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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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Alliance gift shop panoramaThe Alliance gift shop is expanding into the gallery on Saturday, November 15 when local artists sell their hand-crafted works in a wide variety of mediums from 10AM-1PM. This is the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts while supporting working artists! Coffee and refreshments will be provided by Publix Super Markets. Alliance members receive 10% off their total purchase.

Featured artists include Aboriginals: Art of the First Person (jewelry & sculpture), Jayne Baker (candles, boxes & jewelry), Stephen Bufter (woodworking), Zdenka Fiala (glass & polymer clay jewelry), Me & Mathilda (felt & soft glass), Susan Mills (coffee filter handbags & more), Jeff & Dale Ocasio (masking tape sculptures), Alicia Schmidt (oil paintings), Marta Sicajan (jewelry), Union Artist Studios (a variety of visual arts), VEMA (paintings), and Chris Young (pottery). When you’re done shopping you can explore the “200 Under $200” exhibit in the Main Gallery which features works by more than 100 Alliance member artists, and visit the Alliance GreenMarket that takes place every Saturday from 9AM-1PM.

There will be a second Gift Shop Explosion on Saturday, December 13 featuring Aboriginals: Art of the First Person (jewelry & sculpture), Stacey Brown (purses, jewelry, cards, paintings & books), Gay Cable (jewelry), Lucy Garcia (jewelry & cards), Katie Gardenia (fiber, dolls & jewelry), Marc Geldon (pottery), Joel Loeper (pottery, paintings & sculpture), Debby Lynne Rennirt (jewelry & fused glass), Union Artist Studios (a variety of visual arts), and Rose Young (fiber art).

The Alliance gift shop supports local, independent artists and is continuously restocked with new truly unique items including jewelry, hand bags, pottery, paintings, fabric art, repurposed art, hand-made books, photography, and much more.

These Storied Streets flyerThe Lee County Homeless Coalition, Community Cooperative, National Association of Social Workers SWFL Unit, and the Alliance for the Arts will mark National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week on Thursday, November 13 at 6PM with a screening of a new documentary called Storied Streets exploring homelessness across America. The feature length film profiles the homeless and the formerly homeless and their struggles to survive. Their stories are real, raw and compelling. These stories, coupled with the fact that right now homelessness is growing at an unprecedented rate in America, is the genesis behind Storied Streets. The film provides a window into their struggles, question stereotypes and change the way you feel about homelessness.

“The more people we talk to who know homelessness first hand—families, veterans, young adults—the more I realize that they live lives very similar to mine and yours. When I hear how they have come to find themselves homeless, I know we could all be just a few missteps away from finding ourselves in the same situation. And as they struggle to get out, the rest of society sees them as a nuisance or an eyesore, if they even see them at all.” –Thomas Morgan, Producer/Director

The screening begins at 6PM and is free and open to the public. Limited seats are available. Please RSVP to by November 11.

Confessions of an Art Addict coverThe Alliance Member Gallery Book Club continues on Tuesday, November 18 from 6:30-8:30PM with a discussion of Confessions of an Art Addict by Peggy Guggenheim. A patron of art since the 1930s, Peggy Guggenheim, in a candid self-portrait, provides an insider’s view of the early days of modern art, with revealing accounts of her eccentric wealthy family, her personal and professional relationships, and often surprising portrayals of the artists themselves. This book captures a valuable chapter in the history of modern art, as well as the spirit of one of its greatest advocates.

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 open studio sessions, discounts on concert & theatre tickets, and member only exhibition opportunities. Click HERE to learn more or become a member now.