The Lost Painting by Jonathan HarrThe Alliance for the Arts’ monthly Member Gallery Book Club continues on Tuesday, May 20 from 7-9PM with a discussion of The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr. The Member Book Club is an exploration of literature relating to artists, art history and art appreciation. It’s one of the many benefits of membership at the Alliance for the Arts.

In The Lost Painting prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ, its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.

Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil Action, The Lost Painting is a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story. The fascinating details of Caravaggio’s strange, turbulent career and the astonishing beauty of his work come to life in these pages. Harr’s account is not unlike a Caravaggio painting: vivid, deftly wrought, and enthralling.

The Member Gallery Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month. Club members must purchase their own copy of each book and pre-registration is encouraged. An active Alliance membership is required.

Alliance individual memberships are $50 per year, families can join for $75 per year and college students can become a member for just $15. Membership benefits include 20% discounts on all classes & camps, FREE class Try It sessions and open studio sessions, discounts on concert and theatre tickets and special exhibition opportunities. Click HERE to become a member now!

Toddler TimeThe next session of the popular “Toddler Time” early arts exposure class begins on Tuesday, April 29 from 9-10:30AM at the Alliance for the Arts. Children ages 18 months to 3 years will be treated to 3 sessions of creative art, music, story and playtime with Alliance youth instructor and Mini Michelangelos Summer Camp director Ms. Sue Hansen!  Kids will explore, get messy (without you having to clean up!) and learn how different art media work. (Adult accompaniment is required.) This class offers sensory based learning combined with socialization and fun! Each session will also include a time for group music, story time, and play. Toddler Time is $30 for Alliance members or $40 for non-members. Click HERE to register online now.

Berry van Boekel and Allison Serraes
Berry van Boekel and Allison Serraes

On Thursday, April 17 twenty poetry-inspired works of art will be presented to the public during Broadsides: Poetry off the Shelf. Several months ago 11 visual artists were asked to create works inspired by poems from 13 writers. The artwork they created was then digitized and the poet’s words added, creating the 20 finished Broadsides which comprise the exhibit.

Historically, broadsides are a form of printed communication containing a mixture of text and images, typically designed to be posted in a public place. From the 1600s to the early twentieth century, this visual medium was used to convey information, issue proclamations, make revolutionary statements, or publish the lyrics to poetry and songs.

Come celebrate National Poetry Month during this inaugural showing and reading of Broadsides: Poetry off the Shelf on Thursday, April 17 at 7PM at the Alliance for the Arts. The public is invited to see the finished broadsides and hear the poets read their works during a reception in the Foulds Theatre lobby. A $10 suggested donation is appreciated. Limited edition framed Broadsides will be available for sale for $90. Posters are $15 each or 3 for $40. LCEC and Matsumoto Framing are the event sponsors. For more information visit or call 239-939-2787.

Participating Artists and Poets:

Collin Davis
Phillip Heubeck
Leo Johnson
Megan Kissinger
Reina Lombardi
Jason McDonald
Jan Palmer
Paul Rodino
Berry van Boekel
Barbara Yeomans
Peter Zell

James Brock
Dorothy Howe Brooks
Carol Drummond
Jim Gustafson
Bob Lerew
Gary McLouth
Jesse Millner
Joe Pacheco
Naomi Rosado
Allison Serraes
Larry Stiles
Lorraine Walker Williams
Joan Heller Winokur

"Demon" by Alex Volborth
“Demon” by Alex Volborth

On Friday, May 2 the Alliance for the Arts will present the first ever dedicated gallery show featuring work by members of what’s called the Movement of Aleatoric Modern Artists or MAMA. The show will feature 15 of MAMA’s top artists displaying works in a variety of disciplines, all with one thing in common—their collaboration with nature, chance and the laws that govern the universe. When an element of uncertainty is intentionally incorporated into the concept and creation of a work of art it is referred to as “aleatoric art.” Examples of aleatoric methods can be seen in several of the more recent periods in art but the method became a style, then a school.

MAMA pays tribute to the DADAists of the early 20th century, among the many other artists throughout history who have chosen to relinquish partial control of their creative processes to the hands of fate, the laws of physics and the continuum of perpetual chaos which prevails over our universe by design. By learning to value and preserve that which we can never own, to respond and yield to that which we can never predict, and to respect and trust that which we can never control, the aleatoric artist inherits the divine principle of acceptance, and the creative process becomes a cooperative collaboration between the artist’s deliberate intentions and the unpredictable hands of fate. Thus, the aleatoric artist gambles, and either fails or transcends the limitations of the mind and body to reach artistic plateaus previously unattainable.

"Sorcerer" by Stoffel De Roover
“Sorcerer” by Stoffel De Roover

The Movement of Aleatoric Modern Artists is a hand-picked assemblage of 48 extraordinary painters, sculptors, photographers and craftspeople representing an emerging “period” in art which has spontaneously occurred all over the world with uncanny simultaneity. In response to society’s apathy toward the undermining of our planet’s ecological balance by the ever-advancing technology of industry, every member of our movement has discovered a unique artistic approach that is philosophically, spiritually, and/or functionally aligned with nature. Each artist has selflessly devoted his/her talents to advocating the virtues of our Mother Earth and discovering new ways of collaborating with her design to produce a body of work greater than our abilities alone would allow. MAMA’s members were chosen for their willingness to “roll the dice” (the literal meaning of the root word “alea” in aleatoric), and to take a faithful exploratory leap into the vast unknown realm that is the future of fine art. You can read more about the artists at

Exhibiting Artists:
Ray Cabarga (California)
Cristine Cambrea (Florida)
Tsvetan Chetashki (Bulgaria)
Veron Ennis (Florida)
Don Frost (Ontario)
Reed Ghazala (Ohio)
Beth Holt (Netherlands)
Newel Hunter (Washington State)
Ted Lincoln (Florida)
J Coleman Miller (Texas)
Anick Morel (Canada)
Allan Rodewald (Texas)
Stoffel de Roover (Montreal)
Mark Stock (Massachusetts)
Art Venti (California)
Alex Volborth (1925-2009, Montana)’

The show’s curator, Fort Myers artist Veron Ennis, will hold a Gallery Walk on Saturday, May 3 from 10-11AM. The exhibit remains on display and open to the public during normal business hours until May 23. Artwork by Ernest Settani will be featured in the Member Gallery.