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Random Acts of Art

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Random Acts of Art is a contemporary arts and craft boutique that specializes in original, hard-to-find art jewelry, pottery, glass, sculpture, furniture and more. The gallery boasts that “… from funky to traditional, whimsical to practical, we’ve got it.” Their claim is clearly spot on, as evidenced by the fact that the gallery’s patrons voted Random Acts of Art as the 2011 Southwest Florida Star Gift Shop.

Location. After spending four years on Fifth Avenue South, Random Acts of Art has relocated to the artists’ enclave in Crayton Cove. The gallery is located at 761 12th Avenue S, a block from the City Dock and Naples Bay. Revitalized in 1996 with a roundabout, new landscape and hardscape, and enhanced parking and pedestrian access, Crayton Cove contains an intriguing mix of offices, retail and marine businesses and upscale restaurants. So it’s no surprise that the art community has made Naples’ historic “town center” (which will celebrate its centennial in 2015) an exciting gallery district filled with history, fine dining and, of course, fine art.

Genres and Media. Random Acts of Art is a contemporary American craft gallery that exudes a quaint, whimsical  aura that makes visitors feel at home the instant they step inside. Much of the artwork in the gallery is functional. There is an aggregation of pottery, plates, bowls, vases, salt and pepper shakers and wine and bar accessories that you can use at home on a daily basis, as well as wood and metal furniture, mirrors and other home decor items. Other items are purely aesthetic, such as glass art, sculptural ceramics, and mixed media sculpture. Also found inside is a wide selection of art jewelry.

Ninety percent (90%) of the work in this gallery is handcrafted by artists and artisans residing in the United States, with the addition of a few special pieces made by artists in Canada and Europe. Random Acts of Arts is purely an arts and crafts boutique, meaning that you will not find original oils, acrylics or watercolors here.

Representative Artists. Artists featured by Random Acts of Art include:

Byron Wood. With more than 30 years of metalworking experience, Florida artist Byron M. Wood has built a reputation as a notable wildlife sculptor, although his repertoire includes more contemporary designs. He is one of the few metalworkers in the county who’s accomplished in cold forging, a  process that has evolved as an alternative to casting done hot in a foundry. The technique involves grinding bronze, copper, aluminum or steel into fine powder, which is then mixed with resins and a casting medium that is then poured or painted on the inside of a cast. As the quarter-inch skin hardens, it bonds with the resins and casting medium in a way that allows Wood to acid-etch, carve and hammer the surface before polishing the finished work into a lustrous sheen. However they are made, Wood’s tarpon, seagulls, herons, anhinga, osprey and fantasy fish are denoted by unique artistry and remarkable quality.  The finished pieces are pleasing to both the eye and the soul, for this generation and for those to come, and that’s one reason why they are among the first artworks seen by visitors as they enter the gallery.

Josh Simpson. Since learning glassblowing at Goddard College, Josh Simpson has made thousands of large and small planets, as well as tremendous glass platters that resemble the sun’s corona or Saturn and its rings. He has also crafted artificial meteorites that are physically and chemically similar to the real ones, embedded with glass inlays. The largest planets, a foot in diameter and weighing 50 pounds or more, are in the permanent collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Yale University Art Gallery and other institutions. Others have been included in the White House Collection of American Crafts USA Tour. But Random Acts of Art patrons can find Simpson’s

Natalie Blake. Natalie Blake’s pieces are thrown, carved, fired with stone-matte surfaces in rich colors, and finished with hand built lids in porcelain. Her carving is inspired by aquatic, botanical, industrial, and mythical elements. The sculptural components and layered colors create a lush depth of surface, an inviting texture, and a sense of three-dimensional space. Her carving has been referenced to folded fabric, conjuring the image of expandability through breath. Creating a piece that conveys fullness and ripeness is what satisfies artist Natalie Blake.

Hours. The gallery is open from noon to 9:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Telephone Number and Website. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-435-0668 or online at http://www.randomactsart.com. You may also follow the gallery on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RandomActsOfArt.

Ownership. The boutique is owned by Random Acts of Art, Inc. which was incorporated on June 13, 2007. Rani Raquel Richardson serves as president and CEO of the company. Richardson is a graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She has an 16 year background as the buyer, merchandiser and senior manager for Seldom Seen Gallery, Inc., a large high-volume craft gallery and gift store in Fort Lauderdale, as well as a photographer at Moment in Time.

Fast Facts.

  • As a public service to its female clients, the boutique holds Guys Shopping Night from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14th. No girls are allowed in the store that night, and Random Acts of Art provides the guys with food, beer and free gift wrap. To eliminate any possibility of mistakes, girls are encouraged to leave “Get a Clue!” cards with the shop just in case their guy suffers a brain cramp or Christmas anxiety.
  • The gallery moved in 2013 from its location in the Provident Jewelry building at 505 Fifth Avenue South.
  • The gallery participates each year in American Craft Week, a 10-day celebration in October of the work made by thousands of American artists and craft retailers who produce amazing handmade decorative and functional objects. American Craft Week is a project of Craft Retailers & Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT). CRAFT is an association of galleries, shops, schools and artists who are dedicated to presenting work with one common characteristic – it’s handmade in the U.S.A. The goal of CRAFT is to promote awareness of American made craft through marketing, networking, education and communications programs.

 

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Byron Wood’s cold-forged wildlife sculptures on sale at Random Acts of Art (04-11-13)

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