Arresting Artistry on display at CCSO headquarters
Drawings of faces line the walls on the second floor of Collier County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters in East Naples.
The framed pictures aren’t sketches of suspected criminals drawn by a forensic artist that you might expect to find at a law enforcement agency. They are self-portraits by local preschoolers featured in an art exhibit titled “Vivid #Selfies” on display at the CCSO Community Gallery.
While an art gallery housed in a law enforcement agency may seem unusual, it’s just one of the many progressive and unique ways CCSO is showcasing its community partnerships.
“A big component of the Sheriff’s Office is community, and we believe in partnering with as many organizations as we can to spread the message of safety,” said CCSO Media Relations Officer Krista Lester, who helps coordinate the gallery.
The gallery offers CCSO partners an opportunity to spotlight the agency’s commitment to the community.
The gallery has housed 14 exhibits since making its debut in January 2011. Exhibits have ranged from the artwork of domestic violence survivors who participate in the Naples Shelter for Abused Women & Children’s Healing Arts Program to artwork by child residents of Youth Haven, Collier County’s only emergency shelter exclusively for child and adolescent victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Other exhibits have included vivid and colorful photos of some of the plants and wildlife that call Naples home in cooperation with Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens and a series of oil pastels depicting the experience of Alzheimer’s disease by a local artist in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Support Network.
CCSO partnered with Collier Child Care Resources Inc. for the “Vivid #Selfies” exhibit, which featured 34 images by preschoolers inspired by Swiss artist Paul Klee. The children, who attend the Naples Children & Education Foundation Early Childhood Development Center, were asked about the shape of their faces and used mirrors to study and draw using the oil pastels and crayons.
After drawing their portraits, the blocked-color backgrounds were created by brushing on squares of tissue paper with water.
Kathy Hostetler, teaching artist at the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center, said she was surprised to hear the Sheriff’s Office was also home to an art gallery.
“I was surprised in a good way because the Sheriff’s Office is pulling in the community,” Hostetler said. The gallery, she said, shows a different and creative side of law enforcement.
More than a dozen of the children in the program and parents turned out for the opening night reception for the “Vivid #Selfies” exhibit.
“The children were so excited to see their art on the wall outside of school,” Hostetler said.
The exhibits featured at the Community Gallery rotate every three months. Opening receptions are held for each new exhibit to continually showcase the art and partnership of the participating organization. The Sheriff’s Office headquarters is a community building and welcomes all members of the public to come and view the exhibits.
The gallery is located in the administrative offices on the second floor of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, 3319 U.S. 41 E., Bldg. J, East Naples. The public is invited to view Community Gallery exhibits during normal business hours.
The CCSO Community Gallery welcomes any local public service organizations interested in setting up a future exhibit.
For more information about the gallery or how an organization can participate, contact CCSO Media Relations Officer Kristi Lester at
239.252.0608, or Kristi.Lester@colliersheriff.org.
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