fishing, farming, and making art on a florida isle - colored glass water bottles
MATLACHA, Fla. --
Coconuts make everything possible.
As a young artist, Leoma Lovegrove found the painted coconut sent by mail to be "the perfect Florida tacky souvenir"-
You don't have to take it home for less than $20.
She decorated them with flamingos and flip
Business is stable.
But when Walt Disney World began to show coconuts in the park, the business started to boom, and Lovegrove found himself with enough resources to pursue her fine art.
She bought one.
In an ancient fishing village in Songdo, she opened the matalacha Art Museum to sell her works.
"When I showed it to my dad," recalls lovgrove, "he said, 'You threw away all your money!
That was 10 years ago.
Lovegrove said that today, about 500 people cross the gallery every day during this season and hold art nights every month in matalacha (Pronounced mat-la-SHAY)
Attracted 3,000 tourists.
Songdo Art Gallery Association has 16 galleries and gift shops, most of which gather next to the bridge in matalacha, one of the five villages on the island.
Songdao Art Association offers year of painting courses-
Exhibitions and sales are held every year.
Pine Island can be accessed from the causeway at the Coral corner, where people fish and farm for a living.
It is 17 miles long and 2 miles wide on average. it is the largest island on the southwest coast of Florida and one of the least developed islands, largely because it does not have a swimming beach.
Stringfellow Road extends from Bokeelia in the north to the city of St. James in the south end.
The road is dotted with painted poles and decorated with natural landscapes, flowers and pirates, which is the courtesy of songdao artists.
Most tropical fruit farms are replaced by tree farms.
The influx of artists, writers and musicians earned the island the nickname "Creative Coast.
Like Lovegrove said, "here, if you don't fish, you draw, you write, you sing.
Lovegrove sold her gallery two years ago, but she continues to show her art there.
The low, purple and yellow partition building is packed with paintings, glass, silver, jewelry, pottery and painted furniture, as well as fish made of mobile phones, palm tree seed pods, a largerthan-
Life carved wood turtle.
The outside courtyard, known as "Oz of matacha", is a colorful, tacky courtyard: mosaic floor, upright chandelier of colored glass bottle, wall with fish sculpture hanging, tile Basin--
Even a dead stump was beautifully painted and decorated.
Like most of Matlacha's stuff, it's on the water and visitors are welcome to take a break in the dock's chair, perhaps with ice cream or cold drinks in the courtyard cafe.
Next door, the wildlife children's art gallery exhibits sculptures and fountains built by the owner Peggy Lee mcreg and others with copper, brass and steel, as well as pine needles and other unusual basket-painted furniture, weaving, jewelry.
The gallery represents 120 artists, most of whom live on Pine Island.
Julia Morris just started Julia's art company a year ago, selling about 50 local artists and some from outside the region.
"I like to stay on Pine Island and Florida," Morris said . ".
"There are so many things here.
Julia's expertise isof-a-
She said, good works such as Jack Gross's fantasy Palm frontal fish sculpture, jewelry of unusual shape and color of Valerie Jewell, silk of Deborah zweiqi
Morris, secretary of the Art Gallery Association, said the gallery owner is a collegial group.
"We compete with each other, but we all benefit from the increasing recognition of art here, so it's a supportive competition.
"To prove her point, she sent us to Bokeelia and went to the Kuki Gallery and garden, the combined Gallery, the pottery studio, the classroom and the nursery.
Chuck and Nancy Koucky started their career in pottery and weaving crafts in the medium term
Once they had a 3,000-square-
There was a foot showroom there, says Chuck kouky, and later there was a rather large gallery in Naples.
But now is the time to scale down. The two-
There is a peaceful tropical feel in the Acre environment.
A path marked with pottery fragments leads from the gallery to the open air --
Behind the AIR studio, there is only one tin roof sheltered.
Chuck said: "It's hot in summer, it's cold in winter, but it's true.
He said: "The short walk from his home to his studio was the idea of my commute.
Writers and musicians have also contributed to the "Creative Coast" atmosphere.
Any night of the week, you can find live music at Bert's Bar & Grill in Matlacha or Tarpon Lodge in Pineland. The best-
The famous non-visual artist may be the writer Randy Wayne White, who has created many of the best works
Sell the mystery of marine biologist/amateur detective Doc Ford in an estuary setting in southwest Florida.
White lives in a house in pienland built on the Indian Hill of California.
"I love that people have been telling stories on this site for 2,000 years," he said . ".
"That's what I did, sitting on the porch and telling stories.
I like this continuity.
"He found that the environment is a powerful force in vision, intelligence and emotion, especially the interaction of light salt water and sunlight.
"Life will happen in such a place," he said . "
In a variety of creative combinations on the island, White says, "It's a quirky and interesting group.
"The Randall research center in pienlan is a working archaeological site on another ancient caerusa Shell Hill, the second --
The largest such site in southwest Florida is also the largest one to drive around.
Assistant Director John Worth showed us around 200-
The acre site, which was settled back in 100 BC, is a huge California demographic and political center.
Brown's mound is located in an area of 12 feet above sea level and 30 feet above sea level.
The excavation of the mound shows a layer of shells covered with a layer of sand with pillar holes, which shows that Calusa has built a shelter on the mound, worths said.
They also built a 1/2mile-
Through the long canal of Pine Island, you can still see the part of it.
Along the self-illustrated signs
Caltrail describes the Kingdom of Calusa and its shell tool technology.
Tour guide service is provided.
In addition to archaeological significance, the Randall Center is an important nature reserve with many wading birds such as ibises, rose-colored spoon herons, egrets and herons.
With the development of South Florida, this mound
Hammock bo limbo tree has become almost unique in its Hammock habitat.
"People came here for archaeology, but they came back for the beauty of nature," he said.
"The Islands Museum provides an extensive
Look at the history of the island.
The mural depicting the village of pingland mound may be a good addition to the visit to the center of Randall.
Other exhibits trace the island's fishing heritage and the age of Florida's "cookies," named after the sound of the whip cat, used to flush their inventory out of palm bushes.
Headphones can help visitors make the most of the exhibits.
There seems to be quite a bit of crossover between the various creative communities on Matsushima.
You can buy art from kayak store.
The wilderness children Gallery holds a song creation day every month ".
In January, the Randall Center held a project called art, writers and archaeology.
True feelings for Matsushima.
Alan aiboealbanese @ can be reached. com.