Naples Art Association inaugural gala sets the stage for upcoming 60th Anniversary

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More than 150 guests enjoyed a special French-themed evening for the benefit of the Naples Art Association On February 20, opening the 34th Annual Naples National Art Festival weekend. French music, beverages and cuisine set the mood for a themed evening, “Bleu Moon Over the Seine.”

NAA member artists demonstrated their talents as guests strolled around the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club sipping French wines and Kir Royales, the drink invented in Lyons to celebrate the U.S. liberation of that city during World War II. A French chanteur, Michelet Innocent, performed a variety of smoky French bistro classics. The evening was capped with a live auction of a dozen works of art donated by previous winners of Naples National events. A professional auctioneer from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers insured that bidding was enthusiastic, quick and widespread.

The Platinum Donor for the event was artnet AG. In addition, many individuals subscribed to patron tables, underwriting early expenses. In all, the inaugural event netted about $25,000 for NAA programs, including the children’s art scholarship program and community outreach. Many volunteers assisted with logistics helping to make the whole experience smooth and enjoyable.

This was the first event of its kind for NAA, and it has helped the organization prepare to throw an even bigger celebration for its 60th Diamond Anniversary event on Feb. 20, 2014. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements and activities in the works.

Individuals interested in volunteering on the 2014 gala committee should contact John Hushon.

Art in the Park concludes a fabulous 56th season

The "First Saturdays" festival Art in the Park drew a great crowd on on March 2, 2013. Representing about 70 Naples Art Association Member Artists throughout the course of the season, this event closes out its 56th season on Apr. 6, 2013

The “First Saturdays” festival Art in the Park drew a great crowd on on March 2, 2013. Representing more than 70 Naples Art Association Member Artists throughout the course of the season, this event closes out its 56th season on Apr. 6, 2013

Art in the Park, showcasing handmade, original art by Naples Art Association member artists, takes place on the first Saturdays of the month between November and April each year.  If you haven’t explored downtown Naples for Art in the Park this season, there’s still one more chance! Artists will be showing and selling their work on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free admission and activities all along Park Street and inside the von Liebig Art Center — just one block south of Fifth Ave. S.

April’s Art in the Park wraps up the show’s 56th season. It has been an exciting year, featuring more than 70 artists. Executive Director Aimee Schlehr says this show is a special benefit for the Naples Art Association’s members. “Art in the Park gives those member artists an opportunity to showcase their one-of-a-kind artwork, and the community gets the chance to engage with artists that live in their community,” Schlehr said.

First Saturdays also features make-and-take art projects for children of all ages for free. Instructor Kim Walbert leads the fun!

First Saturdays also features make-and-take art projects for children of all ages for free. Instructor Kim Walbert leads the fun!

This show has a lot of history in the community, but it shows no sign of slowing down. Over the past year, the organization’s noticed more artists applying than in recent past.  Schlehr says Art in the Park is made up of artists who are emerging and exploring more career opportunities, including young people on the rise as well as artists taking on new challenges in their retirement years.  “It’s great for showing and selling art as well as for professional development for the artists! As an organization with a strong educational and creative mission, these are just a couple of reasons we love Art in the Park.”

Families travelling to Art in the Park this year have had extra fun. Art instructor Kim Walbert has provided make-and-take art projects for children of all ages. This year, she’s shared creative ideas including monoprints, ornament design and more. On Saturday, join in the make-and-take action on the front deck of the von Liebig Art Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Click here and put Art in the Park on your calendar for April 6, 2013.

View the slideshow below for a look back at Art in the Park’s 56th season from November 2012 through March 2013

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Call for Artists! Camera USA: National Photography Award and Exhibition 2013

Camera USA Banner Ad - Naples DailyAll photographers residing in the United States are invited to submit one photograph taken in the United States after January 1, 2011 for the exhibition Camera USA: National Photography Award 2013. Deadline to apply is March 26, 2013.

A maximum of 50 photographs will be included in the exhibition, and a $5,000 grand prize award will be presented to one photographer. The grand prize award winner will receive a two-night hotel stay in Naples and round-trip air fare to attend the preview reception and award ceremony on Friday, June 14, 2013.

Our inaugural juror and award-winning photojournalist Harry Benson is back for his second year and joined by two new jurors: Ron Bishop, the director of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison State College in Fort Myers, and photographic artist Christopher Rauschenberg. This award is funded through generous donations from visitors to Naples Art Association events, exhibitions and festivals.

Apply online at JuriedArtServices.com.

Now in its third year, the Camera USA 2013 exhibition will feature recent work in color and black & white photography from photographers across the United States. It will be installed at The von Liebig Art Center from Jun. 17 through Aug.23, 2013.

Naples Art Association awards $8,000 in art scholarships

Alexis Simko, Tyler MacDonald, Ashley McGowan, Jessica Perez, Emilie Hofferber, Ashley Jannasch at the 2013 Jade N. Riedel Scholarship ceremony on March 21, 2013 at the von Liebig Art Center.

Alexis Simko, Tyler MacDonald, Ashley McGowan, Jessica Perez, Emilie Hofferber, Ashley Jannasch at the 2013 Jade N. Riedel Scholarship ceremony on March 21, 2013 at the von Liebig Art Center.

The Naples Art Association awarded $8,000 in merit-based scholarships to Collier County High School seniors on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at a ceremony at the von Liebig Art Center. Young artists were invited to submit works of art to the competition, which was open to all junior and senior art students in Collier County. Seniors planning to further their art education at the collegiate level were eligible for one of six $500 scholarships. Seniors who had been accepted to Ringling College of Art + Design were also considered for a $5,000 scholarship. In addition, all 29 Jade Riedel Scholarship artists now have their work on display at The von Liebig Art Center through April 13, 2013.

This year’s jurors were Dr. Larry R. Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art + Design, and Gallery Owner Roger Baker.

A $5,000 scholarship to attend Ringling College of Art + Design was awarded to Barron Collier High School senior Ashley McGowan.

Naples Art Association awarded six $500 scholarships to the following seniors:

Emilie Hofferber, Lely High School
Ashley Jannasch, Gulf Coast
Tyler MacDonald, Lely High School
Jessica Perez, Barron Collier High School
Alexis Simko, Community School
Nicole Drab, Community School

Jade N. Riedel Scholarship competition began in 1971 when members of the Naples Art Association initiated a college scholarship program designed to encourage young aspiring artists to realize their dreams of becoming professionals in the visual arts.

The scholarship’s namesake, Jade N. Riedel was an exceptional artist and Naples Art Association member who served as the chair of the scholarship exhibition program and was its chief fundraiser for many years. When she passed away in 1997, the Association renamed the scholarship in her memory.

The program has continued thanks to generous donations made during exhibitions, special events and festivals.

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Naples Art Association spring courses refresh your imagination

Carmelo Blandino, The Stillness Within, oil and spray paint on canvas. Take his floral painting workshop, April 4 -6.

Carmelo Blandino, The Stillness Within, oil and spray paint on canvas. Take his floral painting workshop, April 4 -6.

When all the weather warms up and the days get longer, many artists grow evermore passionate about creating.

“Springtime is significant for its renewal cleansing and growth. How much more inspiration can I possibly look for? Everything is alive even death as it renews itself through the fallen leaves,” said returning instructor Carmelo Blandino.

He will give a three-day workshop for the Naples Art Association at the von Liebig Art Center from April 4-6. The focus of his course, More Than Just Flowerswill be primarily on creating a floral painting using acrylics or oils, with emphasis on color, gesture of brush, work ethics and efficiency in a studio setting. “When looking at flowers I never really recognize it for its scientific botanical name or obvious characteristics such as color and smell. What jumps at me immediately is the source of life that courses through it and its vitality.

Of course, eventually color plays a vital role, but the design and shape of the flower, the balance and symmetry become very important to me,” Blandino said.

Spaces are still open for Tammra Sigler's workshop "Finding Your Mark and Running With it" on Mar. 25-26.

Spaces are still open for Tammra Sigler’s workshop “Finding Your Mark and Running With it” on Mar. 25-26.

Expressionistic artist and instructor Tammra Sigler says spring wakes up the senses. The extra hours of springtime light have an impact on her work.  “I have come to realize that light really does play an enormous part in my life,” said expressionistic artist and instructor Tammra Sigler. “My personal well-being and the joy in my painting seem to stem from light… Light brings joy and energy, and it gets transferred into my paintings.”

She loves shedding light on her students creativity, too.  She’s teaching a workshop Finding Your Mark and Running With It on March 25-26 at The von Liebig Art Center where students will work from a “model in motion” and move toward understanding how to shift toward abstraction in painting. “When you learn to see abstractly, to see form in a pure way, and to stop identifying what you see by name, anything and everything you see can be exciting.  A “trashcan” is not a “trashcan” but a dark green with a brilliant yellow (tool apron) against it, and against a bright blue contrast (painted wall.)   I am teaching my students how to stop seeing objects but, instead, to see juxtaposition. Color, form, shapes and relationships bring the world around us alive in a new way.  You will never be bored. There is always a new and original site,” Sigler said.

Take Anne Chaddock's Color Theory workshop on March 25, and saturate your artwork with vibrant hues!

Take Anne Chaddock’s Color Theory workshop on March 25, and saturate your artwork with vibrant hues!

Instructor Anne Chaddock loves the colors of spring. “All of them, but they are fresher, brighter, newer and cleaner.” But the one color she always keeps on hand is purple to enhance her painting. “Everything is, or contains purple. Purple is warm and purple is cool. People don’t see the purple in things around them, but it’s there. I have always told my students, “if in doubt…..paint it purple!” Chaddock leads a color theory workshop on March 25 and Wine and Dezine workshops on April 4 and May 9, where she’ll help her students add vibrance to their work. Color Theory will delve into the character of pigments, color mixing and the affect colors have on our senses.

Also, sign up for exciting March workshops by Kim McLaughlin, and Mary Sheehan Winn.

Session 5 classes begin the week of April 1, with opportunities in oil and acrylic painting, portraiture, watercolors, abstract, figure drawing, pottery, photography, photoshop, sketching and drawing, sculpting and more. There is something for all creative abilities in April from the beginner wanting to get started to the advanced student looking to take their skills to the next level.

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Naples Art Association welcomes crowds for Gruppe exhibition

The von Liebig Art Center attracted hundreds to the preview reception for Following Footsteps: Three Generations of Gruppe Plein Air Painters, the Adult Student Exhibition and the Members Gallery "Scene in Naples" show.

The von Liebig Art Center attracted hundreds to the preview reception for Following Footsteps: Three Generations of Gruppe Plein Air Painters, the Adult Student Exhibition and the Members Gallery “Scene in Naples” show.

Artists have always gathered together in their studios, in cafés or other places to share ideas, discuss projects, help and learn from each other. The give and take of sharing often grows into life-long friendships with artists influencing and encouraging each other. Family members also encourage each other to study and pursue art, but rarely do we see three generations of successful artists working in the same genre. Following Footsteps: Three Generations of Plein Air Gruppe Painters, on view now at The von Liebig Art Center, shows how Charles, Emile and Robert Gruppé are one such example.

Of the steady crowds stopping by, many have shared their appreciation for the family historical notes that accompany the artwork and their enthusiasm for the show overall. “I came from Fort Worth, Texas, to see this. I was not disappointed. Just Stunning,” George Everett said after his visit.

Four of 22 works in their premiere exhibition at the von Liebig Art Center.

Four of 22 works in their premiere exhibition at the von Liebig Art Center.

Following Footsteps features the first public display of twenty-two paintings by Emile Gruppé. Originally owned by Ralph Evinrude and Frances Langford, the artwork in this collection includes several depictions of the yacht, Chanticleer. Emile Gruppé he met and befriended the couple in the late 1950s and was commissioned to paint for them. For some guests, these works brought back memories. “My father was a pianist in Milwaukee. He was great friends with Ralph Evinrude. One evening my parents attended a party on the Chanticleer, and I went with them. I was nice and snug in one of the state rooms,” Shelly Sheridan Miller of Alexandria, VA remarked.

Many guests know the Gruppé family by their vast array of northeastern land and seascapes. Kathleen and Bill Butler of Washington D.C. said that’s what drew them, but they left knowing the artists’ work a little better. “My husband and I are quite familiar with the three generations of Gruppés, predominately their New England paintings. I was unaware of their paintings of Florida and Bahamas,” Kathleen Butler said.

Following Footsteps artwork came to the Naples Art Association from Robert Gruppé and his wife Jennifer with additional paintings loaned by Barbara McDonald of Naples and a painting donation from Stella and Peter Thomas, also of Naples. Robert and Jennifer Gruppé spend much of their time in Naples and also live in Gloucester, Massachusetts where they operate the Gruppé Gallery in the Rocky Neck Art Colony. The gallery was formerly Emile Gruppé’s studio. Each of the three Gruppé’s worked in the studio at one time or another. Many Naples residents who have commented on the show mention that they own a Gruppe painting or they used to watch one of the family members as they painted. “Just loved this exhibit. I remember seeing Emile painting on the beach when I came to Naples as a newlywed in 1962,” said Linda Condon of Naples.

Perhaps David Bedtelyon of Naples described the show best. “Outstanding paintings by the Gruppe family. The colors say it all.”

Jennifer Gruppe, Mary Ann Eberspacher, Robert Gruppe at the preview reception. As a longtime admirer of his work, Mary Ann was pleased to meet Robert.

Jennifer Gruppe, Mary Ann Eberspacher, Robert Gruppe at the preview reception. As a longtime admirer of his work, Mary Ann was pleased to meet Robert.

Following Footsteps is exhibited at The von Liebig Art Center through Apr. 13, 2013. Admission is free during regular art center hours, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations are accepted to support educational programming produced by the nonprofit Naples Art Association.

See more photos from opening night and follow the Naples Art Association on Facebook here.

Naples Art Association exhibition at Physicians Regional goes to the dogs

Jack Kenner, Bucka, black & white photograph, 12 x 18 inches, signed verso, jkenner©2013

What boosts the spirits more than our furry friends? The Naples Art Association’s newest exhibition, Dogs I’ve Nosed: Photography by Jack Kenner, honors the special wet noses and wagging tails in our lives. A reception with the artist is on Sunday, March 10, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Physicians Regional Healthcare System at 6101 Pine Ridge Road in Naples. The exhibition will be on view through July 22, 2013. Admission is free. Guests are asked to please leave pets at home when they visit.

Photographer Jack Kenner gets up close and personal with dogs. Both in front of and behind the camera, he has a certain way with animals. It is almost as if he can speak their language. With each photograph, Kenner captures the animal’s personality and character. He photographs all breeds of dogs, mixes of breeds and therapy dogs. During each photography session Kenner allows the dog to reveal itself to the camera. A process he refers to as “letting the dog show me the image.”

Kenner used to mainly specialize in industrial and scientific photography before reconnecting with his passion for animals. Kenner also owns a gallery located in Memphis, Tennessee. Locally, his work was previously seen at the Naples Art Association’s 2012 Naples Fall Fine Art and Craft Festival and 2013 Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Festival.

Jack Kenner, Split, black & white photograph, 18 x 12 inches, signed verso, jkenner©2013

Dog’s I’ve Nosed: Photography by Jack Kenner features a combination of thirty black & white and color images. The exhibition is installed on the second floor of the atrium lobby with additional photographs displayed on the ground floor in the coffee shop, registration area and by the pharmacy.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 6 am-8 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am-8 pm. Physicians Regional Healthcare System is located at 6101 Pine Ridge Road in Naples.

Artwork on temporary display at Physicians Regional Healthcare System supports the facilities healing environment and is presented for the enjoyment of patients, visitors and healthcare staff. As part of a supportive partnership between Physicians Regional Healthcare System and the Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center, three exhibitions are installed annually on the Pine Ridge Road campus.

The Naples Art Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 1954 by local artists with a mission  to educate and promote visual arts in Southwest Florida. Through its programs, the Naples Art Association is dedicated to serving individual artists of all ages and skill levels, along their creative journeys. The NAA operates The von Liebig Art Center, located at 585 Park Street in downtown Naples. It’s open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays in season.

Follow the Naples Art Association on Facebook here.