08 May 2010

Art Walking, Fort Myers

The above is a fragment of a street performance, called "My Umbrella," I did during the November, 2009 Art Walk in Fort Myers.  Art Walk is a first-Monday arts event, one of my favorite things to participate in this neck of the woods.  Anyway, Gerri did the video-graphing, and there are three separate segments to this film.  The final version doesn't have the slow-downed voice stuff, but overlaid with poetry and Edith Pilaf fragments--it's probably better to view with the sound mute.   My favorite part occurs about 5:20 into the video.  It's a part of my larger, intermedial performance, my whale, the birds, which took place in December 2009.

But about Art Walk itself, I get to see many of my favorite visual and performing artists in some very fun galleries and art spaces in downtown Fort Myers (which itself is a profoundly undervalued and underappreciated in Southwest Florida), including Arts for Act Gallery, Space 39, and Howl Gallery.  These and other galleries feature local, national, and international visual artists, and on the first Monday evening of every month, there's a hint of Miami to Downtown Fort Myers, which is no small feat.

I also spend time there at the Bar Association, a fun, civilized, playful beer/wine place right on Hendry.  I'll be writing more about these places and such over the next months--and looking forward to the incredible Purple Martin Festival that the Bar Association has been promoting for July.

Fort Myers, isolated cow and boom town (currently devastated by the housing bust), is a place perfectly lampooned in the Palm Beach Story, in which Claudette Colbert says with feigned enthusiasm, "Let's go to Fort Myers!  There's absolutely nothing to do there!"  Fort Myers, or rather Lee County, is golf-course, gated-community land, where on the whole there is no center, no identity but a big tourist play-yard, and it comes with all the terrible trappings of that.  Yet, Fort Myers is actually a real place, with a real history, and its vibrant arts community is a well kept secret.  Yes, there is much, much I can't stand about this place, but it does have its charms and beauty . . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment