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SWFLCF Hosts Art Open House

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2012) – More than 75 guests attended the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s first open house featuring local juried art on Oct. 5. The exhibit is located in the Community Foundation’s public spaces, located at its office at 8771 College Parkway, Building 2, Suite 201 in Fort Myers. The display includes pieces on loan and for sale from 32 local artists and one organization.

According to Cello Bennett, curator of the ongoing display, there are 84 new pieces on display in addition to the current works from local artists Jacke McCurdy and Ellen Sheppard. The various works range from photography and carved wood to textiles, fused glass and various sculptures, as well as traditional acrylic, watercolor and medium paintings.

Each juried artist’s work is hung together in a grouping of three to five works. The open houses will continue to be held the first Friday of every month from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibit was open to all artists from the foundation’s five-county service area including Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry as space allows. A share of the proceeds of artwork sales will fund the Fund for the Arts in Southwest Florida that supports nonprofit art organizations in the area.

"This community has the great fortune of being the home to many incredible artists whose work has shaped both Southwest Florida and the nation,” said Sarah Owen, CEO of the SWFLCF. “We are thrilled that our offices will host a collection that honors this tradition, will inspire all who visit our offices and be a testament to our commitment to the arts in Southwest Florida."

Ms. Bennett has also donated two pieces by her late husband Gale Bennett. One of the pieces will be for the permanent collection while the other will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to the foundation’s arts fund.

“Our goal is to showcase artists across a broad spectrum, whose works will contrast with and complement one another,” said Cello Bennett. “You can get a much better feeling for an artist’s artistic vision if you see three or four pieces of the same artist’s work displayed together." Cello Bennett operates Cello Bennett Artists LLC, an artists’ portal for select visual and performing artists.

The SWFLCF is celebrating its 36th year of supporting the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties by connecting donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $64 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $52 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. During its 2012 fiscal year, the SWFLCF granted more than $3 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts and human services.

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