From 6-10 p.m. on Friday, August 3, 2012, downtown Fort Myers celebrates Art Walk, a monthly self-guided tour of new art exhibits and streetside craft demonstrations taking place in the River District’s art galleries and boutiques. For most Art Walkers, the tour includes the Art League of Fort Myers on Monroe, Art of the Olympians in the City Pier Building at the end of Hendry Street, Articulture Gallery & Tattoo Studi0, Arts for ACT Gallery, Enjewel, HOWL Gallery/Tattoo, Ocasiocasa Studio Gallery, Space 39, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and UNIT A Contemporary Art Space on Evans Avenue.
With the games of the XXX Olympiad well under way, Art of the Olympians is sure to be a sexy stop during this month’s self-guided Art Walk tour. Located in the City Pier Building at 1300 Hendry Street, Art of the Olympians contains both a Sports Gallery and a Cultural Gallery.
The Sports Gallery is filled with multi-media Olympic displays designed to convey a feel for the Olympic experience. It’s a good place to get your Olympiad on.
Upstairs in the Cultural Gallery, the museum celebrates the life and accomplishments of Olympic hero and four-time gold medalist in discus, artist Al Oerter.
Oerter’s career in art began in 1980. Even though he failed to make the cut in a comeback bid at the age of 40, Anheuser Busch asked Al to help support the U.S. Olympic team by making a painting. There was only one catch. He had to create the artwork using his discus.
After giving the process some thought, Oerter laid a tarp on the ground. Then he poured puddles of paint onto the tarp. That done, he placed his canvas at the foot of the tarp and then gave his discus a toss. The geysers of pigment the discus sent soaring into the air produced splatters, sprays and droplets of impasto and color on the canvas, and the lark gave rise to what became known as Oerter’s Impact Series of abstracts.
A number of these works will be on display during Friday night’s Art Walk, along with a several of the expressionist works he would later make.
AOTO is once again represented at this summer’s Olympics. More than 40 pieces of art by 20 Olympic artists are being exhibited during the games in two venues, Torbay and London.
Its part of AOTA’s ongoing effort to encourage the artistic creativity of a new generation of Olympic athletes and induce them to exhibit their paintings, drawings, sculpture and other artworks in Al Oerter’s Center of Excellence.
“Our goal,” states Cathy Oerter, “is to have every country in the world that’s an Olympic nation [represented].”
Art of the Olympians is located at 1300 Hendry Street in the downtown Fort Myers River District.