Tara O’Neill, award-winning artist, community activist, and devout Floridian, is hosting her 15th annual home-grown art extravaganza, Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23, from 1-4 PM, at Little Bar Restaurant, 205 Harbor Place, in the historic fishing village of Goodland. This year O’Neill will be joined by nationally-recognized guest artist Popo Flanigan. The two artists’ combined coastal interpretations explore colors and motifs from the dramatic to the whimsical, and can occasionally stray a bit inland.
O’Neill and Flanigan both celebrate thinking ‘outside the gallery’ and invite all to enjoy fine art and fine fare and live music in a venue like no other. The Bozicnik family, owners of the famous waterfront restaurant for over 40 years, continue their support of the arts in Goodland by opening their historically rich dining rooms, breezy screened-porch, tree-canopied patio, and brick-paved sculpture garden, to showcase the artists’ works.
“My work can be found in private and corporate collections around the world,” explains O’Neill, “but I live locally. Goodland has suffered so much from Hurricane Irma, and many of us are still struggling to put our homes and lives back together. I owe a great deal to the unfailing encouragement, support, and inspiration I’ve received from this tiny village over many decades.’’ A village she describes as “a community living not just by the sea, but from it; a place of history and mystery, of creativity and generosity.”
For the past five years O’Neill has been joined by a different guest artist and is extremely enthusiastic that Flanigan, of Old Naples and Brigantine Beach, NJ, is able to join her this year. “We jibed the moment we met, and that was over 10 years ago; our approach to painting, our personalities, and even our senses of humor just clicked.”
And making people smile, through the use of color, pattern, and everyday subject matters, is what drives Flanigan and her love of painting and style. Her inspirations come from nature, museum explorations, and workshops in the U.S., France, and Italy. With strong influences from Matisse and Van Gogh, Flanigan maintains a style all her own.
The event also serves as an end-of-season celebration; it’s a farewell to seasonal friends, and a chance for the busy year-rounders to slow down and reconnect with each other while enjoying an atmosphere of camaraderie enhanced through art.
Flanigan’s work can be viewed at Dovetails, 20 10th St. S, Naples; Salty Sea Studio, Brigantine Beach, NJ.
O’Neill exhibits year round at Blue Mangrove Gallery in Marco’s Town Center; Marco Island Historical Museum; Marco Island Center for the Arts.