A Captivating Creative Community – Naples Art Association

Randy Watkins - Sun Setting over Old Farmstead

Randy Watkins – Sun Setting over Old Farmstead

Right now, I have a captive audience. When I say captive, I don’t mean it in the usual way. You, the reader, are not stuck in a room listening to me, the writer. No, you could turn the page at any point. This month I have a captive audience, because readers who are still in Naples are captivated by our picturesque community. Another day in paradise. You must be captivated by Naples, because the air is like a blanket of humidity and you are still here. You love the beach, or the Everglades, or golf, or the Gulf, or shopping, or dining or all of the incredible art.

Naples has long been under-recognized when it comes to our vibrant, successful and enriching art community. Considering the multitude and diversity of art experiences possible throughout Naples, our reputation as an arts destination is destined to grow. Approximately one in six visitors to the area enjoys an artistic experience at a festival, theater, gallery or museum. Locals are glad to hear that art culture is an important part of drawing important tourism dollars into our community. Locals should also feel exhilarated knowing that there is an extremely active art scene in Naples with plenty to learn and tons to do. Art and creativity will be imperative to the continued growth of our community by enriching the experience of visitors, new arrivals and those of us that have been around for a while. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies the arts “provide the critical thinking, communications and innovation skills essential to a productive 21st century workforce.”

The mission of The Naples Art Association is to promote and advance education, interest and participation in the visual arts by providing unique opportunities to imagine, discover and create. Recognized as one of the founding arts organizations in Collier County, NAA embodies 60 years of commitment to enriching and facilitating art in the Southwest Florida region by building connections to support development and innovation in the visual arts. Everyone is creative and NAA seeks to bring creative  opportunities to everyone.

Pictures and Patriots

Jessica Manelis - Somebodys Beauty

Jessica Manelis – Somebodys Beauty

On August 8th, The Naples Art Association will host a preview reception for Camera USA National Photography Exhibition and Award and Pictures in Process:  Photography by Naples Art Association Members. Pictures in Process is a non-themed photography exhibition and will feature recent work in color and black & white photography by NAA members. Camera USA is a competition that features recent work by photographers residing and shooting in the United States. Camera USA has proven to be a favorite in our community and beyond and is considered highly representative of a variety of photographic styles. From collages and digitally-enhanced images to purist black and white images and casual snap shots, Camera USA attracts large crowds, strong media attention and creatively daring art talent.

Three jurors will select art from the many applicants. Dan Biferie is Chair of the School of Photography at Daytona State College and a Senior Professor at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach, Florida. Clyde Butcher is an award winning large-format view camera photographer well known for his black and white landscape photographs and, in particular, his photographs of the Florida Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve. The third juror, Frederick Voss, is a Museum Consultant and retired Smithsonian Senior Historian and Curator. His work at the Smithsonian included conceiving and organizing exhibitions around historical themes and authoring catalogues and books in connection with the exhibitions. For 19 years, Voss was Curator of the National Portrait Gallery’s vast TIME Collection, which contains works of original portraiture that appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine.

Preview receptions are a fantastic opportunity to connect with other artists and art supporters during an elegant and festive evening. Bring a date! Admission to preview receptions is free for members; non-members are welcome with $10 entry fee.

Camera USA National Photography Exhibition and Awards 2014 and Pictures in Process will be on display to the public Monday, August 11th through Friday, September 26th. Admission during regular gallery hours is free, and voluntary donations are accepted to support the ongoing mission of the Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center.

Connecting to Your Creative Self

Sandee Harraden - Water Dance

Sandee Harraden – Water Dance

Session One workshops and classes begin October 20th and will offer a great opportunity to hone your fine art skills, connect with people who have similar interests or try a new hobby. The Naples Art Association organizes a variety of art classes led by Master Artists and other experts. These classes are wonderful for learning a new  technique, meeting Master Artists and having fun with other artists, both novice and advanced. Dan Jensen, who has attended classes presented by The Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center for years, said it well, “You can’t go out and play golf every day.” Whether you are a beginner or already an accomplished artist, you will find classes and instructors at NAA ’s The von Liebig Art Center that will be valuable and engaging. Dan says, “Even Tiger Woods needs a swing coach.” Keep an eye out for an updated schedule of classes and workshops to be posted to NaplesArt.org.

A community favorite artsy workshop, Wine and Dezine is a great night out with friends. This workshop is all about letting go of inhibitions and connecting you to the canvas, whether you think you can paint or not. This is the most fun you’ll ever have with a brush. Enjoy friends, fun, wine and leave with your own masterpiece in three hours. Just relax as each workshop takes you step by step through the enchanting world of creative expression through painting. Tickets are $45 and should be purchased in advance. Wine and supplies are included. For workshop dates or more information call 239.262.6517 or visit NaplesArt.org.

An exciting new class offered in 2014-15 is Intuitive Art & Yoga. In today’s busy world taking the time to be creative or healthful can be difficult. Taking the time to do both might seem near impossible. It isn’t. With Intuitive Art & Yoga, NAA and instructor Jessica Hesser offer a holistic and integrated approach to mind & body wellness. Each class session will occur on Friday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until noon and will begin with a one hour Kundalini yoga session followed by a one hour intuitive art class. Aimed at artists and yogis of all levels, the painting portion of the class will be guided and utilize acrylic paints. Call 239.262.6517 for more information.

Creative Expressions: Alzheimer’s.

Creative Expressions: Alzheimer’s.

The Naples Art Association is excited to announce our program called Creative Expressions. This program connects art and expression to help children and adults gain independence, strengthen their self-confidence and promote healthy living through thinking about and creating of art. In order to maximize the reach and effectiveness of the Creative Expressions program, the NAA will partner with other organizations to provide these services. Programs are focused on helping those with depression,
Alzheimer’s, visual impairment and developmental disabilities. Data has proven art to be beneficial for a wide-variety of individuals as it stimulates the health and  functioning of the brain.

Beginning October 9th, Naples Art Association will host Creative Expressions: Alzheimer’s. In this six-week program for participants and their caregivers, the emphasis will be on the benefits of encountering, experiencing and creating art. Naples Art Association Executive Director Aimee Schlehr says this program is exactly the type of opportunity the organization wants to make available to the community. “Art has the power to lift us up, give us a voice and is such a strong connection to who we are as individuals. We enthusiastically included the Arts and Alzheimer’s course in our offerings because we believe in the healing power of art,” Schlehr said. Often, friends and family of participants (who may not have expressed themselves creatively in quite some time) are overjoyed to see loved ones come alive with the power of connecting
to art. For more information, please call 239.262.6517.

An Invitation to Connect

Come see why The Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center has been voted one of the best galleries in Naples with more local art for sale by a wider variety of local artists than anywhere else in Naples. There are many ways to engage art offered by NAA : enjoy the second largest art resource library in Southwest Florida, take a class with a master instructor or find the perfect gift in our one of a kind gift shop. Admission is free and opens the door to a greater participation in community and the arts. Tour the galleries, shop, take a class or volunteer. The Naples Art Association works to support your creative evolution. Visit Naplesart.org for information on upcoming events and schedule of classes and workshops. The Naples Art Association is built from the resources and passion of our community to serve the members of our community. Come be a part of the art: Imagine! Discover! Create!

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