Saturday, January 22, 2022

Welcome to Smileville

Gene’s Geraniums, acrylic, 24x30. Submitted

Gene’s Geraniums, acrylic, 24×30. Submitted

Welcome to Smileville,” it says on Popo Flanigan’s website…and for good reason. Flanigan describes her work as anti-depressionistic – which certainly made me smile – and once I saw her paintings the grinning just wouldn’t quit. Colors swirl and pop, lines wiggle and warp. Her images are wholly original and thoroughly joyful.

Popo Flanigan, a resident of Naples, Florida, and Brigantine Beach, New Jersey, was raised in Philadelphia. She spent her mid life designing and selling fine jewelry while sketching ,drawing and taking classes all over the world. Her intent was to keep her business open until she could follow her dream of becoming a full time painter. That dream came true in 2005, and in her own words, “I knew instantly that the community of artists is right where I belonged.”

Flanigan has, understandably, earned several awards including, most recently, 2nd place in the Arts Council of

Beach Entrance, 3rd Ave. South, acrylic, 24x36. Submitted

Beach Entrance, 3rd Ave. South, acrylic, 24×36. Submitted

Southwest Florida’s Spring 2010 exhibition, and 3rd in the juried August exhibition in Brigantine Beach. And my own personal how-cool-is-that! award.

She’s a familiar sight around Naples, exhibiting monthly at the outdoor festivals held in Cambier Park with Naples ArtCrafters and the Naples Art Association. She’s also a yearly participant in Third on Canvas, a fundraising event sponsored by the Naples Art Association that features professional artists interpreting scenes around Third Street that are then auctioned at the Von Liebig Center for the Arts. She even takes it over the bridge to show at the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts Left Bank Art Festival held waterfront at the Esplanade on Collier Blvd.. As an Island artist, I’m thrilled she does.

Coming up is a solo show at Aura Gallery (on 5th Avenue, above Chops Restaurant), opening reception is November 18th, 6-9, the exhibit runs through December 1st. She’ll

Wattamoonica, acrylic, 22x30. Submitted

Wattamoonica, acrylic, 22×30. Submitted

also be exhibiting at the Von Liebig Center’s Show of Shows, November 6-29, and is one of 300 artists that was asked to participate in Incognito, a benefit to be held at the Naples Philharmonic this coming April. Flanigan and her 3rd Avenue South studio will be featured in a book entitled Artists and their Studios which comes out in December.

For right now you can have a really good time checking out Popo Flanagan’s website, (how appropriate!)

Other sites of interest:

Naples Art Association,

Aura Fine Art Gallery,

Naples ArtCrafters,

Marco Island Foundation for the Arts,

Tara O’Neill has been an area resident since 1967. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art 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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