Postcards from Captiva take over Chicago this September

Acclaimed artist, Judy Ledgerwood, creates original work based on her stay on Robert Rauschenberg beach house and brings vibrant abstractions back to Chicago on an unprecedented scale

LEE COUNTY, FL – The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, home to Captiva Island and the 30-year-home of one of America’s most important artists, Robert Rauschenberg, hosted Judy Ledgerwood this summer.

This collaboration, which includes EXPO CHICAGO, invited Ledgerwood to reside in Captiva’s most famous beach house to experience the destination and find inspiration. She did. The Chicago artist completed six monumental works inspired by Southwest Florida’s natural beauty. Her work will be seen on eight massive wallscape billboards in downtown Chicago, in River North and the Gold Coast beginning Sept. 8. An additional 56 rotating large-scale billboards will display her work along major expressways.

Known for large-scale paintings using evocative color, Ledgerwood described her time in Rauschenberg’s home, complete with his personal belongings and works of art, as a “once-in-alifetime experience.”

“I wanted to create an experience of what I had on Captiva but bring it back to Chicago,” Ledgerwood said. “It’s like making an enormous postcard.”

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and EXPO CHICAGO will use her artwork to transform public spaces into city-wide art installations. Ledgerwood’s work will also be featured on EXPO CHICAGO shuttles, transporting visitors along six routes from Navy Pier throughout the City to the gallery district, shopping areas and museums. The project aims to delight Chicagoans and inspire them to visit the destination. The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel estimate the installation will receive 100 million impressions in the four weeks it is on display. 

“We understand this is a bold promotion but we wanted to bring a piece of Captiva to Chicago,” said Tamara Pigott, Executive Director of Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. “We have the most visitors from Chicago. With more than 70 percent repeat visitation, we’re reminding them it’s time to come back.”

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel will also serve as the official sponsor of the EXPO CHICAGO After Party and will have a presence for EXPO attendees in the VIP Lounge.

“The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel have been an ideal sponsor for EXPO CHICAGO this year,” said Tony Karman, president and director of EXPO CHICAGO. “With the destination’s initiative of bringing inspired works of art to the public, EXPO was a natural fit to serve as a forum to launch the destination’s project with one of our local Chicago artists.”

For more information on the destination and the Chicago art project, visit www.fortmyerssanibel.com

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About The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel includes Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande & Outer Islands, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres. The southwest Florida destination goes beyond sun and sand, offering a variety of nature and outdoor, arts and cultural, as well as fun and educational experiences for visitors of all ages. It is a place to kick-back and relax; and a place to rejuvenate the mind and body whether by biking, birding, observing the bottlenose dolphin at play or shelling on Sanibel Island. Fishing enthusiasts will thrive on the miles of coastline and diversity of aquatic life, while history buffs and those who love innovation will enjoy a visit to attractions like the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Combining history, nature, culture, beauty, culinary invention and unlimited outdoor activities, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel beckon and inspire. For more information visit www.fortmyers-sanibel.com.

EXPO CHICAGO/2014
The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, is presented by Art Expositions, LLC. Now in its third year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO (Sept. 18 – 21, 2014) is a four-day art event featuring more than 140 leading international galleries and offering diverse programming including /Dialogues, IN/SITU and EXPO VIDEO. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant destination for arts and culture, helping to define the contemporary art community in Chicago while inspiring the city’s collector base. Vernissage, the opening night preview benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, takes place Thursday, Sept 18, 6 – 9 p.m. Tickets start at $100. General Admission to the exposition is Friday, Sept. 19 – Sunday, Sept. 21 (Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.). Tickets to the exposition are $20 for one day, $30 for three days. Northern Trust is the Presenting Sponsor and United Airlines is the Official Airline of EXPO CHICAGO. For more information about EXPO CHICAGO and EXPO ART WEEK (Monday Sept. 15 – Sunday Sept. 21), visit www.expochicago.com.

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Francesca Donlan, Julianna Bryan