Cape Coral and Southwest Florida Feature Stories
Written by Eric Taubert Wednesday, 08 August 2012 21:43
There are few communities so singularly defined by colored paint as Matlacha in Southwest Florida.
Driving through the community for the first time is like becoming Dorothy as she steps out of the black and white film and into the blazing technicolor of Oz, where almost anything is possible.
Everything is slathered in vibrant tones and hues. It’s as if a Sherwin Williams factory exploded in the middle of an arts and fishing colony -- and no one ever cleaned up the splashes of paint.
There are restaurants and bars, gift shops and seafood stores, ice cream parlors and mobile home parks -- but the pulse of Matlacha beats from the most colorful building of all...the Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens.
...and the person responsible for all of this colored paint is, artist, Leoma Lovegrove.
So let’s talk Leoma for a minute...
Creative. Eccentric. Patriotic. Quirky. Republican. Wild-eyed with signature “hand’ sunglasses reaching for the world with her vision -- Leoma absorbs the colors of Matlacha and throws them back at reality.
She’s covered in the colors. On her clothes. On her skin.
Reflected in the water. Painted on buildings. Filling the skies. Tinting the clouds. Rust and ashes. Neons. Pastels.
Leoma absorbs them all, concentrates their essences and delivers them to the canvas, coconuts, rocks, palm trees and any other surface she comes into contact with.
Flags. Hearts. Fish. Beatles. Snippets of songs. Pride for Matlacha.
Leoma LoveGrove is a whirlwind of pigment. A force of natural art. A SWFL icon.
And it’s tough to imagine what Matlacha would be like without her.
Visit: Leoma Lovegrove's website!
-- writing and photography by Eric Taubert
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