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SPRING ART AFFAIR (Offsite at the Bell Tower Shops)
April 2 @ 11:00 am - 6:00 pm| FREE
Off-Site at the Bell Tower Shops.
Celebrate the arrival of spring during the 5th Annual Spring Art Affair in the courtyard at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. Meet local artists who will be displaying works in a variety of mediums. There is no charge for entry or parking.
2016 Featured Artists
Originally from Iowa, Julie fell in love with the beauty of Florida and moved to Fort Myers in 1990. With so much appreciation of all species of nature here and love of photography, taking pictures of the Florida treasures became a greater desiring passion for both. Combining the craft of custom picture framing and a commitment to recycling, this brought about creating works of art out of left over framing materials and mosaic pieces as well. With a long time love of art of all kinds, she continues wanting learn and create in many different mediums.
I’ve been taking pictures since I was a Ph.D student in geology at Johns Hopkins University (back in the Pleistocene epoch, if you’re counting). I took up photography to illustrate a research paper, and surprisingly learned that I cared more about the photos than the research. Three months later, I bought my first Canon camera and began work as a freelance photographer.
I spent nearly a decade in Washington DC as a communications editor, and later, photography columnist, for The Washington Post, then as a freelance commercial photographer. In the late ’80s I moved to Denver CO and became a designer of online help systems for software applications. For most of the next 10 years, I was a senior technical communicator for Sun Microsystems.
When I moved to SW Florida in 2004 I took up flatwater kayaking and quickly found that it was an excellent way to observe birds in their natural habitats. Against the stern advice of my insurance agent, I began taking my digital SLR and telephoto zoom lens with me on kayak trips. I have been exhibiting at art shows in Florida, the mid-Atlantic states, and New England since 2008, and leading classrooms and workshops since 2009. All of my photos are made in natural habitats, without aid of lures, calls, etc.
A native of New York, Dedo was the first artist accepted into the Artisans Atelier in Punta Gorda, FL where he worked until Nov.2015.Currently he works in Port Charlotte. In 2013 Florida Weekly named him the “Best Handler of the Female Form.” He started sculpting with wood pulp as a teenager on Long Island, NY and still teaches paper mache to children and adults. Most of his sculptures would be classified as figurative abstract. When the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers wanted something different for their second annual runway show Dedo created “Body Masks.” Body masks continue to be popular in addition to face and body casting.
Dedo studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has a graphic art degree from Tampa Tech. His work can be seen at http://dedo-cristina.artistwebsites.com or on FB at Art By Dedo. He loves to collaborate with other artists and future projects include a book and more art shows. Currently I am working on “The Faces Of Punta Gorda” which is a show of 12 – 14 portraits of local art and business leaders painted with a palette knife and joint compound on wood board. Dedohedrons continue to be popular and are an addiction.
Marilyn Frank was born and raised in the Midwest. Her natural abilities were recognized early on and her schooling was concentrated in the Arts. She was exposed to many mediums and trained in specialized areas that most exemplified her talents and interests. Marilyn received scholarships and was acknowledged for her artistic merits.
Her careers choices reflected her artistic abilities, which included window decorating, jewelry display designing, silver smithing and florist. After working in the corporate world for twenty five years Marilyn took early retirement to care for her aging parents in Cape Coral, FL. Her retirement years have enabled Marilyn to return to and exclusively commit to her art. She currently is focusing on graphite and colored pencil drawings which are used in her collages.
Marilyn’s work can be viewed at Karma and Coconuts Gallery in Cape Coral and she has shown at the Alliance for the Arts. She has been chosen as artist of the month at the Cape Harbour Gallery where her work will be on exhibit this July.
Damali’s jewelry is uniquely handcrafted to soothe the senses and enhance the mood and vibration of the wearer. Damali uses semi-precious Gemstones, Crystals, Glass, Wood, Metal Beads and Shells to create one-of-a-kind pieces to complement the individual’s expression of self. No two pieces are exactly alike, enhancing the wearer’s sense of individuality and unique style. Pieces can be made to order to your specific length and/or color. If you have a design in mind but have no desire to make your own jewelry, Damali can bring your design to life. Born out of a desire to create affordable, high-quality jewelry at a low cost, Damali chooses her materials with care to provide non-toxic exotic jewelry that is unique, trendy and affordable.
As a graphic designer, I create 2D/3D digital surrealism. Through a mystical and fantasy driven vision, a story emerges from my canvas. My artwork can include 70 to 700 digital layers, utilizing stark details with transitional blending. I am co-owner of Lee County Family News magazine, Happenings Magazine and Reverie and Rock Art Gallery in Downtown Fort
Moe’s Mosaics is a small business I created by turning my interest for mosaic art into a passion project. The youngest of 12 and nicknamed “Moe,” I was born and raised in suburban Detroit, Michigan. I split my time between Clarkston, Michigan and Fort Myers with my husband of 37 years, Chuck. I studied at Arts and Crafts Detroit and have always had a passion for mosaic art, finding inspiration in traveling all over the United States. Moe’s Mosaics pieces are personalized and made with all kinds of china, tiles and ceramics. Art Is Everywhere!
Good Luck Wishes Creations was born literally from a dream. I woke up one morning with the distinct feeling of having a conversation with someone during the night. In that conversation the person told me I was to do fabric necklaces and that they were going to be called “Good Luck Wishes”. That we needed positive things in our lives because of the difficult times we are living and that I should put faith and positive thoughts in each piece while creating them. I didn’t know what a fabric necklace was or how to do them. I did a research and since then I have been creating endlessly for almost 4 years.
My home Studio is my happy place. It’s there that my flowers are handmade with love petal by petal and bloom into one of a kind beautiful jewelry. It’s there that I work restlessly with my designs until the ideas finally click in my mind. I like to have a good relationship with my customers and do my best to please them with custom orders. I used to be a clay artisan 25 years ago but had to quit because of a medical condition. I am thrilled to be able to create again although in such a different manner.
I love to bring back the romanticism in fashion and provide women with a different way to look proud, stunning and unique. Flowers will stay in vogue forever; they can make you feel feminine, delicate, elegant, provocative or exotic and I’m working hard to give you just that.
In the mid-1990s I started taking some art classes at a local craft store just for fun. Over the years I continued the classes and became interested in glass painting and started to pursue it more. In the early 2000s I started spending some time in southwest Florida and took a number of classes when there. At about this time I started doing a few craft shows where I live in Ohio and on occasion I did one or two in Florida. Since I retired this past year (from teaching) I have decided to participate in more craft shows when the opportunity presents itself. While I mainly have painted glassware I also do some wood items for the shows. I also look for ways to improve, add to, and enhance the items that I have.
Caren Pearson is a practicing artist, working primarily in acrylics. She has always kept art in her heart. Her paintings are inspired by her love of color and the beauty of nature. Her paintings have strong visual impact and reflect her joy in the creative process. She expresses her ideas and images through a wide range of subject matter from landscape, still life and portraits to abstractions and multi-media pieces.
She earned a B.A. from Bennington College in Fine Art, and has worked in several art fields, from illustration and museum exhibition design to graphic design. She was a Golden Apple and National Board Certified teacher. As an art educator for 22 years, she has shared her love of art with students from 4 to 90. She was a founding member of the Bell Tower Artists’ Co-op, a gallery in Fort Myers, FL, WARM (Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota), and is an active member of the Lee County Alliance of the Arts. Her art work has been exhibited in group shows here in Lee County, as well as in Minnesota and New England. She had a one woman show in Nantucket. She has taken a three day workshop in abstract painting at the Alliance, art courses at the Ringling College and a workshop in portraiture from the National Portrait Society. She loves to travel and has even painted in Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. She has lived in the Fort Myers since 1976.
From the beginning, art has been an influence on every aspect of Dorothy’s life. Even in 1st grade, she was drawing horses and ‘doodling’ every chance she had, on any piece of paper that was available. The first picture she sold was while she was in 9th grade, a picture of the Matterhorn. Among other studies, Dorothy took art classes in college, and has since honed her skills in pen-and-ink and pastels, together with air brush and oils. Her influences include the classics such as Beardsley, The Bosch, Geiger (“Alien”), and Howard Pyle. Her art is as current today as it has ever been. She has produced art in many areas, including: acrylic painting, ‘pillows to puppets’, fabric wrapped eyeglass casses, Ukranian Easter Eggs, murals, dream catchers and children’s books.
I started photography in July of 2015 as a way to stay busy after my longtime friend Duffy passed on. Duffy was a Schnauzer mix I had from 6 months to 13 years of age. It was shocking to discover a talent/passion at 51 years old. Things moved fast and I have been published several times. I am also doing a large four floor commercial building with my photography. Each of my images is the result of patient hours spent in the field. Occasionally everything aligns and I get to bring home meaningful images, but I enjoy every minute of the wilderness regardless of my photographic success. It is an exciting process, and above all, a way for me to do what I love most, exploring wilderness and capturing it for you to see. Without wilderness, I would never have begun taking pictures. The canvas is endless. Thank you for taking this journey with me.
Amanda (Mimi) Stirn
My favorite art tools are knives. They are unforgiving yet clear and finite when used. Working within the acrylic family is fun, but working with modeling paste is where the art begins; free form and each application is a form of sculpting. What I love best about creating art is the freedom of expression without fear of consequence. When I am able to say a work has turned out well, is actually the moment when I can return to the finished piece over the course of several days and repeatedly be transported into the picture itself.
My style centers on both working in circular and straight line motions, while respecting Fibonacci sequences in the placement of each element. Other techniques include sgraffito and resin pours. However, bright light, layers of color, and use of metallic pigments are my standard. What I do differently from what I was taught is dirty brushing. My brushes & knives during the painting process are usually lapped with new colors without actually washing them; I love the mystery of the blends, and the picture always turns out beautiful. My favorite color on the spectrum is Prussian blue, and is usually incorporated in to my skies, water scenes, and shadowing.
In 2010, my husband and I moved to Cape Coral Florida from Washington State. I work in my art studio in Cape Coral and when not in the studio, I am Marketing Director at FGCU at the Small Business Development Center. I hold my degree in Art and Business Administration and am a Certified Marketing Strategist through Cornell University.
Designing and creating jewelry is my hobby, my passion, my meditation. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawn to creating with my hands: from art class in elementary school to my first jewelry-creating venture—a beading class more than two decades ago. About three years ago, I happened upon assemblage and mixed media jewelry … and it was love at first sight.
Today, I design and create mixed media and assemblage pieces—mostly statement necklaces and cuffs, with American-made brass as the mainstay of most of my creations. I love to learn and am now venturing into metalsmithing, taking one-on-one classes with a goldsmith. I create for the pure joy of it. I love the challenge of creating with no particular goal in mind other than to craft a well-designed piece that makes me smile, and that I hope will make others smile as well.
Heaven Lane Creations (HLC) started as a hobby for jewelry designer Andrea Trank in 1997. Her interest in gems came out of her teaching Earth Science. Today, the exclusive jewelry design company specializes in unique, one-of-a kind pieces. HLC’s current customers span the globe. Heaven Lane Creations Jewelry is available through custom orders and for wholesale to exclusive stores.
Designer Andrea Trank has created jewelry for bridal parties, sports teams and company logos. In addition, Heaven Lane Creations custom-designed jewelry has been sold through the Lee County Alliance for the Arts Museum store, Traders on Sanibel, Fussy Female, Eva Essentials as well as art shows and private parties. Beading techniques include bead weaving, bead embroidery, Kumihimo (a Japanese braiding technique), bead crochet, wire wrapping and traditional stringing. To see a sample of the jewelry available through Heaven Lane Creations, browse the gallery of jewelry made and sold at www.facebook.com/Heavenlanecreations or www.heavenlanecreations.com.
Nancy Van Tassell
My journey to the world of jewelry design evolved accidently. I spent many years playing in the paper art world, making books and rubber stamping. One day in 2003, after stamping a polymer clay pendant, I decided I needed to bead a chain on which to hang my newly created pendant. Jewelry designing took over my world!
My designs incorporate many different types of materials from natural stones to fresh water pearls, artisan glass and Swarovski crystals. Sterling silver, fine silver and copper are my primary complementary metals. Fabricating everything from classic stringing to wire weaving and metal forging is my passion. My inspiration comes from the materials I work with. Concentration on a particular stone, focal or piece of metal drives the piece to its’ end result. I enjoy doing custom work, creating a design to meet a desire. I sell through local shops, my website and I have a home show program.
Born in Lima, Peru; where she went to few Art Schools, to learn different Peruvian Jewelry techniques. She had been disassembling and redesigning commercially produced necklaces and bracelets for years and gradually she started to create her own designs that friends and family wanted to have. On 1996 moved to Miami Florida, she kept exploring different art expressions as pottery, tie dye and graphic design. Then in 2004, Patricia went to Richmond Art Center in Northern California to take Silversmith Classes and later that year Vilela Jewels and Art was born. She continues to learn new techniques through workshops and metal classes.
Patricia is an art jeweler who challenges her creativity every day. Her artwork shares her Peruvian roots, the exposure to art throughout her trips to Europe, South and Central America, and her southwest Florida home; that somehow alters her perception of the most ordinary things and provides ground for imagination to grow; those marvelous sunsets, amazing rainbows, starry nights, variety of landscapes!!! Her jewelry is a reflection of the natural elements of our beautiful world. She creates in very diverse styles using several different techniques, such as beadwork, metal forming and specially wire work to create exciting and innovative designs. Each piece is individually handcrafted into wearable art that will last a Lifetime to be passed down for many Generations! She has exhibited in galleries and shows trough out Southwest Florida. Patricia is blessed mother of three inspirational young children. She loves to read and is a novice gardener.
Pamela is a “Florida Transplant” originally from Ohio. She has lived in the Sunshine State for the past 12 years and loves everything about her new adopted home. She is the co-owner of Two Newts Gallery and Gifts located in the River District, Downtown Ft. Myers. Pamela enjoys working in many mediums. She has created jewelry and artwork from repurposed and recycled materials as well as worked with acrylic on canvas. Her favorite medium is watercolor. Pamela says: “I love to paint and create things that are full of whimsy and give people a sense of joy and hope.”