Jazz Forum with Dan Heck and Rebecca Richardson

What: Jazz Forum with Dan Heck & Rebecca Richardson
When: Wednesday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Space 114, Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 S Bay Dr, Bonita Springs, Florida
Admission: $30 members/ $35 non-members/ $40 at the door
Information: www.artcenterbonita.org, 495-8989

Rebecca Richardson

Some of Naples finest jazz musicians will come together this week for a Jazz Forum. Well known jazz vocalist Rebecca Richardson and guitar/bassist Dan Heck will lead an evening of jazz favorites, followed by a question and answer discussion.

The evening will take place Wednesday, March 24 as part of Live at the Promenade!

Richardson and Heck pursued their musical dreams in New York City for many years, playing in famous venues such as the Blue Note, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Kavehaz, Flute, the Pierre Hotel, Cleopatra’s Needle and the French Consulate.

After moving to Naples, the two continued to play together, solo and with larger groups.

The Jazz Forum is a relaxed evening for lovers of jazz. The Live at the Promenade! performance space creates an intimate venue where the audience and the performers can relax together. Wine and hors d’oeuvres

Dan Heck

will be served before the performance and during intermission. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m., with the doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 for Art League of Bonita Springs member, $35 for non-members and $40 at the door.

A full calendar of upcoming events, programming and classes at the Art League of Bonita Springs is available online at www.artcenterbonita.org or by calling 495.8989

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Bonita Springs National Art Festival

What: Bonita Springs National Art Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: The Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 S Bay Dr, Bonita Springs, Florida
Admission: Optional $5 donation
Information: 495-8989 or www.artcenterbonita.org

It’s National Art Festival time again in Bonita Springs, with hundreds of staff members and volunteers of the Art League working around the clock to ensure a successful, and well-run, show.

So what exactly does it take to put together a national art show, and how do you make sure it earns high national rankings, and keeps them?

According to Festival Director Barry Witt it takes a lot of hours and a lot of people working together and a good cause to push them forward.

“The things to remember is that this show isn’t a promoter show,” Witt said. “This event not only gives you the highest quality of art work, but it is supporting an art center in your community that functions year round.”

One hundred percent of the profits generated by the show go to the Art League of Bonita Springs, according to Witt. A large portion of these dollars go into the Children’s Scholarship Program which allows students to take art, theater and dance classes at the Art League for little, or no cost.

“There are two things major things that go into this show to make it successful,” Witt said. “One is that we consistently deliver a high quality product and people build confidence in that. And two, is the comfort factor of our location. The Promenade is very easy to walk around in with plenty of places to stop and take a break.”

Besides those two factors, there are many more numbers put into this show. We’ve broken down the numbers here.

  • 378 volunteer hours on festival weekend.
  • 500 phone calls to recruit volunteers for the festival.
  • $1000 spent on average by each artist in the show on hotels, travel and expenses to come to the festival.
  • 16 working hours each day the week of the festival for director Barry Witt.
  • 1700 e-mails (plus phone calls) from artists pertaining to the show.
  • 210 artists in the show.
  • 309 cities that artists come from (from U.S., Canada and Europe).
  • 30,000 number of people who come to the festival each March.
  • $5 optional donation requested at gate that goes toward scholarships, programming and community events at the Art League.

Miniature Masters

Many have stood before the paintings of Monet, Van Goh, Vermeer and wondered about the artist. Who was he? How did he live? What was his studio like? 

One local woman, Nancy Rittenhouse, has taken these questions and formed them into a rather unique hobby. 

Van Goh paints "The Bedroom" in this miniature version of his bedroom.
Van Goh paints "The Bedroom" in this miniature version of his bedroom.

She commissions artists to create miniature dolls of particular artists. 

She and her husband, John, then build a replica of the artist’s studio to house the doll. She commissions other artists to create miniature replicas of the artist’s paintings to give the doll a piece to work on in its studio. 

Patrons at the upcoming Small Works and Miniatures Exhibition at the Art League of Bonita Springs this Friday, March 5, will have a chance to see this private collection of detailed miniatures. 

“I was interested in the artist,” Rittenhouse said, “what he is doing, and putting a room together for him.” 

Miniature Vermerr Girl with a Pearl Earring
A miniature scene of Vermeer painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring" in his studio.

At the exhibition patrons will see Vermeer working in his studio, painting Girl with a Pearl Earring while a miniature version of the girls sits and poses. The two appear to be carrying on a conversation as the girl wears a slight smirk on her face. 

On a nearby pedestal, Monet sits on a bench enjoying the serenity of his garden. 

Van Gogh is painting Self-Portrait (Spring-Summer 1887) with finished canvases of The Starry Night and Sunflowers propped nearby as if waiting to be taken to a gallery. Another, more disheveled Van Gogh is standing and painting La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom) In the background his bedroom appears exactly as in the painting, with a water decanter on the night table and paintings on the wall. 

A miniature scene depictiong Grant Wood as he paints "American Gothic"
A miniature scene depictiong Grant Wood as he paints "American Gothic"

Winslow Homer sits in his library painting The Fog Warning (1885) which is so like the original, it is as if someone has used a magic shrinking machine to create this piece. 

The poised Georgia O’Keeffe stands in her studio beside the finished canvas Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue. And around the corner Toulouse Lautrec paints his wonderful French ladies. 

Degas works in his studio painting Ballerina while nearby a ballerina stands shyly as he captures her on canvas. Gauguin works in the studio of his friend Van Goh while Grant Wood paints American Gothic in his bib overalls, while standing in his kitchen. 

Each piece is extremely detailed and created after much research into the artists’ lives. 

The miniature studios are the perfect complement to the exhibition Small Works and Miniatures. This collection of miniature artworks shows that big things come in small packages. The tiny paintings by local artists hold exquisite detail made from delicate brush strokes. This annual exhibition is always a crowd favorite. 

The opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 5 in conjunction with a campus-wide open house and an opening reception for the Southwest Florida Pastel Society in the Main Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through March 18. 

Information is available at www.artcenterbonita.org or by calling 239.495.8989.