Lint Mask_Krista JohnsonMasks cover, conceal or protect.  They can disguise, amuse and sometimes even frighten.  A mask can be a physical thing, or just a concept or idea.  The Alliance for the Arts invites its member artists to submit artwork inspired by the theme “Mask” for its upcoming annual member exhibition.  The opening reception is Friday, August 9 from 5-7:30pm.  Artwork in all mediums should be delivered to the Alliance wired, framed and ready to hang on Monday, August 5 during normal business hours (9AM-5PM).  Entries that have previously been shown at the Alliance will not be accepted.  Limit one piece per member.  Non-members are welcome to join so they can take advantage of this membership benefit.

Individual Alliance memberships are $50 annually and offer valuable benefits including additional exhibition opportunities, 20% discounts on all classes & workshops, and reduced ticket prices on theater shows and concerts.  Become a member today by clicking HERE or visiting the Alliance 10-acre campus on the corner of McGregor & Colonial in Fort Myers.  Click HERE to download the “Mask” prospectus or stop by the Alliance to pick up a copy. It can be requested by mail by calling (239) 939-2787.  The exhibit will run through August 30.  Artwork by Doug Patterson will be on display in the Members Gallery.  Yvonne Remington will be in the Theater Lobby.

GMfarmingClass1Every summer, the Alliance for the Arts GreenMarket invites folks to participate in free farming and gardening workshops conducted by local growers, master gardeners, homesteaders and educators.  Residents’ support for these classes has been strong in the past, with many attending, taking notes and asking questions. The result has been an increase in local homes and communities growing food organically in our area. This year, in addition to a core of sound gardening practices, the GreenMarket is adding workshops on more specialized activities, like beekeeping and vermiculture.

The community is invited to visit the market at 10:30AM on 1st and 3rd Saturdays in June, July and August to participate in the 2013 Urban Farming Workshop Series.  Learn how to produce food in small areas around homes, businesses and community centers in cities and towns using organic, bio-intensive methods.  Explore ways to contribute to your community’s sustainability and long term food security.  The series kicks off on Saturday, June 1 with The Kitchen Garden & Beyond.  Other topics in the series include The Urban Chicken Coop, Intro to Organic Beekeeping and Earthworms, the Magic Garden Workers.

The complete schedule of presentations is as follows:

Pre-registration is not required and the workshops are free, but a $5 donation is appreciated and will help support the market and future educational programs. The workshops will be conducted outside, under the shade of the trees, but in case of rain they will be moved into a classroom, so they are “rain or shine.”

More than 100 artists submitted nearly 300 pieces for consideration in the Alliance for the Arts’ 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition.  This year’s juror, Frank Verpoorten, has narrowed the list to just 51 pieces and they will be presented to the public during an opening reception on Friday, May 31 from 5-7:30PM.  Winners will be announced during the reception and prizes will be awarded, including $750 for Best in Show, a $250 Golden Paints gift certificate for 2nd Place, $100 cash prize for 3rd Place, and a Jurors Choice award.  The exhibition includes oil & acrylic paintings, mixed media pieces, photographs and sculptures.  Artwork from Alliance Youth Programs will be on display in the Member Gallery.

About the Juror

Frank Verpoorten-Dec2012This year’s juror is Frank Verpoorten, Director & Chief Curator at The Baker Museum Artis—Naples.  Mr. Verpoorten has more than 15 years of experience at cultural institutions and museums in Brussels, Belgium and New York City.  Originally from Brussels, he moved to New York City in 2002, where he served in curatorial roles at the Museum of Modern Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Dahesh Museum of Art and, most recently, as Cultural Attaché for the Representation of the Government of Flanders (Belgium) to the U.S.

“Judging an exhibition such as this is at the core of my interests as a curator. However, selecting work for the final exhibition proved quite difficult as one needs to see the pieces first-hand to be truly exposed to what they offer. Colors, textures, and movement are more fully experienced when a work is viewed in person. Southwest Florida has a vast array of talent to offer and I’m looking forward to seeing the finalists’ work on display.”

Mr. Verpoorten will host a Gallery Walk and Talk on Saturday, June 1 from 10-11AM.  It’s free, and open to the public.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month the Alliance for the Arts and Angel C. Duncan, M.A.-MFT, ATR from the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida have partnered to present a workshop for mental healthcare professionals, artists and others interested in learning about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Art Therapy on Wednesday, May 29 from 6-7PM.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required.  There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

Ms. Duncan has more than ten years experience in DBT and Art Therapy, coming from Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute at the University of California- San Francisco.  There, she worked in the adult inpatient and outpatient departments utilizing DBT principals in conjunction with art and music therapy techniques to help individuals with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality disorders.  She teaches DBT and expressive art therapies in graduate psychopathology and art therapy courses in California and Connecticut, and is a published author.  This workshop will provide an overview of the DBT’s four modules and include case studies of artwork from various symptoms that demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing art.

The workshop is followed at 7:30 by a screening of Art Therapy Has Many Faces, directed by Sanibel resident and art therapy pioneer Judith Rubin.  After the film there will be a panel discussion with Angel Duncan, art therapist Reina Lombardi and play therapist Tara Moser from Delta Family Counseling.  The panel will discuss the importance of expressive therapies in mental health.  Phone 239-939-2787 for more information or to register.