scissors art, multi-media and collage, photography, ceramics and pottery, jewelry, metalsmithing, metal clays, lapidary, beading, sculptures, stained glass and fused glass, wood turning and carving, and basket weaving. The show takes place in Cambier Park along 8th Street South, within view of the Band Shell and Cambier’s Quilt, the first public art project at a municipal building under the City of Naples’ public art ordinance.



Art After Dark takes place February 10 in Crayton Cove (02-02-18)

Just steps away in Crayton Cove on Saturday, February 10 is Art After Dark, an Art-Walk-type evening that gives art enthusiasts and collectors an exceptional opportunity to combine fine art with fine dining alongside picturesque Naples Bay. Participating galleries include Phil Fisher Gallery, Random Acts of Art, Guess-Fisher Gallery, Naples Ships Store and Pure Design, who band together from 6-9 p.m. to present an evening of art receptions, refreshments and live music – this month compliments of Jeff Fessenden & Alchemy. Many art lovers complete their evening of art viewing with drinks and a sumptuous meal in one of Crayton Cove’s outstanding eateries, Bleu Provence, Chez Boez, or The Dock and Boathouse Restaurant.



45th Pine Island Art Show and Sale comes to Matlacha on February 10 & 11 (02-02-18)

This year the Pine Island Art Association’s 45th Annual Art Show and Sale will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will draw the largest crowds of the season to Matlacha Island, a picturesque artists’ community where pelicans and great blue herons circle above moored fishing boats, brightly painted galleries, and fresh fish markets. The show is located in the Community Building in Matlacha Park, 4577 Pine Island Road, just west of the newly-completed Matlacha Bridge. It will feature the works of more than 100 artists, and will include more than 500 paintings in acrylic, oil, pastel, pen and ink, and watercolor, with an emphasis on Florida landscapes, seascapes, birds, fish and flowers – “all ready to hang in your home.” Be sure to visit the PIAA show first, then tour the local galleries and restaurants and be delighted by the local color. Pine Island and Matlacha are remnants of a time gone by.



Bonita National Art Festival returns February 10 & 11 (02-02-18)

The Bonita Springs National Art Festival returns to Riverside Park on Old 41 in historic downtown Bonita Springs on Saturday and Sunday, February 10 & 11 for the second of its three fine art festivals. This festival stresses quality and originality, with the 211 artists juried into the show from across the United States, Canada, South America and even Europe exhibiting and selling original paintings, drawings, pastels, photography, handcrafted jewelry, clay works and ceramics, glass art, metal sculpture and more. Riverside Park is located at 10450 Reynold Street or 27000 Old 41 Road in central Bonita Springs, Florida 34135.



‘Chicago’ on stage at Broadway Palm through February 10 (02-01-18)

Chicago is on the main stage at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre through February 10. Here are links to articles posted on Art Southwest Florida that will give you more information about the production and some of the actors taking part in it:




‘The Hallelujah Girls’ on Off-Broadway stage through February 24 (02-01-18)

Hallelujah Girls 01From the writers of The Dixie Swim Club and The Savannah Sipping Society, The Hallelujah Girls is a rollicking Southern comedy will have you laughing in your seat and shouting “Hallelujah” from the aisles. It is on stage now in the Off-Broadway Palm through February 24.

The action takes place in SPA-DEE-DAH!, a run-down abandoned church turned day spa that’s located in Eden Falls, Georgia. That’s where a group of feisty women gather every Friday afternoon. Following the loss of a dear friend, the women realize time is a precious commodity. If they are going to change their lives and achieve their dreams, they have to get after it now! But there are complications and Sugar Lee, their determined, high-spirited leader, has her hands full keeping the women motivated and on course.

You will find the rest of this announcement here.


‘Hallelujah Girls’ play dates, times and ticket info



Center for Performing Arts Bonita holding different kind of staged readings (02-01-18)

CFABS Staged Readins 01The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs will host an evening of staged readings on three dates this winter. But they will not necessarily feature a play that is under development. At the Center for Performing Arts, short stories, essays, plays, speeches and even the inside of fortune cookies can smoes 01erve as fodder for staged readings. But no matter the source, they will feature poignant selections of written works that are carefully selected to enthrall and amuse. Each promises to be unique, powerful, funny and thought-provoking as Moe 02actors take on different roles.

The first reading took place on January 12; remaining readings will be produced on February 16 and March 16. Each evening is a Friday, with the reading beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Moe Auditorium & Film Center. Tickets are just $15 (with 10 percent off for CFABS members).

So watch the transformative power of acting as Director Catalina Monterrosa and actors introduce all of us to works that may illuminate our mainstage work or introduce us to future programming possibilities. After the readings, you are invited to meet the cast and discuss the play with the director and actors. This lively and informative discussion brings new insight to the art of theater.



Improv Tonight’ returns to Moe Auditorium February 3 (02-01-18)

Join CFABS for some of Southwest Florida’s best improvisational comedy on February 3.

Bonita City Improv will perform musical improv, games and scenes that include suggestions provided by the audience. Every show is different with special guests always popping in from nationally-touring improv groups. Be as involved in the show as you’d like – whether you’re just setting a scene with your suggestions or you’re on stage as a player.

The fun starts at 8:00 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts – Moe Auditorium & Film Center, 10150 Bonita Beach Road.

Adult Tickets are $13.50 for members and $15 for non-members. 



‘Improv Cafe’ returns February 3 (02-01-18)

CFABS Improv Cafe 01Improv Café returns to the Center for Performing Arts at 5:00 on Saturday, February 3. Local youth improv groups perform short and long form improv that includes suggestions Improv Cafe Logoprovided by the audience. Be as involved in the show as you’d like – whether you’re just setting a scene with your suggestions or you’re on stage as a player!

The fun takes place in the Moe Auditorium & Film Center. Tickets are just $10 for adults and $6 for youths. Snacks and beverages are also available. 



Auditions announced for ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ (02-01-18)

The CFABS Community Players is holding auditions in the Moe Auditorium and Film Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 6 and 7, for No Sex Please, We’re British, a farce about a newlywed couple that enjoyed a run of more than 6,000 performances in British theaters before sold-out audiences.

Each audition will require a cold reading from the script (no advance side) as well as an optional comedic monologue (but please don’t let that stop you from auditioning). However, a strong British accent is a must. CFABS is using Casting Manager to schedule audition appointments. Visit our Casting Manager page to set up your audition account.

Auditions start at 7:00 p.m. The show’s performance dates and times are Wednesday – Saturday, April 11 – 14 at 7:00 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, April 14 & 15.



Gary Obeldobel directing ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ (02-01-18)

CFABS Community Players will present No Sex Please, We’re British in April. Gary Obeldobel will direct the farce. The actor, comedian and acting instructor has 30 years of show business experience, primarily on the stage but also in television and movies. He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New Your City and worked in theaters in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. Gary transplanted to Florida in the early nineties and has worked locally since then with CFABS Community Players, Theatre Zone, Charlotte Players, Cultural Center Theater, Laboratory Theater of Florida and The Acting Studio of Southwest Florida. He last directed Moon Over Buffalo last July.



Florida Rep extends ‘Night and Day’ through March 11 (02-01-18)

Night and Day 07Florida Repertory Theatre has announced that it is extending through March 11, 2018 the world premiere of Night and Day: Love Lost and Found through the Eyes of Cole Porter. The show is being staged in the intimate 115-seat ArtStage Studio Theatre.

Conceived and directed by Florida Rep Founder and Producing Artistic Director Robert Cacioppo, Night and Day is a thrilling and glamorous revue that tells a story of love lost and love found through Night and Day 06the medium of Cole Porter’s masterful lyrics and iconic music. The show features 36 of the most beloved songs our time, including “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” “I’ve Got You Under my Skin” and “Night and Day”. Made famous on film, Broadway, and a recording career that spanned decades, Porter’s songs are some of the most beloved of the 20th century, and in Night and Day they’re used to tell the story of two couples finding, falling in, and falling out of love.

Each Night and Day 01of the members of the limited cast is make his/her Florida Rep debut. Dan Fenaughty was last seen in Riverside Theatre’s Mame and the national tour of The 39 Steps. Travis Kent recently appeared on Broadway in Seth Rudetsky’s Disaster! Larissa Klinger comes to Fort Myers after a recent world tour entertaining our troops with the USO Show Troupe and the national tour of The 39 Steps, while Night and Day 02Jennifer Lorae joins the cast after recent runs Off-Broadway and in major regional theatres across the country. Paul Gary, a performance intern here at Florida Rep, makes his ArtStage debut as The Butler.

Robert Cacioppo (Too Marvelous for Words, Fascinatin’ Gershwin) leads an expert creative team, including Night and Day 03musical director and arranger Victoria Casella (Fascinatin’ Gershwin), ensemble member, choreographer, and co-creator Arthur D’Alessio (Too Marvelous for Words), set designer Jordan Moore (Shear Madness); costume designer Charlene Gross (Outside Mullingar), sound designer John Kiselica (Disgraced) and ensemble manager Amy Massari (Sylvia).

Night and Day 04Night and Day is playing in the ArtStage Studio Theatre through March 11, 2018. Performances are Tuesday-Saturday evenings, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Thursday, Sunday and selected Saturdays. New for the 2017-2018 Season, weeknight performances (Tues.-Thurs.) begin at 7:00 p.m. Weekend evening performances remain at 8:00 p.m.

Night and Day 05Priced at $55 and $35 for previews, single tickets are now on sale through the box office at 239-332-4488 and online at Subscriptions for the 2017-2018 season offer the best seats and the biggest savings, and packages start as low as $150 for 6 plays. Florida Repertory Theatre performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre and the ArtStage Studio Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson & Night and Day 09Hendry with limited free parking in the Fort Myers River District.

Visit Florida Rep online at, and by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.



Ghostbird presents Cyrus Teed’s new vision of utopia in ‘ORBS!’ (02-01-18)

Cyrus Teed will be returning to his old haunting grounds in February. The leader of the Koreshan Unity Community is having another vision. This time, he imagines a clean new utopia – one to replace the New Jerusalem he and his followers built in Estero between 1894 and 1908. You can discover what the alchemist-turned-spiritual-leader has up his sleeve this time around during ORBS!, a site-specific play by Barry Cavin that will be produced by Ghostbird Theatre Company in February.

Part Wizard of Oz and part old-time religion sermonizing, ORBS! will be presented in the format of a music-filled procession that takes place on the groomed paths of the historic grounds of the Koreshan Unity Community, where Teed and his follows lived, worked, worshipped, created and performed music, art, and theatre.

“The audience members will take an active part in the procession, serving as witnesses for a marriage ceremony as well as for a murder trial,” reveals Cavin (2nd photo), an esteemed member of the theatre department at Florida Gulf Coast University.

His comedic piece of theatre also includes Calusa animal spirits who taunt Teed and provide the audience an irreverent spiritual and natural salve for Teed’s madness.

“This is a true comedy, where Teed is given his deserved comeuppance, but it also is a cautionary tale about how we live with each other and with the natural world,” adds Jim Brock (3rd photo), who plays Teed.

Read here for the rest of this announcement.




Rom-com ‘The Way We Get By’ on stage at Lab Theater through February 18 (02-01-18)

Neil LaBute’s sexy love story The Way We Get By [the Night After a One-Night Stand] is on stage at the Laboratory Theater of Florida through February 18. The links below provide a review and all the details:





Robert Hilliard’s ‘Julia’ to receive staged reading February 12 (02-01-18)

Lab Theater is holding a staged reading of Julia, a play about a disgruntled wife who finds herself at an emotional crossroads. She hates her insurance exec husband, Walter, and their shallow country-club life, but appreciates its economic security. At a party with former college friends, she falls in love with and begins a fulfilling sexual relationship with a struggling writer by named Joe, who is incapable of commitment or sincere caring. Bill is her best friend and confidante, but even though he gives her unconditional warmth and understanding, she just is not physically attracted to him. Will Julia go back to Walter, stay with Joe, or choose the emotional security of Bill?

For more, read here.



Suicide prevention theme of Lab’s production of ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ (02-01-18)

You’re seven years old. Mom’s in the hospital. Dad says she’s done something stupid. She finds it hard to be happy, so you start a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world – everything worth living for. You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she has corrected your spelling. This is the predicate for a special show being produced for a limited engagement by Lab Theater. It’s Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan MacMillan and Jonny Donahue, and will star Rob Green (An Act of God, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Parody of the Horror, Burn This!), with direction by Artistic Director Annette Trossbach.

The Telegraph calls it “funny, clever, and surprisingly uplifting.”

“Filled to the brim with joy…beautiful, heart-wrenching, and very funny,” adds Time Out London.

Sponsored by C.A.R.E.S. suicide prevention, Lab Theater is proud to be partnering with SalusCare in the production of this new show. There will be post-performance discussion opportunities after each performance. The show runs February 22-25 only and is included in your Season Pass or, if you don’t have a season pass yet, you can get your tickets HERE.



Theatre Conspiracy’s production of ‘Gidion’s Knot’ on stage through February 18 (02-01-18)

Theatre Conspiracy is bringing Johnna Adams emotional drama Gidion’s Knot to the Foulds Theatre stage in February. The play runs February 8 through 18. Follow the links for the information that interests you most:




A look forward at the rest of Theatre Conspiracy’s 2017/18 season (02-01-18)

Now’s a good time to look ahead to 2018 to see what Theatre Conspiracy has in store for theater-goers during the remainder of its 2017/18 Season


A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen March 1-3 & 8-10 at 8 p.m. March 4 & 11 at 2 p.m. Sponsored by: Janet & Bruce Bunch

A stark and unforgiving look behind the façade of an ideal marriage: Nora and Torvald Helmer are living their dream life, happily married with children and security. When Nora risks her reputation to save her husband’s life, the consequences test the limits of their love.

Grounded by George Brant March 22 – 24 at 8 p.m. March 25 at 2 p.m.

A hotshot fighter pilot sidelined by pregnancy is forced to operate military drones from a windowless trailer in the Las Vegas desert. This one-woman show targets our assumptions about war, family, and the power of storytelling.

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry May 3-5 & 10-12 at 8 p.m. May 6 & 13 at 2 p.m. Sponsored by: Noreen Raney

A fateful life insurance policy becomes a catalyst that will forever transform the lives of a family living on the South Side of Chicago, as they consider buying a house on the white side of town. Their shared dream of a better life collides with conflicting aspirations, betrayal and racism in this timeless production.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 239-939-2787 or visit



Naples Players’ gala benefits community theater and KidzAct youth program (02-01-18)

TNP Gala 02On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, The Naples Players (TNP) present their spectacular 2018 gala “Let Us Entertain You,” benefitting The Naples Players Community Theatre and their premier youth performing arts program, KidzAct. The Naples Players know how to entertain and they are pulling out all the stops for the gala. The black-tie evening includes Broadway-worthy entertainment, cocktails, an elegant gourmet dinner, specially selected wines and a spectacular live auction at The Naples Grand resort.

The Naples Players has been entertaining Naples for 64 years, offering 228 performances and hosting 47,000 attendees each year. TNP is rated one of the best Community Theatres in the Nation and has been voted Best Live Theatre by The Naples Daily News readers for fifteen consecutive years. CNN and Money Magazine cited TNP Gala 01The Naples Players as one of the reasons Collier County, Florida is one of the top five “Best Places for a Long Life in the United States.”

With 600 scholarships valued at $45,000 awarded each year, TNP also provides quality performing arts education opportunities to local students. TNP offers theatre TNP Gala 03classes for youth and adults with developmental disabilities and launched their first Sensory Friendly Performance with Miracle on 34th Street for attendees with sensory processing limitations. The gala supports all of TNP’s and programs and initiatives allowing it to continue as a national leader in the integration of theatre excellence, education, and service to the TNP Gala 04community.

The gala event is generously sponsored by Tanya and Denny Glass (Principal Sponsor) and Encore Bank (Director Sponsor). Additional sponsors include Ashley and John Paul Prebish, William Raveis Real Estate, BB&T, Fidelity Investments, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Inn on Fifth, Merrill Lynch, Naples Print Source, Port Royal Jewelers, Sugden Theatre 03Robb & Stucky, Rose Mary Everett Team Realtors, Sun Trust, Private Wealth Management and Sunshine Ace Hardware. Media sponsors include eBella Magazine, Florida Weekly, Gulfshore Life, Life In Naples Magazine and The Naples Daily News.

Tickets for this spectacular gala are $350 for individual tickets and $500 for Patron tickets and are available by calling Gala Chair Delores Sorey at 239-248-8059.

More information is available at or call (239) 263-7990.


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