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Florida Gulf Coast University
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FGCU Hosts Reception Feb. 19 to Celebrate Artist's Gift
Leoma Lovegrove's Eagle Painting Inspired by 9/11 Anniversary
FORT MYERS, Fla. - One of Southwest Florida's most colorful and well-known artists will be the guest of honor at a reception Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Florida Gulf Coast University to celebrate her gift of artwork to FGCU.
Leoma Lovegrove, an impressionist-expressionist painter known for vivid images of Florida flora and fauna, donated "Remember 9/11 Tenth Year," a 10-by-18-foot acrylic painting depicting a bald eagle in flight against a field of bright orange and red. She will attend the reception at 5:30 p.m. in the west wing of the FGCU library, where the painting hangs.
Lovegrove created the work in 2011 in front of an audience at a Fort Myers event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
"It was a time to honor the heroes," she said. "The eagle represents the power of America and that freedom will prevail. Since early in my career I’ve painted a lot of wildlife, and I've always painted the eagle but never one this large."
The regal bird and national symbol also serves as FGCU's mascot, which makes it a natural home for the painting. The gift grew from a conversation Lovegrove had last year with FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw at a reception where the painting was displayed.
"The eagle embodies a spirit of strength and freedom that we value at FGCU and instill in our students," Bradshaw said. "Leoma Lovegrove's striking work of art is sure to inspire those who view it for many years to come."
Lovegrove's tropical colors are inspired by her surroundings at Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens in Matlacha. Her portrait of President Jimmy Carter hangs in the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum in Atlanta, Ga., and her artwork is in the private collections of the White House in Washington, D.C., and in President George W. Bush’s Presidential Library & Museum in Dallas. To learn more, visit www.LeomaLovegrove.com.
Donations of artwork, as well as monetary gifts to the university, are administered by the FGCU Foundation. For more information about the reception, call Director of Donor Relations Dolly Farrell at (239) 590-7638.