With eleven artists, hundreds of pieces of art and three galleries, the Last Wednesday Art Walk at the Esplanade saw a large turnout on Wednesday evening.
“Gypsies in Paradise,” was the theme of the October art walk, as each one centers on a different theme. Artists create new pieces each month based on their interpretation of the theme, with some of the artists dressing in gypsy garb at the Wednesday Art Walk.
The Art Walk, which started in January, was an interactive event for those who came by, with artists handing out punch cards for gallery-goers, allowing them to vote for their three favorite artist theme interpretations after receiving three punches from the different galleries.
“There are so many opportunities for art in Collier County,” said artist Inez Hudson of Portside Gallery. “The beach, the birds, tropical flower and the people coming from all over just add to your craftiness.”
A former Michigan resident and member of the board of directors for the Art League, Marco Island’s Center of the Arts, Hudson said she feels as if 75 percent of the artists in the United States come to Florida at one point or another, noting in the winter months there are many artists in Marco Island.
“It’s good, it urges you to become a better artist,” she said of the competition.
The event brought in people from across Marco Island and Collier County to come and view new and familiar pieces of artwork.
Marco Island residents Ann and Wes English looked at four different artists’ work at the Waterfront Art Gallery, noting how beneficial the art walk has been for residents and artists.
“Once they bonded together to do (the art walk) in the Esplanade, they became visible to us,” Wes said. “It’s such a great idea to fill storefronts that aren’t being used.”
For sisters Jenna and Hannah Pain of Oxford, England, the art walk was a look into Southwest Florida culture and lifestyle.
“We like how it’s all quite local,” Jenna said. “It’s quite refreshing.”