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‘Beauty from Disaster’ art show winner announced

By Staff | Jul 26, 2021

William LaFreniere’s sculpture titled “Self Portrait” won this year’s People's Choice Award for the "Beauty from Disaster" art exhibit at Edison and Ford Winter Estates. PHOTO PROVIDED

The People’s Choice Award votes have been tallied for the “Beauty from Disaster” art exhibit at Edison and Ford Winter Estates. This was the third annual art show, featuring local artists. This year’s show was dedicated to highlighting the beauty of fallen trees from Hurricane Irma.

Visitors to the Estates between January and June were able to cast a vote for their favorite piece of artwork. 

William LaFreniere’s sculpture titled “Self Portrait” is this year’s winner. The piece was created using several different types of wood from the fallen trees at the Estates. 

Many hurricanes have passed through Southwest Florida since the late 1800s when Thomas Edison decided to build his winter home along the Caloosahatchee River. In 2017, Hurricane Irma’s winds wreacked havoc when the storm blew through Fort Myers, taking down several trees at the Estates. After the storm, some of the wood from historic and rare species was salvaged and sold to local artists. Those artists carved works of art and furniture from the wood, and some of the pieces were included in the exhibit.

Next year’s artist exhibit, “Sustainable Conceptions,” will be on display from Jan. 14 to May 29, 2022. The exhibit will showcase art inspired by Edison and Ford’s efforts to reuse products and their abilities to work toward a sustainable future. Artists are invited to submit two and three-dimensional works of art made from recycled materials or illustrating sustainability now through Nov. 7. To apply, artists may contact Tayelor Kakes at TKakes@edisonford.org

Throughout the year, additional art and history exhibits are displayed around the Estates. The exhibits are included with admission. The site is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week. Tickets for self-guided tours are $25 for adults, $20 for teens (ages 13-19), and $15 for children (ages 6-12), children 5 and under admitted free; guided-tour tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for teens and $18 for children. To purchase tickets or get more information, visit the website at EdisonFord.org or call 239-334-7419.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates is at 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.