69.7 F
Cape Coral
HomeArtsNoted Contemporary Painter Leoma Lovegrove Provides Cover Art for GCWA’s Hurricane Ian...

Noted Contemporary Painter Leoma Lovegrove Provides Cover Art for GCWA’s Hurricane Ian Anthology

FORT MYERS, FL, Aug. 7, 2023–Gulf Coast Writers Association Inc., Southwest Florida’s 28-year-old meeting ground for writers, editors and their associates, announced today that Leoma Lovegrove, internationally known artist, has painted the artwork for the cover of Storm Stories—Hurricane Ian, its anthology of personal experiences during the storm as recounted by local residents and photographers. The book is planned for publication on September 1.

Ms. Lovegrove has also contributed her own storm story to the anthology.  It describes the destruction of her home and businesses on Matlacha, Fla.  

Earlier GCWA announced that Robert N. Macomber, well-known author of naval historical fiction, has written the foreword to the anthology of stories, poems and photos. Macomber, a Pine Island, Fla., resident, had to be evacuated after the hurricane exploded his home.

In her essay in the book, Lovegrove details the storm’s destruction and her losses, including her sketchbooks accumulated over 45 years. 

“After the Ian wave hit, our home on Matlacha was a total loss,” she says. “Part of the house washed out to sea, so all of our personal belongings now reside in the Gulf of Mexico.”

But she vows to be undeterred.  “This hurricane has turned me into a category seven,” she says, “and with this new energy I will work to get back to square one.”  And she notes:  “What the hurricane taught me, like all of us here in southwest Florida, is that we can’t give up. ‘Always Forward’ was my mom’s lifelong motto. They say moms are always right, and mine surely was. I’m adopting her motto as my own. Always Forward.”

She now lives in North Fort Myers and has announced plans to relocate her gallery and international headquarters to a 3,000 sq. ft. historic building on Dean Street in downtown Fort Myers with an opening planned for the first week of January 2024.

The book, Storm Stories-Hurricane Ian, will be available as a trade paperback and hard cover at local book stores, the gift shop at the Alliance for the Arts and the Alliance’s popular monthly Night Market, and Leoma Lovegrove’s Art Gallery in downtown Fort Myers.  It also will be available in other Southwest Florida outlets, including Copperfish in Punta Gorda and Annette’s Book Nook on Fort Myers Beach . It will be obtainable online from Amazon.com in e-book, paperback and hard cover versions by September 1. 

Pre-publication orders for the e-book on Amazon are now being accepted.

“We welcome Leoma’s eye-popping artwork and her personal story,” said Jeanne Meeks, the south Fort Myers resident and author who heads this special publishing project for GCWA.   

Adds Meeks in an upfront Acknowledgment in the book, “The minute I asked Leoma Lovegrove to submit the story of her Matlacha art gallery’s storm damage, she enthusiastically supported our project. She has already set her huge social media power into action, pre-ordered books for her new gallery, and donated the beautiful artwork which graces our cover.”

About Ian

Hurricane Ian–the nation’s third costliest storm and Florida’s costliest, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center[1] hit the Gulf Coast last September before continuing on a path of destruction through the state and up the Atlantic coast. Overall, 156 deaths in the United States, including 150 in Florida, are attributed to Ian.[2]

About Lovegrove Leoma Lovegrove is an impressionist-expressionist painter known for her vivid colors.  Before Ian hit, her Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens in Matlacha had been reported to attract 1000 visitors daily during the tourist season.  Her Matlacha gallery has now reopened for a few hours a few days each week pending the relocation.  A graduate of Florida’s prestigious Ringling School of Art, she is a former president of the Matlacha Chamber of Commerce.  Her artwork is in the collections of the Carter and George W. Bush Presidential Libraries.


[1] “Ian was responsible for over 150 direct and indirect deaths and over $112 billion in damage, making it the costliest hurricane in Florida’s history and the third-costliest in United States history.”– https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL092022_Ian.pdf, report dated 4/3/23 at p.1.

[2] Ibid., pps. 12-13

latest articles

explore more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!