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.