Heart Artists

Letter from Nicole Decker-McHale, Executive Director

CHR would like to thank the accomplished heartists who gave their time and creative talents to Community Housing & Resources. These exquisite hearts will be on display throughout the community, Sanibel and Captiva islands along with Fort Myers. On February 3, 2024 the hearts will be auctioned, silent and live, at the Heart Gala held at the Sanibel Community House. The Heart Gala is CHR’s largest fund raiser. The funds raised will allow CHR to continue in it’s mission to provide affordable  workforce and senior housing to individuals who qualify. There has never been a more critical time in our community for housing. Our community workforce and seniors have faced difficult challenges, homelessness and food insecurities. It’s like the famous movie line, “there’s no place like home” but for many it’s the words no place because that’s the future they face. CHR hopes to eradicate that future for our community.

“Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”

Letter from Roger Grogman, Board Chair

The HEART of Community Housing and Resources are the Residents of CHR that have chosen CHR residences
as their Homes.

We recognize that it is our responsibility to provide them with excellent accommodations. And provide them the opportunity to be an active part of our Island Community.

We are grateful for their contributions to the success of the many service, hospitality and public workplaces within our community.

Have a Great and Safe Day!

Letter from Shelley Greggs, Fund-Raising Chair

Welcome to Give your Heart to CHR about our Heart Art. In this online booklet you will meet 16 wonderful SWFL artists who have volunteered their time and expertise to design and decorate these amazing art pieces, the CHR Hearts, for our fund-raising campaign.

Our Heart journey began in August 2022 when Ernesto Gonzalez created the Heart design on his 3D printer and then brought it to a metal works foundry in Miami to cast in steel, fiberglass and resin. In September 2022, just days before the Hearts were to be delivered to Sanibel, Hurricane Ian devastated our island and all plans for our Heart Art campaign for 2023 were ruined.

The foundry kept the Hearts for a while, understanding the situation, but eventually needed the space, the Hearts needed to be moved, but to where? There was nowhere on the island for them. Fortunately, through the kindness of several wonderful individuals our Hearts were moved by truck to a safe location in Alva. What a relief to have them safely stored until we could re-organize.

Wanting to have our Hearts in our recovering community to add some beauty to the Islands, four of the Heartists, (artists who design Hearts), generously took time from their own hurricane repairs to craft their Heart in February 2023 and in March CHR introduced them to Sanibel and Captiva Islanders at a MudBugs fundraiser event. These four Hearts were then placed at various Sanibel businesses that had temporarily relocated at Bell Tower Mall – Congress Jewelers, Macintosh Books, and Adventures in Paradise plus the Sanibel restaurant, Cielo, for the community to experience.

Finally in June of 2023, it was time to get the rest of the Hearts to our Heartists. It was not an easy process and many Heartists graciously took their own time to pick up their Heart at the Alva location. Some Heartists were kind enough to transport several of the Hearts for those who could not pick up their own. By July 2023 all the Hearts were in the hands of the Heartists and the actual creative process of designing these amazing Hearts began.

As that progressed, photos and videos emerged during the summer months and the excitement of seeing the final products was building.

In early October it was time for all the Hearts to finally come to Sanibel! It wasn’t exactly Two Men and a Truck moving our Hearts back to the island, it was more like Four Committee Volunteers and a Rental Truck, but all went well.

Delivery to our generous Heart Sponsors was the next step. Many generous individuals and businesses have chosen to fund the display of these beautiful Hearts for the community to enjoy. Immense thanks go to these Sponsors for their support!

The next step in the Hearts’ Journey is The Gallery Gala on February 3, 2024, at the Sanibel Community House. This Gala will be a fantastic evening of fine food and drink, lots of fun and an opportunity to buy a Heart! Make sure to purchase your ticket to this event before they sell out! And finally at the end of the evening it’s the last journey for the fifteen magnificent Hearts. They will go home with their new owners to appreciate and enjoy.

While these beautiful Hearts have brought so much delight to Sanibel and Captiva, our community is still coping with the lingering effects of Hurricane Ian, the pandemic and other challenges. Community Housing & Resources continues to need your time, talent and monetary contributions that will further our affordable housing work while honoring the thing that makes Sanibel/Captiva special — its heart. Thank you.

List of Committee Members
Lisa Ann Miller
Laura De Bruce
Erika Steiner
Nicole Decker-McHale
Savannah Miller -Berg
Laurie Choinard
Margarethe Miville
Angi Semler Welch
Laura Gales
Kelly Seaman
Paula Friedman
Shelley Greggs, Chair

Heart Artists

JP Almonacid &
Whitney Hackett

Whitney and JP’s heart is named Amor Florido

Whitney Hackett grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, where she currently lives and works as an artist. She has a BFA from the University of Florida, with a focus on painting. Whitney explores memory and nostalgia through her body of dreamy and celebratory paintings. Her innocent appreciation for every day life, encourages a child-like playfulness in her work. Through the enshrinement of simple things, she elevates the ordinary, to the extraordinary. The juxtaposition of her imagery, speaks to the interconnectedness of all life, the way we assign meaning to the material world, and the honoring of our existence. Locally, she has shown at galleries including, Alliance for the Arts, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, DAAS CO-OP and Cape Coral Art Center. She also owns two boutique stores downtown Fort Myers, Quartz & Clover and Curio Downtown, where she sells her paintings, and the work of other local artists.

Juan Pablo Almonacid
Chicago 1974

J.P. is an artist with a rich and diverse background. Raised in the United States, J.P.’s artistic journey took him to the National University in Bogota, Colombia, in 1993. During this formative period, he embarked on a four-year apprenticeship under the guidance of Armando Villegas (1926-2013}, a pioneering figure in the 1950s of modern art in Latin America.

For over ten years, J.P. dedicated himself to the field of education. However, in 2005, he was awarded exclusive gallery representation, marking a turning point in his artistic career. He established his studio in Bogotá, which still exists and is dedicated to large-scale paintings and aluminum sculptures, often drawing inspiration from street art.

In 2018, J.P. made a significant move to Fort Myers, Florida, where he transitioned into the realm of street art and mural creation. His portfolio now boasts a remarkable collection of murals, including notable projects for the City of Fort Myers, the Department of Education of New York City, Microsoft, Spotify, Pricewaterhouse Cooper, and Lionsgate Films, among others.

J.P.’s art is a testament to his deep connection with street art. His work is characterized by its boldness, vibrancy, and a rich palette of colors, showcasing a distinctive style that leaves an indelible mark.

Continuing his artistic journey, J.P. is pursuing a Digital Arts & Media degree at FSW. When he’s not actively creating murals, he participates in a work-study program at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW, allowing him to stay connected to academia.

You can see some of his work on his IG account: @c_y_a_n_art

JP and Whitney’s Heart is on display at

SanctuaRy Golf Club

2801 Wulfert Road, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by The Sanctuary Golf Club Foundation

Ginny Dickinson

Heart Artist

Ginny Dickinson

Ginny’s heart is called Silver Lining.

A native of Fort Myers, Ginny Simpson Dickinson has no formal art training, developing her own creative style after a thirty-plus year career as a CPA, CFO and business owner.

A decade old personal challenge to try new things, combined with a promise to ‘do something’ with an ever-increasing loot pile of locally collected seashells, led Dickinson to design and mosaic several large public art pieces. At auction, the sculptures have raised a combined total over $85,000 for local non-profits. A confirmed biophilic, inspired by surrounding nature, she collects shells, leaves, sticks, seeds, moss, bark, rocks, bugs, bones, fossils, feathers, driftwood, and anything else Nature offers to use in her creations. She feels beyond blessed to be born and living in paradise.

Ginny’s Heart is on display at

Big Arts

900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Vibeke and Gustav Christiansen

Anna Hicks

Heart Artist

Anna Hicks

Anna’s Heart is named Miracle Maker

Anna Hicks is a local, born and raised right here in Southwest Florida. She has a heart for creativity and opened her first business, Annah’s Fairy Garden, back in 2015. At the Garden you could adopt her beautiful and unique handmade fairies. She later sold only to friends and family to pursue a degree in business management. In 2019 she was hired by the City of Sanibel and, while she enjoys the many facets of her job, crafting has always been her hobby and an outlet to express herself. Today, she enjoys making art in many forms. Most recently from the garden, she makes art from preserved butterflies. You can check out her store here or catch her at your local farmer’s market.

Anna’s Heart is on display at

Sanibel Community House

2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Bank of the Islands

Kristina Jackson

Heart Artist

Kristina Jackson

Kristina’s Heart is named HeART of Sanibel

A native of Pasadena, Maryland, Kristina currently lives in Cape Coral. She started painting when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and needed to slow down. She retrieved an unused easel she’d had for 16 years and poured her feelings onto the canvas, feelings about her disease, about societal expectations, about beauty and about love. Art has been a healing journey of self-discovery for Kristina. She is currently working on a poetry art book.

Kristina’s Heart is on display at

Sanibel Public Library

770 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Cindy and Roger Timm

Mary Harriman Klunk

Heart Artist

Mary Harriman Klunk

Mary’s Heart is named Sea Turtles – Sand to Sea

Mary’s educational background includes a BS degree from Towson University and an M. Ed from Loyola University. She studied at the Mitchell School of Fine Arts and the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore.

Mary has worked as an Artist,er. She managed Art programs in prisons and Nursing Homes. She served as Artist in Residence at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Perry Point, Maryland. She taught Painting and Drawing at Community Colleges throughout the Maryland area. She has lectured on American Artists, Impressionism, and Modern Painting, and taught Art workshops in Maryland, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas. Mary worked as a mural artist for Comcast Cable, and a Caricature artist in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. She owned and operated a working studio and gallery in Havre de Grace, Maryland. She currently paints and teaches in Ft Myers Beach and at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island, Florida.

While teaching Art in prisons, Mary became aware of high rates of illiteracy among inmates. She became interested in improving literacy rates, earned an M.Ed in Special Education and Reading and taught for 10 years as a Reading Teacher in the Baltimore School System.

Ms Klunk’s works include portraits, still life, landscapes, and figure studies. Her works are completed in a classical “Old Masters” style. She works in oils and pastels and has exhibited nationally, and in the Florida and Maryland areas. She has won numerous awards for her work. Mary is a member of several local Art Organizations; her work can be seen on her website: maryhklunk.com. Commissions available by contacting the artist.

Mary’s Heart is on display at

SCCF Bailey Homestead

1300 Periwinkle, Sanibel, FL 33957

 Sponsored by Suzie and Vince Nowell

Cheryl Logan

Heart Artist

Cheryl Logan

Cheryl’s Heart is named You Are My Sunshine

The Sunflowers I’m standing next to were created by my good friend and artist, Mariapia Malerba. Her work was another inspiration for my heart being Sunflowers.

Cheryl is a lifelong resident of Lee County. About 6 years ago, she began drawing and painting portraits of her friends. Now, she creates multiple types of art pieces under her artist’s name: VanToeh. This is the third piece created for Sanibel Community Housing and Resources. Cheryl is looking forward to making future projects for them as well.

Cheryl’s Heart is on display at

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce

1159 Causeway Blvd, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Heidrick Insurance and Company

Taryn Manning

Heart Artist

Taryn Manning

Taryn’s Heart is named Sanibel Oasis

Taryn has called Sanibel and SWFL home for almost 7 years and when she first moved here she lived in CHR while she had a job on the island. She said “Affordable housing is hard to come by as a young professional and it helped me jumpstart my life here. This is my third year painting for CHR and I love being able to use my creativity and art to give back to the community to an organization that is much needed in our area.” Her Heart reflects her love of the serenity and peace that Sanibel provides.

Taryn’s Heart is on display for two months at


1551 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

and then two months at

Sanibel Captiva Trust Company

2450 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Trust Company

Rena Martinson

Heart Artist

Rena Martinson

Rena’s Heart is named Wild at Heart

I grew up in Wisconsin, raised by the most wonderful people…who worked hard, loved even harder and raised me to do something that truly makes me happy.

Art for me has always been a passion. It’s pulled at the inner core of who I am. It’s brought me out of dark places, filled the void of boredom, woken me early in the morning excited to put color onto canvas, and kept me up all night in a storm of ideas.

I’m not going to lie when I say I’ve been disabled with doubt for a lot of my artistic career. There have been low points and towels thrown in…but then I have an idea and I’m pulled right back, stronger and more intensely than ever. I may not believe in calling myself an artist, but I believe in those heart strings that pull me back…to keep practicing over and over and hoping that at any moment I will feel the spark, the light, the talent. It’s a process…but through that process I hope to create art that conveys a sense of love, togetherness, interconnectedness, nature, beauty, whimsy, quirkyness and humility. I want the viewer to feel the humanness of each brushstroke, pen line, marker fade and color combination.

I’m never going to stop learning and I hope I never stop doubting…because at the end of the day, that’s what fuels my fire. Thank you all for the support and can’t wait to share my journey with you!

And here is a link to my website: renamartinsonart.com

Rena’s Heart is on display at

Tween Water’s

15951 Captiva Drive, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by SanCap Beach Resorts

Kym Mason

Heart Artist

Kym Mason

Kym’s Heart is named Birds of a Feather

I am an artist/designer who has been working on Sanibel and Captiva for 19 years. I love the islands and have lent my time and talents to many local charities and community causes during my years here.

After living through Ian and seeing the vast devastation it created my creative spirit was crushed. The beauty Sanibel and Captiva have been my “muse” for years. Now the community spirit and perseverance of the people of Sanibel and Captiva are my inspiration.

I received my BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

In my spare time (what’s that?) I enjoy restoring my house, spending time with my friends and family, live music and traveling.

Kym’s Heart is on display at

Doc Fords

2500 Island Inn Road, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Doc Ford’s

Lacy McClary

Heart Artist

Lacy McClary

Lacy’s Heart is named Sanibel Strong… Our Beat Goes On

Lacy has been a resident of the Sanibel Island for 19 years and is proud to call the island home.

The island and the locals are so important to Lacy. She is hopeful that everything will be put back together and we will all have our peaceful paradise back to normal and folks will get back on their feet. So is lending a helping hand and giving back a little bright light with her creativity when things seem dim… we all need a little hope and happy right now.

Sanibel Strong… Our Beat Goes On, her amazing Heart is a symbol of our resiliency and Love for our beautiful island and are colorful locals who call it home.

Lacy’s Heart is on display at


1473 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Mudbug’s

Rachel Pierce

Heart Artist

Rachel Pierce

Rachel’s Heart is called For the Love of San-Cap

Rachel Pierce is a former TV news anchor turned full-time artist who paints modern, fantastical original art in oil and acrylic reflecting the natural beauty and abundant wildlife found only in tropical Southwest Florida. She has exhibited at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and had the distinct honor to be the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge 2021 Artist in Residence.

Rachel and her family relocated to Sanibel in 2021, and in January of 2022, she opened the Rachel Pierce Art Gallery on Sanibel Island, which then flooded during Hurricane Ian. In the wake of the hurricane, Rachel found hope and inspiration in the iconic Sanibel Lighthouse and opening the outdoor space surrounding her gallery to host various island businesses and organizations in an “Outdoor Gallery & Island Market.”

Rachel’s original paintings, prints, apparel, and accessories are available on her website, ByRachelPierce.com and at the Rachel Pierce Art Gallery located at 1571 Periwinkle Way.

Rachel’s Heart is on display at

Congress Jewelers

13499 S. Cleveland Ave. Suite 165, Fort Myers, FL 33907

Sponsored by Congress Jewelers

Ernesto (Joneto) Reyes

Heart sculptures, unpainted – Joneto

Ernesto (Joneto) Reyes

Joneto created the 3D image of the heart sculptures.

Born in Cuba in 1977, Jorge Ernesto Reyes, known in the art world as Joneto, has emerged as a remarkable artist whose works transcend boundaries and ignite thought-provoking conversations. With a foundation rooted in arts and design, acquired during his studies for almost a decade in his native country and furthered in Scotland in the United Kingdom, Joneto has honed his craft as both a painter and sculptor, leaving an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene.

Joneto’s artistic journey has been a testament to resilience and creativity, born from humble beginnings in a challenging environment.

As an artist, Joneto is known for his versatile style, seamlessly navigating between the realms of modern art, calligraffiti, and pop art. His creations are a testament to his boundless imagination, combining vivid colors, intricate brushwork, and a profound sense of symbolism.

Influenced by the renowned sculptor and artist Lynn Chadwick, Henry Moore, Stanisław Szukalski and Wilfredo Lam among others Joneto’s art seamlessly blends the organic and the abstract, inviting viewers to explore the interplay between form and emotion. His sculptures, like his paintings, tell stories that resonate deeply with the human experience.

Joneto’s artistic contributions extend beyond his studio, as he has had the privilege of collaborating with numerous renowned galleries and world-famous artists. These collaborations have further enriched his artistic journey, allowing him to share his unique perspective with a global audience.

In his creations, Joneto strives to provoke thought, inspire empathy, and spark meaningful dialogues. His art is a testament to the power of creativity to bridge gaps, transcend boundaries, and shed light on the profound stories that shape our world.

Today, Joneto continues to create thought-provoking and emotionally resonant art that challenges perceptions and invites viewers to explore the depths of the human experience. With each stroke of his brush and every sculpted form, he leaves an indelible mark on the world of contemporary art, reminding us of the enduring power of artistic expression.



Eric Riemenschneider

Heart Artist

Eric Riemenschneider

Eric’s Heart is called Spirit of Sanibel

Riemenschneider graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Illustration. He is the recipient of several awards including Southwest Florida’s Best Up and Coming Artist, the Angels of the Arts Award, All Florida – Best of Show, Lee County Golden Apple Teacher, Lee County Arts Teacher of the Year, and the Robert Rauschenberg Scholarship.

His recent work consists of reimagining commercial spaces to match the theme of the business through creative murals and paintings. Also, with fifteen years of experience, he continues to inspire the youth as a design teacher at Bishop Verot High School.

His clients include Bennett’s Fresh Roast, City of Fort Myers, Harold’s, Lighthouse Restaurant, Midland Trust, Pick Up the Ball, Poe’s Tavern, Potter Trinity, Space 39, Spiro & Associates, Tia’s Kitchen, Wilbur Smith, WooBamboo, Yabo among others.

His artwork has been exhibited in the Robert Rauschenberg Gallery, Space 39, Tincture Gallery, Selby Gallery, Alliance for the Arts, Big Arts Sanibel, Howl Gallery, Franklin Gallery, Yabo, Cru, and a solo show at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.

Riemenschneider married Katie, a Sanibel native, and resided on the island for many years. They have since relocated to the Historic River District of Fort Myers, with their three boys each on their individual educational journeys.

eric’s Heart is on display at

sancap community bank

2406 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Community Bank
Erica Sharp

Erica Sharp

Heart Artist

Erica Sharp

Erica’s heart is called We, Too, Shall Rise

Erica Sharp is as a local artist and art teacher at The Sanibel School. She grew up in Rockford, IL and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Art Education. Erica has always been drawn to many different mediums and styles of art. Exposing her students to the joy and freedom that creativity and its exploration brings about is one of her favorite things. When Erica is not making art in the classroom with her students, she enjoys creating art of her own and exploring the natural beauty SWFL has to offer.

Erica’s initial inspiration for her heart drastically changed after Hurricane Ian. We, Too, Shall Rise explores Mother Nature and human resiliency both individually and as a community. She hopes her piece inspires Sanibel to continue forging ahead with pride.


Erica’s Heart is on display at

sanibel school

3840 SanCap Rd., Sanibel, FL 33957

and then two months at

sanibel rec center

3880 SanCap Rd., Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Tree West

Arlene Stigum

Heart Artist

Arlene Stigum

Arlene’s Heart is called Sanibel Bliss

The blank canvas, the white paper, a bolt of fabric without a pattern, seeking God. What they all have in common is a fresh start. Arlene finds joy in meditating upon the unmarked surface, pondering what it may be, exploring through her child-like-wonder, and being available to move to the inspiration.

In 1988, Arlene started writing and has many unpublished works. She started as a full time Artist in 1996 and had numerous shows in Boston, New York City, Pebble Beach,
Carmel and Sanibel, locally, Alliance for the Arts, Big Arts, Coco Art Gallery and the in season SCAL art shows at the Sanibel Community House. A member of SCAL Sanibel
Captiva Art League and a lifetime member of FMBAA Fort Myers Beach Art Association.

Coinciding with the art, words flowed, one door opening to another. For a period of time, Arlene assisted some people by meditating on scripture and writing what rested upon her, to help them to see again, so they may then see for themselves.

Arlene’s book “Sanibel Island: An Artist’s Personal Enchantment”, a compilation of her paintings, photographs and intuitive writings, was published. Once again her words and images unite.

Post Hurricane Ian, the category 5 hurricane that slammed into Sanibel Island on September 28, 2022, delivered devastation upon many surrounding communities. It saddened Arlene to see some people distracted or heavy with thought after all that happened and not taking some time for themselves to repair, which was the impetus for this book.

Regeneration is actively with us. The beauty never left it simply begged for a fresh look.

Arlene lives year round on Sanibel Island with her husband,
Egil and their pup, Precious.



Arlene’s Heart is on display at


1244 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Cielo

Toni Westland

Toni’s Heart is called Pollinator Perseverance

Toni Westland, widely known locally as Art Ranger Toni, originally hails from Wisconsin. She has been exploring, discovering and working outdoors on Sanibel Island for over 20 years.

Toni earned a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis on Environmental Education and Interpretation from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Art Ranger Toni products are personally hand painted, double stitched with creative love and inspired by nature. All creations are repurposed, sustainable, and wearable. Custom Orders are Welcome & Encouraged.


Find Toni at Art Ranger Toni on Facebook and Instagram

Toni’s Heart is on display at


1700 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sponsored by Terri Kuhl

Suggested Links