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Good times, “Anything Goes” at Fort Myers Beach Art Association

Group's latest show running through March 25

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Mar 18, 2021

For the Fort Myers Beach Art Association, the Roaring Twenties are here. They are experiencing their best years in terms of entries and visitors at their art gallery on Donora Blvd. and Shell Mound Blvd., publicity director Pam Flaherty said.

“We’ve had record entries in every show,” she said. “I’m just thrilled that so many artists have been here to enter the shows.”

Their “Anything Goes” show, which runs through March 25, features a new lively set of works from acrylic paintings, oil and watercolors. The format allows artists to enter in any kind of work.

Julie Nusbaum, who has won a number of awards at the association’s shows, reached back to enter a watercolor on yupo which won first place at an older art show.

The striking and detailed watercolor titled “Bottled up Expression” seems almost bigger than life. Not bad for a retired nurse from Wisconsin who is self-taught.

Watercolor work by Julie Nusbaum showing at the Fort Myers Beach Art Association Gallery.

Nusbaum said she prefers to use the yupo paper, which is synthetic, as she believes it is easier to work with and holds up well. “You can add paint and remove paint easily,” she said.

She took a virtual watercolor class with Pat Dews last month which was offered through the association. She said it helped her with forming compositions and constructing an original painting.

Nusbaum, who splits her time between Wisconsin and Fort Myers Beach in normal years, has stayed here since the pandemic hit. She usually goes home for Christmas. “It was kind of hard. That’s sort of our tradition,” she said.

Nusbaum said the “Anything Goes” non-juried show is “representative of all of our artists” featuring the abstract to the realist.

In Studio 2, also running through March 25, is the “COVID, Arts Collection” featuring art made when the art gallery was closed to the public for several weeks in the early stages of the pandemic when the artists worked on a nine-week painting challenge.

Nusbaum said the traffic at the gallery has been busy this past year.

“We’ve had a steady stream of visitors,” Nusbaum said. “People buying art seems to be up compared to other years. It seems to be a very good season.”

For the Fort Myers Beach Art Association, which has been going strong since the 1950’s, the art never stops.

The student scholarship show begins March 27 and runs through April 1, which will be followed by the summer show April 3.

Flaherty is the association’s artist of the month at Shucker’s at the Gulfshore on Estero Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach.