Art Walk has withstood the test of time and the economy. In October, the monthly art event will mark its third successful year as part of the revitalization of downtown Fort Myers.
The next monthly Art Walk will take place on Friday, Oct. 7, with local art galleries and art stops featuring new exhibits and shows. This regular cultural event draws between 1,500 and 2,500 people each month to the downtown River District.Then on Saturday, Oct. 8, the organizers of Art Walk will bring back its seasonal Saturday Art Fair.
A new twist this year is the art fair is now a juried event and will showcase individual artists at tables along the sidewalks of First Street.
The Saturday Art Fair will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to attend.The monthly Art Walk runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. The October Art Walk will include more than a dozen art galleries and art stops and will feature new art shows, live music, and the traditional after party.On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Art League of Fort Myers will host a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. at Harborside Event Center to showcase the annual Cele-BRA-tion exhibit.
Some highlights of the Friday, Oct. 7 Art Walk:
- Art of the Olympians: An Exhibition of 21 International Olympian Artists in the Olympian Art Gallery and in the Olympic Sport Museum the Table Tennis Showcase is still showing with the opportunity to play against the robot.
- Art League of Fort Myers: Opening reception for Color and Form exhibit.
- Arts for ACT Gallery: Opening reception for new show featuring artists Cathy Logan, Chris Catti, and Kim Kraft-Beckler.
- daas Gallery: Opening reception for Chroma-Tone: The Art of Veron Ennis
- Gallery Showcase and Information Center at IberiaBank (Bayview Court at First Street). Art Walk T-shirts are available at this location as well as buttons, maps, and brochures.
- The Franklin Shops: Artwork featuring Audubon 2nd Edition Prints, Blind Dog Photography, Bryson Lunger Art, Dan-Signs, Joe Rossi Art Studio, Leoma Love Grove Gallery, Lourdes Mora-Shay Art, The Mad Hatter Gallery, Natasha Cuevas Photography, Ocasio Casa, and Vincent Valle Photography.
- HOWL Gallery/Tattoo: Opening reception for Bride of the Sugar Ninjas exhibit, an all female comic book artist collective curated by Bob Pendarvis, co-founder of the Savannah College of Art & Design's Sequential Art MFA and BFA Program.
- In One Instant: Opening of Perspectives: Through the Lenses of Florida Photographic Collaborative, a collection of works by 10 photographers of Florida Photographic Collaborative.
- Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center: Art Walks the Runway: Art Couture Fashion Show by Helen Gerro and Maria Pia Malerba; One-act play by Edison College: "Chronicles Simpkins Will Cut Your Ass" by Rolin Jones.
- Savvy on First: Artist Penne Atkinson casting original designs in resin jewelry using found objects, dried flowers & more.
- Space 39 Gallery: Group art show.
- Syzygy Gallery: Opening for exhibit featuring artist Pat Cleveland.
Nearly 50 participants make Art Walk successful each month and they include the Alliance for the Arts, AmeriDry, Art League of Fort Myers, Art of the Olympians, Arts for ACT Gallery and Boutique, Browtopia, Cigar Bar, Coloring The World, Cool Hand Luc's, daas Gallery, Downtown House of Pizza, Enjewel, First United Methodist Church, Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers Redevelopment Agency, The Franklin Shops, French Connection Cafe, Hampton Inn & Suites, Happenings A&E Magazine, Hideaway Sports Bar, Hotel Indigo, HOWL Gallery/Tattoo, Ichiban Japanese & Chinese Restaurant, IberiaBank, In One Instant Gallery of Photography, Legacy Harbour Hotel & Suites, Leoma Lovegrove Gallery, Mad Hatter Galleries, Main Street Antiques, Market America Realty & Investments, Morgan House Restaurant, The Oasis Luxury Condos, Potomac Bead Company, Red Door Studio, Red Rock Saloon, River District Alliance, Savvy on First, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Select Transportation, SKS PhotoShoot, Space 39 Gallery, Spirits of Bacchus, Syzygy Gallery, Twisted Vine Bistro, United Caf Bar & Bistro, The Veranda Restaurant, What's Up Dogs?, Yanos Restaurant, Lush French Bakery, The Linen Cottage, Blind Dog Gallery, Rock Lake Resort, and the Young Artists Awards Program.
Held the first Friday of every month from 6 to 10 p.m., Art Walk features local and national artwork in the downtown art galleries and several art stops in the Fort Myers River District. The evening culminates with an after party at 10 p.m. The October after party will be held at Spirits of Bacchus on Hendry Street.
Another highlight of the very popular evening is the weekly Friday Night Live free concert series, which takes place in the Patio de Leon. Screamin' & Cryin' will perform from 6 to 9 p.m.
Always a collector's item, new Art Walk buttons will be available at galleries that night. Art Walk has its own T-shirt (in red or black). Shirts are available for a $12 donation at the IberiaBank gallery showcase during Art Walk.
A free shuttle service courtesy of Select Transportation Inc., with stops planned near the art venues, and parking at the Harborside Event Center will be available for Art Walk patrons. Shuttle stops include The Oasis Condominiums, Art of the Olympians, and the Patio de Leon entrance at First Street.A map of Art Walk, showing transportation and parking will be distributed by participating galleries. Art Walk is a rain or shine event. Art Walk was started by a group of art galleries and art enthusiasts and debuted in October of 2008. Art Walk is a River District Alliance event. For more information on Art Walk, participating galleries and links to gallery websites, visit www.fortmyersartwalk.com.