Friday, January 28, 2022

Marco’s Artist Colony at the Esplanade

Betty Newman at the easel. Submitted

Betty Newman at the easel. Submitted

There are “big doings” at Marco Island’s Artist Colony at the Esplanade! The Colony, an innovative enterprise of fifteen local artists, consists of three working studio-galleries: Portside, Rightside, and Waterfront, at the Esplanade Shoppes on Collier Boulevard.

ArtWalks are held the last Wednesday of every month at 5-8 p.m. At their August 25 ArtWalk, the artists were joined by Marco Island Foundation for the Arts president, Sandi Johnson. The MIFA office/gallery is also at the Esplanade, next door to the wildly eclectic Waterfront Gallery. Sandi used the event to share details, about the many contributions the Foundation makes to our community each year, with visitors. A night devoted to the arts was also a perfect opportunity to showcase MIFA’s member-artists. You can tune into all the happenings at MIFA at

Each monthly ArtWalk is an evening alive with art, artists, local musicians, and creative refreshments. Each has a designated theme and the artists submit interpretations of that theme for judging in the People’s Choice Award. As guests wander through the different venues, they have the opportunity to vote for their three favorite entries. Everyone seems more than delighted to have

Hot Night, Cool Cat, by Inez Hudson. Submitted

Hot Night, Cool Cat, by Inez Hudson. Submitted

a role in the happenings. This month, the theme was Hot August Nights. The winner was Inez Hudson, from Portside Studios, for her oil painting Hot Night, Cool Cat.

Music is also a big part of the ArtWalks. Local musicians volunteer their time and talents entertaining solo and in groups. August attendees were treated to Tom Porter (cello) and Rob Snyder (guitar), both from Goodland; and Randy Crawford (banjo) and sixteen-year-old Emilia Lipinski (violin), both from Naples. Porter is a member of the Naples Orchestra, and both he and Crawford belong to the group Ordinary Men.

Rightside Studio unveiled their upcoming Palette Parties. The brainchild of Artist Betty Newman, Palette Parties invites everyone to enjoy an evening of creative fun. “So many people want to paint but are afraid,” says Betty. “This will give them an opportunity to paint with their friends or make new friends in a fun atmosphere.” Party-goers reproduce a masterpiece along with a lead artist, while others are on hand to offer assistance and encouragement. Rightside provides the canvas, paints, and easels, and participants are encouraged to bring their favorite beverages and snacks. Whether

Hot August nights, original assemblage by Claire Keery from Waterfront Gallery. Submitted

Hot August nights, original assemblage by Claire Keery from Waterfront Gallery. Submitted

novice or pro, guests are promised a grand time and can expect to go home with a finished painting.

October 18, Georgia O’Keefe; November 1, Paul Cezanne; November 18, Claude Monet. Seating is limited so contact Betty at for details and to reserve a seat.

The next Wednesday ArtWalk is scheduled for September 29. Go meet the Artists, experience the art where it’s made, and learn more about the great events MIFA has planned for the 2010/2011 season. The theme, Almost Autumn, is something all South Floridians can look forward to! Bonus: If you visit all three studios, you’ll receive a gift package from participating Esplanade businesses.

The Artist Colony at the Esplanade is made possible by a joint venture between landholder A & N of Marco, Inc., Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, and Art League Marco Island. Summer hours are Wed. – Sat., 11-7.

Tara O’Neill has been an area resident since 1967. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the University of South Florida, Tampa, and currently has a studio-gallery at the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island. She can be contacted through her web site

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