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"The Best of the Next," FGCU Art Student Exhibit at ArtFest Fort Myers
2/3/2009

FORT MYERS, FL - The art program in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Florida Gulf Coast University announces a new collaboration with ArtFest Fort Myers, Southwest Florida's premier fine arts festival. With significant support from the Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LCEC), the ArtFest organization has offered FGCU art students the opportunity to display and sell their work at the 2009 festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7 and Sunday, Feb. 8 at a booth facing the City Pier at Edwards Avenue, Downtown Fort Myers.

"The Best of the Next," the new face of the ArtFest experience will provide a showcase for the next generation of emerging area artists, and includes award jurying from the ArtFest judges. This professional, hands-on experience offers an invaluable complement to the academic goals of the FGCU art program, and gives students a taste of the life of the working artist.

The six FGCU students exhibiting at ArtFest Fort Myers were selected by FGCU art program faculty members through an application process that emphasized excellence in art production in combination with a clearly articulated interest in this professional opportunity. The students will be available to talk to the public about their experiences. The FGCU students are:

Ashley Williams of Fort Myers is expected to graduate this spring with a bachelorís degree in art, and minors in disciplinary studies and political science. Her work for ArtFest focuses on a series of conceptual paintings that use repetitive spiral mark-making as a vehicle for the consideration of permanence and contentment.

Joseph Frantz of Fort Myers received an associate degree from Valencia Community College and is now pursuing bachelorís degree in art. He will be showing highly rendered graphite and conte crayon figure drawings focusing on the sensory areas of the body such as hands, feet and eyes.

Ehren Gerhard of Fort Myers is expected to graduate this spring with a bachelor's degree in art, and a minor in interdisciplinary studies. His work explores the potential of the painted surface on three-dimensional forms, in both ceramics and mixed media.

Mary Romanowski of Punta Gorda earned her associate in art degree at Edison State College, and is expected to graduate this spring with a bachelor's degree in art, and a minor in interdisciplinary studies. Her recent series of ceramic sculptures offer brightly colored abstract representations of the beautiful forms found in Florida's sub-tropical environment.

Philip Heubeck of Lehigh Acres is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in art with a minor in creative writing. His dynamic acrylic and mixed media paintings juxtapose the explosive power of nature with references to structure, order, and contemplation.

Jillian Scotto of Punta Gorda is expected to graduate this spring with a bachelor's degree in art, and a minor in history. Her work uses digital media to take the viewer through a surreal journey to the world of Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, and Cinderella.

For additional information please contact associate professor of Art Patricia Fay at (239) 590-7229 or pfay@fgcu.edu.

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