Cen­ters for the Arts Bonita Springs

Ex­press­ing our cre­ativ­ity, about film fes­ti­vals, art ex­hibits and fun

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - DEPARTMENTS - BY ANN MARIE O’PHEL AN

“Art can be ther­a­peu­tic. It opens peo­ple’s minds to new pos­si­bil­i­ties and their hearts to new un­der­stand­ing. A cat­a­lyst for friend­ships, art pro­vides a foun­da­tion for shared ex­pe­ri­ence.” ―Cen­ters for the Arts Bonita Springs W

hat be­gan as a small gath­er­ing of a few lo­cal artists has grown into two cen­ters with one mis­sion: Arts for All.

Dat­ing to the 1950s, Cen­ters for the Arts Bonita Springs is a venue for visual and per­form­ing artists to learn, to view other work and to show their own, to en­joy per­for­mances and cul­tural events such as the Bonita Springs In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, a huge event in Jan­uary that in­cludes work­shops and di­a­logue with film­mak­ers and writ­ers.

The Florida Wa­ter­color So­ci­ety’s ex­hi­bi­tion runs this year from Nov. 21-Dec. 28. It fea­tures the state’s finest water­col­orists. Cen­ters for the Arts Bonita Springs also has a pro­gram to bring art to your work­place, youth and at-school ses­sions, camps and men­tor­ing for at-risk kids, among many pro­grams.

And for as­pir­ing artists, “our teach­ers are sen­si­tive to our stu­dents, what­ever level, and en­joy bring­ing peo­ple into the world of art,” says Donna Delseni, the art ed­u­ca­tion direc­tor.

Artist sam­plers are pop­u­lar at the Cent er for Visual Arts―a five-week class that takes be­gin­ners through pen­cil, pas­tel, acrylic, oil and wa­ter­color in­tro­duc­tions. Over at the Cen­ter for Per­form­ing Arts, per­for­mance classes such as In­tro to Act­ing for Adults and 10 Minute Plays are trendy. Sam­pler classes and one-nighters al­low you to “dip your toe in the w ater,” Delseni says.

There are also short­ened work­shops—three hours to three days. The venue “of­fers a stel­lar ros­ter of long-time teach­ers that con­tin­ues to ful­fill the needs for all-level artists and who are fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing their skills,” says Delseni, adding that classes in ther­mal draw­ing, pa­per sculpt­ing and wall sculp­tures in wood are in the fall line-up.

Judy Bel­mont over three years has taken fused-glass pro­grams at the Cen­ters for the Arts, also co­or­di­nat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for friends and fam­ily, in­clud­ing a 40th an­niver­sary party. “I wanted to give my friends a chance to make a fused-glass cre­ation,” says Bel­mont, of Naples.

Bel­mont has fur­ther plans for fall en­roll­ments. “Three years ago,” she says, “I was a com­plete begin­ner. [In­struc­tor] Sheri Rouleau gives me the ad­vice and as­sis­tance to cre­ate my own fused-glass in­spi­ra­tions.

“Her up­beat dis­po­si­tion has made the class even more fun!” Free­lance writer Ann Marie O’Phelan is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

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Cen­ters for the Ar ts Bonita Springs has some thing for most e very­one―work­shops, kid cla sses/camps, gif ts, live the­ater/play con­tests, dance, pho­tog­ra­phy, a f ilm fes­ti­val, com­edy, mu­sic, pa int­ing, pot­tery, ex­hibits, chef com­pe­ti­tions, the Ar tPoems event and much more.

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