If you are looking for a truly unique, one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one this holiday season that won’t break your bank account, then head over to the Fort Myers Beach Art Association (FMBAA) for its current “Art Divine” show!
“The ‘Art Divine Holiday Sale Show’ is a fundraiser for the FMBAA,” said Kathy Taylor, co-chair of the exhibit. “All the artwork comes from FMBAA members, who pay $20 in lieu of the Gallery’s usual commission to display up to 12 individual pieces of artwork, with the artists retaining the sale price. What is great about ‘Art Divine’ is that the maximum sale price is $150, including tax, with many of the works in the $35 to $75 range, so if you are looking for a fantastic Christmas present, this is the show for you!”
Kathy explained, “We have 35 artists in the exhibit and most entered their full complement of a dozen pieces, so that means we have roughly 400 works for you to peruse. The two-dimensional works range from water media to oil, along with drawing, collage, hand-pulled prints, serigraphs and woodcuts. All the pieces are originals – no prints! You don’t have to worry about empty walls as the show continues, because whenever an artist sells a painting, they can replace it with another one; I was fortunate enough to sell one already, so I have a new painting hanging in its place. That’s why we encourage everyone to visit ‘Art Divine’ more than once – because the exhibit is constantly changing. I may not have the most objective point-of-view, but I think the quality of the exhibit this year is excellent!”
“Art Divine” is not strictly a holiday exhibit, however. “It runs through Thursday, January 9, 2020,” Kathy shared, “because a lot of seasonal folks and vacationers are not here yet prior to the beginning of the New Year, and they really look forward to this show, its amazing works and reasonable prices, so we keep it up until roughly a week after the Holidays so that everyone has an opportunity to shop.”
The FMBAA kicked off the “Art Divine” show with a gala opening on Wednesday night, December 11, at the FMBAA Gallery in conjunction with the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours Social. “Pam Flaherty is a member of both the FMBAA and Chamber Boards,” Kathy explained, “so she was the bridge between the two organizations combining the Opening and Social into one splendid occasion!”
While “Art Divine” opened with a wonderful gala, it will close on January 9 with another outstanding program – an Open House & Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We will have beverages and all sorts of goodies,” Kathy said, “with demonstrations throughout the day, in various mediums including pastel, oil painting, acrylic, watercolor, portraits, finger drawings and other formats that visitors can often purchase on a make-and-take basis. We will unveil 8-by-10 inch mini-masters original paintings for just $10, with admission to the event free and open to the public.”
The FMBAA’s next Juried show is “The Winter Juried Show 2020: Not The Status Quo,” sponsored by Fresh Catch Bistro, from Monday, January 13 through Thursday, February 6. “This is our biggest show of the entire year,” Kathy enthused. “Unlike ‘Art Divine,’ this is not exclusive to FMBAA members, but open to all 19 associations that belong to the Art Council of Southwest Florida, and that makes for a big show! The exhibit will feature two-dimensional paintings that will include drawing, watercolor, oils, acrylic, pastel, collage, batik, woodcuts and more. Even though the exhibit does not open to the public until January 13, judging actually takes place behind closed doors on Sunday, January 12, though we do not announce the winners until a week after that. Awards are for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place along with Merit and Honorable Mention categories and Special Awards.”
On January 12, the FMBAA hosts a demonstration by artist Bonnie Broitzman for $10-per-person from 4 to 6 p.m. A week later, on Sunday, January 19, the FMBAA presents a Gallery Talk by professor and artist Francesco Gillia entitled “The Perception of Beauty” with free admission at 1 p.m. Following Professor Gillia’s presentation, there is a reception where the FMBAA will announce “The Winter Juried Show” winners.
Thursday, January 23, the FMBAA presents the popular “Paint Around” with heavy appetizers for $20-per-person from 5 to 8 p.m. “Award-winning artists Helma Gansen, Mimi Little, Bea Pappas and Lynne Wesolowski are this year’s artists,” related Kathy, “who paint four works of art in 90 minutes, as they rotate from piece to piece, then we frame and auction them off, with all proceeds to our Student Scholarship Fund that allowed us to award over $3,800 in scholarships in 2019. This fantastic event always sells out, so get your tickets ASAP!” February events include Jane Slivka conducting a workshop for $10-per-person on Sunday, February 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. and Joanne Sandborn on Sunday, February 16, at 1 p.m.
Do Not Need to Be Rembrandt
The Fort Myers Beach Art Association & Gallery is at 3030 Shell Mound Boulevard, with access off Estero Boulevard via Donora Boulevard. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday through April 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The FMBAA offers classes, workshops, juried shows, demonstrations, and a multitude of other programs. For more information, call 239-463-3909 or see www.fortmyersbeachart.com.
“We have roughly 200 members,” Kathy concluded, “and everyone is so wonderful! Many of us moved to Southwest Florida from all over the country, and when you get here, you often don’t know that many people, but at the FMBAA we not only paint but socialize and get to know everyone, as we are not a ‘cliquey’ group! Membership is inexpensive, as we already own our own Gallery, and you do not need to be Rembrandt or be juried through an association like many other groups, so everyone is welcome!”