What If? – Naples Art Association



What if the Wright brothers never imagined flight? What if Edison hadn’t discovered the light bulb? What if our ability to create was stifled?

America has been a leader in innovation since the beginning, American ingenuity and entrepreneurship are the reason we are a world economic leader. Imagination is what built our country. Innovation drives our industries and creativity gives us the edge needed to solve world problems.

When our government officials want to revamp the educational system to expand STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) and de-emphasize the arts and humanities, it seems to be for good reason. Today, more jobs rely on heavily specialized technical skillsets and it seems that the domestic pool of capable applicants might be too small. Moreover, the US consistently falls below the leadership in STEM based standardized testing. However, given the critical importance of humanities to developing creative problem-solving and deep thinking skills, deemphasizing the humanities may have dire consequences when it comes to creating the type of innovative thinkers that have kept the US ahead of the pack economically, technologically and politically.



It is through arts and humanities that we learn about ourselves, we develop a better understanding of how people and societies work and what they need and want. The arts and humanities power culture. They are the heart and soul of a person and STEM is the body. Working together, they create a whole, innovative, and creative human being that can apply critical thinking skills needed to succeed in our ever changing world. If our goals for effective education are limited to developing technical skills and not creative skills, we risk developing a future workforce that is inflexible or unable to think deeply and expansively about the task at hand. We risk creating a workforce that feels
more comfortable repeating the same inefficient strategies than developing new methods and technologies that revolutionize processes.

As a community art center, The Naples Art Association bears witness to the impact the arts make in our day to day life, from imagining how shapes form structures, discovering how paints, canvas and music can help foster healthy living, to creating visual images that convey our past and present history and culture for future generations.

Regardless of how each of us feels about the arts, as a society we are currently deemphasizing arts and humanities in our schools. That puts more of the responsibility for cultivating creativity and innovation on our families, extracurricular programs and non-profit educational organizations such as The Naples Art Association.


artschoolOne program geared toward helping children understand the impact of art on STEM is ARTScool. Students learn how art is integrated into learning science, technology, math, history, and language. ARTScool is not a summer camp. Rather, ARTScool is a popular summer arts education program serving nearly 1,000 students aged 5 to 14 each year.

The difference between ARTScool and any other art-centered summer camp is that ARTScool allows students to choose from fantastic opportunities to extend creative learning in a rigorous, supportive and super-fun environment. ARTScool features accredited art instructors who provide children with individual attention and weave “STEAM” or science, technology, engineering, art and math, as well as other academics into artistic sessions. Students choose their own classes from an extensive set of curriculums taught by professional artists and instructors. They get creative, learn in-depth content and develop healthy social skills. The unique combination of STEM components integrated into a rigorous arts curriculum strikes an ideal balance between the creative skills necessary to excel in tomorrow’s rapidly changing careers with the technical skills necessary to excel in today’s ultra-specialized technical professions.

Every year, NAA receives a lot of great feedback about the program from children and parents alike.

Registration is now open for ARTScool 2015!

The camp will be held at the von Liebig Art Center in downtown Naples off Park Street during the summer from June 8 through August 7, 2015. Children register for their choice of classes, with one class being offered in the morning from 9 a.m.-noon and another in the afternoon
from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Students may be registered for one class (a half-day) or two classes (a full day) per week.

ARTScool offers over 50 different classes, ranging from Animated 3D to Zoo Art. Early drop-off is available.

The Naples Art Association ensures that each student will receive a STEAM integrated educational experience with each class, ranging from math and science to world culture and history. The lessons associated with these core subjects are woven into engaging and expansive art classes in sculpture, drawing, painting and more.

Data supports the important role of art education for fostering creative and analytic skills that are in high demand today. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the arts foster young imaginations and facilitate children’s success in school. Furthermore, art education provides the critical thinking, communication and innovation skills essential to a productive 21st century workforce. Practice and education in the arts are vital components for a healthy and well-adjusted childhood. Need based scholarships are available.




The Naples Art Association hosts a ton of events for adults to engage in quality artistic experiences, as well. Whether you would like to take a class, attend an evening Dinner with Artists: Culinary/Visual Art Fusion Event, stop by the von Liebig Art Center galleries, or connect to art in a variety of other exciting ways, The Naples Art Association has opportunities to fit your interests.

On May 14, The Naples Art Association, Edgewater Beach Hotel and renowned photographers Gareth Rockliffe and Jan Soderquist will join forces to present a Dinner with Artists featuring interactive artistic activities and a gourmet meal. Rockliffe ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund his recent project “Great American Coastlines,” a photographic quest to capture the soulful beauty, diversity and majesty of America’s coastline, beginning with the Pacific Coast.

The Great American Coastline will be on view as an exhibition in the von Liebig Art Center July 27 through September 4. The Dinner with Artists evening is a great deal at $60 per person and includes a multi-course dinner, wine and soft drinks, and presentations by Gareth Rockliffe, Gareth’s wife Jan Soderquist and the chef at Edgewater Beach Hotel.

Throughout May, three fantastic exhibitions are hanging at the von Liebig Art Center: Viva La France! Bernard Villemot: Iconic Image Maker, Members’ Gallery: Petite Pursuits and Southwest Florida Pastel Society – May’s Marvels.



The Viva la France! exhibition spotlights the art of the French artist Bernard Villemot who became famous for the successful advertising posters he created for leading French firms such as Air France, Perrier, Orangina and SNCF, the French National Railway Company. Villemot
used large blocks of color and bold compositions with streamlined human figures to portray the understated elegance, style and sophistication of the French lifestyle. His bold and colorful works exemplify the French passion for savoring life’s pleasures. Villemot’s work instantly conveys everything from the feeling of joy we get when wearing a fashionable piece of clothing or new accessory to the brilliance of an afternoon on the Mediterranean seashore or the simple enjoyment of a sparkling beverage.

Members’ Gallery: Petite Pursuits brings the Small Works Show back by popular demand. The Members’ Gallery features all-media artwork by current members of The Naples Art Association. A changing panel of qualified jurors, with notable art backgrounds, volunteers to select the works for each exhibit, as well as those pieces winning awards. There are four annual exhibitions featured through The Members’ Gallery program and Petite Pursuits is the last of the 2014-15 season. Petite Pursuits features works with a perimeter of no more than 60 inches.



The Southwest Florida Pastel Society will feature works by their members on view at the von Liebig Art Center in an exhibition called May’s Marvels. Founded on the leading edge of a resurgence of interest in the soft pastel medium, the Southwest Florida Pastel Society was established in January of 2003. The Society’s goals are to foster professionalism by providing support to pastel artists of all skill levels, offer educational programs for young people and adults, and focus attention on the renaissance of the pastel medium, its beauty and permanence.


Naples Art Association’s sixth session of classes begins May 4. Classes at the von Liebig Art Center are guided by qualified and talented art instructors who have real experience as artists and instructors. Take a class and be surrounded by like-minded and artful individuals engaged in the common goal of making art.

There are classes available in a wide variety of media from wet clay modeling to exploring French art and from working with colored pencils to figure drawing.

The Naples Art Association offers workshops as well and one of the community favorites is coming up on May 21. Wine and Dezine, on May 21, will feature painting (all supplies included), wine and you and a couple of your favorite people.

Taking a class through The Naples Art Association is a great way to cultivate a new skill or fine tune your talent. If you are interested in engaging art and would like a fantastic introduction to The Naples Art Association, take a class!


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 in creativity offered by NAA: enjoy one day workshops and art fusion events, 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 arts and our community. 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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