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Pine Island galleries prepare for Creative Coast Weekend

By Staff | Jan 4, 2009

Looking forward to the promise of a new year, the island galleries will ring in the season with a host of artist openings and demonstration during Creative Coast Weekend. Events will take place at several participating galleries, which will offer extended hours to welcome guests on Friday, Jan. 9, and again on Saturday, Jan. 10.
WildChild Gallery in Matlacha will host “Artists at Work” Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the garden area of the gallery as well as demonstrations by local artists both Friday and Saturday. Friday from 2 to 9 p.m., demonstrations will be provided by Joan Hall Bush with gourd art, Carey Parks with her Irish Penny Whistles, underwater photographer Ron Kemper, Aboriginal coastal art from Felix Rodriguez, woodcarving and beading with Laura and Dennis Hall, glass and clay bead jewelry from ‘Ele Solterra, works in oil by Heidi Sobanja and feng shui and crystal energy by Deb Luten.
The featured artist for the weekend will be Ron Kemper with his presentation called “Sea Dragon Images.” Kemper will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions about his work.
New to join the galleries in Matlacha is Bonnie’s Art Gallery. Owner and resident artist Bonnie Cheney uses several mediums to produce her work, including acrylic, oil, pastel and watercolor. Living a lifetime pursuing art as a career, Cheney has established a name for herself in the art community and has shown at the New York Art Expo and the Las Vegas Art Exhibit, and produces a selection of different types of paintings including abstracts, animals, florals, landscapes and portraits.
Also in Matlacha, Julia’s Arts will host an opening reception with Jack Glos and his Fantasy Fish Sculpture. Meet the artist from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday and attend a special demonstration provided by Glos from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. During this event at Julia’s, music will be provided by the acoustic trio Tradewinds.
No event would be complete in Matlacha without live music and Olde Fish House Marina will fill the bill when it hosts national slide guitar champion Kraig Kenning along with Kip Lawrence, who is best known for his performances in the group the Yard Dogs. On Friday, the free concert will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. All are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and a cooler of their favorite beverages to enjoy the show.
Kenning is currently on tour in Southwest Florida from Chicago and plays over 200 dates per year. He has been heard on radio stations across the country and has sold thousands of his six, self-produced CDs. Kenning also has been a regular favorite at the Tarpon Lodge in Pineland.
When not playing with the Yard Dogs, Lawrence also has a following as a solo performer. He is an accomplished classical guitarist and has penned many of his own compositions as well as many of the Yard Dogs’ musical favorites.
Bokeelia author Gerald Hausman will be the featured guest during Creative Coast Weekend at Koucky’s Gallery and Gardens in Bokeelia. Hausman will be on hand to meet and greet visitors at Koucky’s Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Hausman is best known for his novels for children and young adults which include subjects like native America as well as a recent title “Pine Island Soundings,” which reflects his life living on a barrier island. Hausman also tours the country giving lectures and telling stories at college writers’ programs and young author conferences as well as for school children of all ages. On Saturday, join Hausman at Koucky’s for storytelling time from 1 to 3 p.m.
Heading toward St. James City, those taking the gallery tour will want to plan a stop at Earth and Spirit Garden Gallery on Maria Drive in St. James City. Both days Earth and Spirit will highlight its commitment to Fair Trade. This voluntary program is used by companies to create an alternative market for traditionally disadvantaged producers, artisans and farmers. A presentation on Fair Trade will take place Saturday beginning at 2:30 p.m. The speakers will be Debi Mahr, executive director of Collier County Collation for Hunger and Homelessness, and Michael J. Mahr, pastoral administrator of St. William Catholic Church in Naples.
Earth and Spirit Garden Gallery will also sponsor a Fair Trade coffee and tea tasting. Earth and Spirit carries a full line of Fair Trade products including coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa from Equal Exchange, a non-profit fair trade organization working for the rights of workers.