Biennial Artist Grant Recipient Exhibition

DateMay 3 - June 1

Location 10091 McGregor Blvd
FORT MYERS, FL 33919 United States


Event details

Opening Friday, May 3, 5-7pm, this is event is free and open to the public

The exhibition showcases the work of visual artists Linda Benson, Stacey Brown, Martha De La Cruz, Lily Hatchett, and Roland Ruocco. There will also be performances during the opening reception in the Alliance’s Foulds Theatre. Each visual artist and performance group in the show received an Arts & Culture Grant from the City in 2022 or 2023, or both grant cycles. The City of Fort Myers Arts & Culture Grant program is designed to support and foster the arts organizations and individual artists who contribute to the flourishing arts and culture scene that distinguishes the City.

About the Artists

Linda Benson:

As a seasoned artist here in southwest Florida Linda has always surrounded herself with art. As a professional creative artist, she worked on the mainland and the islands for over 20 years. In the newspaper business she won top awards for her creativity. Now as a retired commercial artist her energies are currently teaching art. For the last 10 year she has been teaching all ages and levels on Sanibel, Captiva, Punta Gorda, Naples, Cape Coral and Fort Myers. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with eager students. Her hands on teaching technique brings out the best in her students. She is a hurricane Ian survivor. She lives in a flood zone off the Caloosahatchee River and was inside her house as the flood waters surrounded her and her dog Elsa in four feet of water. She lost everything, house contents, computers, artwork, cars, and her studio-boat the Artist Xpress. Her new artwork projects and teaching at the Alliance has helped her recovery. Being a grant recipient has helped guide her in the path to rebuild and recovery as illustrated in her paintings exhibited in the Individual Artist Grant exhibit titled “Surviving Hurricane Ian.”

Stacey Brown:

Southwest Florida artist Stacey Brown works primarily in mixed media paintings and collage art on canvas and paper.  Combining acrylic paint, ink, pencil, pen, marker, ephemera, painted papers, stamping and etchings, Stacey’s work has many layers to help the viewer’s eye keep searching and discovering new aspects with each viewing.   Inspired by yoga philosophy, nature, astrology, spirituality, color and mood, Stacey’s paintings are intuitively developed with many layers.  The artwork reveals itself with the passage of time.

Martha De la Cruz:

Martha De la Cruz (1996) is an Afro-Taino artist who, through video, installations, and sculpture, investigates issues of coloniality, decolonization, identity, race, and power. Her practice is guided by her colonial wound and the desire to change the realities of the global south. She received her BFA in sculpture in 2020 from the University of South Florida and her MFA in 2023 from the University of Oxford.

Roland Ruocco:

Roland Ruocco conveys his perception of the world around him through artworks that involve diverse subject matter, artistic styles, and media. Sometimes, depending on his mood and inspiration, identifying problems and offering solutions, other times focusing on the beauty of nature, or perhaps industrial design. His “Sub Tropic” series is an expression of the natural beauty of South Florida’s light, form, and color. His “Modern Times” series speaks of provocative social and political issues often through satire. The “New Earth” series describes creating heave on earth by achieving a state of higher consciousness.

In the Theatre Lobby Gallery: Carolyn Gora

Carolyn Gora is a native Floridian and has lived in Fort Myers since 1977. She raised two wonderful, creative daughters, helped her late husband, Bruce, open an architectural firm, and taught art, for a total of 30 years, in local elementaries, middle schools, high school, USF, FGCU and ECC(FSW).

Carolyn’s artistic endeavors include designing jewelry (and teaching Jewelry Design classes at ECC for 5 years) and fused glass (taught it at a National Art Education Conference). Currently she works in many mediums including fiber (embroidery and embroidery) and glass lamp work. Her latest venture is her Birds of Paradise from Paradise. Originally the idea came from her birds of paradise that finally bloomed after being dormant for years. She realized that the flowers looked like birds. She created bird of paradise characters to illustrate clever sayings that mention birds, birds of paradise, or gardens.

All the plants in the paintings are plants found in Florida and they are mostly from her garden. The colors are bright and colorful, very Floridian. Her birds are painted in watercolors and tempera paint. Her Birds in Paradise from Paradise are designed to be fun and make you smile.

In the Member Gallery: LAEA Educator Exhibition