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Annual ‘Art Under the Stars’ scheduled

By Staff | Dec 12, 2018

TOWER GALLERY “Swiss Cheese Moon,” by Ikki Matsumoto

An upcoming art walk for the islands is the collaboration of three creative spaces on Sanibel.

Hirdie Girdie Gallery, Suncatchers’ Dream and Tower Gallery will host “Art Under the Stars,” their fifth annual show and sale, on Dec. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. at each venue. Within walking distance of one another, there will be new work on display, some artist meet-and-greets, prizes, discounts and more.

“It’s to have more of a cooperative feel, to have several locations for people to go to and enjoy an evening under the stars and enjoy art,” Anne Tuttle, member and artist with Hirdie Girdie, said.

Suncatchers’ Dream owner Daniel Moore Thompson explained that the spaces have always been friendly toward one another, but in recent years they have come together more to support each other.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve kind of bonded as a group,” he said.

SUNCATCHERS' DREAM Melanie Cech's hand-pulled glass sculpture and jewelry.

Tower Gallery Board Member JoAnne Bedient explained that it is a win-win for everyone.

“Being in the same little community here, our customers can walk to each place,” she said. “So it’s a good way to share our customers with them (the other businesses) and theirs with us.”


Hirdie Girdie, a local artists’ cooperative, will have work from all of its 16 artists on display.

“We have a lot of 2-D paintings, we have one photographer,” Tuttle said, noting that the 3-D mediums include basketry and jewelry. “We have wood, we have beaded sculpture, Scotch tape sculpture.”

HIRDIE GIRDIE GALLERY Pieces by featured artists, Michelle McCarthy and Augusta Crane.

“We have a glass artist, we have a fabric artist,” she added. “We have a range of art.”

For the event, the two new artists at the gallery will be highlighted.

“Michelle and Augusta’s work is displayed on our featured wall,” Tuttle said.

Both clay or pottery artists, Augusta Crane creates pieces like vases, plates and bowls, which each showcase a tropical flower on them. Spiritual, she views the process as a mediative endeavor.

Michelle McCarthy uses about 150 types of clay, plus stamps, to get different effects.

TOWER GALLERY Welded sculptures by Ralph Bigletti's and mixed media fiber art by Sally Dutko.

“She’s an animal lover, so a lot of her pieces have an animal motif, especially sea life,” she said.

Most if not all of the Hirdie Girdie artists will be present for meet-and-greets.

“Everybody will be there,” Tuttle said. “All of our artists.”

The cost of the work on display will run the gamut.

“They range from just a few dollars, up to hundreds of dollars,” she said.

SUNCATCHERS' DREAM Christmas ornaments by local artists.

Refreshments and wine will be provided, along with appetizers and Christmas treats.

Tuttle encouraged the public to stop by.

“To see the new art of the season, for one thing,” she said.

For more information, call 239-395-0027 or visit www.hirdiegirdiegallery.com.

Hirdie Girdie Art Gallery is at 2490 Library Way.


Marking its second year as a participant in the event, Suncatchers’ promotes itself as the spot for beautiful and artistic gifts that are also functional and reasonable.

“My store is kind of an eclectic mix of artists,” Thompson said, noting that he has work from artisans who travel the art festival circuits. “They’re special pieces that they don’t sell to a lot of stores.”

There are also handmade local cards and holiday ornaments.

“I have really amazing jewelry, I’ve got pottery,” he said. “I’ve got great kid’s stuff.”

Suncatchers’ even features farmer’s market buys, like soaps and bath items.

“I’ve got some functional and practical stuff, as well,” Thompson said.

While the creators of his merchandise will not be on site for meet-and-greets during the event, he explained that he is well versed in the products and can answer any questions attendees have.

Thompson noted that his business is rarely open at night, so it will have a different feel.

“It’s going to be a very comfortable setting,” he said. “It’s a pretty easy-going, local fair type of night.”

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be supplied.

“We’re going to be doing a discount all night long – I’m going to be discounting everything,” Thompson said. “We’re very appreciative that people are supporting local artists and local shops.”

He welcomed the public to pop in and check out his new items.

“The shop small thing takes on a new light for this winter,” Thompson said, pointing out the red tide and water quality issues. “I think now more than ever that’s crucial because it’s been a bit tougher year.”

“I think it’s important for people to be out supporting shops like ours that support locals,” he added.

For more information, call 239-472-7860 or visit www.suncatchersdream.com.

Suncatchers’ Dream is 630 Tarpon Bay Road, Suite 2.


Also an artists’ cooperative, Tower Gallery will have pieces from all of its 20 artists on exhibit.

“All of our artists will have work,” Bedient said.

She noted that there is something for everything.

“It does range from paintings, oils, acrylics and watercolors to mixed media,” Bedient said. “We have photography, jewelry, ceramics, sculptures and painted wooden bowls.”

The gallery will also have pieces from three visiting artists.

“This is something new,” she said of their inclusion. “They have very exciting work.”

There will be prints by well-known artist Ikki Matsumoto.

“This is the first time his work’s been back in the building that used to be his gallery and studio,” Bedient said.

Sculptures and welded metal art by sculptor Ralph Bigletti will be available.

“Most of his pieces are of the human form, although somewhat abstract and whimsical,” she said.

There will also be artwork by Sally Dutko, who does “abstracted quilted pieces.”

“She is a fiber artist and she does mixed media pieces,” Bedient said.

In addition, the galley’s newest space – La Petite Galerie – will be open to visitors.

Many of Tower Gallery’s artists will be on hand for meet-and-greets, and hors d’oeuvres and wine will be provided. She noted that the space will also hold free giveaways for some of its artists’ work.

Bedient invited the public to swing by.

“It’s the place to do your Christmas shopping,” she said, noting that prices for the artwork will range from $5 notecards to $5,000 pieces. “So something for everyone’s pocketbook.”

For more information, call 239-472-4557 or visit www.towergallery.net.

Tower Gallery is at 751 Tarpon Bay Road.