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BIG ARTS studio tour showcases island talent

By Staff | Apr 15, 2010

Susan Scott will be opening her Captiva home and studio on Friday, April 16. Her studio includes a courtyard where she keeps pieces of her work.

Ever truly wonder what an artist’s studio looks like?

Is it a corner in a loft filled with light and a sense of quietness? Or an industrial style area in a workshop stocked with bulky tools and metal?

In an effort to help the community become better acquainted with local artists BIG ARTS is sponsoring its annual BIG ARTS Artists Studio Tour and Members Art Show and Sale on Friday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lunch is included in the event and will be at the Captiva Island Yacht Club from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are limited and cost $45.

The Artists Studio Tour is supported by TheGallery@Sanibelfaux.com by John Grey Painting.

The event in its seventh year is sold out each season, said Laurie Meyers, the coordinator for the BIG ARTS studio art tour.

“It has always been a very successful tour,” Meyers said. “It’s not a fundraiser, it’s a way to showcase the artists on the islands.”

Meyers said the glass pieces would be unique to the show this year. BIG ARTS instructor Petra Kaiser will have a number of pieces showcased at Joel Ospa’s home.

On the tour visitors will be able to see the work of glass artisans, sculptors, oil painters, watercolor artists and more.

The adventure begins at 9 a.m. when tour participants pick up their map to the artists’ homes at BIG ARTS. The artists on this year’s Studio Tour include sculptor James Hixson, glass artist Petra Kaiser, and painters Heidi Keevins, Lance Koprowski, Rosalyn McGlynn, and Susan Scott.

Captiva artist Susan Scott is looking forward to showing visitors her studio and courtyard that will be filled with watercolor pieces quilts and sculptures.

“My studio is fabulous,” Scott said.

Kaiser who lives in Cape Coral is delighted to show tour participants her glass pieces, which include sculptures and jewelry. Her sculptures include tabletop kiln formed pieces.

“My stuff is pretty unusual because I make my own molds,” she said.

This will be Kaiser’s first time having her work shown in a home. Since she lives in Cape Coral the Ospa’s have opened up their home for viewers to see her work.

“I like having my work in a house so much better,” she said.

James Hixson will be showing his male and female sculpted figures at Scott’s home. Scott’s home is located on Captiva near the Bubble Room restaurant.

The full-time Fort Myers artist said he is looking forward to displaying his pieces, which are constructed from reclaimed pieces such as tires.

“It’s always good to get out in the community,” he said.

Hixson said he uses the most unusual pieces of wood he finds to create the “essence” of a female. He works to make his female pieces very soft and flowing. In contrast, Hixson constructs his male figures with a sense of action and dynamics.

His art can also be seen in the Art in the Tree Tops Gallery on Sanibel and the Olde Florida Gallery in the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers.

And Lance Koprowski can’t wait to have his first public viewing of his work on Sanibel. Koprowski works with a variety of mediums including gold and silver leafs, mica and sand. During the tour, he will be having a canvas display incorprating many of these mediums on a canvas at the John Grey Studio on Tarpon Bay Road. He does faux painting, guilding, and other elaborate interior work for the John Grey painting company.

Koprowski who has been painting for 20 years looks forward to displaying his work during the artist’s tour.

“It’s just a good opportunity to meet some interesting people out there,” he said.

BIG ARTS galleries will also be open featuring the Southwest Florida Craft Guild Exhibit in Phillips Gallery, and an exhibit featuring artwork by Sue Baker, Carina Bjrck, Marcy Calkins, Paula Eckerty, Sarah Edwardson, and Rita Mach Skoczen in Founders Gallery.

Those who do not wish to participate in the tour can support artists by attending the Member Art Show and Sale in Boler Garden and attend a wine and cheese reception with music by guitarist Mike McMillan at John Grey Painting, at 695 Tarpon Bay Road, Suite 5 (Promenade Center across from Sanibel Post Office) from 4 to 6 p.m. Reception and Member Arts Sale are free and open to the public.

There will also be a Chinese auction at BIG ARTS, Meyers said. BIG ARTS artists have contributed 10 pieces that people can buy $5 tickets for to try and win. A ticket must be purchased for each desired piece. At 4 p.m. a drawing will be done at John Grey’s studio. All participants must be present to win.

For further information about the tour, stop by BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road Sanibel, call 395-0900, e-mail info@BIGARTS.org, or log on to www.BIGARTS.org.