The Naples Art Association was founded in 1954 by a group of 30 local artists. The group exhibited artwork and met regularly to share ideas and paint. Many of the members volunteered with the local schools until the public school’s art program was established in 1956.
In 1957, the Naples Art Association organized the first “Art in the Park.” Still running today, it’s thought to be Naples’ oldest outdoor art show.
In the 1970s, the group collected funds to restore The Naples Depot. There they built art studio spaces and held the group’s first art exhibition in 1978. The following year, the organization began to offer adult art classes. They continued providing educational programs in that facility until 1998.
In 1980, was their first annual spring art show in Cambier Park. As it’s known now, the Naples National Art Festival has become the association’s largest fund raiser and is rated among the top 10 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine.
In 1992, the Association began meeting with the Naples City Council for a lease agreement to provide 8,000 square feet of public land in Cambier Park to build a community art center. In 1995, leaders signed an agreement and raised $3.5 million through private donations, including one from Suzanne and William von Liebig for whom the art center is
On November 22, 1998, the Naples Art Association officially opened The von Liebig Art Center. The 16,000 square foot, two-story facility features six studios, a main exhibition hall, rounds galleries, one of the area’s largest art resource libraries and a gift shop.
Today, the art association’s primary goal is to serve as a working art center where the community can access activities and events for all ages and learn about art through exhibitions and educational outreach.