Summer time is ramping up to an especially exciting season for the Naples Art Association. In passionate pursuit of its mission to promote and advance education, interest and participation in the visual arts, it’s offering a vast array of new and returning programs to help artists of all ages and skill levels along their creative journeys and inspire all who visit to live and think artistically. You’ll want to stop by The von Liebig Art Center, which is operated by the NAA, soon!
This is the 60th Anniversary season for Naples Art Association, and the staff and board has uncovered priceless memories from over the years. This season, audiences will get a glimpse of how the organization as well as the Naples community has grown since the 1950s.
The Naples Art Association began in 1954 when founders E. George Rogers, Elsie Upham, and Grace Lake got together. They decided to form a nonprofit organization with local artists who lived in Naples and to enhance the quality of life in the growing small town. Over the years, the Naples Art Association has been entrenched in the development of Collier County and provision of art education. Artists who were with the organization in the earlier years recall exhibiting work at the Beach Club and the Naples Depot, among other locations. The Naples Art Association has grown in membership numbers and in services it offers since it opened the new building just off Fifth Avenue South 15 years ago.
Value of Art Education
Promoting the value of art education is one of the most consistent and important passions of the organization. People often see art programs on the chopping block the instant budgets are cut. However, research and modern thinking are seeing the inclusion of art as a strategy for learning. Strong arts education can actually improve test scores and boost student success. Enrichment is no longer a luxury; it is essential to developing creative thinkers who can solve the problems of tomorrow and develop new ideas and methods to build the future. Art integration lubricates the mind to take on the unknown or misunderstood by freeing students to see things from a different angle. Because not all students learn the same way, it’s important to cover material in a variety of methods. Through art, children can become the kind of adults that can take on the world with innovation and panache.
The Naples Art Association will be looking for more opportunities to advocate for art education. One example is how their education programming is expanding. The organization is adding evening classes for all ages, expanding youth art offerings on the weekends and after school. They are partnering with other educational institutions on both the grade school and collegiate level to explore other options as well.
Session One Art classes for adults and youth begin on Oct. 21, 2013.
Art Positively Impacts the Economy
Art is a business. Each artist with a painting in an exhibit or a booth on the street is a business owner. The Naples Art Association provides an important venue allowing artists to professionally pursue their dreams and make a living sharing their talent with others. With every painting a collector purchases, they are supporting a small business. Beyond supporting the business of art, art contributes to a bustling and exciting local economy. Art events particularly support the tourism and hospitality industries as they bring out visitors and locals alike to shop, dine and stay in hotels. They also make Naples an attractive place for people looking to establish and build their careers and lives.
This season, the Naples Art Association encourages you to see all the ways art impacts your day to day life, and not just in the traditional visual and performing art venues. Notice the creative touches on events that attract you to support charitable causes. Realize the innovative solutions that are developed in everything from medicine to technology. Art and creative thinking are the very heart and soul of our society!
In the organization’s newest marketing visuals, its name “Naples Art Association” features most prominently. In a cool-toned color palette and with soft curves, it sincerely expresses an organization that is woven into the fabric of the coastal community, committed to educating and promoting the value of the arts and to doing its part to energize economic development in Naples. The Naples Art Association continues to operate The von Liebig Art Center, hosting a variety of programs there each year, with a full schedule planned for its 60th Anniversary season.
The organization hopes this year that more people will begin to recognize the Naples Art Association for its commitment to the community and the art opportunities it provides.
Highlights for next season
Coming up this season, the Naples Art Association has a thrilling exhibition line up, as well as plans for expanding the 35th Naples National Art Festival, incorporating events on the days leading up to the festival weekend.
• Exhibitions will feature artwork by Joan Brechin Sonnenberg and Clyde & Niki Butcher as well as a variety of member shows.
• Business of Being an Artist workshops will be continuing with new topics – starting Oct. 8 with Anne Dalton, returning by popular demand, and others on Tuesdays through Nov. 12, 2013.
• A new, more informative Naples Art Association website is in the works.
• The Naples Art Association will host Edison State College, which is offering accredited art classes at the art center.
• They are developing and providing new opportunities for artists, including a monthly “Dinner with an Artist” series and booth space at Evenings on Fifth. The first dinner will feature rozome silk painter Leigh Herndon as the guest of honor.
• To celebrate their 60th Anniversary with excitement, join them on February 20, 2014 at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club. The second annual Naples National Art Festival Gala brings the party to life with a Brazilian theme party with art, music and samba for a soiree that is sure to sizzle. Save the date as this is one party you will not want to miss!
The third annual Camera US A 2013: National Photography Exhibition and Award, on view through Aug. 23, 2013, drew nearly 200 entries from across the United States. Harry Benson, the juror from the Naples Art Association’s first Camera US A, returned to help judge the 2013 competition. He was joined by Christopher Rauschenberg and Ron Bishop.
All three juried the artwork submitted, and the top 45 photographs were accepted for the exhibition. Of those, 14 photographers were nominated to receive the National Photography Award. The Naples Art Association is particularly proud that five local artists were a part of that list: Erin Dougherty Williams, Dennis Goodman, Nic Provenzo, Gareth Rockliffe and Colleen Provost.
Also featured alongside this exhibition through Aug. 2, 2013, Capturing Our World showcases the work of Naples Daily News photojournalists’ work, including 30 captivating images by six photojournalists.
Mark your calendar for the Sixth Annual Non-Juried All Artist Members Show of Shows Exhibition, on view Sept. 9 through Nov. 9, 2013.
Show of Shows features artwork in all media by Naples Art Association members. The annual exhibition gives artists of all skill levels an opportunity to exhibit and share their artwork with a larger audience. Artwork registrations are now being accepted. The registration deadline is Aug. 14, 2013 at 3 p.m. See NaplesArt.org for details.
At the preview reception on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., guests will be able to vote for their favorite piece of art. The Collier County Elections Office will be onsite to officiate the voting, and the NAA will award prizes to the artists with the most votes. Preview reception attendance is a benefit of membership. All others are welcome for $10 per person to enjoy the fun and refreshments.
Also, Interludes: Lynda Fay Braun is newly installed at the Collier Campus of Edison State College, located at 7007 Lely Cultural Pkwy, Naples, FL 34113.
At Physicians Regional Healthcare System, located on Pine Ridge Road, two new exhibitions are up. See Words, Signs and Symbols: Conveying Meaning in Art before it closes on Oct. 28, 2013. Also on view is Kathy Spalding: The Rookery Bay Continuum will be up through Feb. 10, 2014.
Community leaders join Naples Art Association
The Naples Art Association proudly welcomed two of its newest board members recently.
Andrew Sroka, President and CEO of Fischer International, has volunteered for the board. Sroka currently serves in a variety of leadership roles throughout Collier County. He is the father of two budding artists and says he always tries to promote art appreciation at home as well as in his professional work. He is keenly interested in the intersection on art and technology, and hopes to help the Naples Art Association along its path to create a unified artistic community in Southwest Florida that brings consistency and communication to the various disparate groups and organizations that exist. He aims to engage the community in celebrating the art that is all around us, promote art education for children, and generally help as needed.
Roger Weatherburn Baker, retired IBM executive, has also accepted an invitation to serve on the Naples Art Association board of directors. With a rich history in art dealing and collecting, and his work with several local art organizations, Baker was a natural fit for the nonprofit. He is the owner of International Art Gallery, former manager of the IBM Gallery of Science and Art and a past president of the Naples Fine Art Dealers Association. Baker says with his skills in communications and art shows, conferences and productions, he looks forward to continuing to contribute to the arts community in ways that make a difference.
Chelsea Ziton, Administrative Associate Chelsea Ziton is the newest member of the Naples Art Association staff. She is the smiling face that you will see at the front desk when you visit the Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center. Originally from Naples, Chelsea’s family has been involved with the Naples Art Association for many years. She says she’s thrilled to be a part of this wonderful group of people working to keep cultural opportunities strong in the community. “I’ve always been interested in artwork, from sculptures to digital photography, but I’m wildly intrigued by the performing arts. I have such an appreciation for what artists do, and I’m extremely grateful and excited to be a part of this organization.” she said.
Your turn to Imagine, Discover and Create! What’s your passion?
Artistic expression is an intuitive human experience. Art transcends language barriers and feeds the soul. Art gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. For almost six decades, The Naples Art Association has provided the community with a platform to explore art at a personal level. Whether you are a student honing skills through studio classes and workshops, an emerging artist exhibiting work and building a viable art career or a local resident or seasonal vacationer who is interested in exploring local art in Naples: all are encouraged to appreciate the quality of life that a strong art culture brings to Collier County.