M A Y – J U N E
2 0 1 7
Ringling to Showcase
Ai Weiwei’s ‘Zodiac Heads’
Bronze Sculptures

Acclaimed Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei’s collection of 12 monumental bronze sculptures, ‘Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads’ will be installed in the Bayfront Gardens of The Ringling in Sarasota, June 9 and will be on view for a year, through May 2018.

Artist, sculptor, photographer, architect and social activist, Ai Weiwei is one of the most renowned artistic figures working today. ‘Zodiac Heads’ is one of the most-viewed sculpture projects in the history of contemporary art.

‘Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads’ was inspired by the fabled fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, an 18th century imperial retreat just outside Beijing. Designed in the 18th century by two European Jesuits at the behest of the Manchu Emperor Qianlong, the fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan featured the animals of the Chinese zodiac, each spouting water at two-hour intervals. In 1860, the Yuanming Yuan was ransacked by French and British troops, and the heads were pillaged.

Seven of the 12 animal heads in Ai’s recreation of this work are based on the original fountain examples that have been discovered: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, horse, monkey, and boar. The remaining five are the artist’s reimagining of the currently missing artifacts: dragon, snake, goat, rooster, and dog.

The 12 bronze Zodiac Heads stand on tall columns, with each animal head measuring approximately 4 feet high and 3 feet wide. The head and base together measure approximately 10 feet high and weigh nearly 800 pounds each. This ‘Zodiac Heads’ series—including a smaller gold gilded edition—has been exhibited worldwide since 2011.

The Bayfront Gardens, on The Ringling’s grounds, are free and open to the public. The Ringling is located at 5401 Bay Shore Rd. in Sarasota. The Ringling is open daily 10am-5pm, Thursday evenings until 8pm. For information, call 941-359-5700.


New Marine Life Exhibit
at Rookery Bay

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has unveiled a new, 180-gallon marine life exhibit at its Environmental Learning Center. More than a dozen species of marine animals are now on display. The new state-of-the-art interactive exhibit houses sea stars, horseshoe crabs, mollusks and other species.

The 180-gallon display is designed to look and feel like Rookery Bay Reserve's natural environment, with detailed rock formations and a mangrove-themed overflow box. In addition to self-guided engagement with these animals, docent-led programs will also be scheduled throughout the day.

The Environmental Learning Center is open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm. The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is located at 300 Tower Rd., off Collier Blvd., between Naples and Marco Island. Call 530-5940 for information.


The Colorful World
of George Snyder

The current exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum featuring several three-dimensional sculptures and canvases by the internationally acclaimed artist George Snyder is on view thru May 2.

At the entrance of the gallery is a brilliantly painted configuration of PVC tubing stands on end and reaches six to over nine feet in the air.

At the back wall of the gallery, hang a series of graphic configurations in explosive colors and oversized proportions. From a distance, they appear sculptural, an army of gigantic Slinkys or ‘Urchins,’ as Snyder refers to them, lined up in contortionist poses. Up close, they are flat and made of painted wood. Snyder’s skill at applying acrylics is what creates their sense of three-dimensionality.

Snyder is one of a handful of well-known contemporary artists, including Paul Jenkins, Robert Rauschenberg and Arthur Secunda, who are considered innovators in the use of acrylics. He carefully hand-paints each design, using tape to define hard-edged lines and geometric patterns and shapes, and then applies layer upon layer of rich, jewel-like colors until he achieves an airbrushed finish.

Included in this show are some of Snyder’s landscapes. Unlike his sculptural work, they are traditional, serene, and highly stylized. Yet, there is a twist. The landscapes are nestled within a wide framework of double mats, which are, upon closer examination, an optical illusion—a wonderful example of trompe l’oeil—and an integral part of the painting.

The Marco Island Historical Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-4pm. It is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive on Marco, across from the library. For information, call 389-6447.


Transportation Photographs
at Naples Depot Museum

The Naples Depot Museum presents ‘Transportation in the Digital Age,’ and exhibition by the Naples Digital Photography Club, from May 3-July 31. There will be an opening reception on May 4, 5-7pm that is free and open to the public.

‘Transportation in the Digital Age’ features several works depicting transportation from around the world, including trains, planes, and automobiles, as well as other modes of transportation.

The Naples Digital Photography Club was formed in 2004 and meets monthly. They offer workshops, tips and group discussions that help one learn and develop digital camera, image enhancement and exhibition skills.

Set in Naples’ first passenger train station, the restored Naples Depot Museum takes visitors back to Florida’s railroading heydays of the Roaring Twenties and tells how technology and transportation helped Naples grow from a village of 300 pioneers to today’s world-famous Gulf Coast resort.

The Naples Depot Museum, located at 1051 5th Ave. S. in Naples, is open Mon-Sat 9am-4pm. Call 262-6525 for information.

Naples Arts Fest
Continues Thru May

The Stay in May Festival, featuring 40 events over three weeks at various venues throughout the Naples area, opened April 25 and continues when violinist Lara St. John & the 5th Avenue Chamber Orchestra perform ‘Mozart Violin Concerto #3’ & ‘Symphony #25’ at 7pm on May 1 at the First Methodist Church, located at 388 1st Ave. S. in Naples.

There are afternoon concerts at the Naples Art Association by Lara St. John and pianist Matt Herskowitz on May 2, pianist Ilya Itin on May 3, Latin jazz legend, Arturo Sandoval on May 9, and pianist Kevin Kenner on May 11. Concerts start 2pm. The Naples Art Association is located at 585 Park St. in downtown Naples.

Shangri-La Springs offers lectures on Mindfulness on May 6, 2pm and May 10, 7pm in the East Clubhouse of Bentley Village. Shangri-La Springs is located at 27750 Old 41 Rd. in Bonita Springs. Bentley Village is located at 810 Retreat Drive in Naples.

A Short Film Fest, featuring screenings of independent short films, is scheduled for May 3 & 7 at Sheffield Theatre, located at Moorings Park, 120 Moorings Park Drive in Naples. Screenings start at 7pm.

An ‘Organ Crawl Across Naples’ on May 4 includes concerts at five area churches, from 12:30-7pm.

On May 5, ‘Rockin’ the Library’ brings big band music to South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy. at 6pm.

‘Dancing with the Stars,’ a music & dance show with Susan Clayton is May 8, in the JFCS Community room, 5025 Castello Dr.

Seraphic Fire Choral Concert is May 9, 7pm, at the Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, 1225 Piper Blvd.

Malenda Trick paints & Steffanie Pearce sings during ‘A Night in Paris: Painting & Cabaret Classics,’ May 11, 5:30pm at Marco Island Historical Museum, 180 S. Heathwood Dr.

The Stay in May Festival ends with a concert at 5:30pm by The Tokens and Rocky & The Rollers at the Naples Zoo, located at 1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd.

For information, call 390-2788.


Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ
on the Bay

Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach will host its fourth annual ‘Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ’ fundraising event on May 27, 11am-10pm. Proceeds will benefit Operation Open Arms, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in military personnel and veterans.

In addition to great BBQ, the event will feature live music from the Bugtussle Ramblers (1-4pm) and the Cooter Creek Bluegrass Band (5-10pm), and craft beer from Fort Myers Brewing Company. BBQ will be served begining at noon. Free car parking and boat dockage will be available.
Matanzas on the Bay is located on Estero Bay at 416 Crescent St. on Fort Myers Beach. Call 463-3838 for information.


SoapFest Returns
to Marco Island

SoapFest, one of Marco Island’s biggest fundraising events for almost two decades, returns to Marco Island for its 18th annual weekend festival, May 26-29

Hosted by the Marco Island Yacht Club, the festival features daytime celebrity actors and special events that raise funds for several local children’s charities.

Thirteen actors from daytime shows such as General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, and One Life to Live are expected to attend, many for return visits.

The three days of non-stop festivities include favorites such as the legendary ‘A Night of Stars.’ ‘Cruisin.’ Boozin’ and Schmoozin’ with the Stars’, ‘Celebrity Karaoke Bar Bash’, and ‘VIP Farewell Brunch.’

A current list of elebrities scheduled to appear include:

General Hospital: Brytni Sarpy, Donnell Turner, Robert Palmer Watkins, Ryan Carnes, Hayle Erin

The Young and The Restless: Kate Linder, Jeff Branson, Christian LeBlanc, Sean Carrigan, Camryn Grimes, Robert Adamson

Guiding Light: Tom Pelphrey

Days Of Our Lives & One Life To Live: Melissa Archer

SoapFest Charity Weekend kicks off with A Night of Stars, Saturday, May 27th at 7pm. This VIP event will offer several opportunities to meet the actors for a Q & A, autograph signings, and photos. Marco Island Yacht Club is located at the foot of the Jolley Bridge, at 1400 N. Collier Blvd. on Marco.

An added feature to ‘A Night of Stars’ is ‘SoapFest Game Night.’ Guests can win with a spot on one of the actors’ teams as they compete against each other.

Festivities continue on May 28 aboard the Marco Island Princess yacht for an afternoon of ‘Cruisin’ Boozin’ & Schmoozin’ with the Stars,12-3pm. The yacht departs from Marco River Marina. The 3-hour boat ride offers the opportunity to meet and mingle with the soap stars, while sightseeing Marco Island’s coastal beauty and enjoying a luncheon buffet.

The annual ‘Celebrity Karaoke Bar Bash’ starts at 9pm on May 28 at Mango’s Dockside Bistro, located at 760 N. Collier Blvd. This evening features daytime actors singing and bartending.

SoapFest concludes on May 29 with a VIP Farewell Brunch with aspecial surprise guest.

For information, call 394-0080.




The Naples Players’ ETC…Readers Theatre is now accepting original one-act scripts for its 14th Annual Evening of New Plays contest for Southwest Florida playwrights. In addition to having their play performed, up to four finalists will each receive a cash prize, memorial plaque, event poster and two complimentary tickets to The Naples Players’ ‘Evening of New Plays’ and awards ceremony on January 21. Deadline for submission is July 31. Winners will be notified by October 31.

Playwrights must be a resident of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Glades or Hendry counties of Florida. Only non-musical one-acts are accepted. Only one play per writer can be submitted. Each play must be the writer’s own original work, not an adaptation, and not commercially published or produced, though it may have been work-shopped or presented in staged readings. A submitted play also may have been entered in an earlier contest, so long as it was not an earlier finalist.

Playwrights must submit 2 copies of their script in standard stage play format.

Call 263-7990 for information.


The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is seeking submissions of 2D & 3D art for its 2017 juried exhibition. The 8th annual juried art exhibition is asking artists to explore '+/- (Positive/Negative).' All entries must be received via an online submissions form by 5pm on May 8. The exhibition will be on view June 2-26, with an opening reception on June 2, during the downtown Fort Myers River District Art Walk.

The exhibit hopes to explore how positive and negative forces cannot exist without one another, and how they can coexist.

All entries must be digital files uploaded via the June Juried Exhibition submission form. Image files cannot exceed 1MB. The file format must be JPEG. There is an entry fee and cash prizes. For information, call 333-1933.

poster designs

The Edison Festival of Light is calling for entries for the 2018 Official Poster celebratiing the 80th Anniversary of the Edison Festival to be held February 10-18, 2018. Artists and graphic designers are invited to submit entries for the competition. The art can be of any medium and must be a completely original concept not used in other posters, promotions, events, organizations, or materials. The deadline for submissions is noon on June 15.

Artwork should represent the activities and events of the Edison Festival, the contributions and/or images of Thomas Edison, and imagery of Fort Myers and Southwest Florida. The poster is used for advertising the festival and in merchandising products and opportunities. Entries will be considered based on concept, artistic imagery, visual presentation, and merchandising opportunities.

For information, call 334-2999.

Ai Weiwei’s ‘Circle of
Animals/Zodiac Heads’
will be installed in Sarasota’s
Ringling Museum of Art’s
waterfront courtyard,
June 9 thru May 2018.

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Latin jazz legend, Arturo Sandoval
performs May 9 at the
Naples Art Association in Naples.

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The Bugtussle Ramblers
will be performing at
‘Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ’ on May 27
at Matanzas on the Bay
in Fort Myers Beach.

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Brightly colored sculptures of
George Snyder are among his
works on view at the Marco Island
Historical Museum thru May 2.

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An exhibition by the
Naples Digital Photography Club, ‘Transportation in the Digital Age’
is on view at the Naples
Depot Museum, May 1-July 31.

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14400 Six Mile Cypress Parkway
Fort Myers

May 1-4 : vs Daytona Tortugas
May 8-10 : vs Palm Beach Cardinals
May 15-18 : vs Clearwater Threshers
May 19-21 : vs Bradenton Marauders
May 30 : vs Bradenton Marauders
Jun 7-10 : vs Tampa Yankees
Jun 12-15 : vs Charlotte Knights
Jun 27-29 : vs Clearwater Threshers
Jun 30-Jul 3 : vs St. Lucie Mets
Jul 7-10 : vs Palm Beach Cardinals
Jul 15-17 : vs St. Lucie Mets
Jul 21-24 : vs Tampa Yankees
Aug 3-6 : vs Jupiter Hammerheads
Aug 10-13 : vs Dunedin Blue Jays
Aug 14-17 : vs Lakeland Flying Tigers
Aug 25-27 : vs Charlotte Knights
Sep 2 & 3 : vs Jupiter Hammerheads