Category Archives: ARTS


Origami in the Garden

Naples Botanical Gardens outdoor sculpture exhibit

Origami is the art of paper folding and each sculpture in the Origami in the Garden collection began with a single piece of paper.

This season, the Naples Botanical Garden welcomes Origami in the Garden, on view daily through April 23, 2017, and included with general Garden admission. 

Origami in the Garden is a monumental outdoor sculpture exhibition created by American artists Kevin and Jennifer Box.  Box’s distinctive creations are well known in public and private art collections worldwide.  Motivated by the impermanence of paper, Box pioneered a new method of capturing its delicate detail into museum quality metals utilizing lost wax casting and fabrication techniques. 

Origami is the art of paper folding and each sculpture in the Origami in the Garden collection began with a single piece of paper.  The exhibition features Box’s own compositions, as well as collaborations with internationally renowned origami artists Dr. Robert J. Lang, Te Jui Fu, Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander.

Kevin says origami, paper planes, crumpled ideas and innovative abstraction are all themes that inform the surface of his work.  

“What inspires me about origami is its simple metaphor for life.  We all begin with a blank page, what we choose to do with it is up to us and the possibilities are endless,” says Kevin Box. “Motivating the content of the work are my concepts of truth, my philosophy of chaos and consciousness, creation and evolution, the process of creativity and our relationships and responsibilities to one another.” 

His website goes on to say: “My work celebrates the delicate nature of paper in museum quality metal.  I began my career as a papermaker, printmaker and graphic designer.  The passion I have for paper, the ideas, philosophy and history it has captured for centuries, continued with me when I transitioned into sculpture.”  

But how to capture those qualities in sculptural form presented a challenge for the artist.   He says most of his peers were sculpting in clay and casting it into dark, heavy metal objects; however, he was inspired to do something different. 

“By experimenting directly with paper and wax and working in a lost wax foundry for several years, I developed an “organic burnout” process specifically for paper that captures all of its intimate details.  The technique took me two years of tireless experimentation to develop and seven years to perfect,” Kevin adds.

Today, the sculptor still begins every piece with a blank sheet of paper and manages it through the 35-step, 12-week process of casting with the help of fine art foundry teams.  Pieces are cast in bronze, aluminum or stainless steel depending on the design requirements.  For some works, he employs fabrication techniques that begin with sheets of metal cut into shapes and welded together for the final form.  The results are unique or limited edition sculptures, forged by hand and completed with finishes that return it to the look of the original paper. 

Many of the works are designed to withstand the outdoors, the test of time, as well as fingertips. 

“Please touch; I invite you to explore the work in its physical form.  Be touched; I invite you to discover the meaning of the work, the stories and ideas beneath its surface,” Kevin says.

– Origami in the Garden will be on display until April 23 at the Naples Botanical Gardens, located at 4820 Bayshore Drive in Naples, FL.  For more information about the exhibit or the Gardens, call (239) 643-7275 or visit


Art and Poems Collide at the Alliance for the Arts

Daniel Venditti and Shelby Whidden

Celebrate poetry and art during the opening reception for Broadsides: Poetry off the Shelf at the Alliance for the Arts on Thursday, January 12 at 7 pm.  Broadsides features the words of 15 poets merged with images created by 15 visual artists into printed posters.

“Broadsides are a form of written communication, typically designed to be posted in a public place,” says Krista Johnson, Exhibitions Coordinator. “Traditionally, broadsides contain a mixture of text and images.”

Historically, broadsides are a form of printed communication containing a mixture of text and images, typically designed to be posted in a public place.  From the 1600’s to the early twentieth century, this visual medium was used to convey information, issue proclamations, make revolutionary statements, or publish the lyrics to poetry and songs.

Everything from photography to abstract expressionism will be on display at Broadsides.  Artists and poets will present their diverse talent and subject matter by working together to stretch creativity.

Participating artists include: Juli Bobman, Katherine Boren, Andy Browne, Brian Cast, Geoff Coe, Laurent Dareau, Paula Eckerty, David Gittleman, Ken Lamers, Colleen North, Rick Plummer, Sherry Rohl, Beverly That, Sarah Tumm, Pat Zalisko

Participating poets include: Ray Baldwin, Jamilla D. Brooks, Sherry Campbell, Sara Fitzpatrick Comito, Lee Dunne, Dan Reed England, Richard Fox, Dan Graveley, John Merchant, Joseph Pacheco, Dobie Pasco, Joyce Peseroff, Sharon Whitehill, Lorraine Walker Williams, Joan Heller Winokur

“Broadsides always surprises with a fresh look at what inspires creativity,” says Lorraine Walker Williams.  “Each year the serendipitous pairing of poet and artist moves me.”

There is a $10 suggested donation.  Limited edition prints of the broadsides will be exhibited in the Alliance theatre lobby until January 28 and will be available for purchase.  

– The Alliance for the Arts is a nonprofit community arts center located in the heart of Fort Myers, Florida. For over 40 years, the Alliance has been charged with the mission to facilitate and nurture the creation, development, promotion and education of arts and culture in southwest Florida. The Alliance campus and galleries are open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays, located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard just south of Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers. For more information, please call (239) 939-2787 or visit us at


32nd Annual Cape Coral Festival of the Arts

Mama Cardinal by Doug Lehnhardt

The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts, hosted annually by the Rotary Club of Cape Coral, will return to Downtown Cape Coral for its 32nd year.  The festival will take place on Saturday, January 14, and Sunday, January 15, 2017 from 10 am to 5 pm on Cape Coral Parkway in downtown Cape Coral between Del Prado Boulevard and Vincennes Street.  Admission and parking are free for Festival attendees.

As one of Southwest Florida’s largest art shows, this annual art event brings together the works of more than 300 juried artists and artisans from across the country.  Exhibitors will showcase their fine art, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, photography, metal works, mixed media, and much more.  Free festival admission and parking will be provided along with area’s largest collection of art, food, and fun for all ages.

This year’s official event poster artist is Doug Lehnhardt.  Lehnhardt received his formal art training at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cooper School of Art, where he majored in illustration, but also studied portraiture, and photography.  

Painting for more than 40 years, Lehnhardt is best known for his acrylic paintings of wildlife, which he brings to life employing a technique he developed from egg tempera and watercolor.  He has found that the success of a painting is directly related to the intimacy one experiences with its subject. 

“When painting a wolf, studying his features, movements, his personality and then try to capture them in my painting.  This would be the same for any other wildlife, whether it is an eagle, lion, gorilla, tiger, horse, or even a cow,” Lehnhardt says.

His other notable paintings feature landscape scenes and fantasy themes.  He says his fantasy paintings of castles and fairies have elements that were studied in reality— old fence posts, barns, churches or just a tree that have lived through so much history. 

The Rotary Club of Cape Coral proud to bring the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts to Southwest Florida annually.  The 2017 event sponsors include: Wonderland Realty, Experience Real Estate Group, Geico, The Beaches of Fort-Myers and Sanibel, Downtowner Car Wash, Intergraphic 2.0, Waste Pro, Destination Boat Clubs, Happenings Magazine, NBC-2, The News-Press, CapeCoral.Com, Premier Wellness Group, Lamar Advertising, Direct Impressions, and South Cape Community Redevelopment Agency.

Volunteers are needed and sponsorship opportunities are still available.  For more information about or to participate in the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts, please call (239) 699-7942 or visit


Taps & Tunes Craft Beer and Music Festival

This year’s music headliner, JOHNNYSWIM, is back by popular demand!

Beer, food, and music lovers will rejoice on January 14, 2017 with the Taps & Tunes Craft Beer and Music Festival!

Returning to Centennial Park, the festival will sample over 80 craft beers from award-winning breweries, delicious food from popular local food trucks, and enjoy music from three spectacular bands. 

This year’s music headliner, JOHNNYSWIM, is back by popular demand!  Made up of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez, JOHNNYSWIM is a pair that met in Nashville thanks to their love of songwriting.  They clicked together musically and personally, beginning a romantic relationship along with their creative connection.  Amanda, one half of the duo is the daughter of American singer Donna Summer.  The couple married in 2009, relocated to Los Angelesand recently released their EP album titled Georgia Pond.  In addition to their 2014 debut album Diamonds, they’ve released three EPs, as well as a Christmas EP and a live album.  The duo has performed on various television shows including VH1’s You Oughta Know Concert, The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Today Show, Live with Kelly & Michael, and provided the theme song on HGTV’s Fixer Upper.  The duo has also toured extensively, including major U.S. festival appearances. 

For A Season is a dynamite packed team of guys who will keep you on your feet and captivated by their articulate musical orchestrations, stage energy, and relevant message.  This band also brings an interesting and fresh twist of art into their already over the top performance.  Bassist Joshua Noom has recently been captivating audiences with a live speed painting during the bands performances. 

Based in Naples, Florida, The Blu-Tones are a professional 6 or 7 piece band that bring their Retro Rock n Roll Show to the best stages and parties of SWFL.  Reformed in 2014 with the addition of new lead singer, the band has found it’s groove and are impressing the crowds!  Come on out to a show and enjoy an evening of singing, dancing, smiling and a great time, listening to your favorite songs from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even a little 80’s from artists like The Eagles, Stray Cats, The Rolling Stones, The Doobie Bros, Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt, Patsy Cline and so many more! 

Tickets to the Taps & Tunes Craft Beer & Music Festival are: $45 Beer Tasting Pass, $75 VIP Pass and $5 General Admission.

– Created by the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, the Taps & Tunes Craft Beer and Music Festival is returning to Centennial Park on Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 2 pm – 8 pm.  The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First Street in Downtown Fort Myers, FL.  For more information about the event or for tickets, call (239) 333-1933 or visit