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Unique art movement continues in Southwest Florida

By Staff | Apr 6, 2016

Artist Brian Weaver puts some final touches on his “One Love” painting that has oil, acrylic, 14k gold paint and spray paint. MEGHAN MCCOY

The love of painting and drawing grabbed a hold of one artist, creating an adventure through school, traveling and eventually starting a company in Southwest Florida that unites artistic individuals from all walks of life.

Although Brian Weaver attended the Communication School of Arts in North Carolina studying computer animation and graphic design, he soon found out he was not a fan of computers.

“So, I took off and traveled. I probably spent three, or four years just traveling,” he said. “I spent a lot of time in Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina, New York and California. I almost became like a gypsy because I went through this huge travel stage for quite some time.”

The traveling came to a stop when he was offered the opportunity to live on one of his client’s boats in the area, providing the chance to focus on his art once again. Within a six month time period, Weaver created 30 pieces of artwork. Unfortunately since he was new to the area and really did not know many people, he had a hard time finding a place to show his work in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral area.

“At that point, I started a company called Circus Arts United at a hotel in Cape Coral. I had found a few other artists on Facebook and asked them to come out and we set up on the streets around the pool area,” he explained.

Artist Brian Weaver stands with his finished painting “As One,” which incorporates oil, acrylic and spray paint. MEGHAN MCCOY

Seven artists, two fire spinners, a break dance team and a DJ helped in attracting about 45 people to the show. With that initial interest, the group decided to hold the art shows every month with the number of participating artists doubling. A vast array of mediums were represented ranging from glass blowers to wood workers, jugglers and poets.

“It got to be so big that we had to expand and move from that hotel in Cape Coral and transfer the event to a larger venue, which is when we went to the Italian American Club. After a couple of months we outgrew that place and needed to go somewhere bigger, so we started working with the city in closing down 47th Terrace for the All Walks of Art,” Weaver said.

The All Walks of Art closed down 47th Terrace twice before the amount of support needed soon diminished for the amount of work put into the event.

Weaver decided to take a break and traveled back to Colorado to visit some friends. He returned to Southwest Florida after he received a call from Rene Miville, a resident of Sanibel, who had seen a show and wanted them to participate in a Downtown Fort Myers Art Walk.

“We put together a theme and a contract and we did the first art walk and it was an amazing thing,” Weaver said. “We created live art installations and mixed performance arts and street artist together. It went so well they wanted us to do a monthly festival down there.”

Every second Friday, Mystery Walk was put on by Circus Arts United.

“We were doing giant live art installations. We would have 10 foot by 10 foot canvases where we would put live models against the canvases. We would actually paint their body and paint them into the paintings of this size and put projectors on them, so the paintings would move,” Weaver said.

After six months, the River City Alliance took a break for the off season and Circus Arts United, now 150 members strong, decided to start throwing private underground shows at the Epicenter.

“We had started a movement and focused on so many artists and influencing them to follow their dreams and uniting together as one,” Weaver said. “It was beautiful, and it still is beautiful.”

The group purchased their studio, 1939 Dana Drive in Fort Myers, about a year ago.

“The bigger that we got (the more) we needed a spot to keep all this giant art we were working on,” Weaver said. “With all the artist throwing a little bit of money in, we can afford it.”

Unfortunately the contract the group put together was not supported by the alliance, as they decided to invest their money into another direction. Weaver decided it was time to start focusing on his own artwork once again, beginning his Dream Weaver Art Collection.

“My artwork has fallen into an urban direction,” he explained. “It’s an urban style with a very classy unique twist. It came from my dreams and my heart. I do believe you need to speak through your art. It’s just not pretty pictures all of the time. It needs to tell a story whether it’s love, or pain, or sadness. I think that is what I’m addicted to. I’m addicted to completely losing myself into my artwork and taking it to the limit.”

The artist combines bright, beautiful colors with such darker tons as gray, often times using spray paint, as well as other mediums to project his feelings.

He finds time to create his masterpieces between his two jobs – Starfish Grill on Sanibel and Slate’s in Cape Coral.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 10, Weaver will have a reception for his solo show displaying his Dream Weaver Art Collection at Chico’s gallery on Metro Parkway.

“I’m extremely excited about it,” he said. “They pick a certain amount of artist every year to do a solo show for that particular month. I have been chosen as the June artist.”

The reception, by invitation only, will feature an orchestra, sushi and drinks, as well as his collection.

“If you really want to get into my head and find out who I am, that will be the show to see,” Weaver said. “The collection is going to be very clever and very different.”

Although it is an invitation only event, Weaver said he would like to welcome any art buyers, art collectors and art supporters to send him an email if they would like to attend. His email is circusartsunited@gmail.com.

The Circus Arts United also came up with a new concept that will take place May 6, and May 7 in Downtown Fort Myers from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., at 1529 Lee Street. Artsemble Underground is a two day pop gallery featuring Weaver, Cesar Aguilera, Marcus Zotter, Greg Stevens and Richard Bravo.

“We take the building and turn it into a living, breathing piece of artwork,” Weaver said, adding that each artist will create a brand new collection during the show. “We really want to make it extremely classy, red carpet event.”

The two-day event will raise money for a nonprofit organization still to be determined. A percentage of the art sold during the show will also be donated to the nonprofit.

The first two hours of the May 6 show, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., is VIP only and will include a performance of all the artists working together, an orchestra, champagne and sushi. To purchase tickets, visit www.dreamweaverartcollection.com.

The concept came to fruition with the help of Terry Tincher, who is a leader in the art community that recently opened a new art bar.

The next Underground Show at the Epicenter will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, April 15. There is a $5 cover charge to attend the event, which goes towards a nonprofit organization, as well as supporting the Epicenter.

“We will have DJs, live music and incredible performance art shows. When artists come here they actually create live art while the show is going on,” Weaver said. “When you put that many artist all under one roof creating at one time you kind of get this vibe, this goose bump vibe of something that is so unique and special. It’s something that is definitely bigger than one person. It’s really special.”

For more information, visit www.dreamweaverartcollection.com, or Circus Arts United Facebook page.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.