Art Al Fresco

Naples is known for its cultural experiences. With its perfect weather and gorgeous outdoor spaces, the best way to experience it is at one of its many outdoor art shows. And, with a calendar that includes three of the top outdoor art shows in the country, according to Sunshine Artist magazine, and the area’s first outdoor art show, the Naples Art Association (NAA) easily takes the top honor as Southwest Florida’s best outdoor art show host.

“Outdoor art shows are important to the NAA because they support our mission of increasing and broadening opportunities for everyone – no matter their physical abilities or socioeconomic
background – to experience the visual arts in Southwest Florida,” said Aimee Schlehr, NAA CEO/executive director. “We have the support of the City of Naples and downtown businesses because our shows add to the overall ambiance of our community and uphold Naples’ reputation of being the cultural center of Southwest Florida.”

But, the NAA doesn’t just rest on its successes. It is constantly looking for ways to improve its time-honored art shows. Take, for instance, the Naples National Art Show, which will take place on February 23 and 24 in Cambier Park and 8th Street South. Now in its 39th year, the show had become overgrown. Artists were frustrated because attendees weren’t seeing their work because of the sheer size of the show and attendees were exhausted from walking it. Making everything bigger and better is a national trend, but it wasn’t what our artist and show attendees wanted.

So, we first scaled back the number of participating artists. This year’s show will feature 190 of the very best artists – from right here in Naples and across the country – showcasing their work in
beautiful Cambier Park. And, then we created a new, more walkable layout, extended the hours on Saturday, and even hired a live band – the Blu-Tones to play at the Cambier Park Bandshell.

Oh, and small bites from Artichoke & Company and Naples Smoked BBQ and beverages from Rip Tide Brewery and The Wine Store will be available into the evening! “We listened to our artists and our shoppers. We feel that by implementing these suggested changes, it will allow the Naples
National Art Show to remain Naples top outdoor art show,” Maureen Roberts, NAA outdoor shows manager.

In addition, the Naples Art Association will host its 23rd annual Naples New Year’s Art Show on January 5 and 6. Ranked the #17 outdoor art show in the country according to Sunshine Artist
magazine’s 2018 100 Best Fine Arts & Design Shows, this is the first outdoor show of the New Year in Naples. Shoppers will have the opportunity to mingle with about 250 professional artists showing original oils and acrylics on canvas, watercolors, 2D and 3D mixed media, limited edition prints, photography, digital art, sculpture, wood carvings, ceramics, hand-crafted jewelry, leather works, and more.

Boosting the number of participating artists, available art, and ambiance of the event on Saturday is Art in the Park. The Naples Art Association’s Art in the Park juried art show, which has been
hosted monthly since 1957, making it the oldest outdoor art show in Naples, proudly connects artists with art shoppers each month from November through April in Naples’ scenic Cambier Park.

For art lovers, Art in the Park is a casual, fun-filled venue for meeting local artists and becoming acquainted with their work. For participating NAA artists, Art in the Park not only gives them the opportunity to show and sell their work, it affords them a wonderful platform in which to build rapport with collectors while fostering their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the arts and their own extensive portfolios.

And, one of the last major art festivals of the winter season on beautiful 5th Avenue South is the Naples Downtown Art Show which will take place on March 23 and 24 on 5th Avenue South. This is a favorite show for art enthusiasts and collectors and is ranked #34 on Sunshine Artist magazine’s 100 Best Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows list.

This juried art show features 250 artists set up along Naples’ beautiful main street. According to artist and longtime NAA outdoor art show exhibitor, Edward Loedding, “The patrons who attend NAA shows are sophisticated and successful. They know exactly what they want and have the means to acquire it.” A suggested $5 donation is requested at the entrance of each of these shows with all money raised going toward the NAA’s art education programs.

For more information about the NAA’s outdoor art shows, please visit NaplesArt.org/Outdoor-Shows.

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