Fish Under Glass by Irma Backelant

FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 24, 2015) – The Southwest Florida Community Foundation continues the spring season with another new exhibit in its 2014-2015 Art & Community exhibition series featuring work from the PanAmerican Alliance for Art, Culture and Industry, Inc.

The new exhibit includes more than 45 art pieces of varied mediums such as pastels, watercolor, acrylics, jewelry and more from Irma Backelant, Elizabeth Jaramillo, Jefferson Jones, Annie St. Martin and more. The exhibit will run through May 28 and is available for public viewing hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule a tour, call Kim Williams at the Community Foundation office at 239-274-5900.

In honor of the new exhibit, the Community Foundation will hold a reception on Thursday, April 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. at its headquarters located at 8771 College Parkway, Building 2, Suite 201 in Fort Myers. Reservations may be submitted to Jacqueline Ehlers at

Aspen Illusion by Irma Backelant

When creating digital art, Irma Backelant thinks of herself more as a digital artist than a pure photographer, as she changes the relevance of these elements either through the elaboration, distortion, elimination or combination of the existing shapes, colors or subject matter in the original photo. She further adds vibrancy or mutation of the existing colors through the addition of new colors, or tones, shades and hues. Backelant’s work has been displayed in more than 10 galleries in Metropolitan Denver, winning ribbons at various shows in Southwest Florida and the DR Hurly Award for creativity in Parker, Colo.

Hibiscus by Elizabeth Jaramillo

Colombian artist Elizabeth Jaramillo is well known for her broad-brush strokes and bright colors. Her work is greatly influenced by the tropical surroundings of Cali, Colombia. As a strong advocate for environmental protection, Jaramillo strives to record the beauty of nature as seen through the eyes of an artist, preserving those images for future generations. Her dedication to the arts during the past 20 years has honed her skill with the palette knife, a tool she frequently uses with oils. Her artwork can be seen in galleries and private collections from Cali to Bogota in her native Colombia, finding its way into the U.S. marketplace.

The Hawaiian Goose by Jefferson Jones

As a traditional realist, Jefferson Jones finds inspiration in nature, fascinated by the inexhaustible shapes, texture and personalities available to paint in the natural world. He now paints independently and aspires to being a full-time, self-employed artist, allowing the community to take a personal look into what he finds beautiful.

Roseate Spoonbill by Annie St. Martin

A Rhode Island native, Annie St. Martin has a spiritual connection with the rugged coastline of New England. She has memories of a special childhood with loving parents and a house full of siblings and animals, which she shares in her paintings. Horseshoe crab racing on the beach, quahogging with her dad, surfing Narragansett Bay, climbing the rocks along the coast were part of daily summer life for this tomboy. She is currently a member of the Art Council of Southwest Florida, Arts for Act in Fort Myers, Cape Coral Art League, PanAmerican Alliance for the Arts and Pine Island Art Association in Matlacha. Her paintings are in private collections through the U.S. and abroad.

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $84 million, the Community Foundation has provided $61.2 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $2.9 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services. It granted $782,000 in nonprofit grants including more than $400,000 in regional community impact grants and additional $450,000 in scholarship grants.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit