In every culture, on every continent in the world, humans create art. Archeologists have dated prehistoric artwork as old as 20,000 B.C., and continue to find examples of artwork in far corners of the globe that date even older. Humans, it seems, have always had a desire to create.
At the annual Arts Worldwide event on Saturday, April 16, from Noon to 4 p.m., the public will have the chance to observe, and create art. Now in its 11th year, the event will be held at the Promenade atBonitaBay.
“The event has grown each year right along with its popularity,” said Susan Bridges, President of the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs. “In this modern age, we can access information from around the world with a click of a button, but there’s still something really exciting about meeting an artist personally, exploring the arts of another culture yourself, or actually trying to create the art form.”
Performers from cultures throughout the world — Japan, Africa,China,Greeceand more — will take the stage continuously to perform traditional dances, music and theater from their countries.
In the past, one of the most popular performers has been Masaji Terasawa, also known as the Candy Man. Terasawa has been performing at Epcot for more than a decade. Terasawa’s art resembles glass blowing. He begins with a simple piece of rice syrup toffee, and magically transforms it into winged dragons, dolphins and other creatures. He has adapted this tradition Japanese art into a humorous, theatrical show that dazzles those watching. Terasawa will be strolling the Promenade throughout the day performing his art and will also be performing on stage.
Other live performances will take place continuously throughout the day from noon to 4 p.m. The Delou African Dance Ensemble will convey stories of arid plains, and tribal histories through the rhythm of dance. Celtic dancers will bring the traditions of centuries of Irish and Scottish social dancing. There will be dancers and musicians from many cultures present.
In other parts of the Promenade, visual artists will be creating arts of all mediums, and with influences from all cultures and time periods. Live demonstrations will take place throughout the day, and artists will be present throughout the Promenade in the Center for the Arts Artists Studios and outdoors.
For those wishing to try their own hand at art, creation stations for both children and adults will be set up throughout the Promenade. The art projects are suitable for all ages, and adults will find projects geared especially for them. All skill levels are welcome to create.
Others may enjoy getting a free caricature or having their face painted by anArtCenterartist.
Lunch will be available at the refreshment stands, or one of the restaurants at the Promenade. The event is free (optional $2 donation).
“You just can’t beat the personal experience of live dance, painting, drawing and sculpture — we all want to try it; we all want to be there to experience it,” Bridges said. “It’s fun and a great experience to share with a friend or family member. The arts are perfect tools with which to build great memories and experiences.”
Artists from four continents and a dozen countries filled the Promenade at Bonita Bay with dance, music and visual art on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Arts Worldwide.
Arts Worldwide is arranged by the Art League of Bonita Springs each year as a day of art by performance and visual artists of all cultures.
The family event had live performances on stage throughout the day, visual artists giving demonstrations and creation stations for children and adults to create artwork of their own.
At the watercolor creation station adults and children sat down together to create paintings.
“That is the great thing about stations like watercolor,” said Jordan Smith, Director of Children’s Education at the Art League. “An adult or a child can sit down and create a simple or complex painting. It can be whatever you make of it.”
Art League instructor Patty Kane volunteered to run the adult watercolor station where she gave artists the choice of painting a pre-sketched piece of watercolor paper, or a blank page.
“Look at that beautiful color you have created,” Kane said, holding one artist’s painting up so they could see if from a different perspective. “Now is the time to step away and let it dry, then come back to it later. That is the thing about watercolor.”
Similar lessons in art were being conducted at stations in clay, printmaking, jewelry and other mediums.
On stage the Delou Africa Dancers brought tribal histories alive through music and dance. Audience members even got a lesson in dance as they were pulled up on stage during the final performance.
Other attendees were delighted by the art of Masaji Terasawa as he roamed about the Promenade performing his traditional Japanese arts. He created creatures out of rice syrup toffee, with a technique similar to glass blowing, and kept people laughing with his unique brand of humor. But above all, he says his message is “about peace.”
This is the 10th year that Arts Worldwide has been held. Traditionally it is held on the Center for the Arts Campus of the Art League of Bonita Springs. This year the venue was moved to the Promenade.
The Art League of Bonita Springs and the Promenade have been working together to bring several art events, including Arts Worldwide, to the people of Bonita Springs.
The Artist Studios at the promenade have visual artists creating and selling artwork Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Each month an Art Walk is held for the public to walk through the 10 studios on the last Thursday of each month. There will not be an Art Walk on Thanksgiving and the December Art Walk will be held early, on Dec. 17 due to the Christmas holiday.
The Art League also has a live performance space at the Promenade where musical, dance and theatrical productions are held several times each month.
All of the spaces are donated by the Promenade at Bonita Bay.
A full listing of Art League of Bonita Springs events is available on line at www.artcenterbonita.org or by calling 239.895.8989.