I love this quote by Mary Schmich, “Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views.” I feel that the same can be said about the mind of a good artist. While one particular piece may give the viewer a plethora of ideas and views, seeing a wide portfolio from the same artist can open horizons.

Forrest Pirovano
Forrest Pirovano creates a painting in his Artist Studio at The Promenade

     Through my work at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs I often see a piece by an artist in an exhibition in our gallery and find that the same artist is working and selling art at the Artist Studios at the Promenade at Bonita Bay. If a particular piece strikes me in an exhibition, I enjoy going to the artist’s studio and seeing the other pieces that they are working on.

     It is interesting to talk with an artist about what inspired them to create a certain piece and then to find that idea tucked into the composition of the piece. I love finding stories in every place that I look, so I always find that a piece of art is more interesting when I can collect the story to go with it.

     I find it is fun to grab a cup of coffee at The Coffee Mill and then walk around the Promenade popping into studios to say hello. There are 13 studios now, with 46 artists. There is always at least one or two artists in a studio working. The artist studios have recently added hours to their schedule at The Promenade. Artists are in their studios Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Each month culminates with a monthly Art Walk at the studios.

     The December Art Walk will be held early, on Dec. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. This Holiday Art Walk is personally my favorite Art Walk of the Year. All of the artist studios will be festive with everyone in cheerful holiday moods. As guests peruse the studios, making holiday purchases and talking with artists, there will be a bustle of activity in the courtyards.

Forrest Pirovano
A detail of Forrest Pirovano's easle.

     There will be live music beneath the Christmas tree in the center courtyard where people come to dance. Carolers will stroll and sing as Santa and Mrs. Claus greet children. Throughout the Promenade art stations will be set up for children to create art projects. The Center for the Arts Youth Education Department always creates wonderful projects ranging from paper crafts to jewelry making. All of the activities are free.

     I love working on the art projects with my daughter. While she enjoys dancing to the music with her grandmother, I enjoy walking around and purchasing ornaments from the glass, clay and fiber artists and looking for unique gifts in all of the studios.

     When the pieces are at home and hanging on my walls, it is always fun to share the story—of the piece and of the artist—with friends. In that way we can all enter the art together and we all receive something from it. The artist conveyed a thought or emotion and gave the viewer something of beauty that will create thought and conversation for as long as the piece exists.

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