Saturday, June 25, 2022

Wet Paint Live!

Artist Tara O'Neill gets into the spirit at Little Bar Restaurant's waterfront garden patio, 2010.

Artist Tara O’Neill gets into the spirit at Little Bar Restaurant’s waterfront garden patio, 2010.

by Tara O’Neill

For me there really is nothing like hearing those 3 little words: Wet Paint Live! This is an event that other painters from the area and I look forward to every year – it’s fun and fine art, my friends, with good-deed-doing on top! Wet Paint Live! begins with local artists painting at various outdoor venues and finishes with a live auction and cocktail party at the Art League, Marco Island’s Center for the Arts. It’s a scholarship fundraiser that in the past has awarded thousands of dollars to local students – and it continues to grow every year. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, January 27, 2011.

Now in its fourth year, WPL was originally created as a collaboration by the Leadership Marco Alumni, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA), and the Art League, Marco Island. Selected artists begin painting at designated locales at 9:00 in the morning and continue until 3:00. Maps showing artists’ locations will be available at the Chamber of Commerce and will also be published in newspapers the week of the event. The public is encouraged to visit the

MICA invites the public to visit artists painting on the beach.

MICA invites the public to visit artists painting on the beach.

artists on site – it’s an excellent way to experience plein air painting up close and personal. (plein air: fancy French phrase meaning outside.)

At 3:00 the artists race their wet canvasses to the Art League where a serious team of stagers will create an amazing exhibition in time for the 5:30 cocktail party; the live auction begins at 7:00. As in 2010, the upcoming gala will be catered by Kretch’s, tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the Chamber, the Art League, and through MIFA.

Special bonus: a gallery exhibition and silent auction showcasing other works by the participating artists will be on display at the Art League starting Monday, January 24. Silent bids will remain open until end of live auction on the 27th.

Wet Paint Live! could not happen without the support of dozens of local businesses and private citizens who sponsor the event. If you wish to become a sponsor please contact the Marco Area Chamber of Commerce. You’ll be well rewarded through advertisements, program listings, and the knowledge that you will help an area student fulfill the dream of a brighter education.

Here’s a list of

Well known artist Jo-Ann Sanborn paints at the Esplanade during 2010's Wet Paint Live!

Well known artist Jo-Ann Sanborn paints at the Esplanade during 2010’s Wet Paint Live!

current participating artists: Carolyn Burger, Carlos Falcon, Popo Flanigan, Robert Gruppe, Judy Harthorn, Lee Horton, Inez Hudson, William Ward Moseley, Donald Mosher, Betty Newman, Phyllis Pransky, Jo-Ann Sanborn, Joan Sherer, Jarret Stinchcomb, Karen Theil, Melinda Trick, Victor-Hugo Vaca, Jr., Marilyn Wirth. Oh yeah, and you’ll find yours truly painting at the newly opened Collier County Boat Park in Goodland.

As long as you have your calendar out: January 28 & 29, Collier County musicians (special performance by the Band of the United States Air Force) and artists gather for the Bayshore Festival of the Arts in Sugden Park in Naples. Check the website, for details.

• Marco Area Chamber of Commerce, 239.394.7549, 1102 N Collier Blvd,

• Art League, Marco Island’s Center for the Arts, 239.394.4221, 1010 Winterberry Dr,

• Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, 239.642.0015, 740 N Collier Blvd., Ste 102,

Tara O’Neill has been an area resident since 1967. She holds a Bachelors Degrees in Fine Arts and English 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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