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High tide time for Art Association
January 1, 2020

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The next couple of weeks will be a busy time for the Fort Myers Beach Art Association. The "Art Divine" show is running through Jan. 9 when the open house for the "Winter Open" takes place.

The "Art Divine" exhibit is the association's annual showing for paintings at $150 and under. The show has no judging or awards and once this sale is over the works shown won't be allowed to be exhibited at the gallery for another year under house rules.

"It's all original artwork. We don't allow prints," publicity director Pam Flaherty said. Most of the artists are local or seasonal residents.

The association has been active on Fort Myers Beach since 1951 and the building was constructed in 1968, making the group one of the community's foundations.

For a small town like Fort Myers Beach, the art association is quite large with approximately 180 members.

"This is sort of a unique sale because the artists get 100 percent of what is sold," Flaherty said. The show has been popular so far. Every time a piece gets bought, it gets replaced by the artists. There are dozens of artworks currently on display from approximately three dozen artists hanging on the walls of the gallery.

"We have regulars who come this time of year because they know they can get a deal," she said. The cost "really depends on the size and the quality of the frame."

Pam said she got involved in art after her daughter Katherine went to college and left her art supplies at home.

"I didn't want to donate them because I knew how much we spent on them," she said.

She took a class with Sue Pink when she moved from Virginia to Fort Myers Beach and now has her own works shown at the gallery.

"I fell in love. I fell in love with the (art) community," she said.

Her husband, Tom Flaherty, is the president of the board. He also runs the website though he is not an advanced artist like his wife. "We're not really competitive artists," he said of the association. Mrs. Flaherty said the art organization is "very nurturing" and "a good support group."

On Jan. 23, the association will hold a fundraiser featuring four artists for its scholarship giveaway to students from town who will be taking art classes in college. Last year, the association gave out $3,800 in scholarships, Flaherty said.

The Winter Open will feature new paintings and will run from Jan. 13 through Feb. 6.

For more information about the association's upcoming Winter Open show, check out this week's Beach Bulletin inside.

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