Lonnie HOLLEY: An ArtSPEAK@FSW Conversation + Concert Event

Featured06sep6:30 pm8:45 pmLonnie HOLLEY: An ArtSPEAK@FSW Conversation + Concert EventFlorida SouthWestern State College / 8099 College Pkwy SW, Fort Myers, FL, United States, Florida6:30 pm - 8:45 pm AreaFort MyersTypeArt,Music

Event Details

Lonnie HOLLEY: An ArtSPEAK@FSW Conversation & Concert Event
Sponsored by The Richard & Julia Rush Endowment
Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Florida Southwestern State College

Wednesday, September 6th – 6:30 pm (doors)/7-8:45 pm performance
Free and Open to the Public

(Fort Myers, FL): Florida Southwestern State College is honored to present internationally acclaimed musician and renowned visual artist Lonnie Holley for a Richard & Julia Rush Endowed ArtSPEAK@FSW conversation and improvisational concert event in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery. The subject of the recent documentary film “Thumbs Up for Mother Universe: Stories from the Life of Lonnie Holley”, a feature article in “The New York Times” and a major solo exhibition currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art/North Miami, Lonnie Holley is a national treasure with a deep interest in and respect for our gallery namesake. Rather profoundly inspired by his month-long residency at Bob Rauschenberg’s Captiva Island compound (at the invitation of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation) almost a decade ago, Holley will return to Southwest Florida for the first time since 2014 for this special “one-night-only” public performance.

Born on February 10, 1950, in Birmingham, Alabama, Lonnie Holley was one of 27 children. Stolen as an infant and sold for a pint of booze, from the age of five, he worked various jobs, lived in a whiskey house, on the state fairgrounds, and in several foster homes. His early life was chaotic, and Holley was never afforded the pleasure of a real childhood. Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, and hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. His visual art is now in the collections of major museums throughout the country, on permanent display in the United Nations, and has been featured in the White House Rose Garden. The main subject in the new podcast “Unreformed”, which chronicles the inhuman conditions and abusive treatment suffered at the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children in the 1950s and ’60s, Lonnie Holley has also recently released his “Jagjaguwar” album (with musical collaborators including R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe).

This special ArtSPEAK@FSW concert event sponsored by the Richard & Julia Rush Endowment is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

More about us: The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was founded as The Gallery of Fine Art in 1979 on the Lee County campus of Florida Southwestern State College/FSW (then Edison Community College). On June 4th, 2004, the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery to honor and commemorate our longtime association and friendship with the artist. Over more than three decades until his death, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions including multiple installations of the “¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece”. The artist insisted on naming the space the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (versus the “Robert Rauschenberg Gallery”) as it was consistent with the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both our local Southwest Florida community and FSW.



September 6, 2023 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm


Florida SouthWestern State College / 8099 College Pkwy SW, Fort Myers, FL, United States, Florida

8099 College Pkwy SW,

Other Events


Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW

n 2004, the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW

Learn More