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Art exhibit open to public at Lehigh library

November 30, 2011
By GLENN PRICE , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Members of the Pan American Alliance for Art, Culture, and Industry Inc. are gearing up to celebrate the beginning of their 20th year in the promotion of art, arts education, and cultural expression in Southwest Florida. The 501c3 non-profit corporation founded in 1992 has greatly benefited from a membership base representing a broad spectrum of cultures, and the majority of countries in the Americas.

Currently the Pan American Alliance is sponsoring an exhibition at the East County Regional Library, located on Gunnery Road in Lehigh Acres.

From now through December 3 the Lehigh Acres Community is invited to view an impressive collection of art now on exhibit at the library. This extensive body of work represents the talents of local artists, Carol Allen Anfinsen, Joan Benner, Diane Carmen, June De Vincent, Marge Eckert-Prince, Parker Harlowe, Kim R. Hart, Patricia Potter, Glenn Price, Graciela Price, and Annie St. Martin.

An official Gallery ceremony will take place on December 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the library. The paintings will be judged for first, second, and third place by well-known Southwest Florida artist Evelyn Swanson.

There will also be painting and drawing demonstrations. The public is invited to come and meet the artists. If you enjoy the arts, don't miss out on this event. For more information call Graciela Price at (239) 369-8392, or Annie St. Martin at (239) 851-4518.

This energetic group of members of the Pan American Alliance - with varied artistic interests, as well as many talented artists, musicians, and dancers - have made a discernable footprint on Lee County's art and cultural scene. Multi-cultural participation has been a key factor in many of the events sponsored and promoted by the Pan American Alliance.

Felipe Ramirez, an internationally celebrated concert pianist from Spain gave a magnificent performance before a packed Mariner High School Auditorium.

A chamber music group from the University of Panama in Central America was applauded by a standing room only audience at the Foulds Theater in the Lee County Alliance for the Arts.

On that occasion special thanks were extended to the offices of U.S. Rep. Connie Mack and former Rep. Porter Goss for their role in getting last minute visa authorizations for the student musicians.

A Pan American Alliance International Art Exhibition adorned the gallery of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts, with original works by artists from Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Spain, Argentina, U.S., Peru, and Bolivia. These are just a few of the many programs developed and sponsored by the Pan American Alliance.

The organization also boasts a history of working closely with Lee County schools. During the 1992 celebration of America's 500 years, 24 Lee County School classrooms were provided with 4 x 8 foot plywood panels and challenged to create paintings depicting the arrival of Columbus.

The challenge was met with great enthusiasm by students and teachers alike, and the finished panels were placed on display above the ticket counters at the Southwest Florida International Airport where they remained on display for more than three years.

A string puppet multi-cultural project with Lee County middle schools, and a "Masks of the Americas" mural project at the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, benefited arts education in the schools; as did the after school "Masks of the Calusa" mural project, accomplished with the support of the Estero Recreation Center and it's after school program.

The implementation of a successful grant program combining the arts and health education also brought needed assistance to many members of our local community.

The Pan American Alliance for Art, Culture, and Industry has organized many arts exhibitions over the years to share the works of accomplished local artists, and to stimulate artistic talent in area youths. There have been three art drawing contests held at the East County Regional Library in Lehigh Acres. These events, sponsored by the Alliance and organized by Lee County Schoolteacher Ana Yepes, promoted arts awareness in first through eighth grade children.

The Pan American Alliance is a member of the Art Council of Southwest Florida, and the Lee County Alliance for the Arts.

Price is a member of the Pan American Alliance.



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