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Upgrade your Friday plans with Art Walk in Downtown Fort Myers

EN Photo / Julia Browning

A world of artwork opens up on the exposed bricks of First Street.

On the first Friday of the month, local and national artists stake their claims, showcasing and selling their original artwork, jewelry and handmade pieces.
Art Walk, put on by local galleries, is a self-guided event celebrating the visual arts in downtown Fort Myers.

Here, spectators watch artists painting live, have portraits drawn in 15 minutes or less, and walk among the art, browsing for one of a kind pieces.

The event, taking place on Oct. 7, is free and family friendly, attracting visitors of all kinds, from locals to out-of-towners.

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Live bands play along the streets and in venues to entertain people as they view the art or get dinner in one of many restaurants, like Downtown House of Pizza or Twisted Vine Bistro.

Anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 people are likely to attend, depending on the season.

An art projects table is located on First Street all year round, where children are invited to take place in arts and crafts themselves.

Art galleries in downtown Fort Myers feature new exhibits each month to prepare for the event.

The organization Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc., participates in the event. The Arts for ACT Gallery, is the oldest gallery Downtown and one of the founding galleries that help create Fort Myers Art Walk, with about 50 local artists featured each month.   

“ACT gallery is a nonprofit co-op gallery that is owned by the domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault center ACT,” said Claudia Goode, curator of the gallery. “Proceeds from all sales at ACT Gallery support local artists and our shelters that house over 100 men, women and children.”

Goode describes the gallery as a “SoHo like space” that has three featured exhibiting rooms and over 75 local artists.

“The week of Art Walk is spent changing over one half of the 2,000 square feet of exhibiting space at ACT Gallery,” Goode said. “This makes ACT Gallery ever-changing and a must-see destination for all art lovers and collectors.”

The event combines viewing art and listening to live music with eating and drinking at local restaurants and bars.

The effect creates an all in one experience where you can begin the night browsing through art, move on to eating dinner while watching a show and then top off your night with drinks overlooking the city.

Watch ENTV’s video from Art Walk here.

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