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Art Walk in downtown Fort Myers draws local crowd

Hundreds of people packed First Street in downtown Fort Myers, Friday, Sept. 4 for Art Walk.

Every month, the River District Alliance hosts Fort Myers Art Walk, an event that allows local stores and artists to showcase and sell art. Aside from the stores staying open past normal hours, other artists set up tables, booths and tents on the sidewalk.

Some artists sell premade items at the event.

Laura Young set up at a table for Designs by Laura and Jennifer with jewelry she had made prior to the event. At Art Walk, she sells the jewelry to help with her new business.

Other artists prefer to do live art demonstrations.

Don Shepherd from Fourth Dimension Airbrush, a local business that specializes in airbrush designs, was at one of the booths giving out free airbrush tattoos. Vanessa Collins, an Art Walk attendee, stopped by and had her whole body airbrushed in different colors by Shepherd.

Art stores and art galleries downtown on First Street stayed open longer for the sake of the event.

Arts for ACT Gallery is one of the 12 galleries that stay open during Art Walk. The Arts for ACT Gallery is owned by Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), a nonprofit organization that gives help and protection to domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The boutique displays and sells art, clothing and accessories from local artists.

Another gallery, Reverie and Rock Art Gallery, is open only during Art Walk or by appointment. The gallery displays artwork done by Jamie and Kathy Kuser. Jamie Kuser focuses his photography on rock and country concerts, including Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Jason Aldean and more. Kathy Kuser’s art is digitally designed surrealism with a mystical theme.

Although it’s not Music Walk, which is another Friday of the month, cover bands were also present and playing music. People stopped to watch and donate money for the entertainment as the band, Flashback, played throwback songs and some originals.

As the sun goes down, a bike parade brings color to the street. With colored LED lights attached to the wheels, hundreds of bikers pedal down the street whooping and hollering causing more excitement for Art Walk.

Halfway through the event, Florida stayed true to itself and it started raining. True to Art Walk being an event through rain or shine, the night continued to go on.

According to the Art Walk’s website, Fort Myers Art Walk was organized in October 2008… to unify the downtown Fort Myers art galleries into a singular active and vocal organization that helps the River District be a ‘must-see’ destination spot and a point of interest for new businesses.

Fort Myers Art Walk is hosted the first Friday of every month by the River District Alliance, a nonprofit organization. The next Art Walk event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 2 in downtown Fort Myers.

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