Alliance Launches Monthly Member Gallery Book ClubProvenance

Attention art enthusiasts and book lovers!  Beginning in September the Alliance for the Arts is launching a monthly members only Book Club featuring art related titles.  Join fellow Alliance members in the Main Gallery to explore literature – both fiction and non-fiction – revolving around art, artists, art history, and art appreciation.  Participate in thoughtful group discussions that will expand your appreciation and knowledge of the world of art.  This is yet another great benefit of membership at the Alliance!

The group will meet from 7-9PM on the 3rd Tuesday of each month starting on Tuesday, September 17.  Club members are responsible for purchasing their own copy of each month’s selection.  Discussion guides will be available for download beginning September 1st.  Pre-registration is encouraged.

The first title, a favorite of many art book clubs, is Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo.  This astonishing narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate cons in the history of art forgery tells the story of the infamous con man John Drewe and his accomplice, the affable artist John Myatt.  The duo exploited the archives of British art institutions to irrevocably legitimize the hundreds of pieces they forged, many of which are still considered genuine and hang in prominent museums and private collections today.

Alliance memberships covering individuals are $50 per year and the whole family can join for just $75 per year.  Membership benefits also include 20% discounts on all classes & workshops, a wide variety of FREE class Try It sessions, discounts on theatre tickets and youth camps, special exhibition opportunities and the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting a strong and growing community of artists and art enthusiasts here in southwest Florida.  Click HERE to become a member today!

“Mask: Cover, Conceal, Protect” – Alliance Member Exhibit Opens Friday, August 9Facade_Jordan Marshman

Beginning August 9th the Main Gallery at the Alliance for the Arts will be filled with work following the theme “Mask” created by its many member artists.  This annual exhibition gives current Alliance members the opportunity to display their artwork.  Non-members are encouraged to join in order to take advantage of this benefit.  The opening reception is Friday, August 9 from 5-7:30pm.  Refreshments at the reception are provided by Costco.  The exhibit runs August 9 through 30.  Paintings by Doug Patterson will be featured in the Member Gallery.  Artwork in all mediums following the theme will be accepted and should be delivered to the Alliance wired, framed and ready to hang on Monday, August 5 during normal business hours.  3D artwork is welcome and pedestals will be provided if necessary.  Entries that have previously been shown at the Alliance will not be accepted.

Individual Alliance memberships are $50 annually and offer valuable benefits including exhibition opportunities, discounted entry fees and 20% off classes & workshops.  The artist prospectus is available HERE.

Support LOCAL this Summer at the Alliance Gift ShopAlliance Gift Shop_Clay Mushroom by Shirley Litman

The next time you’re faced with finding something for that impossible to shop for family member or friend why not stop by the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers?  Open from 9AM-5PM, Monday through Friday and 9AM-1PM on Saturdays, the Alliance Gift Shop is stocked year round only with a wide variety of items created by local artists.  Find truly unique jewelry, handbags, sculptures, paintings, photographs…even fabric art and furniture!  And its contents are always changing, as items are sold and new works are created by local, independent artists.  It really is the best place in town to find something for the person who has one of everything.

While you are visiting browse the 24th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition on display in the Main Gallery until August 2.  It features work in a variety of mediums by more than 30 visual artists from across the state.  Artwork by Alliance youth artists is on display in the Member Gallery.  Or if you come on Saturday you can also shop the Alliance GreenMarket, where you can find locally grown & produced items from local vendors.  It’s every Saturday from 9AM-1PM on the grass next to the Alliance main building.

“An Introduction to Organic Beekeeping” at Alliance GreenMarketClaudia Silveira at GreenMarket2

Have you always dreamed of becoming a backyard beekeeper, but don’t know where to begin?  The Alliance for the Arts GreenMarket continues its Summer Urban Farming Workshop Series on Saturday, July 20 at 10:30AM with “An Introduction to Organic Beekeeping in Yards & on Rooftops.”  The workshop is presented by local beekeeper and official GreenMarket honey vendor, Claudia Silveira, also known as Lee Queen Bee.  She’ll present the basic facts of small scale, organic beekeeping for beginners.  Learn how to get your hive started, what basic equipment is required, and what common problems you’ll face.  Beekeeper Silveira will also dispel common misconceptions about the dangers of bees, and explain that these creatures are generally mellow and non-aggressive.  She describes bees as incredibly beneficial insects, not just for the honey and wax they produce, but also as pollinators in the garden.

Pre-registration is not required and the workshops are free, but a $5 donation is suggested to help support future educational programs.  Workshops are conducted outside, under the shade of the trees, but in case of rain they will be moved inside.

The rest of the Urban Farming Workshop schedule of presentations:

• Aug 3 – Earthworms, the magic garden workers: Vermiculture in the Urban Farm

• Aug 20 – Preparing the Fall season Urban Farm in SWFL

Brandi Couse bio photoThe Alliance for the Arts is pleased to announce its newest addition, Education Director Brandi Couse.  Ms. Couse will be responsible for expanding youth and adult multidisciplinary arts programming at the Alliance.  Her primary responsibilities include developing season classes & workshops, coordinating youth art camps, developing outreach programming and promoting arts education throughout the community.

Ms. Couse received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education & a Master’s in Music Performance from the University of Florida.  She is a certified K-12 instructor and was the music teacher at Westside Elementary in Clewiston for the past 11 years, where she was named Hendry County Teacher of the Year.  Prior to that, she taught high school band, chorus and keyboard for 6 years in Gainesville, and was named a U-F Distinguished Educator.  Ms. Couse says she is proud to join the Alliance team.  “Art enriches our lives and everyone deserves to lead an enriched life.  I am so pleased to become a member of the Alliance family, a place where lives are enriched every day.”

A 29 year resident of Florida, Ms. Couse is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys camping, fishing and birding.  She also composes & plays music and is a visual artist who draws and paints.  She lives in Fort Myers with her husband and their twin 6-year-old daughters.

Click HERE to send her an email if you’re an instructor interested in proposing a new class or workshop.