Art news: Florida blues exhibit comes to Marco

Art news

Ella Sterling's poster for the 2013 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest.

Ella Sterling's poster for the 2013 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest.

Marco museum goes blue(s)

"Florida's Got the Blues," a traveling exhibition from the Museum of Florida History, comes to the Marco Island Historical Museum on Jan. 2, bringing photos, text panels, graphic banners, an interactive band stage and more, tracing the Sunshine State's blues heritage.

The event opens with a wine and cheese reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 2 featuring local artist Little Eddie, of Little Eddie and the Fat Fingers.

The event is free and open to the public. "Florida's Got the Blues" will be on display from Jan. 2, to March 30.

Florida has a long blues tradition, according to the information in the exhibition, with such history as:

Being home to the blues artist with the highest number of 78 rpm records, Tampa Red, who grew up in Florida

A commission, during the Great Depression, to record folklorists Alan Lomax, Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston with blues musicians and other folk artists.

Being home to blues legend Ray Charles, who learned to play piano in a "jook" (juke) in his hometown of Greenville, called the "Red Wing Cafe." During his summer vacations he would play with musicians in Tallahassee cafes and at Florida A&M University.

What: "Florida's Got the Blues"

Where: Marco Island Historical Museum, 180 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island

When: Jan. 2 to March 30; museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; opening reception, 5-7 p.m. Jan. 2

Admission: Free

Information: 239-252-8476 or visit its website, www.themihs.org

Thriller authors star here

Lisa Black

Lisa Black

Karna Small Bodman

Karna Small Bodman

Karna Small Bodman, author of thrillers such as "Gambit," "Checkmate" and "Castle Bravo," and forensics specialist Lisa Black, author of "Takeover," "Trail of Blood" and "Evidence of Murder," are the featured speakers for the Friends of South County Regional Library luncheons in Estero this season:

Bodman served in the White House for six years, with her last post as senior director of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration. The author of three books, she also has a new book, "Castle Bravo," which features a visit by a fictional vice president to Naples.

Bodman and her husband have a winter home in Naples. Her talk will be Jan. 24 at the Estero Country Club at the Vines.

Black, a professional crime scene investigator from Cape Coral, has written four books, with a new one coming out this spring featuring Theresa MacLean, a crime scene investigator.

Her talk will be Feb. 27 at Grandezza Country Club.

Reservations are required for the luncheons: $26 for Friends members; $29 for the general public.

Information: Ann Thomas at jkt1938@insightbb.com or 239-390-1362.

Naples girl's art tops

Ella Sterling, a Naples kindergarten pupil, created the sunny artwork chosen for the 2013 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. Her original watercolor painting will be auctioned at the Wine Fest Grand Tasting and Auction on Feb. 23 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club in Fort Myers.

Ella was born in March, 2007, nearly three months premature and weighing barely three pounds. She spent the first two months of her life in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, one of the major recipients of the fest's proceeds.

The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, this year Feb. 22-23, is a signature event of the SWFL Children's Charities Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides funding to local charities serving local children. Last year's event netted $2.3 million.

To view a video about Ella and an interview with her mother, Sara Sterling, or for more information about the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, visit http://www.swflwinefest.org; or call 239-278-3900.

Chickee chats

Naples Historical Society has announced its lineup of Garden Side Chickee Chats for the 2013 season, featuring authors, artists and historians.

All will be in the Chickee Pavilion in the Norris Gardens at Palm Cottage; they're freefor members and $5 for nonmembers.

Talks are as follow:

"My Journey as a Painter," Paul Arsenault, 11 a.m. to noon Jan. 18. Known for his passionate determination to capture Naples history on canvas since his arrival 40 years ago, Arsenault's first book, "My Journey as a Painter," is presented. He will discuss important landmarks and reveal, among other things, many decades of the Naples scene.

Signed copies will be available for sale, $65 plus tax.

■ "What Were They Thinking?!" Laurie Nienhaus, 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 15. Local speaker, author and playwright Laurie Nienhaus presents vintage costumes for a peek at fashions that today have us scratching our heads.

They hid a woman's real body, gave her the look of a mermaid and helped to make swooning the rage.

■ "Naples, A Second Paradise: The History of Naples, Florida," Lila Zuck, 11 a.m. to noon March 22. Author Lila Zuck spent the last several years researching Naples history for her upcoming book that showcases a linear history, and is planned to be a substantial reference and picture book. Signed copies will be available for sale, price to be finalized.

Where:Naples Historical Society Historic Palm Cottage, 137 12th Ave. S., Naples

When: 11 a.m. Jan. 18, Feb. 15 and March 22

Admission: $5 nonmembers

Information: http://www.NaplesHistoricalSociety.org or call 239-261-8164

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