Peter Sargent discusses his wood carvings with a patron at his studio at The Promenade. Meghan Easterly

WHAT: Art Walk at the Promenade
WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010
WHERE: Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26821 South Bay Drive, Bonita Springs
ADMISSION: Free
INFORMATION: www.artcenterbonita.org or 495-8989

The humidity of summer has lifted, making way for beautiful weather. Everywhere you look people are out for walks and outings, enjoying the long-awaited fall.
At the Center for the Arts Artist Studios at the Promenade, artist are propping open their studio doors, inviting in the lovely weather and the public.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. artists can be found in their studios painting, creating pottery and jewelry, drawing and talking with visitors. During the Art Walks, the last Thursday of each month, the artists supply hors d’oeuvres, wine and beverages for those walking through their studios from 5 to 7 p.m. Live music plays in the courtyard at the Promenade, creating a delightful mix of art, music, fine weather and friends.

Those stopping into the studio of Renata Vigoda, will find her creating beautiful jewelry. Born in Italy, Renata grew up in Australia where she received her classical training in the visual arts. Examples of her accomplished painting techniques can be found on her walls, but in Bonita Springs, she is perhaps best known for her original dichroic glass designs.  With their unique shapes, and plethora of colors, these designs complement the large, contemporary style that is the current wave of fashion.

Other patrons may be drawn to the intricate pencil drawings and wood carvings of Peter Sargent. His walls hold graphite drawings of zebras, children, banyan trees, all on simple white paper. The intricate, yet simple drawings are so true to life and so pleasant to behold. Sargent spent years as an architect in London before moving to Florida 10 years ago. His chosen subjects range from wildlife to local scenes and he’s regularly commissioned for portraits of people, pets and homes. Although his drawings are accurately realistic his wood carvings are purely abstract—expressing the grain and form inherent in the wood itself.

Those walking into Studio 156 at The Promenade are struck by brilliant colors. Abstract canvasses fill the walls, colorful jewelry sits in cases. Looking around you notice groups caught in conversation. Beside one wall Ursula Cappelletti discusses her paintings with patrons visiting the studio.

Patrons at the monthly Art Walk at the Promenade discuss paintings by artist Ursula Cappellitti.

Lee Butera holds up a piece of her unique sea glass jewelry describing the way sea glass is made by the ocean. The process of the ocean taking a discarded bottle and turning it into a beautiful piece of art, captures all who listen.

Near the window, Eileen Johnson is describing a technique of her painting to two interested patrons. In the back of the studio Barbara Brenton stands near her unique, colorful abstract paintings talking about her love of painting.

Walking into this studio, guests are greeted by artists in their element. Each describes their passion along with the works that they have created.

This is the Center for the Arts Artist Studios at the Promenade. Conversations of art, music, life take place here several days each week when the public is invited to stop in and meet the artists.

Each month culminates in an Art Walk with live music, hors d’oeuvres, wine and artists filling 11 studios. The Art Walks take place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will go to 8 p.m. beginning in November. Each week artists can be found in these studios Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be nearly 40 artists in place for the Oct. 28 Art Walk.

Walking into each of the 11 studios, guests are greeted by different artists, different artwork and different stories. Each studio has a unique personality, formed by the artists in the space.

“This experience is different than walking into a gallery,” says Susan Bridges, President of the Center for the Arts. “Here you see artists creating, talking about their work, exploring new ideas.”

The Center for the Arts and The Promenade at Bonita Bay began these artist studios and monthly artwalks more than one year ago. Each month new artists can be found, with many artists remaining each month.

The 11 studios hold painters, photographers, potters, glass workers, illustrators and more. Each artist applies for a studio space and has their portfolio reviewed. The artist is then given a free space to show their work and create new pieces. The Promenade supplies the spaces at no cost and the Center for the Arts helps the artists with hanging, lighting, sales, marketing and other aspects of business.

Eileen Johnson speaks with visitors in her studio at The Promenade during the monthly Art Walk.

“The studios create a place for artists to show and sell their work and allows the public a place to find new artists and learn about their work,” Bridges said.

A full list of artists located in the Center for the Arts Studios at The Promenade is available at www.artcenterbonita.org. New artists are accepted each month and can apply by calling 495-8989.

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