History On Display

""An Artful Look at Captiva History"









The Captiva Island Historical Society launched its 2021-2022 season on Tuesday evening, November 16 with a history-centric art exhibit that displays Captiva’s past as a lure for artists and inspiration for their art.IMG_6783 copy.jpg

The exhibit, in collaboration with the Captiva Civic Association (CCA), opened with a reception at the Captiva Civic Center, attended by over sixty guests IMG_6782 copy.jpgwho enjoyed the paintings, illustrations, sculpture, handcraft and photography on display – along with appetizers, drinks and socializing on the CCA’s spacious patio.

The exhibit opened with Merni Libonate, CCA President, welcoming guests and thanking the Captiva Island Historical Society (CIHS) IMG_6082.jpegfor organizing the exhibit of art, which is on loan from the private collections of islanders, community businesses and organizations.

CIHS President Tom Libonate

CIHS President Tom Libonate was introduced and then proceeded to thank Molly Barbee who, in addition to her association with the CCA art exhibits over the years, was a founding Director of the CIHS, and the inspiration behind this exhibit.  Libonate IMG_6792 copy.jpgremarked, "It was Molly who two-years ago shared with me this idea for a historically-themed art exhibit that the historical society and CCA could partner on.”

Matt Hall of Rauschenberg Foundation and CIHS Director Captain Brian Holaway

In sharing thanks for the CCA hosting the exhibit and the guests for attending, Libonate shared, “We especially need to thank all those who over the past century were creatively inspired by Captiva. Whether they were painters, Rauschenberg.jpegphotographers, sculptors, or illustrators --- whether they were people who created art for their own enjoyment or sold their works of art, some even making their mark on the national and world stage. Historically, they all had one thing in common – Captiva inspired them!  So, it’s not surprising that the works of Captiva artists – unknown or famous - still grace the walls of homes, galleries and even museums.” 

He then tuMcCullough.jpegrned the microphone to Matt Hall of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation who shared memories of his time with artists Robert Rauschenberg and Maybelle Stamper, explaining how and why Rauschenberg came to Captiva, as well asIMG_3701 copy.jpeg the way Bob cared for the well-being of fellow artist Maybelle Stamper in her final years.

The exhibit features the historically relevant works of: Robert Rauschenberg, J.N. “Ding” Darling, Charlie McCullough, Maybelle Stamper, Madith Mantlya, Stella Farwell, Alice Loomis, Myra Roberts, Darryl Pottorf, Lauri Kaihlanen and more.

The art of Captiva artist Maybelle Stamper

The exhibit runs until December 1 at the Captiva Civic Center, 11550 Chapin Lane, Captiva Monday – Friday from 10:00a to 1:00p. All are welcome, admission is free.

The CIHS is grateful to the following for the loan of art from their collection: Captiva Civic Association, Captiva Library Board, Clay & Rita Ewell, Diane Fugit, Phyllis Gibson, Matt Hall, John Jensen, Tony Lapi & 'Tween Waters Inn, Tom & Merni Libonate, and Phill Urion.

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View video of the exhibit and the opening night reception.


Photo credit: Nancy Riley and Tom Libonate of CIHS Board of Directors

Bridging the Past and the Present