Where Art and Nature Come Together

The mission to protect and conserve coastal habitats and wildlife of Rookery Bay Research Reserve intersects and connects with local art at the Environmental Learning Center Art Gallery. Visitors have the opportunity to not only learn about the waters, marine life and land of Southwest Florida through “hands-on” interactive exhibits, but also appreciate the artistic beauty of the area by viewing professional art exhibits held continuously in the Rookery Bay Gallery.

The art gallery hosts several exhibitions each year. A partnership with United Arts Collier enables annual exhibitions of painting and photography juried by local art experts. Other showings feature works by local students, Rookery Bay Reserve friends and family and world-renown individual artists. Most of the works are available for purchase.

The month of March is a particularly busy time as art exhibits change from the Annual Painting exhibition to the Annual Photography exhibit. Both exhibits will include receptions that are free and open to the public. Artists will receive recognition for first, second and third place. Art viewers will enjoy light bite hors d’oeuvres as well as wine and beer. Pre-registration is required.

As guests experience an exhibit in the light bright Scandinavian-style setting of the gallery, often the artist’s unique interpretation of marine life, plants and animals will act as inspiration to learn more by exploring the rest of the Environmental Learning Center or getting out into the 110,000acres of land and water in the Reserve. A few of the many exhibits include marine-life touch tanks, a natural history section about native inhabitants and pioneers, environmental and wildlife exhibits, picnic area, three loops of walking trails and a serene butterfly garden.

Biologist-led boat and kayaking eco-tours are also a fun option to enjoy the Reserve’s unspoiled beauty for all ages. Guided boat and kayak tours take guests into the waters of Rookery Bay Reserve. During kayak tours, guests paddle through beautiful shallow bays and mangrove tunnels, while searching for amazing wildlife like sea stars, large snails, birds, dolphins and manatees! Boat tours are small 6 passenger boats and offer a comfortable and informative ride.

Guests can choose from different tours including a shelling trip toa deserted shell-strewn island, a sunset tour and more!

Visit RookeryBay.org

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center (Just 15 minutes from downtown Naples 5th Avenue area)
300 Tower Road, Naples, FL
Tuesday – Saturday
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$10 for adults
$5 for children ages 3-12

Art Gallery Events at Rookery Bay


Forest Bathing March 2 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. $50

Enjoy a slow, quiet, guided sensory and meditative experience in nature at
Rookery Bay Research Reserve. A Certified Forest Bathing Guide will
conduct a guided-meditation session and offer a series of invitations
to use your curiosity and senses to connect with nature and yourself.

March 7: Sea Stars, March 12: Sea Stars, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. $85 (includes all materials)

Watercolors & Wildlife: Painting with Jan at Rookery Bay
Paint the beauty of coastal Naples and the wildlife of estuary waters in this
watercolor painting class. Local artist Jan Deswik offers step-by-step simple
instructions and creative support perfect for beginners.
Participants will complete a painted piece with matte at each session.

March 23, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. $55 Essentials of Digital Photography Workshop

If you want to get the best pictures possible and truly understanding your
camera’s features, this camera workshop is for you. The class covers the essentials
of your digital camera. You will learn how to use your camera’s shutter, aperture,
ISO control and the drive modes to create images with impact and creativity.

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