Wetzel retrospective at the Art League

Exhibit features 45 original works by the organization’s first president

The Lauritzen/Rush Galleries of the Art League, Marco Island’s Center for the Arts, proudly announces an exhibit honoring the organization’s first president; the Charles M. Wetzel Retrospective.

The exhibit opens to the public Nov. 9 and runs through Nov. 24. Admission to the facility and exhibit are free, however donations are accepted.

The Art League, Marco Island’s Center for the Arts, is honored to present the Charles Wetzel Retrospective, a fitting tribute to the first board president as the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Wetzel family has generously offered to part with many of Wetzel’s acrylic and watercolor pieces that depict the private world of the Seminole Indians during the 1950s to 1970s in addition to works representing Marco Island and it’s wildlife.

Wetzel painted scenes from villages along the Tamiami Trail, the Big Cypress, and the Brighton Indian Reservations. Not only do they portray their old customs and clothing style handed down from generation to generation, but they also embrace the gradual and imperceptible transition to a more modern time.

Daily occurrences as cooking over an open fireplace, grinding corn, washing clothing in a near-by creek, spearing snook along the Tamiami Trail at Royal Palm Hammock are just a few of the scenes in the show. Many portraits are in the exhibit, including those of Jose and Ingram Billie, famous Seminole Medicine Men who served as guides and scouts during the construction of the Tamiami Trail.

Wetzel painted more women than men, mainly due to the artist’s desire to perpetuate and keep alive their colorful capes and skirts all pieced together from countless patches of material on the old sewing machings. Notable among these portraits of women is that of Martha Jumper, a good friend of the artist and a 103 year old Seminole whose kindly and deeply etched face bears witness to the hardships of life encountered during her period.

Wetzel was born in Beavertown, Pennsylvania. By profession he was a draftsman and an architect. He has written and illustrated a number of fishing books, as well as numerous articles and illustrations for sporting magazines. However, he is known primarily as a painter of the Seminole Indians, the beautiful birds, landscapes, and seascapes of Florida.

This is exhibit is sponsored in part by Studio International Art & Design and Naples Media Group: Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle.

For more information, call (239) 394-4221 or visit marcoislandart.com.

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