Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Arts for ACT (Abuse Counseling and Treatment)

Jarmolski's Palm Trees in the Sun
I love it when people combine something fun with good works!  I saw an ad for an exhibit at the Arts for ACT Gallery (http://www.artsforactgallery.com/) in Fort Myers that looked interesting and decided to take a bit of a detour on the way home from spending Christmas at my sister's house outside of Boca Raton.  I'm so glad I did--what an interesting place!   The gallery has been in business for 14 years and is a non-profit co-op owned by The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center.  Among other services, the Center provides emergency protective shelter to victims of domestic violence and their children, a 24-hour crisis hotline and a rape crisis center.  There are 75 member artists who contribute a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their work at the gallery to the Center so you can feel good about your purchases there! 

Jarmolinski's Adam and Eve

 The gallery has several different rooms and the work is, as advertised, "evocative and eclectic."   The artist whose work drew me into the gallery was Christine Jarmolinksi.  I love her use of bright colors and her Palm Trees in the Sun was my favorite piece (enough already with the Tommy Bahama look!)  She opened her own gallery just down the street from Arts for ACT, which I also visited, and to say that her style is evolving is an understatement.  Some of her work is a clear take-off on Andy Warhol, especially his Marilyn and soup series.  Others are more abstract in nature, while still others are in a figurative style.  I liked her current work the most of the various genres. 

Denison's Jack-in-the-Box
Friedus' Midnight Sky
While winding my way through the gallery, I came upon some interesting multi-media works created by Pat Custer Denison and Lisa Friedus.  The Jack-in-the-Box is three dimensional and reminded me of the work of Peter Blais, a Nova Scotia artist whose work is incredibly clever. Each summer I enjoy going to his gallery to see what he's come up with during the long winter months!  (You can find Peter's work at http://www.paintedsaltbox.com/.)  

Jones' Bluesmen
Perhaps the most surprising works that I saw were painted by local Naples artist Lennie Jones.  My friends Wendi and Lee have some fabulous art in their apartment in New York that they purchased in New Orleans (where they go for JazzFest every year) and his stuff would fit right in there.  (Sadly, it would just look like I was trying to be cool if we put a piece up in our home.) 

The gallery also has some vintage clothing (the Sarah Leone '50s purses were my favorite), jewelry and a few other odds and ends.  All price points can be found, so the next time you're in the Fort Myers area, check it out!  Buying a piece of art work or bracelet at the gallery is truly a win-win proposition--who could ask for anything more????

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