provided to The Santiva Chronicle
The Captiva Civic Association will host the art show “Shorelines…Paintings and Stories of Captiva and Island Neighbor” by Florida artist Paul Arsenault. It will be on display from Feb. 17 to April 18 at the Captiva Civic Center, 11550 Chapin Lane.
This one-man show features beautiful works by Arsenault of places and landmarks in and around Captiva, Sanibel, and the Pine Island region. Mostly acrylic on canvas, Arsenault’s work captures the feeling and vibrance of the tropical atmosphere and the uniqueness of these island communities: colorful and exotic while being familiar and nostalgic at the same time.
“Paintings in this exhibition include the early days of South Seas, a unique perspective of the Lady Chadwick’s berth, Kite Day on Sanibel, ca. 1984 , Katy Gardenia’s shop (now Bubble Room gift store), the colorful Pirate Playhouse when it was on Periwinkle and several depictions of Blind Pass over the years,” said Arsenault.
His work was described in an article by the Naples Daily News as “softly focused, but more detailed than most Impressionists, both luminous and colorful” (Sep 19, 2021). Collectors of Arsenault’s work comment on his distinct style, unique to him and easily recognizable as an Arsenault original.
He was brought up in the harbor town of Hingham, Mass., and spending summers in Cape Cod. Those places “sensitized me to the fragile beauty of the New England coast. When I established my home base in Naples, Fla., in 1974, I was intrigued and impressed by the poetic charm of the subtropical waterfront. It wasn’t long before I discovered Sanibel and Captiva and Pine Island Sound,” he said.
“Shorelines” is a deliberate play on words as a title for this show, as Arsenault believes his creations inspired by these island (“shore”) locales are capturing the history, or the “lines” of the story of these places, if you will. His long-time connections, encounters, and adventures with the people and places are encapsulated in his work and as part of this show he will be sharing the stories behind the paintings with the public.
He learned early on coming home with a painting was one thing, but coming home with a painting and story was much better. “Some of the special characters I encountered, especially early on, were happy to tell a story,” said Arsenault.
CCA Executive Director Emily Ankerson is excited for this show. “We had planned to have this exhibition last year but had to postpone it. Paul’s work is really amazing–breathtaking–and he is a wonderful storyteller. I think people in the community are really going to enjoy his beautiful paintings and the stories behind them,” she said.
An opening reception will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 with a bar and light refreshments, and live music. It’s free of charge and the public is invited. Arsenault will present “Stories” at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 3, when he will share the stories behind the paintings. Both events require registration, which can be done at the CCA website, and will be held at the Civic Center.
Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday; from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and by appointment on other days and times.