From 6-10 p.m. tonight, 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 12 art galleries and boutiques, the Art League of Fort Myers on Monroe, Art of the Olympians in the City Pier Building at the end of Hendry Street, Arts for ACT Gallery, Coloring the World on Dean Street, daas Gallery, Enjewel, HOWL Gallery/Tattoo, In One Instant Gallery of Photography, Savvy on First, Space 39, Syzygy Gallery, and the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. In addition, ArtFest Fort Myers adds to this month’s festivities by allowing the Art Walk crowd access to 50 of the festival’s finest artists from 5 until 10 p.m.
Here’s more of what there is to see and do in the River District this Friday night:
22. Space 39 Gallery, the River District’s only hybrid bar and art gallery, is hosting Bi-God!, an exhibit featuring photographers Valerie Roche and Downtown Diva, Stephanie.
Space 39 is in the alley that connects Patio de Leon to the action on First Street. Located right next door to Morgan House restaurant, the gallery occupies a 1920s building that once served as the ticket office for a vaudeville theater that later burned to the ground.
Valerie Roche designs the Travelers Collection for Chico’s FAS, the Fort Myers fashion retailer that’s taking the nation by storm. Before taking on that stint, Valerie was an award-winning staff photographer at The News-Press from 2005-2010 with experience in both newspapers and magazines, including documentary reportage, portraiture and commercial studio photography.
At Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, she covered the White House, Congress, professional sports and general news, with her assignments including both the Democratic National and the Republican National Conventions.
Valerie’s photography focuses on maternity, newborns, children, couples, and family photos, “capturing moments for families to cherish forever.”
As the Downtown Diva, Stephanie Davis has kept her finger on the pulse of the Fort Myers social scene since her column debuted in The News-Press in 2000. Before moving into print media, Stephanie spent 15 years working as an on-air personality at a variety of local radio stations, her last gig being at 99X as the “The Retro 80s Diva”.
Since 1988, she has appeared on local stages as an actress with Florida Rep, Theatre Conspiracy, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, and more. Most recently, she starred as Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” with the Laboratory Theater of Florida at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center.
As part of her Diva duties, Stephanie snaps close to 100 photographs a week at area fundraisers and events. The photos are published both in print and on the web at News-Press.com, Gulf Coasting, and Grandeur magazine. Her creative outlet however, has been taking photos with her iPhone 4 and sharing them on her Facebook page. In 2010, she began her “Photo a Day, Every Day” project and posted at least one picture per day for an entire year.
Stephanie enjoys two iPhone apps the most – Best Camera and Camera +. She says, “I take pictures of things that make me happy – and things that I hope people will enjoy.”
Last June, she contributed roughly 50 of her iPhone photos to the In One Evening: A “No-Photo Finish” exhibition at In One Instant Gallery of Photography, a fundraiser that included former Morning Edition host Mike Kiniry and In One Instant Gallery owner Paul Rodino.