As Fort Myers tries to bring its art scene out of the shadows, art enthusiast are working together to make murals and sculptures easier to find.
And like several other things… there’s an app for that. This one is called Art Stumble.
“We created the walking tour app so that any visitor to the city could embark on an artistic experience without necessarily having to find advertising,” Shari Shifrin said, who is the director of the Fort Myers Mural Society.
Shari explained that art enthusiasts can find artwork anywhere throughout Southwest Florida. The Art Stumble app will make it easier for people to find the artwork that intrigues them.
The Mural Society received $15,000 from the Lee County Tourism Bureau to help fund the app and to bring more artwork into Southwest Florida.
Getting the grant was a huge help, but the progress of the app wouldn’t be the same without Tyler MacPhee.
Tyler, 17, holds the Fort Myers' art scene in the palm of his hands. He uploads all of the paintings, murals and sculptures in Fort Myers onto Art Stumble.
“As a tourist, you just want to see everything," Tyler said. "See the history behind that city and what the sculptors have depicted that is in their artworks."
It’s taken Tyler about five months to fill the app with all of the art in the Fort Myers River District.
“Once we’re in stage two we’re probably going to do advertising,” Tyler said. "But if someone asks, ‘hey do you know anything about this art or did you see that cool art piece?’ I’ll say you can see more cool art pieces on this app called, Art Stumble.”
Right now the only artwork available on the Art Stumble app is in Downtown Fort Myers , but Tyler is in the process of adding artwork in Sanibel Island.
Once the custom geo-location discovery platform becomes more developed, individual artists will be able to add their artwork themselves. It will partly depend upon the creators of the app, Hatch It, which is a software solutions company based in Virginia, and the growth of its users on the product.
So as the artwork in the area continues to grow, so will Art Stumble.
“There’s not a lot to do at the beach right now," Shari said. "It’s pretty good timing to launch an art walking tour to enjoy the city and everything it has to offer."