In August, DAAS Co-Op Art Gallery & Gifts is showcasing the artwork of whimsical artist and illustrator Lorrie Bennett. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 6 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk.
The exhibition will be on display through Aug. 28.
SW Florida based artist Lorrie Bennett is a self-taught, contemporary and expressive mixed-media artist and illustrator who has always known, from an early age, that she was an artist. Even though her earlier career was not originally a creative field, artistic endeavors always found its way back into her life. And then after 20 plus years as a single mother and working as a graphic designer and marketing manager, she decided it was time to spend her life as a full-time artist and currently works out of her studio at her home.
Creating has always been a journey of experimenting and exploration for Lorrie. She is bound by no medium and paints an assemblage of layers of materials such as acrylics, watercolors, inks, pastels, charcoal, monoprints, photo transfers, fabrics and vintage ephemeral papers such as wallpapers, book pages, maps, and sewing patterns (some over a century old). She also often incorporates mark-making patterns that come from textured items such as rolled up cardboard, bubble wrap, bottle caps or Styrofoam. “The excitement is the process of combining paints, drawing, mark-making, and collaging while choosing what to add, to cover up and what to leave untouched,” says Bennett.
Inspired by the John Muir quote “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul,” Lorrie’s current series weaves figurative and nature scenes together, as well as smaller botanical works. All things nature has always been a huge inspiration for Lorrie and has often found its way onto her canvas over the years. The figurative paintings express bold strength and beauty while a gentle kindness emerges. “Something I believe every woman carries inside.” Each painting begins with a collaboration of materials and photography that once combined create a new story of life energy and soul.
Lorrie has her artwork in homes, businesses, and published in numerous publications including two adult coloring books: “Inkspirations: Fruit of the Spirit” and “Inkspirations: Fruit of the Spirit for Moms.” She has illustrated several children’s books and is currently working with Applewood Books on a children’s counting book named “Dreaming of Fort Myers,” available later this year on Amazon and stores throughout the U.S. Her art was also chosen for the cover and inside pages of “The Beauty of Zentangle,” which recognized and presented 137 tangle artists worldwide. In 2018, Lorrie received the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center’s Choice Award for ‘Exhibition: X’ juried show, for her mixed-media painting “The Story of Chromosome X.”
DAAS Co-Op is located at 1815 Fowler St. in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers. The gallery’s business hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More info about the venue and how to become a member can be found at www.daascoop.com or at 239-590-8645.