Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Good, No “Great” Times at the Goodland Art/Music Festival

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond

Photos by Jory Westberry
| Volunteers from the Collier County Elections Office were there to inform and encourage citizen voting.


There’s no doubt that many of you reading this column have been to Goodland, FL, and enjoyed the peaceful drive through the mangroves before landing in the laid-back atmosphere, with four great restaurants and music, with views of the aqua-blue water, the ambiance, along with adult beverages and comradery. Add in multiple yard sales and an Art and Music Festival, and you have the ingredients for a first-rate weekend experience.

Artist Karen Swanker uses found objects to create her eclectic artwork.

I’ve attended many Art Festivals over the years, for the sheer joy of witnessing the creativity that oozes from artists; not to mention the inspiration that is shared with participants. The Goodland Art/Music Festival is one of my favorites because of the intertwining of art and music and the professional level of both.

One of the art booths I love to visit is Tara O’Neill’s, who has been a long-time resident of Goodland and founding member of the Goodland Art Association and organizer of the Art Show for many years. Her painting is organic, eclectic and fun, as is her personality. She has created a recent Studio Gallery on Coconut Avenue in Goodland where she creates, shows her work, and greets her customers when she isn’t participating in the Art Show.

Another local Goodland artist, Judie McCliggott, creates the most unique pottery, many with seashore critters like crabs, blue crabs, sand dollars and bees/honeycomb, along with the most adorable birdhouses that have been sold to numerous visitors who have taken them up north because they are so unique. They’re showing up with their varied colors all over Collier with the hope that a feathered friend will love the new penthouse.

Marco Island artist, Karen Swanker, was included in the juried art show. Karen works with oils and found objects like plastics, metal and wire and collages them into unique designs. She said, “Most of my objects are found on the roads or beaches” which is pretty amazing; I’ve never found anything like she finds on the roads! Check out her intricate designs.

Did I mention that there’s music on the stage at the same time we can peruse the incredible artwork? What a mesh of creative talent and you can move from one other to another to listen to music that tickles your soul and have a hot dog and adult beverages along your way—sold off-site of course.

Popo Flanigan, from Brigantine Beach Island, NJ, and Naples, FL, paints very vivid pictures with skies and waters that superbly show the conflicts in nature. The colors are vibrant and believable and you can’t help but want one of her paintings on your wall.

Goodland Resident Judy Wittwer, who has created Stone Crab ornaments for years, was back again sharing two home locations, but still into her craft. Her crab claw designs can be used on shelves, holiday trees, mobiles and so much more. She has also created larger whimsical sea creatures that are perfect for your lanai or a strategic tree in your yard or whatever your heart desires.

One of the highlights of the Goodland Art/Music Festival is that you can order a delicious hot dog on-site while perusing the art or music or walk down the road to any of the four local restaurants down the street. Either way, it’s a WIN-WIN! Thank you, Goodland!



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