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Art Association Paint Around raises money for student scholarships

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Jan 29, 2020

Lynne Wesolowski (left to right), Bea Perrin Pappas, Deborah Butler and Helma Gansen stand next to the four collage works of art they put together in the “Paint Around” Jan. 23 to raise funds for art student scholarships. NATHAN MAYBERG

It’s been a month of showcasing for the Fort Myers Beach Art Association from its “Art Divine” show to its current “Not the Status Quo” winter show and most recently a “Paint Around” which raised funds for student scholarships at its gallery.

The “Paint Around” featured four of the association’s artists putting together four collage works, with each adding on to each other’s work during a timed process that ran more than an hour long. Deborah Butler, Helma Gansen, Bea Perrin Pappas and Lynne Wesolowski did the honors.

“It was a very challenging process to paint that way. You really have no control at all,” Gansen said. She bought hand-stained papers with four different layers of acrylic colors to do the collage work. “I took hours and hours to hand-stain and pattern the collage paper.”

Butler, a Tampa native who was an art historian, cut out some pages from magazines using a page with a Baroque sculpture to decorate her collage work. She was happy to take part in the fundraiser. “You can’t have too many scholarships,” she said.

The collage works were a hit with the audience, which gathered around a large table with heightened excitement to watch the action. The anticipation grew as each stage progressed, with audience members inching closer to the action. Afterwards, the art admirers bid them up for the scholarships which the organization will give out in April to students from Fort Myers Beach who take art classes in college. Publicity director Pam Flaherty raffled off donated art pieces, which were also successful.

Lynn Wesolowski (left) and Helma Gansen (right) work on their collage projects as the clock tickets at the Fort Myers Beach Art Association “Paint Around.” NATHAN MAYBERG

In the audience were two of the association’s most accomplished artists: Cheryl Fausel and Sue Pink. Both are signature members of the American Watercolor Society. They have also posted two of their works for the “Not the Status Quo” show with Pink putting together a collage titled “NY,NY” (which won third prize) and Fausel showcasing her watercolor work “The Golden Teapot.”

Pink’s work partially captures a trip to New York City including a drawing she did on a napkin of a couple eating at an airport restaurant, along with some old wood-carved antique stamps. Pink is a native of Fort Lauderdale who taught computers to elementary school students. She calls Bonita Springs home and has been a member of the Fort Myers Beach Art Association for about 20 years. She said Thursday’s “Paint Around” was a “great way for the public to be introduced to art. There is a lot of excitement because it’s moving around the table and its casual.”

Fausel is a professional artist who studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A Cape Coral resident, she teaches watercolors at the Fort Myers Beach Art Association gallery once a week. Fausel explained that art is in her blood. Her grandmother was also an artist. Fausel previously had a career teaching arts and crafts to American servicemembers and families stationed in Germany. She said she enjoys the FMBAA because of “the people. Everybody is really supportive.”

The student scholarship reception and awards will take place April 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the association’s gallery at 3030 Mound Shell Boulevard.

Winter juried show prizes

The collage work in progress. NATHAN MAYBERG

A few days earlier, prizes were awarded for the top works of art for the “Not the Status Quo” winter juried show and reception sponsored by Fresh Catch Bistro Lounge and Raw Bar.

Julie Nusbaum’s watercolor on Yupo took first prize. “It’s an honor to receive the first-place award,” Nusbaum said. The Wisconsin native’s piece titled “Watching” features what appear to be three women “observing nature” with the water in front of them though Nusbaum believes in leaving it up to the viewer to decide what they see. “It’s an intuitive kind of painting, very organic,” she said. “It’s somewhat abstract.”

Nusbaum, who has been honored with a first-place prize multiple times at the association’s gallery, said she lives on a lake back in Wisconsin which drew some inspiration. Nusbaum said she enjoys the art association for “the energy of the room” and “the friendliness” of its members. “The comradery, the support. Everybody helps everybody. It allows you to be creative,” she said.

The “Not the Status Quo” winter show features 70 paintings as well as mini masters. Everything is for sale. The show runs through Feb. 6 at the association’s gallery on 3030 Shell Mound Boulevard.

Julie Nusbaum’s watercolor titled “Watching” won first prize at the “Not the Status Quo” winter juried show. NATHAN MAYBERG

Sue Pink (left) and Cheryl Fausel stand beside their works being displayed at the winter juried show “Not the Status Quo.” Both are signature members of the American Watercolor Society and the Fort Myers Beach Art Association. NATHAN MAYBERG