Fort Myers Art Walk Celebrates Decade
Writer / Melissa Bill
During the month of April, Fort Myers Art Walk featured the four-year anniversary and book signing of “Marcus Jansen -DECADE.” The New York urban landscape painter is known for his amazing ability to map and depict human conflict. He has been called a pioneer in redefining urban landscape painting for the last two decades. The premiere party and book signing was held at Unit A Studio & Residency.
Fort Myers Art Walk was first organized in October 2008 as a way to unify the local downtown galleries. Since then, it’s helped to revitalize the downtown area and given residents and visitors a new appreciation for both the visual and performing arts. Art enthusiasts can feed their passion by visiting numerous galleries along Broadway, First, Hendry and Jackson streets on the first Friday of each month. It’s free and open to the public to attend.
The long-running Art Walk is attracting larger crowds, partially due to the city’s decision to close First Street from Broadway to Jackson Street. The closure makes it easier for pedestrian traffic flow and provides an expanded area for exhibitors to showcase their work. April’s art walk featured an opening night exhibition by Tavo Quiros at Arts for ACT Gallery, an award winning non-profit gallery owned and operated by Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. The non-profit agency provides shelter and support services for the victims of domestic violence. The curator of ACT Gallery, Claudia Goode, also serves as the chair for Fort Myers Art Walk.
This year additional events were added to the “walk” lineup held in downtown Fort Myers. Pet Walk is the newest Friday night event in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District, every fourth Friday from 6–8 p.m. and Music Walk is held every third Friday.
According to Goode, “These events are definitely increasing the traffic in the area and helping the local art community.” Additional artist booths are expected to join Art Walk in the coming months.
Not all of the galleries involved are located in the Downtown Historic District, which makes the two free trolleys that run from November through April so important. Art aficionados also get a chance to visit galleries that are not on the beaten path such as Two Newts Gallery and Unit A Studio & Residency. Two Newts Gallery recently moved to its new location at 2070 Bayside Parkway in Fort Myers.
Pamela Volz, owner of Two Newts Gallery and Art Walk’s co-chair, is excited about the new space which features the work of local artists from Punta Gorda, North Fort Myers and Cape Coral. “It’s a great opportunity for any new artist wanting to show their work.”
Another key element to this year’s Art Walk is “Allure Your Senses,” a 23-piece exhibit of iron sculptures by renowned Colombia artist Edgardo Carmona whose artwork has been exhibited in South America, Germany and an 18-city tour of Europe.
The 2016 season will run through December 2, according to Fort Myers Art Walk’s official website. A listing of performers, artists and activities for each month is posted on fortmyersartwalk.com.