Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bonita Springs National Art Festival

This event was held March 14 and 15, 2009. The Art League of Bonita Springs hosts these festivals twice per winter in a nice setting along Hwy. 41, (otherwise known as Tamiami Trail) in The Promenade. Most of the artists are from far away places, the North, and enjoy getting away to the tropical paradise of Bonita Springs, Florida.
When I attend a show, I tend to zone in on the photography exhibits. At least a dozen photographers participated so I had lots to look through. There were many Italian street scenes, lots of doors and windows and laundry on lines, and Greek Island scenes with lots of blue. Also purple French lavender and a few kitties. I did not see a lot of people portrait work.
Since I am handy with a 35 mm camera, myself, I truly appreciate photographs that I could not capture personally; those one time circumstance shots when all things just happen to come together, the subject, the setting, the lighting. A moment has been captured that is now past and in that moment there is a story. Those are my kind of photographs.
At this show, I found one such photo taken by Patrick Whalen. The scene is a grand home in elegant Italian decay perched alone and abandoned on the edge of a cliff over looking the ocean. Not too far out to sea you can see Mount Vesuvius with a cloud formation that looks every bit as good as volcano smoke. The home is abandoned, it's last use as a restaurant. Indeed, very small in the the corner of the photography there is a table with a white tablecloth close to a guardrail. And very minute, in front of the house, facing Vesuvius is a swing, empty on an A-frame stand.
I purchased this photo and on the back it is labeled St. Agnello, Italy. Perhaps one day it will be an adventure to go and see this setting/sun/yellow stucco house for myself.
I looked up Patrick Whalen's website and it is nice. Another favorite photograph is the hot pink Italian house with character. I encourage you to look at the sight and hey, purchase a piece of photography art. http://www.pcwhalen.com/
Another stop that I made at the show was at artist Jan Peng Wang's space. FABULOUS oil paintings. The talent is phenomenal. His portraits of people, young girls, family scenes, the faces, the highlights, the shading, the eyes. Think "Girl with the Pearl Earring". I almost feel that it was a privilege to view his work at such a humble setting as an outdoor art show. I see his work in the Louve perhaps as a more fitting setting. Strangely, however, when I went to his website, the images there did not make the same impression on me. They were more like sculptures. The work he displayed in Bonita was emotional. I was thrilled to be able to buy three little signed notecards of reproductions of his works, since I could not buy the real paintings. Sigh. Two of my prints have a girl and a young lady with what Hungarians call a babuska tied on their heads, apparantly also a tradition in Tibet where some of the subjects live. The third print is of a young girl seated and her mother and sister braiding her hair. Simple scenes captured in glowing, rich oil paints. Seeing his work is truly a treat and I can at least check out the website to see where he might show these treasures again. Mr. Wang is from Canada. http://www.janpengwang.com/

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