Naples National Art Festival
Date: February 22-23, 2014 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Place: Cambier Park and along 8th Avenue in Naples, just steps away from Naples’ historic Fifth Avenue South
National Ranking: This is the #9 art festival in the United States according to Sunshine Artist Magazine, and has been in the top ten five years running.
Description: Because of its national ranking and the beautiful weather in southwest Florida during this time of year, Naples National draws some of the finest artists in the country. Together, they provide a diverse array of artworks that include original oil and acrylic paintings on canvas, panel and galvanized aluminum, watercolors on paper, 2D and 3D mixed media, limited edition prints, photography, digital art, metal sculpture, wood carvings, ceramics, art jewelry, leather works and more. There’s lots of art for every taste and pocketbook, so bring your credit card or checkbook.
The local community counts Naples National among its premiere, must–see events thanks to the high quality of art, the engaging personalities of the artists and the festive atmosphere. In 2011, more than 22,000 residents and visitors flocked to this outdoor weekend art festival to enjoy the art, live performances and festival food while basking in bountiful sunshine and Naples’ temperate winter clime. Festival goers took full advantage of the opportunity to meet the artists who created the amazing works on display and learn about their inspiration, techniques and lives on the art festival circuit. The artists in turn enjoyed interacting with the crowd of art lovers and potential collectors. Many have built ongoing relationships over their years of participation with repeat clients and collectors.
Entertainment is as much a part of Naples National as is the art, with a medley of performing artists taking to the stage in the Cambier Park Band Shell beginning at 11:00 a.m. each day. In the past, performers have included Opera Naples, the Naples Players (voted 9 times as the best live theater group in southwest Florida), the Naples Academy of Ballet, dance troupes, barber shop quartets and quintets, and the Hot Flashz, a dance team comprised of women ages 45 and over who entertained art enthusiasts on the first day of the 2013 Naples National festival.
Awards are presented to the festival’s top artists by on-site independent judges on the basis of artistic merit, design, vision, creativity, craftsmanship, technical competence, degree of difficulty, mastery of materials and marketability. The announcement of winners, including Best of Show, is made at the Band Shell at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Cost: A suggested donation of $5 is requested at the gate.
Parking: Parking is free and within easy walking distance.
Fundraising Gala. In 2013, the Naples Art Association introduced a pre-festival fundraising gala. More than 150 guests enjoyed the February 20th French-themed evening, which was held at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club. The cocktail hour featured a live painting demonstration by a number of NAA members, with French music, French wine, Kir Royales and French cuisine setting the mood for the themed evening. “Bleu Moon Over the Seine” also featured a chanteur performing a variety of smoky French bistro classics and a live auction of a dozen works of art donated by previous winners of Naples National events. In all, the inaugural event netted about $25,000 for NAA educational programming and building maintenance fund. 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 February 20, 2014.
Organizer: Naples Art Association
Event Director: Marianne Megela serves as Festival Director for the Naples Art Association. She joined NAA after serving as vice president and Show Chair for the Naples Artcrafters, where for six years she was responsible for organizing the art and craft shows they hold each fall/winter season in Cambier Park. Previous to that, Megela gained experience in what it takes to orchestrate a successful art show event while participating in hundreds of art shows through her photography marketing business, Artzefolks. Marianne holds a degree in commercial art from the University of Akron.
Facebook: None at present
Related Art Fairs and Festivals. Besides the Naples National Art Festival, the Naples Art Association organizes the following art fairs and festivals
- Art in the Park along Park Street in downtown Naples (first Saturday of each month, November, 2013-April, 2014)
- Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Festival, 5th Avenue South (January 4 & 5, 2014)
- Mercato Fine Art Festival, Mercato Shopping District (March 1 & 2, 2014)
- Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts, 5th Avenue South (March 22 & 23, 2014)
- Over 1,000 artists from around the country compete for 260 coveted spots at this prestigious art festival. Artists are selected by independent jurors to ensure the best quality artworks for festival guests to enjoy and purchase.
- “Naples National serves as our largest fundraiser,” says Naples Art Association Executive Director and CEO Joel Kessler. “It helps us fund art scholarships for youth and art programming for our community at large to enjoy. What many people don’t realize is that we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and the revenue we generate from our five major art festivals allows us to continue our mission.”
- The art scholarships mentioned by Dr. Kessler are for the non-profit’s summer education program for children and teens called ARTScool.
- Judges for the 32nd Annual Naples National Art Festival included Barbara Anderson Hill and Denise Gerson who both have more than 30 years of professional experience in the art world. Hill has served as a museum curator, art instructor, and show juror. She has judged more than 30 state and national art competitions and public art commissions. Hill served as The von Liebig’s founding executive director from 1998 to 2004.
- Cambier Park is located in the heart of Olde Naples just off the prestigious Fifth Avenue South. It is home to several state of the art facilities including The Arthur L. Allen Tennis Center, The Band Shell and the Norris Community Center. There is a unique community built playground, covered pavilion, lots of open green space and ample parking. The park is home to the Greater Naples Girls Little League National Champions and the Naples Art Association’s home, the von Liebig Art Center.
- The Band Shell was refurbished in 2001 to include increased stage area, restrooms, rehearsal area and a state of the art sound system (2006). Free concerts are scheduled throughout the year and include the Naples Daily News Jazz Band, Naples Concert Band, Gulf Coast Big Band and numerous other performing groups.
- In 1980, the NAA organized and held its first annual Spring Art Show in Cambier Park. This is the show that evolved into Naples National.
Related Articles and Links:
- Naples Art seeking graphic design for 2014 Naples National gala (07-17-13)
- Time now to apply for entry into Naples Art’s 2013-2014 festival season (06-24-13)
- 34th Annual Naples National Art Festival returns this weekend to Cambier Park (02-18-13)
- Naples Art introducing fundraising gala for 2013 Naples National Art Festival (01-31-13)
- Art festival season continues in February with big fairs, exciting venues (01-23-13)
- Artists need to plan now for next season’s Naples Art quintet of art festivals (05-17-12)
- Top 10 art festival Naples National invades Cambier Park next weekend (02-18-12)
- Naples Art Association’s 2011 art festivals earn to honors
- Naples National Art Festival returns on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26 and 27 
- Naples National Art Festival announces schedule of events
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- The tents go up for Naples National Art Festival, which starts today