The Captiva Civic Association will showcase an artists’ invitational exhibition, entitled "Art: Why We Get Up in the Morning?" at the Captiva Civic Center, 11550 Chapin Lane. The opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, featuring music refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres.

The three exhibiting artists are Katie Gardenia, David Ruhe, and Susan Scott. All three have unique styles, using diverse mediums in vibrant colors. Themes and subjects of the pieces vary, ranging from humorous to dramatic, fantasy to realism, contemporary to nature, and awe-inspiring.

Katie Gardenia is an artist, baker, and restauranteur. Similar to her neighbor, Robert Rauschenberg (when she lived on Captiva), Gardenia evolved her own three-dimensional art style incorporating scraps and creative object combinations. Her three-dimensional works of art include her wonderful doll sculptures; furniture with hand stitched designs; pillows embellished with lavish beads; hand-tatted, crocheted, and knitted necklaces and bracelets; intricately created purses, shawls, and scarves. In the late 1970’s Gardenia opened The Bubble Room, where her humor, decor, and style has brought national attention to this Captiva landmark. Is her real name Katie Gardenia? Come view her unique work and experience her incredible wit.

David Ruhe has a realistic style with a magical touch. Ruhe believes that a painting is more than just a piece on the wall. He says there is a story behind every image and behind that story, even a larger tale of the artist. Ruhe has always been attracted to the abundant wildlife and beaches in Florida. Ruhe says, “I like to capture wildlife within intimate, poetic moments. My landscapes are designed to transport the viewer into another world and invite them to explore the story of their surroundings. I also enjoy taking everyday objects and infuse my still life paintings with what I call ‘playful abandon’.”

Susan Scott is a colorful, brilliant, prolific artist. A resident of Captiva and Sanibel for the past 20 years, Scott is a fine arts graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. While pursuing a career in the design field, she continued to focus on painting in all styles and mediums. Ten years ago, she discovered the fun of playing with fabric, stitches and three- dimensional objects. As time moved on, Susan now adds competitive ballroom dancing to her repertoire.

Exhibit, Art: Why We Get Up in the Morning, runs through Feb. 7 and is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11am - 1pm or by appointment by calling 239-472-2111.