TODAY’S CLASSIC The Naples Art Association

by Laurel Meny

Entering its 61st season, the Naples Art Association (NAA) continues to bring the newest and most innovative arts
programming and exhibition opportunities right here to Southwest Florida. From partnering with area nonprofits to
engage those with disabilities to offering a first-of-its-kind wearable art runway show, the NAA is always looking for new ways to engage the community in the arts.

New this season, the NAA will bring something never seen before in Naples, a wearable art show – Scene to be Seen: A Runway Art Show on November 2. This inaugural experience, chaired by Amanda Jaron of A.JARON Fine Jewelry, will feature the glamour and energy of New York Fashion Week combined with the sophistication and exclusivity of Naples while showcasing the talent of more than 25 local – and internationally-recognized – artists on models strutting the runway. Before the runway show, guests will enjoy a dynamic welcome reception complete with delicious hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails all in an immersive atmosphere allowing the opportunity to socialize and experience the artists’ process and work first-hand.

After the show, artists from Los Angeles, New York, Philippines, and Italy as well as right here in Southwest Florida will have their work, including men’s and women’s garments; accessories; jewelry; and more, on display and available for purchase. And, the night wouldn’t be complete without a fabulous after-party with music and a cash bar provided by Shula’s
Steakhouse of Naples.

Another new addition to the NAA’s schedule is Yoga at the NAA. Led by renowned, local yoga instructor, Elizabeth
Coyle-Veren, Yoga at the NAA will begin November 7 and take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Invite your friends and learn the basic principles of Hatha Yoga which focuses on basic poses and breathing techniques and is grounded in practical techniques, alignment, and expansive sequences that will connect classical yoga postures, awareness of breath, and inner focus to create dynamic and intuitive flows for healing and renewal.

The NAA’s class and workshop schedule has been announced and promises engaging and stimulating artistic programming taught by master artists and knowledgeable instructors for artists of all ages and skill levels (even those that have never taken an art class!). From “Just for Fun” workshops – including Wine & Dezine, Jewelry Making, and more – to more thorough four-week classes in original subjects like Cold Wax, Palette Knife Power Painting, Metal Clay Jewelry, and Felted Flowers, there is something for everyone. Custom tailored classes are also available for groups.

Year-round, rotating exhibitions for the community to engage with the artists as well as experience personal growth are always on display. Don’t miss current exhibitions: The Great Outdoors and Animals: Fact and Fable. And, the NAA’s regular annual exhibits will all be there throughout the year as well. Don’t miss Camera USA, a national exhibition that features recent work in color and black and white photography from photographers across the United States; the NAA’s Annual Jade N. Riedel Scholarship Competition which encourages young aspiring artists to realize their dreams of becoming
professionals in the visual arts; and the Your Choice exhibition which features artwork in all media by NAA members. In addition, there will be several special exhibits this year including Telling a Story: Narrative Art, Human Trafficking Awareness; Tiny Art; and Val Wright: The Landscape Transfigured.

The NAA knows that great art is impeccably paired with fantastic experiences, so in keeping with that, it will once again host its ever popular Dinner with Artists series. The first of the season will take place on November 14 and featuring  the fantastic street style artwork of Roots Studio’s Marcus Zotter paired with the beautifully-prepared, delicious cuisine of award winning chef Amber Philips of Sage Events.

This event allows the artists and chefs to combine their passions and processes and create a palette to palate evening of  interactive artistic experiences and gourmet food. Seating is very limited at each Dinner with Artists event in order to maintain the intimate ambiance of the evenings. Enjoy fantastic art experiences, a multi-course gourmet meal, drinks, and gratuity all in one very reasonable ticket price. In order to present the finest in local and national art to our community, NAA hosts Art in the Park and three two-day outdoor art shows each year, attracting artists from all over the country. Art in the Park is the oldest outdoor art show in Naples, featuring works by local artists in Cambier Park on the first Saturday of each month beginning November 4 and running through April 7. Its additional three annual outdoor art shows – Downtown Naples Art Show, Naples National Art Show, and Naples New Year’s Art Show that are held throughout the year. All artwork exhibited and sold at NAA festivals is original and hand-crafted.

And, don’t forget the preeminent, local shopping spot in town – the Naples Art Association’s Originals Gift Shop- which offers
unique, handmade paintings, pottery, jewelry, holiday décor, and more! Each special piece available through Originals is created by an artist from within the United States and many are created by NAA member artists. All proceeds from sales benefit educational programming by the Naples Art Association.

The Naples Art Association has transformed the community by way of its visual arts center that inspires and empowers not only artists, but the general community, and through its tireless leadership and advocacy for the arts. Try something new this season. Start your creative journey. The Naples Art Association is located at 585 Park Street in Naples and is free to visit during normal gallery hours. Visit NaplesArt.org for information on upcoming workshops.

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