The Uncommon Friends Foundation and the Fort Myers Public Art Committee recently hosted the biennial Individual Artist Grant Recipients Exhibition at the historic Langford Kingston House in Historic Fort Myers. The foundation awarded an annual grant, supporting visual and performing artists, to Pine Islander Gregory Van Kirk.
The show, which was scheduled to take place in May 2020 but was canceled due to COVID, took place at Langford Kingston’s home in downtown Fort Myers during the month of November.
The two-story house was built in 1919 by Walter Langford, who also built the National Bank building on the corner of Hendry and First streets in downtown Fort Myers.
According to Fort Myers public art consultant Tom Hall, each artist involved in the exhibit was offered one of the rooms in the house, in which to display their work. Van Kirk was able to exhibit his work in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
According to his biography, Van Kirk is an evolving fine art photographer. Relatively new to the field, he began experimenting with wide-angle panoramic or spherical photographs and videos in 2019. He uses modern technology to capture, create and present his work to viewers, usually in the form of a bounding circle at 360 degree, spherical view or small planet.
Today, he continues his quest to combine his years of experience as a visual artist and performer with his passion to explore and expand his unique form of creative expression.
Van Kirk began his career as a musician, performing on stage with his brother Warren in the American rock band Strange Arrangement. The brothers recently played the Pine Island Fishing Derby in Matlacha. Gregory plays his Fender Zone bass; Warren provides the lead and rhythm on his Godin guitar. Together they deliver innovative, refreshing, original and emotional sound.
Depending on the venue and its size, the brothers may add additional musicians to their group, ranging from a full funk orchestra with drums, horns, strings, and keyboard.