During the last half of the 20th century, Sanibel’s reputation as an artist colony grew. Artists such as Ikki Matsumoto, Katie Gardenia, and Charles McCullough became household names, inspired by the island’s unique ambience to develop their talent and build a flourishing community. Other artists followed, drawn to these qualities and the island’s beauty.
Now, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva is offering a chance to own a piece of art from these and other prominent Sanibel artists in their “Peek at the Unique Repurposed” online auction, which replaces the club’s traditional tour of island homes for this year only. Get ready to bid, and help Zonta’s cause!
First, the club announces a late contribution by the Bokeelia Art Gallery: a limited-edition giclee of a painting by Darryl Pottorf, titled “Times of the Islands,” commissioned by that magazine for its 15th anniversary edition, January-February 2011. The painting features the style Pottorf perfected during years as a protégé of the late Robert Rauschenberg. No. 7 of 25, it is signed, stamped and dated by the artist. The gallery earlier donated “Dark Sacred Night,” an original acrylic on canvas by the late Jean Dean.
Prolific Japanese artist Ikki Matsumoto grew to fame over his decades as a Sanibel resident and gallery owner. Arriving in 1975, he and his wife Polly later established the Tower Gallery. Then, from their gallery in the Village Shops, they created popular items such as posters for the Island Reporter and the Rotary Club’s annual craft fair. Ikki passed away in 2013, but his legacy—especially artwork featuring birds, fish and other wildlife—is displayed on walls worldwide. Zonta is delighted to feature in their online auction “Jump for Joy,” donated by the artist’s e
Sissi Janku, known for her vivid Hawaiian landscapes and her popular painting classes, settled on Sanibel 15 years ago after studying in Hawaii and embarking on worldwide travels. Her unique home was featured on Zonta’s 2019 “Peek at the Unique” home tour. Her contribution is a framed, limited-edition lithograph, “Remember the Islands.”
Katie Gardenia, celebrated among other accomplishments for creating the Bubble Room restaurant on Captiva (with its famous cakes), has donated a hand hooked pillow. From her artist statement: “I am a self-taught fiber artist creating one-of-a-kind fantasy art dolls, fiber art beaded jewelry, and upholstered fiber art chairs. My work takes me into the fantasy world in which I prefer to live!”
Many Tower Gallery artists have contributed items. Zontian Marianne Ravenna, gallery member since 2002, said: “The Tower Gallery is a successful artist cooperative, the longest-running gallery in Lee County with 25 artist members. We are so pleased to be able to help Zonta’s cause in this way and we naturally hope for enthusiastic public support.”
Others are: Sheila Hoen, Charles McCullough, Sally Dutko, JoAnne Bedient, Ludmilla Evans, Buck Ward, Shah Hadjebi, Susan Sadler, Kelly Morrison, Carole Nastars, Michael Danley, Charlie Brown, Megan Kissinger and Sarah Kiser. Visit ZontaSanCap.org for the full catalog.
The auction opens March 1 and runs through March 10. Own a piece of all that’s best about Sanibel, and help Zonta raise funds to support area organizations whose work seeks to empower women and girls.
Click here for more information on the “Peek Repurposed” including the Online Auction, opportunities to donate, or to learn about Zonta’s other “Peek” initiative, a chance to have treasured jewelry or small antiques appraised at the first-ever Jewelry and Antiques Appraisal event, set for Saturday, March 13. All proceeds will be awarded in grants to non-profits in Lee County, including Sanibel.