The Acoustic Music Society of Southwest Florida presents three hours of live music in the theatre at the Alliance for the Arts on Sunday, January 11 from 2-5PM. The January concert features bluegrass acts Southwind and the John Stey Band, and blues guitarist Frank Corso.

Tickets are $8 at the door, or $6 for Alliance members. Seating is open and first come, first serve. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by an adult. Pre-sale tickets are not available. Doors open at 1:30PM. The Sunday afternoon concert series continues through March.

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_HnGretel120714 I Seligman  162Members of Gulfshore Opera will perform Hansel & Gretel: A Family Musical Show on Sunday, December 21 from 4-5:30PM at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers. Adapted from the opera by Englebert Humperdinck, the show is performed in English with colorful sets and costumes, accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Leading roles are sung by professional opera singers, and the children’s chorus and ballet are members of the Bonita Center for the Arts Performing Arts program. Bring the whole family to enjoy this charming fairy tale! Kids tickets are $12, and adult tickets are $20 or $30. Visit Gulfshore Opera’s website to learn more or purchase tickets now.

Heart I by Ikki MatsumotoOn Friday, February 6 an exhibit titled MATSUMOTO will go on display for the public to view at the Alliance for the Arts. This unique exhibit features new fiber artwork by Polly Matsumoto and prints by her late husband, renowned artist and designer Ikki Matsumoto, who passed away last year after a long & successful career. The artistic couple spent years in Southwest Florida making their art, and operated a gallery on Sanibel Island for more than a decade.

Ikki Matsumoto was born in 1935, in Tokyo, Japan. He came to the U.S. in 1955 and studied at the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. He met his future wife, fiber artist Polly Adamson, after transferring to the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Ohio a few years later. Ikki worked in advertising for more 15 years before moving to Sanibel Island in 1975, where he established a career as a painter and printmaker. He and Polly opened a gallery in 1987 which they operated for more than a decade.

Little Boy Blue by Polly MatsumotoPolly Matsumoto began weaving in the 1960s. Her mixed media works incorporate weavings, paintings, and found objects to create pieces rich with colors and textures.

The MATSUMOTO opening reception on Friday, February 13 from 5-7PM is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be on display from February 6 through February 28. Prints by Fort Myers artist Mike Kiniry will be displayed in the Member Gallery. A Dozen Portraits: Diana Rutherford will be featured in the Foulds Theatre Lobby.

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The Alliance for the Arts is bringing four glass artists together in December to create a show that will give people an opportunity to explore how glass has traveled into the hierarchy of fine art. Works in Glass, made possible with support from the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, features works by Brian Cast, Susan Gott, Richard Mueller, and Andy Owen. While these four artists’ works are complementary, they have never been exhibited together. Works in Glass opens with a public reception on Friday, December 5 from 5-7PM.

All four artists have taught with distinction at universities in the United States, exhibit regularly at national and international galleries and museums, have been distinguished with awards and fellowships, and have their work represented in public and private collections.

Brian Cast works with multiple materials including melted aluminum auto parts, steel from the salvage yards, and melted glass that once was bottles. He primarily uses recycled materials in his work, along with other more traditional materials such as paint. Although he works in other media, Cast is best known for his cast metal and glass totems.

Susan Gott has worked in glass for more than 30 years. She creates one-of-a-kind, cast glass sculptures that incorporates steel, copper, and stone. Her works embody her interest in mythological symbolism and philosophies from ancient cultures that express the union of human being and nature.

Richard Mueller’s glass works utilize wood and steel in combination with fired ceramic and mineral inks fused onto the glass. His current work responds to the phenomenon of surplus information in western societies and changing notions of truth, beauty and knowledge. It employs as its premise the discarding, shredding and appropriation of word and image as a metaphoric device to generate new and relevant forms.

Andy Owen is an Associate Professor of Art and Art Program Leader at Florida Gulf Coast University. He worked as a master printer for Harvey Littleton, creating prints from a glass plates known as vitreographs. His experience at Littleton Studios led to teaching glass printing at Bild-Werk Frauenau, a small arts academy in Bavaria. Surrounded by actively working glass artists and deep traditions of Bavarian glassmaking he was introduced to the potential of glass as medium of artistic expression. He says his fascination grew with the discovery of the glass engravings created by Jiri Hircuba and Christian Schmidt, and that their work inspired him to explore the possibilities of engraving.

The exhibit opens with a reception from 5-7PM on Friday, December 5. Works in Glass remains on display until December 29. Paintings by Fort Myers artist John Scoppa will be displayed in the Member Gallery. Works in Glass is made possible with support from the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.

Outdoor Family Movie Nights return to the Alliance for the Arts beginning Friday, January 9 at 7PM with a screening of The Life of Pi. Pack your blankets, lawn chairs, picnic baskets and coolers and watch this Academy Award winning film under the stars with your family and friends!

The Life of Pi tells the story of a young man who is hurtled into an epic adventure of journey and discovery after surviving a disaster at sea. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
The series continues Friday, February 6 at 7PM with Charlotte’s Web, Friday, March 6 at 7:30PM with Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and concludes on Friday, April 10 at 8PM with Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest. A suggested $5 family donation helps ensure continued free family programming at the Alliance. Support for Family Movie Night generously provided by Briers CPA, Internet Services Group of Florida (ISG), Pediatric Dentistry of Fort Myers, Riverside Realty, Staging Matters, and Winged Foot Title.

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