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Fort Myers Beach Art Association hosts open house

By Staff | Jan 10, 2018

Bonnie Riley, Jeanne Raimondi and Elaine Curry try their hand at alcohol inks on tile.

Tucked away behind the Fort Myers Beach Fire District station and the Red Coconut RV Park is home to the beach’s fine arts scene.

But, its off-the-beaten-path location keeps it a mystery to visitors and even some beach residents.

“It’s a secret on the island, but the building has been here for 50 years,” said Tom Flaherty.

Flaherty is the president of the Fort Myers Beach Art Association, a collection of island creatives who have called the gallery at 3030 Shell Mound Blvd.home for the past five decades.

The gallery, built in 1968, showcases the association membership’s work as well as hosts classes and demonstrations for locals and members alike.

Kathy Summer demonstrates a technique using pastels and alcohol to create a watercolor effect on different surfaces, including a sand-paper and suede-like surface.

The association held its annual open house Friday, bringing in its members and interested members to peruse the paintings on the walls (all for sale) and partake in demonstrations with member artists. Sue Pink demonstrated watercolor batik methods; Kathy Summer combined pastel and alcohol as an alternative to watercolor; and Lynne Wesolowski taught attendees how to “paint” with ink and alcohol on tile.

“It’s for exposure, letting people know this exists,” Flaherty said. “There’s no fake art here, this is real stuff, all original.”

Jan Zeoli and Kathryn Miller look through scrapbooks of the association during the open house.

While typically an abstract artist, Sue Pink runs a workshop at the gallery teaching batik watercolor techniques, as shown here.