American Dance Standards with Erin Dunbar & Jessie Garcia

What: American Dance Standards with Erin Dunbar & Jessie Garcia
When: Thursday, April 7, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Live! at the Promenade, Promenade at Bonita Bay Space 114
Tickets: $25 members/ $30 non-members
Information: www.artcenterbonita.org

 I am not a dancer, but I’ve always wanted to take a dance class. When I was a child my grandparents used to Jitterbug and it was so fun to watch. My grandmother taught all of us granddaughters how to Jitterbug and we used to laugh and dance at every family get together.

Erin Dunbar and Jessie Garcia
Erin Dunbar and Jessie Garcia

     Last summer I attended a dance performance by Erin Dunbar and Jessie Garcia at Live! at the Promenade and it was so much fun to watch local couples get up and dance. When Dunbar and Garcia perform, they do a number and while they are backstage changing and getting ready for their next performance, the floor is open for all couples who want to dance.

     This Thursday, April 7, Dunbar and Garcia will present “American Dance Standards,” at Live! at the Promenade. The evening will feature a variety of classic dances like Swing, Foxtrot and Waltz accompanied by music of American standards. Local musicians Billy Mac & Kelly will be playing live for the evening so dancers will have plenty of chances to try out their different moves.

     The evening is fun for those who like to dance, and for those who just enjoy watching. The best thing about watching the dancers is that you get to see people of all ages on the floor showing off their moves. It’s a great time to become inspired to pursue dance lessons. Tickets for the evening are $25 for members of the Center for the Arts and $30 for non-members. The performance begins at 7 p.m. and features complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine and other refreshments. Live! at the Promenade is a performance series offered by the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs that features live music, dance and theater throughout the year. The performance space is located at 26821 South Bay Drive, Space 114.

     Later in April magician Keith Raygor will perform is Musical Mindreader show for audiences at The Promenade. His performance will take place on April 21 at 7 p.m. For those who are familiar with Raygor for his work in the area, this show will be a bit different. It is an evening of intimate theater that fuses the elements of music and laughter with astounding sleight-of-hand artistry and thought-reading. His talents as magician and mind reader always amaze audiences. Tickets are $25 for members and $20 for non-members of the Center for the Arts.

     A full list of Center for the Arts events and programs is available online at www.artcenterbonita.org or 495-8989.

 

Free art projects for kids and families

 I’m don’t know why I’m always amazed at the ability of children to see and create art. Children live in the same world where art comes from; that Neverland of the human mind where all magical things are created.

     I took my daughter to the Tools in Motion exhibition at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs and we walked around looking at all of the fun and whimsical art. This traveling exhibition showcases art created from everyday objects such as tools. There is one huge piece on the wall that consists of many vice grips welded with steel.

School of Fishes by Arman
Patrons at the Tools in Motion: Works from the Hechinger Collection exhibition admire "School of Fishes" by Arman.

When she saw it, my daughter said “Look, fish!” She was correct, the piece, titled “School of Fishes” is by the artist Arman. Born Armand Pierre Fernandez in Nice in 1928, the artist came to be known as Arman due to a misprinting of his name in 1958. Arman is well known in artist circles throughout the world. During his life he created hundreds of modern works in metal, and in paint. His pieces can be found in museums and collections throughout the world.

     “School of Fishes” (as part of Tools in Motion) has become an audience favorite. Everyone that walks in, whether they are 2 or 92, comments on these fish that shimmer and shine as they swim across the wall. Arman accomplished that outstanding feat that artists can do; he transformed something simple into a brilliant work of art that strikes a chord with everyone who sees it.

     Through my work with the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, I have come to recognize just how strongly the Art Center is committed to bringing art to children. This exhibition isn’t specifically for children, but people are encouraged to bring their children. On Saturdays there are free family activity days from 1 to 3 p.m. During this time, Youth Education Director Jordan Smith gives parents and their children a tour of the exhibition and then creates projects with the children. Each project uses tools to create art.

     This is just one of the many ways that local children can be exposed to art. During the week Smith can be found teaching youth classes at the Center for the Arts and also going out into Bonita schools with his Art Goes to School outreach program. With this program he, and volunteers, create art projects that they teach to area school children. On April 16, the Center for the Arts will hold its free Arts Worldwide event at the Promenade, where children and families can come and create art and experience music and dance from many cultures. In May there is a free theater production with the Youth Theater Department under the direction of Craig Price. In June it will be time for summer camps. This year camps will be offered in clay animation, theater, cooking, painting, pottery, movie making, fashion design and more. Camp catalogs are available now at the Center for the Arts.

Caitlyn Conway creates a horse from electric wire during a free Family Activity Day at the Center for the Arts.
Caitlyn Conway creates a horse from electric wire during a free Family Activity Day at the Center for the Arts.

    Many of the youth programs are free. Those that are not free have scholarship dollars available.

     Having lived in many communities, I feel very lucky to have a place like the Center for the Arts where I can bring my child to experience art. As she stood in the gallery looking at the piece “Dread Lock Box” by Bradford McDougall, she said “It’s a lady.” The piece does resemble a woman with blond hair. It is a box made of steel with yellow electrical wiring for hair.

     My husband asked my daughter, “What is it made of?” To this she replied, “It is made of art.”

     Tools in Motion: Works from the Hechinger Collection will be on display at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs through April 30. It is free and open to the public. Family Activity Days take place each Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Information is available at www.artcenterbonita.org or by calling 495-8989.

Record number of local artists in Bonita Springs National Art Festival

If You Go
What:
Bonita Springs National Art Festival
When: 10am to 5pm March 12-13
Where: Promenade at Bonita Bay
Admission: Optional $5 donation
Information: 495-8989 or www.artinusa.com/bonita

Barbara Groenteman wouldn’t call herself a tree hugger, but she says that the inspiration for her paintings is mostly drawn from the beauty in Southwest Forida.

“There isn’t a better place in the U.S. where you can go and see so much fantastic wildlife and botanical life that can take your breath away,” Groenteman said. “My art is about catching a moment in time and bringing the beauty indoors in the form of my watercolors.”

Here's Lookin At Ya Too by Barbara Groenteman
Here's Lookin At Ya Too by Barbara Groenteman

Her paintings use a soft color and bright light to capture not only the beauty of the birds, but also their personality. There is an expressiveness in the eyes of her subject matter that seems to be trying to convey a message to the world.

Groenteman lives in Naples where she can be surrounded by the lush tropical beauty and wildlife throughout the year. She is one of  211 artists from throughout the United States and Canada that will show and sell their work this weekend at the Bonita Springs National Art Festival.

The March 12 and 13 festival has seen a rise in local artists. There are 17 artists hailing from Bonita Springs, Naples, Estero and Fort Myers.

“This percentage speaks highly of the artists that live in the Southwest Florida area,” Barry Witt, Festival Director, said. “The best of the best apply for this show and it is tough competition.”

There is a large diversity in the type of work that these artists create. Of these 17 artists, the public will find photography, watercolor, oil and acrylic, mixed media, jewelry and furniture artists.

The Wave by photographer Dick Cunningham of Bonita Springs
The Wave by photographer Dick Cunningham of Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs Artist Dick Cunningham finds his inspiration throughout the United States. As a photographer, he travels the country in search of natural beauty. Festival goers will notice all parts of the United States represented in his booth. Cunningham’s work is filled with color showing the stark contrast between the red rock valleys of the west, the lush green forests of the east and the snow covered trees of the north.

“I enjoy the natural environment and like to capture the beauty and diversity of our country,” Cunningham said. “I do about 35 shows a year all over the country and also have a gallery in Bonita Springs. The Bonita Springs show ranks as one of the best quality shows in the country and being so close makes it an additional plus.”

A very different artist, Christiane Hampel, creates intrinsic jewelry.

“My inspiration comes from the wide variety of shapes, textures and surfaces that can be found in nature,” Hampel said. “I might be walking through a forest or a meadow and find organic forms of such beauty that drives me to express these impressions in jewelry.”

Hampel was born in 1974 in Hanover Germany and her interest in jewelry began at a young age. With degrees in both goldsmithing and jewelry design, Hampel began showing her work in the United States in 2007. She opened her first studio in 2008 in Naples.

Bamboo Flower Ring by Christiane Hampel of Naples
Bamboo Flower Ring by Christiane Hampel of Naples

“I’m so happy to be a part of the Bonita Springs National Art Festival as it is one of the highest rated shows in the country,” Hampel said. “I enjoy being featured with other quality artists striving to inspire in the medium of their choice.”

This is the 22 Bonita Springs National Art Festival. The festival is held each January and March at the Promenade at Bonita Bay. The January 2011 festival ranked number 10 in the country for Fine Art Festivals.

The festival will take place from 10am to 5 pm Saturday March 12 and Sunday March 13 at the Promenade at Bonita Bay. There is an optional $5 donation for this show that is entirely run by volunteers. Proceeds from the show stay in Bonita Springs and benefit the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs.

Information is available by calling 495-8989 or online at www.artinusa.com/bonita or www.artcenterbonita.org.

Here are comments from a few more artists that will be a part of the festival.

Hog Key # 1 by photographer John Brady of Naples.
Hog Key # 1 by photographer John Brady of Naples.

John Brady

I am a Naples based photographer and the majority of my work is done in the western everglades which is within very close distance to us. I find that in less than an hours drive/hike you can leave the hustle and bustle behind and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that is the Everglades. My goal is to help bring the real beauty of Florida to more people so they will better understand the importance of protecting this fragile ecosystem.
I make my images with a blend of old and new technology. I use an 8×10 inch wooden view camera with large sheets of film. I then scan my film and print digitally, this method allows me to create very large HD images that are almost like being there.

 
Baskets by artist Sheila King of Fort Myers
Baskets by artist Sheila King of Fort Myers

Sheila King

My inspiration comes from nature, I love wood and twigs and branches and there are so many different types of natural materials in this area. I say that I like to recycle Mother Natures cast-offs and make something decorative and functional. I have been making baskets for over 35 years, I started making baskets by taking old baskets apart to see how they were made,and did a lot of experimenting with different materials. I have developed a style of baskets that are unique and not like any others you may have seen before, using lathe turned bases, rims, and lids of different hard woods, then I have drilled, and woven between the rim and base. I finish off the lid with natural local materials and a burl finial for a handle. I also demostrate, work on baskets while at the show.

Church Road by Edward Park of Naples.
Church Road by Edward Park of Naples.

Edward Park

I find my inspiration in the beauty of the world we live in.  I create vibrant and distinct color combinations to capture on canvas beautiful scenery from around the world.  However my pieces, filled with scenes both familiar and unfamiliar to my audience, explore the depth and potential of our human condition; hopefully causing my viewers to reflect and question where they are now and where they wish to go.
"Bicycle" a watercolor painting by Rick Burger of Fort Myers
"Bicycle" a watercolor painting by Rick Burger of Fort Myers
Rick Burger
I am inspired by experimenting with new ideas and techniques every time I began a new painting. My art started as a child that I pursued through high school, college then continued a career with General Motors Design Staff, then accepted a teaching position in the art department at a community college in Michigan. I began doing art festivals along with man shows in the early 1970’s, however, I am now limiting my time to the top festivals such as the “Bonita Springs National Art Festival”.
"Acadia Coast" by photographer Wayne Wilmoth of Naples
"Acadia Coast" by photographer Wayne Wilmoth of Naples

Wayne Wilmoth

My work is a clean, clear, modern, color bursting out contemporary way to display landscape photography.

I love what I create and since I do all the work myself it gives me much satisfaction looking at the finished product. My landscape photography is well known in this area and for the folks that have not seen it before I offer crisp, and clear landscape scenes that float on the wall without frames.

"Wings of the Morning" Oil on Canvas by Darlene Pearse
"Wings of the Morning" Oil on Canvas by Darlene Pearse

Darlene Pearse

I have been coming to the Bonita Springs Art Festival for 7 years, but the

experience never gets old for this Neapolitan.  The Bonita Springs Art League is really a beacon.  It attracts more of the connoisseurs who have a nice feel for what’s in the artwork.  I never tire of talking to people who are intrigued at how my paintings go from concept to concrete form.  It’s amazing how much interest there is of the visitors’ desire to unearth the creative process.  It’s really an enjoyable experience.  Although there will be big ticket items for serious collectors, there will be opportunities to pick up original pieces at affordable prices

Christine Reichow

It is the often overlooked little unusual aspects of nature that grab me and send me into my creative world of painting.

Untamed by Christined Reichow of Estero
Untamed by Christined Reichow of Estero

My hope is that my paintings will inspire the viewer to look closer and enjoy the beauty when they are out in nature.  I am inspired to paint these observations so that others may enjoy my vision. Growing up in a rural environment, I was encouraged to be artistic by my oil painting mother and engineer/designer father.  Art materials were readily available for my use.  My father grew many different types of flowers and this put me on the path of loving art and nature.  I began drawing before I could talk. During “season” in Florida, I participate in many art shows around Florida.  I also do several shows up north in the summer. Having lived in this area for eleven years now, I have built a following of customers who patronize the Bonita Springs shows.  It is always a pleasure to participate in this highly regarded show.
I am presenting my latest original at the Bonita Springs show.

Other local artists in the show

Blue Gate by Photographer Jennifer Dana Deane of Naples
Blue Gate by Photographer Jennifer Dana Deane of Naples

 

"Dancing Egrets" a watercolor by JoAnn Ostrowski of Fort Myers
"Dancing Egrets" a watercolor by JoAnn Ostrowski of Fort Myers
Empire Bluff by photographer Jeff Ripple of Naples.
Empire Bluff by photographer Jeff Ripple of Naples.
Island Cabinet by Teri Causey of Fort Myers
Island Cabinet by Teri Causey of Fort Myers
"The Musical Instrument Maker's Workshop" by Nicario Jimenez of Naples
"The Musical Instrument Maker's Workshop" by Nicario Jimenez of Naples
"Amarylus" Oil/Acrylic by Julie Carlson of Bonita Springs
"Amarylus" Oil/Acrylic by Julie Carlson of Bonita Springs

 

 
 

"In the Spotlight" Oil/Acrylic by Tom Ross of Naples
"In the Spotlight" Oil/Acrylic by Tom Ross of Naples

 


 

 


Bonita Springs National Art Festival

Meghan Easterly

What is it about a piece of art that makes it compelling? Is it a study of technique and execution, or is it the simple evocation of emotion? For an example look at the work of Viviana Santamarina. She has taken a common item (paper), and woven it into something truly amazing. It is a sculpture. It is a statement. It is a story. Perhaps it is a bit of the artist herself.

"Wondering" Viviana Santamarina
"Wondering" Viviana Santamarina

Santamarina knits paper into sculpture, using pencils as her knitting
needles. When you look at a piece up close you see traces of graphite,
which adds a subtle change to the look of the piece. Her figures are all
doing something, whether it be climbing a ladder to look into a mind, rowing a boat of paper, or climbing out of the pages of a book. It is fun to just stare at the pieces and try to figure out what is happening. Find more examples of her work here: http://vivianasantamarina.blogspot.com/
Santamarina will be one of 211 artists participating in the March Bonita
Springs National Art Festival on March 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The festival is to be held at The Promenade at Bonita Bay located at 26821 South Bay Drive.

Some familiar artists will be returning and attendees will see many new faces as well. The January festival ranked number 10 in the United States.

The January and March festivals have always ranked in the top 20 in the
United States out of thousands of art festivals that are held each year.
The event typically draws 20,000 people or more. The Art Fair Source Book, which is one of the main sources for festival rankings, ranked Bonita Springs as Number 10 in the Nation for the January festival. The Bonita Springs National Art Festival is entirely a volunteer effort because this allows the Center for the Arts to keep the cost of the festival extremely low. This allows the Center to use all of the proceeds to fund programming for more than 6,000 at risk youths in the community.

In 2010 the Center for the Arts gave more than $70,000 in scholarships to area youth to participate in dance, painting, photography, clay, theater and more. The amount of scholarships doubled in 2010 due to the state of the economy. The Center for the Arts makes scholarships available to not only low-income families, but also the middle class.
The Center for the Arts offers one of the only free youth theater programs in the area. Students are currently in rehearsals and busy designing sets and costumes for their upcoming play “Not-So-Grimm-Tales” that will take place in May. This is one of many programs that remains free because of proceeds from the festival.

The Bonita Springs National Art Festival benefits the Center for the Arts and is one of the largest fund raisers. Proceeds from the festival help provide scholarships, exhibitions, classes, Live! performances and keep the lights on. There is an optional $5 donation at the door. All of the money raised stays in Bonita Springs and enables the Center for the Arts to offer community programs, low-cost youth and adult art programming and community events.

A full list of Center for the Arts programs and events is available online
at http://www.artcenterbonita.org or by calling 495-8989.

Tools in Motion: Works from the Hechinger Collection

"Prometheus" Mixed media including hardware by Maria Josephy
"Prometheus" Mixed media including hardware by Maria Josephy
Since the first primitive human discovered that a rock could be used to crush, chisel and scrape, people have been enamored with tools. We invent and reinvent the wheel finding ways to use and reuse every invention. One popular exhibition challenges artists to think of tools as art. And so with “Tools in Motion” we get a fun and witty traveling exhibition where every day objects are used to create wonderful art.

Can an ordinary hammer become a work of art? What can the imagination do with a box of nails? During the traveling exhibition, Tools in Motion: Works from the Hechinger Collection, local families will explore the concept of tools as art.

The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs in will host this traveling exhibition organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, featuring 20th-century art that celebrates repetition and motion in common, everyday tools and hardware. Tools in Motion will be on view at the Center for the Arts Campus from March 4 through April 30, 2011.

Each Saturday of the exhibition the Center for the Arts will hold free Family Activity Days for children and adults. Families will be given a quick guided tour of this fun and whimsical exhibition and then will complete art projects that introduce the idea of tools as art. Activities will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays March 5 to April 30.

The exhibition features 50 witty and light-hearted works based on familiar forms— hammers, saws and wrenches—transformed into art of great imaginative power using materials including wood, glass, metal, paper and stone. The artists in the exhibition range from emerging to world renowned, including notable figures such as Arman, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and Jacob Lawrence.

Spanning a wide range of styles, the collection and exhibition honor the dignity of everyday tools, where form and function are inextricably linked. The abundance of bright colors and vivid textures are enjoyable for visitors of all ages.

The works for Tools in Motion were selected from a collection originally owned by the late hardware-industry pioneer John Hechinger Sr., whose father started the Hechinger hardware chain in 1911. Hechinger began collecting contemporary art related to tools to display around the company’s headquarters to inspire his employees. Early on, Hechinger discovered that the collection’s distinct focus strikes a rich chord of modern art.

This exhibition was organized from the Hechinger Collection of International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC, is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing crosscultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions and the public.

Information www.artcenterbonita.org.