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Annual ‘Art Under the Stars’ planned

By Staff | Dec 10, 2019


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 sixth annual show and sale, on Dec. 12 from 5 to 8 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.

“We hold this to promote this area as an art gallery center,” Anne Tuttle, member and artist with Hirdie Girdie, said. “It’s a good way for all three establishments to have an evening together promoting art.”

Suncatchers’ Dream owner Daniel Moore Thompson echoed that.

“We like to be supportive of each other down here in what we call the Tarpon Bay art district,” he said. “We like to support small business and family-made, plus shop local, and link together kind of as a Sanibel family.”

SUNCATCHERS' DREAM Resident artist Angelika Geerlof's photography in jewelry.

Marianne Ravenna, events chair for the Tower Gallery, added that it celebrates the holidays.

“It’s to get people out and to showcase our art, and it’s the spirit of the season,” she said. “It’s usually a very festive fun party, and it gets people into the galleries and looking.”


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

The gallery features a variety of styles and media of 2-D and 3-D pieces. Its 2-D art encompasses watercolor, oil, pastel and acrylic paintings, and colored pencil, as well as photography. As for the 3-D works, they cover Raku, pottery, basketry, sculptures, fused glass, turned wood, fiber and jewelry.


“We have wood, we have fused glass. We have several different styles of pottery or clay art,” Tuttle said, adding that there are clay wall tiles and sculptures. “We have beaded sculptures, jewelry.”

“As far as paintings, we try to have a wide variety,” she said, citing acrylic, oil, watercolor, colored pencil and more. “It’s a wide variety of styles.”

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

Oil painter Martha Dodd earned a degree in animal science and became a physical therapist for racehorses. She spent her spare time drawing and painting the horses, which led to a career as an equine artist. Dodd soon discovered that she loved to paint birds, fish and people, as well. A muralist for years, she now is focused on portraits, but still creates landscapes and seascapes.

Basket artist Nancy Giffin and her husband, Bill, have always been inspired by American history. For over 25 years, their artistic commitment has been to preserve American heritage by creating authentic reproductions of Nantucket baskets and Shaker boxes. They work as a team to produce pieces that are timeless in their simplicity, beauty and usefulness. The couple also designs and creates custom pieces.


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

“We’ll all be there to welcome everyone and talk about our art,” Tuttle said.

There will be music, and refreshments will be provided.

“We’re small and we don’t have a whole lot of room, so we mostly focus on the artists’ art and the new art and the new artists at the gallery,” she said.

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

SUNCATCHERS' DREAM Sea glass framed art by Sandy Harbour.

Hirdie Girdie Art Gallery is at 2490 Library Way, Sanibel.


Marking its third year as a participant, Suncatchers’ is a shop that excites the senses from the moment of entry. Filled to the rafters with treasures, from suncatchers to jewelry, it carries an assortment of gifts and souvenirs that are stunning and affordable. It also is the exclusive carrier of the Dune jewelry line.

“I have a lot of artists and items in the store that they will not find everywhere else,” Thompson said, explaining that many of his suppliers work the artist circuits. “It is an unusual mix of little items.”

There also are beach-y holiday cards and local Christmas ornaments, plus stocking stuffers.

“And I have these really spectacular light-up paper stars that are different colors and are perfect for decorating for the holidays,” he said.

Thompson’s resident artist, Angelika Geerlof, will be in attendance. He explained that she creates photography within jewelry, as well as produces calendars and has poetry books available for signing. While most of the other creators featured in store are not confirmed to attend, they could drop by.

“A lot of times the local artists pop their heads in and out,” Thompson said.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be supplied.

“I like to reward people for coming out,” he said, noting that he usually does 15 percent off. “It’s nice for people who want to do a little Christmas shopping – or buy a little jewelry for themselves.”

There will be gift wrapping available, which Suncatchers’ offers year-round.

“It is kind of an old-school thing that a lot of stores don’t do,” he said.

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

People can like it on Facebook by searching for “Suncatchers’ Dream.”

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


Also an artists’ cooperative, Tower Gallery will have pieces from all of its 25 artists on exhibit.

“It’s a cooperative, local art gallery. The artists are all from Sanibel, Lee County or the Fort Myers area,” Ravenna said. “We are the oldest running gallery in Lee County.”

Founded in 1982, the gallery moved to its present location in 1994. It is housed in an original Old Florida cottage featuring Craftsman elements, which was built in 1915 on Sanibel’s shoreline. Moved by truck to its present site, the aqua and yellow building is in its repainted but original construction.

The pieces by the Tower Gallery’s artists consist of 2-D and 3-D media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, ceramic, wood, fiber and metal.

“We have jewelers, ceramicists,” she added. “It’s a good selection of original art.”

New artists to the gallery this season include fiber artist Katie Gardenia, painter David Ruhe, contemporary jeweler Kathleen Dennison and mixed media artist Kelly Morrison.

Ravenna noted that many of the artists will be on hand for meet-and-greets.

“Come to the gallery and meet and talk to them,” she said.

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres and will be provided.

Customers who spend $50 or more will get to pick from a basket of wrapped gifts.

“Cards, prints, jewelry,” Ravenna said. “It’s art from one of our artists.”

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

Tower Gallery is at 751 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel.