Naples Art Association feature two two-day art festivals in March

In March, the Naples Art Association hosts two of Southwest Florida’s nationally top-ranked art festivals in two of the hottest spots in Naples!

Mercato Fine Arts Festival

The Mercato Fine Arts Festival, which is the association’s newest art fair, earned a national ranking of #73 (rising two ranks from 2010) from Sunshine Artist magazine. This juried festival showcases works in all media by 100 artists from across the country. Anchored by businesses including Whole Foods Market and The Capital Grille, Mercato offers a trend-setting, ultra convenient mixed-use lifestyle that combines luxury condo living, high-end retailers, restaurants and a premium movie theater all on one prime site, just minutes from the beach. Festival guests enjoy not only fine art but fine dining as well.

It also includes live entertainment on both days. On Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., the band Patchouli will play, and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. features Bob Zottola and the Expandable Jazz Band.


Photo credit: Debi Pittman Wilkey


Mercato Fine Arts Festival

March 2-3, 2013
Naples, Florida
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
U.S. 41 & Vanderbilt Beach Road
100 local, regional and national artists
Free Parking
Suggested $5 donation


Click here to learn more about the artists who will be there.


Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts

Held along 5th Avenue South in Naples, the Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts was ranked #21 best in the nation (rising three ranks from 2010) by Sunshine Artist Magazine. It’s coming up Mar. 23-24, 2013 and will showcase about 250 artists. Hosted by the Naples Art Association, this is one of the last major art festivals of the winter season in Southwest Florida. Artists are eager to meet shoppers and share with them more about their works!

Photo Credit: Debi Pittman Wilkey

Photo Credit: Debi Pittman Wilkey


Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts

March 23-24, 2013
Naples, Florida
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
5th Avenue South
Featuring 250 local, regional and national artists
Food Court, Free Parking


Both festivals feature a wide variety of original handmade by the artist art work. Guests can shop for ceramics, digital art, fiber art, furniture, glass, prints, jewelry, metal works, painting, mixed media, photography, sculpture, wood and more. Because of their variety, these festivals provide excellent opportunities to find something new and exciting! At both the Mercato Fine Arts Festival and the Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts, there is something for every art budget and taste!

The Naples Art Association gives special thanks to the generous sponsors of both of these festivals: Naples Daily News, Russell’s Clambakes, Lite 93.7, The News-Press Media Group, WAVV 101.1 FM, Costco Naples, and Gulfshore Life.

Naples Art Association (NAA) festivals provide a strong funding source for the nonprofit 501(c)3 organization’s  art educational programing in Collier County. The NAA has been hosting outdoor art fairs for 55 years.  Its mission is 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. For more information, please call 239-262-6517, visit, like us on Facebook at or follow Twitter at

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.