Naples Art Association Festivals Achieve National Rank

Crowd at Naples National 2012 image by Debi Pitman Wilkey

Crowds of art collectors flood the streets at the #9 ranked Naples National Art Festival in 2012. Image by Debi Pitman Wilkey

Four out of five Naples Art Association fine art festivals are ranked by Sunshine Artist Magazine’s 100 Best Fine Art and Design Shows of 2011. Rankings are derived from magazine subscriber artist ballots which ask artists to rank their top 10 festivals by sales. Nearly 1,000 art shows were submitted.

The association’s top ranking festival is the Naples National Art Festival. This festival was ranked #9 for 2011 and has earned a place on the top 10 list dating back to 2007. This annual festival serves as the association’s largest fundraiser. The 34th Annual Naples National Art Festival is scheduled for Feb. 23-24, 2013 in Cambier Park and along 8th Street in Naples.

Executive Director Aimee Schlehr notes that festival artists are both creative individuals and small business owners. She says this duality helps artists and arts organizations succeed. “Naples Art Association festivals offer the community a great way to discover new artists, but they are also fundraisers for us aligned with our vision of supporting individual artists of all levels to further their creative goals,” Schlehr said. Drawing crowds in the tens of thousands, NAA festivals are strongly supported by the community. They aim to put on events that exceed the expectations of fine art collectors and energize the attendees viewing art of all varieties.

By organizing successful festivals, the Naples Art Association raises money in a creative way: by offering individual artists another opportunity to further their business. “While many artists today have websites where people can view and buy their work, festivals provide these artists a storefront where customers can ask them about their work and see the detail up close,” said Marianne Megela, Festivals Director for the Naples Art Association. “This often makes the difference between someone admiring their work and making a purchase.”

The association’s two festivals held along 5th Avenue South in Naples, The Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts, and the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, were ranked #21 (rising three ranks from 2010) and #63 respectively. These events are scheduled for Mar. 23-24, 2013 and Jan. 5-6, 2013 and will showcase approximately 250 national artists.

The Mercato Fine Arts Festival, which is the association’s newest art fair, earned a ranking of #73 (rising two ranks from 2010). The 5th Annual Mercato Fine Arts Festival is scheduled for Mar. 2-3, 2013 at the Mercato Lifestyle Center in North Naples.

Although the association’s smallest and first festival of the season did not make the Sunshine Artist Magazine top 100 list, the Naples Fall Fine Art and Craft Festival draws about 100 artists from around the country. Now in its 9th year, this festival is an excellent kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Nestled along 10th Street South in Naples near The Depot, this event is scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 23-24, 2012.

All five festivals serve as fundraisers that help support creative community programming of the Naples Art Association, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

“Fire and Water” Exhibition by Naples Art Association at Physicians Regional Healthcare System: Artist Rod Busch

Rod Busch, Meadowlark in Rushes, watercolor on paper

Rod Busch, Meadowlark in Rushes, watercolor on paper

The relationship between art and healing is a well established and often-discussed phenomenon. The Naples Art Association is in partnership with Physicians Regional Healthcare System (PRHS) to benefit patients, visitors and healthcare staff. Three exhibitions are installed annually at the PRHS Naples Campus at 6101 Pine Ridge Road. Fire and Water: Nature in Watercolor and Hand-blown Glass is installed on the second floor of the atrium lobby. Additional artwork is located on the ground floor in the coffee shop, the Clinic and in the lobby near admissions.

This exhibition is on view through Nov. 12, 2012, featuring original watercolor paintings by Southwest Florida artists Rod BuschBarbara Groenteman and Marjorie Renfroe, and art glass by Beverly Albrets.

Rod Busch shared his artistic inspirations and says that every painting session begins with questions. “For example, what do I want to say through the creative process that differs from what I say in an ordinary social context? Should I share my perspective as something temporary or permanent? Should I try to convey a concept?” Busch said. He works his answers into the layers of his work, deepening their meaning.
Busch uses watercolor because he says it lets his paintings “appreciate the moment” and it allows reflects light differently than other mediums. “Unlike media such as pastel, oil and acrylic which bounce light off the surface of the pigment, transparent watercolor allows light to bounce off the white of the paper behind the layer of paint. It literally enlightens the paint so that, like glass in a stained glass window, the watercolor has its own special glow. This characteristic coupled with the organic immediacy of the medium endears it to me. No matter how precisely or loosely one paints – with floods of water or mere dampness – the watercolor has a mind of its own. “Do it now, it calls out, “or forget about it!” he exclaims.

Busch loves the way the paint dries in patterns of granulation, settling into the ridges of the watercolor paper while other paint mixtures settle out with heavier pigments sinking and lighter pigments floating over them. Still other pigments push paint to the edge of the water as they dry, leaving a dark line called a “bloom.”

“I love watercolor because it does all the beautiful things itself. I just limit where it does them on the paper by corralling, controlling and limiting where the watercolor paint can go,” Busch added.

Rod Busch, Marbled Godwit, watercolor on paper

Rod Busch, Marbled Godwit, watercolor on paper

About his work, Busch says he is trying to capture a moment in time and elicit calm joy in the viewer. He describes some examples. “My granddaughter Tess sucking on a cinnamon stick at four in the afternoon, after being pushed all over the historic village in Stockbridge, Massachusetts or a portrait of a green backed heron fishing on a log in front of pickerel weed on a sunny afternoon waiting for the minnows to circle in the whirlpool below him so he can strike his afternoon meal. They are portraits of sunshine passing over a stretch of sorrel on a moss covered log, or a group of 300 pip-stone butterflies getting drunk on minerals on a sandy spot by the Little Pigeon River. And because my paintings capture only one passing moment – they communicate an urgency – a call to look at the world around you this very moment, this very day. Savor it, enjoy it, and fondly remember it.”

Follow Rod Busch on Pinterest.

Learn more about other featured artists in this exhibition on our website and here on our blog in future articles.

Fifth Avenue South Invitational features NAA member artists


This gallery contains 10 photos.

During the Inn on Fifth expansion in downtown Naples you can view and bid on artwork by nine artists from the Naples Art Association. The Fifth Avenue Invitational Exhibition will be on display through October 30, 2012, and each work is … Continue reading

Naples Art Association Board President Stacey Bulloch named in Gulfshore Business Forty Under Forty

Stacey from GSB 40 under 40

Stacey Bulloch from Gulfshore Business’s photo shoot with all Forty Under Forty 2012 inductees.

Naples Art Association Board President Stacey E.J. Bulloch has been  named one of the 2012 Gulfshore Business Forty Under Forty, a recognition program for successful businesspeople age 40 and younger. We are proud of her achievements!

Stacey exemplifies a young leader – accomplished, loyal to her Naples community, and dedicated to its growth. Based on her ongoing leadership and contributions to the community, Stacey unquestionably merited consideration for this award.

Stacey is one of the rarest of commodities, a native Floridian. Born in Daytona Beach, Stacey’s family eventually relocated to Naples, and she is a graduate of Naples High School. Following her graduation from the University of Florida, Stacey returned to Naples with her husband to begin her professional career. Stacey is currently the Director of Operations for the Naples office of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers (LHA). LHA is a national auction house based in Chicago with offices in Naples, Palm Beach, Denver and Milwaukee. Stacey’s work at LHA has exposed her to many new Neapolitans and she is proud of the growth that the regional office has experienced. The Naples office will host three separate auctions of Florida residents’ tangible personal property during 2012 and sent over $4 Million in property up to Chicago for dedicated sales in 2011.

Stacey and Goddess Night 2012 committee

Stacey Bulloch (third from right) chairs the Naples Art Association fundraising event, Goddess Night. In this image, she captures a moment her 2012 committee. Photo Credit: Avant Garde Images.

In addition to her professional career, Stacey has dedicated herself relentlessly to her volunteer efforts, serving as a Guardian ad litem for Collier County and, over last several years, as a board member of the Naples Art Association. While finishing her first three year term on the board Stacey was elected president of the board of the Naples Art Association. Stacey and her fellow board members are focusing on cementing the art center’s place in the fabric of the Naples community. Originally founded in 1954, the Naples Art Association, along with the exhibitions, classes, workshops, festivals and lectures it provides, greatly enrich the Naples community at large. Additional programs such as ARTScool, a summer art program for children ages 5 to 14, provide an opportunity to give back to the children of Naples while introducing them to the arts, a widely recognized positive developmental force and indicator of future success.

In her free time, Stacey enjoys cooking, is an avid traveler and loves downhill skiing. She combines the two in annual ski trips with her husband, Rob. Locally, she also provides a home to their lovable (now spoiled) rescue dogs, Onyx & Nore.

Naples Art Association Executive Director featured on NDN NewsMakers

Executive Director Aimee Schlehr will be featured this week on Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle, which will air Sunday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. on ABC7. In her segment, Aimee talks about the business side of the arts and how the Naples Art Association stays focused on its mission to promote and advance education, interest and participation in the visual arts. As she describes, through every program, the NAA serves individual artists along their creative journeys.

Aimee Schlehr on NDN NewsMakers

Deadline tomorrow for National Art Encounter 2012-2013 in Naples

image from NAE 2010

From National Art Encounter 2010, Elizabeth A. Black, Naples, Florida
Man on Malecon, 2010, photograph on paper, 20 x 40 inches

It was two years ago today that National Art Encounter 2010 opened at The von Liebig Art Center. Now we’re seeking the next class of stellar artists to present their original work for this year’s exhibition. And now that our website is back up, there should be no glitches for anyone working to meet the deadline tomorrow afternoon.

Naples Art Encounter is a biennial visual art exhibition presented by the Naples Art Association.

The contest is open to all artists in the United States, and it is highly competitive. This program has been a resounding success, and we can’t wait to see what’s to come this season!

We have three distinguished jurors for National Art Encounter 2012-2013. Full details on what you’ll need to enter can be found on our artists’ information page.

Artists may enter their work for jury through Juried Art Services until tomorrow at 4 p.m. If you experience any technical challenges or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 239-262-6517.

Artwork will be on view Dec. 8, 2012 – Jan. 26, 2013 at The von Liebig Art Center.

Good luck to all artists!

GoDaddy outage affects

UPDATED Sept. 10, 10:29 p.m.: As you may have discovered, our site is back online. We are so grateful that this outage has been corrected. Thank you for your patience. We were interviewed by local NBC affiliate about how it impacted our business. We emphasized that we were most concerned about artists trying to reach us – we believe you deserve glitch-free technology!

earlier on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012

When GoDaddy went down on Monday, it took the Naples Art Association website and thousands of others down with it. Fortunately, there are still many ways to stay in touch with us! Stay tuned here on our blog or through our social media channels on Facebook: /vonliebigcenter, and Twitter: @vonliebigart. If you are trying to register for classes and workshops or trying to make the National Art Encounter jury entry deadline, we’ll be glad to assist you by phone at 239-262-6517. Email us anytime at (hopefully that keeps on working!)

Thank you for your patience and participation. We’ll update soon, so keep checking back.