The Art League of Fort Myers is presenting February Fantasy during February. A group show, the exhibition features 48 two-dimensional works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, collage, original prints (etchings, lithographs and wood block) and fiber art produced by 30 members in good standing of the Art Council of Southwest Florida.
Susan Bridges judged the show. "My criteria focus points for the show," said Bridges, were "composition, form, line, color and technical expertise." President and Executive Director of the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, Bridges holds bachelor's and master's degrees in studio arts from the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as degrees in art history and non-profit management. "I look for artworks that show me [that not only does ]the artist have a good understanding of these things things," but can drive them in painting.
For Bridges, whose own work is represented by galleries in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, "artworks that provide a personal vision of content are 'icing on the cake.'"
Bridges was impressed with the quality of the artworks submitted for February Fantasy. "This show presents a nice breadth of subject matter, styles and media. I was pleased to see so many artists working on a solid level."
Given Bridges' impressive credentials and experience, it came then as a immense honor for Tracy Owen Cullimore to be awarded February Fantasy's Best of Show for her oil painting Susanne's Grands. However, Tracy is no newcomer to the awards podium. A number of her previous entries have won, placed and shown in Art League exhibitions. Of late, Tracy was the featured artist for January at the Hirdie Girdie Gallery on Sanibel and she had the pleasure of completing a portrait of Barbara B. Mann for the Portrait Painters Society of SW Florida, which she gave to the Daughters of the American Revolution co-member on her 100th birthday.
Said Bridges of Susanne's Grands, "the painting is well composed, with a nice level of technical expertise used to create the artwork. [It] is well structured, and stretch of values and use of color are soundly used."
Bridges awarded second place to Ellie Schneider for Red Umbrella. "This artwork reads really well from a distance, and draws you in," said Bridges in making the award. "As the viewer approaches, the painting unfolds, leading you farther in. This is a well-crafted artwork with sure, yet loose and painterly brushstrokes. It's well composed and shows a good understanding of color."
Daphne Hammond snagged third place for Wistful, a work in pencil. "This is a good use of a classical medium, a nice stretch of values used to compose the artwork, and use of the paper as a value. Featuring the figure looking off to the side rather than facing the viewer provides a nice introspective quality to the work as well."
Merit awards were also given to Eileen Felice for Eagle Eye Fleagle, Barbara Gardner for Market Fresh and Bill Gedney for Brush Cup. Honorable Mentions went to KiKi Brewsaugh for Mirror, Mirror ... These are the Fairest of Them All, Priscilla Jeffcoat for Artsy Tracy and Barbara Wilson for Sunset Sea.
Now in its 56th year, the Art League of Fort Myers is open from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. Tuesday through Saturday.The exhibit will remain on display through February 22. For more information, please visit www.artleagueoffortmyers.org or telephone 239-275-3970.