There are thirteen art galleries concentrated within four blocks of the downtown Fort Myers River District, and on the first Friday of each month, rain or shine, thousands of art lovers stroll along Broadway, Dean, First, Hendry and Jackson streets taking in new art exhibitions, art demonstrations and meet-the-artist receptions. It’s called Art Walk, and it’s an event which has revitalized the downtown and kindled in Fort Myers residents and visitors a new passion for and understanding of both the visual and performing arts.
In anticipation of each month’s Art Walk, the River District art galleries locate, curate and exhibit exciting new artists and the latest in contemporary to avant-garde oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, collage, sculpture, art jewelry and fine crafts. All the galleries host receptions for their featured artists, and many arrange for demonstrations of everything and anything artful.
The art stops include the Art League of Fort Myers on Monroe, Art of the Olympians in the City Pier Building at the end of Hendry Street, Arts for ACT Gallery, Coloring the World on Dean Street, daas Gallery, Enjewel, Green-n-Groovy Gallery & Eco-Boutique, HOWL Gallery/Tattoo, In One Instant Gallery of Photography, Lovegrove Gallery and Mad Hatter Galleries in the Franklin Shops at First, Space 39, Syzygy Gallery, and the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, which is known for its neoclassical revival architecture, graceful Ionic columns, and the Jim Sanborn light sculpture, Caloosahatchee Manuscripts, which bathes the building’s façade, limestone steps and surrounding sidewalks in lighted letters to the delight of the Art Walk crowd.
This month, there’s a 14th venue, the Harborside Event Center, where the art that will be auctioned at Graffiti Night, the Saturday night gala and Arts for ACT 2011 Fine Art Auction will be on display for Art Walkers.
Art Walk begins at 6 p.m. and the galleries stay open to 10 or even later depending on the show and the crowd.