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.”
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.
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.
“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.
Here are comments from a few more artists that will be a part of the festival.
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.
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.
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
It is the often overlooked little unusual aspects of nature that grab me and send me into my creative world of painting.
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