Naples is a vibrant and active arts community that has its history to thank. It got its start when The Naples Players began performing at Gulfview Middle School in 1953 to enrich, educate and entertain. A group of 37 artists came together as the Naples Art Association, now known as Naples Art, located at Cambier Park, to create exhibits, educate and promote local artists in 1954.
The Naples Art Crafters then formed in 1968 to promote and advance artistic expression through the visual arts and fine crafts. These groups offered venues for the local artists to present their wares for people to enjoy and own. As well as theatrical and visual arts, the musical was getting a foothold in this community in the 1980s when The Naples Philharmonic began performing and then took up home in Pelican Bay, now known as Artis-Naples.
Early in that decade, The Naples Fine Arts Society was formed to try and pull the individual artists and art groups together and create a cultural fiber which exists today as the United Arts Council of Collier County. They continue to further all the arts in our county as it gets busier here with more artists and art enthusiasts moving to Southwest Florida.
One of the artist couples that has been a part of the art scene since 1971 is located in Crayton Cove in downtown Naples at the Phil Fisher Gallery & Guess-Fisher Gallery. Some of the paintings by Phil Fisher and Natalie Guess are reminiscent of days gone by while many are of the more current Naples and its beautiful beaches and foliage.
During the month of May, the gallery will feature a show titled “Reflection” and the month of June, “Travels” which offers the chance to stop in and experience some of their newest works of art. Their galleries are located in the Heart of Naples Bay where 12th Ave. S. & 8th St. S meet at the flagpole.