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Annual art show features local work — on clotheslines

March 10, 2015
By CRAIG GARRETT ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Much of the work reflects the outdoors. So why not hang the final product in the same place?

The popular Sanibel Captiva Art League Clothesline Show is back March 15. The event at the Sanibel Community House offers hundreds of works of art, most hanging unframed on outdoor wires. The free event is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Shoppers will be able to meet and interact with artists offering a large selection of first-rate artworks at affordable prices. The works will include collage, watercolor, oil, pastel, acrylic and colored pencil in a variety of subjects and sizes. This is a very popular and well-attended event on the island for a number of reasons. The great majority of the art is original, and prices are most often heavily discounted.

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There will be some 30 participating artists whose work outside is actually hung from wires strung between posts, and set out in rows for easy circulation for the public, with bins holding additional work. Artists are also located inside the Sanibel Community House. The artists are usually seated at or near their stations and look forward to meeting visitors to answer questions. Some of the participating artists are nationally known.

"Everyone loves the annual Clothesline Show," said Marcy Calkins of the San Cap Art League. "It's a casual day where people can get up close to the artwork, talk to the artists and have a chance to buy some excellent works - right off the clothesline."

The show will be held rain or shine. It is free and there is plenty of parking.

As an extra bonus this year, for a small donation, Clothesline Show visitors will be eligible for a watercolor by Captiva artist Marian Hall. The drawing for this piece will be held at 3 p.m. in the Community House. Hall has studied in New England and in Captiva. She teaches in Upper Captiva. Her work is exhibited in Sanibel at the Hirdie Girdie Gallery.

The Clothesline Show is particularly rewarding because prices allow buyers from most income brackets, Hall said.

"It is very accessible," she said.

The San-Cap Art League began officially with a blurb in the Sanibel-Captiva Record newspaper in 1964: "Island artists joined together to form the Sanibel Captiva Art League at a meeting last week at the Captiva Civic Center. Leon Levy was elected chairman of the group and a committee of six was appointed to coordinate details of the organization."

And so began an art group that evolved into the voice of all things art in the islands.

"The whole idea of the Art League," said Ellie Harries, publicity co-chair for organization, "is to promote art in a friendly way."

The Sanibel-Captiva Art League is a friendly group of people who share an interest in and appreciation of the fine arts. The league is a not-for-profit, member-operated corporation and is a member of the Art Council of Southwest Florida. Meetings are held monthly at the Sanibel Community House from November through April. Lectures, art demonstrations, and art critiques by distinguished artists, allow for creative growth by members. These meetings are also an opportunity to meet fellow art enthusiasts over refreshments.

Complete information on activities can be found at A newsletter is published three times a year and is posted online.

And while it's good to share the vision of local artists, the art industry also has a powerful impact on the economy in Southwest Florida. Research in 2013 by Americans for the Arts showed that jobs, tourism, entertainment choices, awards and sponsorships, nonprofit vibrancy, the overall energy of a region jumps with a healthy arts community, or as the Island Reporter noted in an article on the Art League dated Aug. 10, 1979: "To promote Sanibel-Captiva as a natural forum for cultural activities in Southwest Florida."

Ultimately, of course, local art is about expression, or: "technical competence, originality, color, form, composition, presentation and general impact," the 1964 Sanibel-Captiva Record article summarized.

For more information about the San Cap Art League, visit online at:



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