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Spotlight on the 20th Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair

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ON THIS PAGE YOU WILL FIND ARTICLES AND INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE 20th ANNUAL DOWNTOWN NAPLES NEW YEAR’S ART FAIR, AS WELL AS ARCHIVED ARTICLES ABOUT LAST YEAR’S EVENT.

 

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Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair bigger and better than ever (01-03-16)

Sun Dappled Day 12SNaples’ fabled Fifth Avenue South was snarled with traffic yesterday. But it wasn’t cars, vans and SUVs that were causing the congestion. With more than 280 artists’ tents stretching from U.S. 41 to 10th, Fifth Avenue was jammed with art enthusiasts eager to see the more than $15 million in artworks on display at this year’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair.

Sun Dappled Day 07SOrganized by the Naples Art Association, the fair is bigger, better and more varied than ever before. Every category of art is represented at the show – from original oils and acrylics on canvas, panel and galvanized aluminum to watercolors on paper, 2D and 3D mixed media, limited edition prints, photography, digital art, metal sculpture, wood carvings, ceramics, hand-crafted jewelry, leather works and more. And because of its consistently Sun Dappled Day 19high national ranking and the beautiful weather in southwest Florida during this time of year,  many of this year’s participants are nationally and even internationally-acclaimed.

And the weather did not disappoint on Saturday. It was a sundrenched, sundappled, sunkissed, sunsoaked kind of day on Fifth Avenue, with Ice Cream Breakshards of Southwest Florida sunlight cutting shafts of bright illumination through the long shadows cast by buildings, artists’ tents and the tall, spindly Washingtonians that populate the sidewalks along Fifth Avenue South. Festival-goers not only indulged their passion for art, but for gelatos and Kilwins’ waffle cones, tall glasses of freshly squeezed lemonade and glasses of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Kabinett.

But at this year’s fair, it wasn’t just about browsing and brunching. People with wrapped and packaged two and three-dimensional artworks were in evidence everywhere Sun Dappled Day 06one looked. Perhaps it is a sign that the economy is better for many of those who attended the show on Saturday, or the fact that the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair attracts a large proportion of out-of-towners who are in Southwest Florida for Christmas vacation. Or it might just be that the art on display is so diverse and high quality.

But judge for yourself. The festival has another day Sun Dappled Day 03to run. It opens at 10 and closes at 5. There is plenty of free parking within easy walking distance of Fifth Avenue.

Please click here for more stories about this year’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, and some of the artists who are participating in the show.

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People often ask Vermont artist Edward Loedding whether his work is a painting or a photograph (12-30-15)

Loedding 07Digital artist Edward Loedding is one of the artists bringing work to this weekend’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair. On first view, most people encountering a Loedding composition ask themselves, if not the artist himself, “Is this a painting or a photograph?”

Loedding would probably bristle at being Loedding 05pigeonholed as a digital artist. You see, that’s just medium as far as he is concerned. His art, by contrast, seeks to bridge the gap between realism and abstraction. He merely uses a smattering of digital tools to edit his own photographs in order to accomplish this overarching goal. “Elements of both [painting and photography] are merged together using digital tools to form a totally new way of creating art,” the artist explains on his website. “The tools I use are a digital SLR camera, computer, Adobe PhotoShop, digitizing tablet and Loedding 02stylus, and a modified Roland Symphony12 color printer.”

Loedding’s subjects include flowers and scenes of the Vermont countryside. “I choose my subjects based on geometries that provide potential for rhythm and harmony,” says Loedding. “Each piece of my art is a composite of multiple photos and additional elements that I create directly in the computer. The second step is orchestrating all of the gathered elements; deciding which elements to include and where they should be placed on the Loedding 01digital canvas. Once all of the pieces are in place, it’s time to make them work together. I transform all of the pieces individually, changing their size, orientation, color, shadows, highlights – everything – until they form a cohesive and lyrical composition.

Loedding 04Once he is satisfied with the structure of his composition, Loedding is ready to begin the painting. First, he breaks down the photographic qualities of the image and reduces it to very smooth areas of color. Then, using a combination of different digital paintbrushes, he begins to reshape those areas back into focus, changing every line, every curve, every detail, making them say exactly what he wants them to say, creating a Loedding 08perfect balance and harmony among all of the elements in the artwork. Finally, the art is printed on canvas using archival pigmented ink, varnished, and stretched. All of the images are presented as signed and numbered limited editions.

Although Loedding comes from a painting tradition, he finds that digital tools Loedding 09uniquely enable him to bridge the abstract/realism divide. “Abstract art is a re-creation of the process of conceptualization,” Loedding points out. “It has often failed because it is spoken in a strange and personal language that offers no common point of reference to the uninitiated observer. Abstract art has been esoteric at its best, intimidating and alienating at its worst. [At the same time], in our society, where an overabundance of imagery and information is easily accessible, realism is demoted to the status of data. Without a corresponding Loedding 12value judgment, its primary merit is merely its degree of accuracy …. My approach is not to blur the edges of realism or sharpen the focus of abstraction, but to create a common ground where the two can meet; not as opponents coerced into an uneasy balance, but as equal partners singing a new song with one voice.”

The resulting images are as layered and complex as the artist himself. “People generally don’t buy my work the first time they see it—they really need to see it a couple of times before they make that Loedding 11decision,” Loedding concedes. “And, I’ve been doing it long enough to understand that today’s enthusiasts are tomorrow’s customers.”

Toward that end, Loedding returns to Southwest Florida periodically throughout its annual art fair and festival season and, in addition to finding Loedding 10growing acceptance by area art collectors, he is winning critical acclaim as well. Last month, he was one of ten artists who received a coveted Award of Distinction at the Estero Fine Art Show at the Miromar Design Center.

This weekend, it’s Naples’ turn. You can find Loedding and his work in Booths 171 & 173.

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Local favorite Alina Eydel exhibiting at Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair (12-29-15)

Naples News Years Crowd Shot 18Organized by the Naples Art Association, the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair on January 2 & 3 promises to be bigger, better and more varied than ever before. Every category of art is represented at the show -, from original oils and acrylics on canvas, panel and galvanized aluminum to watercolors on paper, 2D and 3D mixed media, limited edition prints, photography, digital art, metal sculpture, wood carvings, ceramics, hand-crafted jewelry, leather works and more. And because of its consistently Naples News Years Crowd Shot 19jpghigh national ranking and the beautiful weather in southwest Florida during this time of year,  many of this year’s participants are nationally and even internationally-acclaimed.

One artist possessing this pedigree is Alina Eydel. Something of a child prodigy, Eydel has been ALINA_EYDEL_PHOTO-2009painting since she turned six. When Alina turned nine, her father made her a website that attracted her first collectors. By the time she turned ten, she’d amassed enough artwork to to begin exhibiting. Incredibly, she enjoyed her first solo exhibition in 2000 at SOHO La Gallery in Los Angeles. She was just 13. The following year, she had solo shows in Laguna Nigeul and Laguna Beach, and two years after that she began producing a nautical collection for Princess Cruise Butterfly Series 03Lines.

“I went on a cruise to Tahiti with my parents,” Alina explains. “They had a great art program on board and at the suggestion of the art director, I submitted my portfolio to the cruise line.” Not surprisingly, Princess loved it. Today, her paintings are also sold at auction aboard Cunard, Holland America and Disney.

Within the first decade of her career, Eydel has already achieved significant recognition as an artist. Oh, she has also sold more than $2 million worth of her artwork. Her paintings range in price from $2,000 to $40,000.

But in spite of success, she’s surprisingly unassuming. By contrast, her artwork is colorful, chic and refreshingly complex. Many of the paintings that Eydel will Butterfly Series 07take with her to the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair are likely to be from her Butterfly Series, which she started a handful of years ago. Don’t stress. It’s all eco-friendly. The wings are harvested on farms in India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Papua, New Guinea, The Central Africa Republic, Peru, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam when the butterflies reach the end of their relatively brief life spans. “Some of the species I use, like the Blue Morpho and the Madagascan Sunset Moth, were endangered before the butterfly farms stabilized and replenished their populations,” Eydel notes. The farms also prevent deforestation of valuable rain forest land by taking up space that might otherwise be appropriated for logging or agriculture.

Butterfly Series 06In addition to the international following that has resulted from the Cunard, Holland America and Disney auctions, Eydel’s stature as a rising art star has been enhanced by her inclusion in the permanent collection of her alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, which displays her acrylic painting High Five in the first floor atrium of Library East.

It’s rare to have the opportunity to view Eydel’s work in a setting as informal as an outdoor art festival, so make plans to visit her at the show. It runs on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. She will be in Booth 193.

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Metal sculptor Clayton Swartz has well-established pedigree as public artist (12-28-15)

Skyward 2012 Up CloseOne of the artists taking part in the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art fair on January 2 & 3 is sculptor Clayton Swartz, whose piece Skyward is part of the Florida Gulf Coast University public art collection.

Swartz started out as an abstract painter, a hobby he pursued while attending St. Petersburg College. However, after receiving his BFA in painting and sculpture from the University of South Florida, he began to transition into metal sculpture. Although he continued to paint (and even dabbled a bit in photography) during his 5-year tenure as an art Skyward in Late Afternoon Sun 02teacher at St. Petersburg’s Northeast High School, he increasingly favored metal sculpture, developing a unique style that concentrated on colorful biomorphic and abstract shapes that ranged from sea life to cityscapes. He then took to the road, exhibiting at art festivals throughout the state, quickly gaining a reputation and following that has enabled him to pursue art professionally since 2005.

Clayton Swartz 04“My medium lends itself more to public art,” Swartz told Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer Mike Brassfield in September of 2010. “It withstands the elements, and I tend to like to work big.” He was referring at the time to an 18-foot-tall aluminum sculpture by the name of Constellation that was on display in the landscaped medians of Cleveland Street as part of Clearwater’s Sculpture 360 public art program.

Swartz is perhaps best known for his 1,200 pound, 20-foot-tall sculpture at Park Station in Largo, The Heart of Pinellas. This monumental work aptly illustrates ConstellationSwartz’s signature style. The piece is crafted of brushed aluminum and features as host of interwoven geometric and biomorphic shapes. Swartz then finishes the sculpture with painted surfaces that utilize an automotive finish that gives the topography of his sculpture dynamic colors and an iridescent sheen.

In addition to Florida Gulf Coast University, Sculpture 360 and Largo’s Park Station, Swartz’s work has been included in such major public and corporate collections as the City of Pinellas Park, Pinellas Gateway Chamber of Commerce, All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg (which has 20 of Swartz’s signature brightly-colored creations), 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House Restaurant, Salt Rock Grill and Homewood Suites Heart of PinellasTampa/Brandon (which features Swartz’s 7-foot sculpture Shades of the Florida Reef to better connect extended-stay travelers with the community in which they are staying).

His credits include honors at the 2011 ArtFest Fort Myers (where his art was used as the design logo for the event’s T-shirts), the Award of Merit at the 34th Annual Mainsail Arts Festival in St. Petersburg in 2009 and a feature in The Tampa Tribune. Today, he showcases his work in his Pinellas Park studio, select galleries, art festivals and selected Tampa Bay charities.

At ArtFest 2014 X“My work blends modern abstract sensibilities with formal subjects.” His current work often contains ocean life, expressing Swartz’s abiding fascination with the sea and hobbies including scuba diving, spear fishing and boating. His sculptures often incorporate hearts, which symbolize his strong connection to his family and deep respect for life. “My modern abstracts illustrate a passion for vibrant color and form.”

Swartz prefers brushed aluminum because the At ArtFest 2014 Abright white metal shows off the layers of translucent color that he favors. “Stainless steel tends to mute the colors,” he explains. “Besides, it’s hard to transport and hang because it’s so heavy, and isn’t nearly as weather resistant as aluminum is.” Of course, aluminum is less forgiving. “Steel is more pliable and easier to weld. If you overheat aluminum, it just falls apart. But aluminum suits the bright, happy, saturated colors that I really, really like.”

Swartz uses an array of techniques and processes to create his aluminum sculptures. “My metal working process employs MIG and TIG welding, plasma cutting, and grinding. When Clayton Swartz 02fabrication is complete, the color process begins. Using an array of brushes, airbrushes and paint moving tools, I coat my work with a saturated translucent automotive finish. These special techniques are used to create vital effects in the work that treat each shape as its own abstract painting while simultaneously working in conjunction with the whole sculpture.”

“Because I have a specific style, when somebody sees a sculpture that I create, if they know my work, they know I did it – even if they’re driving by it at 80 miles per hour,” states the artist. “While I am continually refining my process, I stick with a specific style and color pattern so that my work continues to remain recognizable by people who are familiar with my work.” Toward that end, he steadfastly refuses to sacrifice his individual style in order to make his public artworks site specific, “something that tends to make public art feel stilted and anonymous in way too many instances.”

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Vincent Pompei bringing popular timepieces to this weekend’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair (12-27-15)

Vincent Pompeii 02One of the most popular booths at last year’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair was that belonging to metal artist Vincent Pompei. He returns this weekend for the 20th Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s festival.

Pompei is a clockmaker. He crafts massive working timepieces from flattened sterling silver serving trays, welded cutlery and gracefully twisted forks, Vincent Pompeii 03spoons and related pieces of flatware. “Even in my category, my work is so unique it makes it easier,” he told art critic Emily Jane Scott not long ago. “There’s not another guy on the other side of [the show] doing the same thing.” And true enough, the conundrum facing prospective buyers is not between one of Pompei’s clocks and a similar work by some other sculptor, but whether to go large, intermediate or small.

Dressed in a striped polo shirt and brimmed fishing hat, the bearded St. Petersburg, Florida artist looks the part at last year’s show. But he’s totally Vincent Pompeii 05engaging, and clearly relished the chance to chat about his clocks with the people who stopped to admire his work. Most were twenty or even thirty years his senior, and their connection with the components of Pompei’s clocks was almost palpable. Some gazed unabashedly at the swinging fork and spoon pendulums as though recalling some bygone dinner party, Thanksgiving or wedding reception at their home or, more likely, that of their folks or grandparents.

Vincent Pompeii 01It mattered not to Pompei. He seemed willing to engage folks on their terms, whether that involved discussing mechanics, components or accompanying them on a leisurely trek down memory lane. “It’s not about you buying a clock,” he told one woman emphatically. “It’s about you buying the clock that’s just right for you.”

Ironically, for a man who has spent nearly his whole life creating devices that measure time, Pompei has trouble recollecting dates or even Through the Geraniumsestimating the amount of time it took him to complete a particular piece. But it’s obvious that the labor-intensive assembly is both time-consuming and tedious. And then there’s the time it takes Pompei to find inventory at flea markets and estate sales – although sometimes people show up at his booth at an art fair and hand him a box of silverware that they received years ago as a wedding gift.

But even when that doesn’t happen, foraging for spare parts is time well spent.

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Artist Edward Park heads list of notable locals exhibiting January 2 & 3 at Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair (12-26-15)

Edward Park 01The 20th Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair on January 2 & 3, 2016. Among the area artists exhibiting in the show is Naples artist Edward Park.

It is difficult enough to master one genre, but Park is accomplished in three. Take a jaunt around his booth this weekend and you will quickly find that he is equally adept at impressionism, realism and abstract art.

Edward Park 03A graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design who also studied at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France, Park has been painting for half a century. Today, he is acclaimed internationally for brilliant color combinations and remarkable palette knife technique. Nowhere is that more evident than in his fall scenes, where he engrafts layer upon layer of oil on top of his linen support to fashion dazzling, dappled forest scenes in yellows, orange and red.

Park groups his paintings into several series: American landscapes, European scenery, modern impressionism, his road series and his Garden of Eden. “But my most popular paintings are my rowboats,” notes the artist. “They instill calm and serenity,” he explains with the Edward Park 04aura of a master in Zen or transcendental meditation. Without outboard motors, rudders or oars, they encourage viewers to reflect on the source of their own inner peace and direction.

Park operates out of his 2,000 square-foot studio and gallery at 1719 Trade Center Way in Naples. “I have been at Naples Fine Arts Studio and Gallery Parked in front of Parkfor 18 years,” he notes proudly of his stability and longevity in the notoriously volatile art market. His is a career decorated by an extensive list of awards, commissions and other honorariums.

If you haven’t experienced Park’s works, you can view them at Naples Fine Arts Studio and Gallery or the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair. You will find him in Booths 88 and 90.

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Naples fine art photographer heads list of artists participating in January 2 & 3 Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair (12-25-15)

unnamedThe Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair invades Fifth Avenue South on January 2 & 3. Among the area artists that this juried show will feature is Naples fine art photographer Jack Megela.

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Megela studied Criminal Justice at Lorain County Community College while working as a State Trooper with the Megela 03Ohio Highway Patrol. Later, he attended Kent State University and while working as a Detective Sergeant with the Canton, Ohio Sheriff’s Department, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement Administration.  Having extensive training in all aspects of photography from camera Megela 01work to darkroom developing and printing, he put his skills to work during his daily regiment in everything from traffic fatalities to major crime scenes of all types, including numerous homicide investigations.

After retiring from law enforcement, Jack returned to Kent State University to pursue a Megela 05curriculum in Art and Fine Art Photography. He then travelled the United States by recreational vehicle, visiting all 49 land bound states before he and his wife, Marianne, settled in Naples near the edge of the Fakahatchee Strand and The Big Cypress National Preserve.

Megela now spends many hours each week photographing in the Florida Everglades and on the beaches in the Gulf of Mexico, where he directs his photographic experience toward nature and landmarks in and around the City Of Naples. “It has been a long road from investigating, documenting and photographing human tragedy as a law enforcement officer to photographing in the quiet magnificence of nature,” Jack shares. “It’s been a transition from a world of violence, chaos and Megela 06tragedy to a world of peace and tranquility, a world that makes sense. Art makes sense, embracing us as it gives us refuge from catastrophe and despair.”

Over the past 20-plus years, Megela has participated in hundreds of juried outdoor art shows and exhibitions at venues throughout the United States. He has received more than 45 awards for his photographs and his work is held in numerous corporate and private collections all over the world. In addition to the Artists’ Gallery, you can see his work this weekend at the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair. You will find him in Booths 70 and 72. The show opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. each day. In addition to fine art, there is great food and free live entertainment from world-class favorites.

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Naples Art Association outdoor art festivals make the grade (09-03-15)

Giraffe CrossingThis just in. The September 2015 issue of Sunshine Artist Magazine has identified its 100 Best Fine Art & Design Shows in the country, and each of the Naples Art Association’s winter art festivals made the list, with:

For more information on each art festival, please click on the hyperlink provided above.

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Naples Art Association now accepting applications for 20th Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair (06-21-15)

East Entry 02The Naples Art Association is currently accepting applications for inclusion in its three outstanding outdoor art festivals, The Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, Naples National Art Festival and The Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts.

Start your new year off in sunny Florida. New opportunities await you at the 20th Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair. This fine art festival draws professional artists from around the country and is ranked as one of the 100 Best Naples News Years Crowd Shot 03Fine Art Shows in the U.S. by Sunshine Artist Magazine.

If you are interested in exhibiting at this show, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, January 2-3, 2016
  • Festival Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Max accepted: 254 artists
  • Application fee: $25
  • Booth fee: $450 for 10×10
  • Crowd Shot with Flowers 05Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 11/27/15; 50% refund: 12/11/15
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m. early morning set up only: On street set up in quads; No electrical
  • Application deadline: 10/1/15
  • Jury Process begins: 10/16/15
  • Status Notification: 10/22/15
  • Booth Fee Due: 11/5/15
  • Aerial 2Artist Info Sent: 12/10/15
  • Wait List Acceptance: 11/12/15
  • Application available online at juriedartservices.com beginning June 1, 2015

See more at: http://www.naplesart.org/callforartistcat/festival-opportunities/#sthash.QFKVV19N.dpuf.

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Naples Art announces that next year’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair will be on January 2 & 3, 2016 (04-02-15)

Naples News Years Crowd Shot 19Besides a new year and new opportunities, part of the attraction of the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair is the opportunity for festival goers to casually amble through booths and tents set up under the tall oaks that shade this flower-adorned thoroughfare that’s framed by Mediterranean-style buildings housing banks, real estate and stock Through the Geraniumsbrokerages, European-style boutiques, high-end jewelry stores, prestigious art galleries and some of the finest ristorantes, bistros and outdoor cafes in all of southwest Florida. The Naples Art Association has announced that next year’s fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 2, and Sunday, January 3, 2016. Please click here for all new photos from this January’s art fair.

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BELOW ARE ARTICLES POSTED ON ARTSOUTHWEST FLORIDA ABOUT THE 19TH ANNUAL NAPLES NEW YEAR’S ART FAIR, WHICH WAS HELD ON JANUARY 3 & 4, 2015.

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Teresa Hansen children’s sculptures capture spirit, personality and likeness at a moment in time (01-14-15)

boyhoodAt last Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, a film by the name of Boyhood won best motion picture, with Richard Linklater receiving accolades as best director and Patricia Arquette taking best supporting actress. Among the factors that made Boyhood so special is the fact that it was filmed over the course of 12 years. Its two child star literally grow up and Arquette and co-star Ethan Teresa Hansen 11Hawke age right before the audience’s eyes. There may be no one who can better appreciate what Linklater has achieved than Loveland, Colorado sculptor Teresa Hansen. Because she casts bronzes of children, her subjects often grow, age and change between the time she starts and completes her commissions.

“I did a commission of three children for a couple in North Carolina that took me a little more than a year to finish,” Hansen recounted at the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair a couple of weeks ago. “By the time I delivered them, the children’s faces, bodies and even their personalities had Teresa Hansen 01changed quite a bit. But the kids and their grandparents were happy anyway. They’ll always have enduring 3-dimensional images of what they were like at that moment in their development.”

That is especially true with Hansen’s sculptures because she assiduously endeavors to capture not just the likeness of each subject’s face and figure, but their spirit and personality as well. Her overarching intent is to communicate true, Teresa Hansen 02universal feelings expressed within a fleeting, ephemeral moment in time.  The admiration of her work along with her acknowledgements and awards reflect this ability.

Her process is time-intensive. While Teresa often works from photographs, she prefers to visit her clients and subjects so that she can observe them in their natural surroundings and view the place where the sculpture is to be installed. She then creates an oil-based clay model for the client and Teresa Hansen 03pgsubject to review, which she tweaks and modifies based on the feedback they provide. At this point, she encases the original sculpture in layers of rubber supported by plaster. Most sculptures are rendered in multiple parts, with the head being one part of the mold, an arm another, and so forth. The original is now removed from the mold leaving the negative space inside.

“Wax is poured into the mold and then poured out evenly coating the interior walls of the mold,” Teresa explains. “About three coats of wax are needed in Teresa Hansen 04Sorder to make a hollow wax replica of the original sculpture. After cooling, this hollow wax replica is removed from the mold and any surface imperfections in the wax are corrected. This part of the process is referred to as ‘wax chasing.’ And once that’s done, wax rods or ‘sprues’ are added to guide molten metal into the piece, as are vents to release air when the metal is poured. The piece is then dipped into a heat resistant liquid or ‘slurry,’ and coated with a heat resistant sand or stucco. Six Teresa Hansen 05to twelve coats are required, and each has to be completely dry before the next coat can be applied.”

But Teresa is far from finished. After the ceramic shell is fully dry, the piece is inverted and placed in a kiln at 1800 degrees, which hardens the shell. The wax melts and pours out of the ceramic shell. This empty ceramic shell is placed in a sand pit Teresa Hansen 08with the pouring cup at the top. Molten bronze heated to 2200 degrees is poured into the cup and down through the “sprues” into the cavities of the shell. After a cooling period the shell is broken away revealing the bronze casting. The next stage is metal chasing out any imperfections. The sprues are cut off, the sculpture is sand blasted, and any parts that were separately cast are welded back Teresa Hansen 09together. Then, finally, various compounds are brushed or sprayed onto the metal to create the “patina.” Using hot and cold techniques, different formulations are applied to create a variety of colors.

“It’s a 4,000-year-old process known as cire perdue or lost-wax metal casting,” Teresa noted with pride amid the ebb and flow of the crowd at Teresa Hansen Bonita 02the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair. “Although materials have improved and new technology is employed, each step of the process of casting bronze today is the same as that used thousands of years ago.”

And it’s also why commissions can take a year or more to complete.

But the effort is well worth the time.

Among Teresa’s most recognized commissions are Teresa Hansen Bonita 01Healing Touch at McKee Hospital in Loveland, Colorado, Lil’ Bo Peep and Lil’ Red Riding Hood at R. W. Norton Art Gallery and Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana, Star Struck at University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, Hunter at Memphis Botanic Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, and Turning Teresa Hansen Bonita 03Point installed to honor the inventor of snowboarding, Sherman Poppen.

“Each piece of art is a learning opportunity and a new discovery,” Hansen states expansively. “ I am inspired by my diverse life experiences, most precious memories and my vision of the future.  As our lives can change in seconds, an expression, feeling, or emotion can change with the slightest movement of clay, pencil, or brush leaving a Naples News Years Crowd Shot 18jpglasting impression.  My desire is to capture genuine emotion of each moment and to evoke a smile and a feeling of joy in all those who see my sculpture.”

Teresa realized that art was her calling early on, and memories of time spent in front of her grandparents’ fireplace on cool rainy days fueled her desire to be a full-time artist.  She followed this path by taking classes in various media, and while she became skilled in pewter, pencil, paper cast, Naples News Years Crowd Shot 19jpgwatercolor and oil, her media of choice is and has always been three-dimensional and relief bronze.

To perfect her craft, she moved to Loveland, Colorado to work with several renowned sculptors who helped her take her abilities to the next level. (Bonita Springs residents and visitors may recall that Loveland is also home to monumental Setting the Pace 01sculptor Jane D. Decker, who created Setting the Pace, Lords of the Forest and The Ties That Bind, three bronze sculptures that the City of Bonita Springs’ Art in Public Places Board purchased in 2007.) It didn’t take long for Loveland to recognize Hansen’s unique ability to work in fine detail and capture likeness in stylized realism and figurative sculpture. Today, Teresa dedicates herself fully to her work, often conscripting her children and grandchildren as muses and hand models for specific pieces. In fact, her son Jason became so enamored of his mother’s talent and process over the years that he has followed in her footsteps, something that gives Crowd Shot with Flowers 01Teresa even greater pride than the numerous awards and accolades she has received over the course of her career.

Hansen credits her success on her ability to see things in people, nature and the objects that surround her that the rest of us miss. She notices the energy in every movement and sees the detail of every feature.  She intently studies her Crowd Shot with Flowers 05environment to be more precise and accurate in her work.  That is why if you were to ask Teresa how much time she spent on a particular piece, her answer would inevitably be: “My whole life”.  While each piece is uniquely different, each shows her natural talent and the depth of her experience.

If you missed Teresa at the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, you’ll have one more opportunity this show season to meet her and preview her work. Hansen will take part in the Naples National Art Festival in Cambier Park on February 21 and 22. For more information, please visit www.naplesart.org.

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Timepieces by Vincent Pompei among the most popular artworks on display at this weekend’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair (01-04-15)

Vincent Pompeii 02The art on display at this weekend’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair was as diverse as it was exceptional. Every discipline, medium and motif was represented. But one of the most popular art stops at the two-day art festival was the dark brown clapboard alcove belonging to sculptor Vincent Pompei.

Pompei is a clockmaker. He crafts massive working timepieces from flattened sterling silver serving trays, welded cutlery and gracefully twisted forks, Vincent Pompeii 03spoons and related pieces of flatware. “Even in my category, my work is so unique it makes it easier,” he told art critic Emily Jane Scott not long ago. “There’s not another guy on the other side of [the show] doing the same thing.” And it was clear on Saturday and Sunday that the conundrum facing prospective buyers was not between one of Pompei’s clocks and a work by some other sculptor, but whether to go large, intermediate or small.

Dressed in a striped polo shirt and brimmed fishing hat, the bearded St. Petersburg, Florida artist looks Vincent Pompeii 05the part. But he’s totally engaging, and clearly relished the chance to chat about his clocks with the people who stopped to admire his work. Most were twenty or even thirty years his senior, and their connection with the components of Pompei’s clocks was almost palpable. Some gazed unabashedly at the swinging fork and spoon pendulums as though recalling some bygone dinner party, Thanksgiving or wedding reception at their home or, more likely, that of their folks or grandparents.

Vincent Pompeii 01It mattered not to Pompei. He seemed willing to engage folks on their terms, whether that involved discussing mechanics, components or accompanying them on a leisurely trek down memory lane. “It’s not about you buying a clock,” he told one woman emphatically. “It’s about you buying the clock that’s just right for you.”

Ironically, for a man who has spent nearly his whole life creating devices that measure time, Pompei has trouble recollecting dates or even Through the Geraniumsestimating the amount of time it took him to complete a particular piece. But it’s obvious that the labor-intensive assembly is both time-consuming and tedious. And then there’s the time it takes Pompei to find inventory at flea markets and estate sales – although sometimes people show up at his booth at an art fair and hand him a box of silverware that they received years ago as a wedding gift.

But even when that doesn’t happen, foraging for spare parts is time well spent.

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Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair bigger and better than ever (01-03-15)

Crowd Shot with Flowers 01Naples’ fabled Fifth Avenue South was snarled with traffic today. But it wasn’t cars, vans and SUVs that were causing the congestion. With more than 280 artists’ tents stretching from U.S. 41 to 10th, Fifth Avenue was jammed with art enthusiasts eager to see the more than $15 million in artworks on display at this year’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair.

AerialOrganized by the Naples Art Association, the fair is bigger, better and more varied than ever before. Every category of art is represented at the show -, from original oils and acrylics on canvas, panel and galvanized aluminum to watercolors on paper, 2D and 3D mixed media, limited edition prints, photography, digital art, metal sculpture, wood carvings, ceramics, hand-crafted jewelry, leather works and more. And because of its consistently Naples News Years Crowd Shot 19jpghigh national ranking and the beautiful weather in southwest Florida during this time of year,  many of this year’s participants are nationally and even internationally-acclaimed.

One artist possessing this pedigree is Alina Eydel. Something of a child prodigy, Eydel has been painting since she turned six. When Alina turned Alina Eydel 01nine, her father made her a website that attracted her first collectors. By the time she turned ten, she’d amassed enough artwork to to begin exhibiting. Incredibly, she enjoyed her first solo exhibition in 2000 at SOHO La Gallery in Los Angeles. She was just 13. The following year, she had solo shows in Laguna Nigeul and Laguna Beach, and two years after that she began producing a nautical collection for Princess Cruise Lines.

190 (3)“I went on a cruise to Tahiti with my parents,” Alina explains. “They had a great art program on board and at the suggestion of the art director, I submitted my portfolio to the cruise line.” Not surprisingly, Princess loved it. Today, her paintings are also sold at auction aboard Cunard, Holland America and Disney.

Within the first decade of her career, Eydel has already achieved significant recognition as an artist. Oh, she has also sold more than $2 million worth of her artwork. Her paintings range in price from $2,000 to $40,000.

186 (2)But in spite of success, she’s surprisingly unassuming. By contrast, her artwork is colorful, chic and refreshingly complex. Many of the paintings that Eydel brought with her to the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair are from her Butterfly Series, which she started a handful of years ago. Don’t stress. It’s all eco-friendly. The wings are harvested on farms in India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Papua, New Guinea, The Central Africa Republic, Peru, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam when the butterflies reach the end of their relatively brief life spans. “Some of the species I use like the Blue Morpho and the Madagascan Sunset Moth were endangered highfive1 (2)before the butterfly farms stabilized and replenished their populations,” Eydel notes. The farms also prevent deforestation of valuable rain forest land by taking up space that might otherwise be appropriated for logging or agriculture.

In addition to the international following that has resulted from the Cunard, Holland America and Disney auctions, Eydel’s stature as a rising art star has been enhanced by her inclusion in the permanent collection of her alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, which displays her acrylic painting High Five in the first floor atrium of Library East.

It’s rare to have the opportunity to view Eydel’s work in a setting as informal as an outdoor art festival, so make plans to visit her tomorrow at the show. It runs on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Glass artist Scott Amrhein one of more than 280 artists participating in this weekend’s combo Downtown Naples New Year’s and Art in the Park art fairs (01-01-15)

Scott Amrhein 01The 19th Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair opens on Fifth Avenue South this Saturday. Among the more than 280 artists participating in the two-day show and associated Art in the Park art fair is glass artist Scott Amrhein.

Amrhein characterizes his creations as evolutionary art glass, a term he uses to signify that he continually refines the process he developed to fire the glass at his Wisconsin atelier, Glass Art Logo TooHigh Cliff Studio. To produce the beautiful organic patterns that have become the signature of each bowl, Scott applies a metallic glaze before he heats and stretches the glass in his kiln. But the glaze resists stretching, resulting in markings as unique as a fingerprint or the iris of the human eye. No two are ever the same.

Even the elliptical design of many of Amrhein’s bowls came about as the result of trial and error. “I was trimming the glass on a bowl one day,” Scott explained at a break during the Bonita Springs National Art Glass Art Logo ThreeFestival in January of 2012,” and one side cracked in an arc. I loved the pattern I’d gotten and didn’t really want to throw away the glass, so I decided to cut the other side to match.” The elliptical design became so popular, it is now a trademark of Amrhein’s lumen bowls.

“To complement the lumen bowls,” says Scott, “we have designed and fabricated a variety of primitive Viewer 03pedestals from charred wood and patinaed copper resulting in a striking presentation and a soothing blend of textures. Simplicity of design and the absence of primary color is beneficial when displaying this art in various settings.” The striking pedestals are yet another example of Scott’s unique and exceptional hand-crafted artwork.

Viewer 01Amrhein’s art glass has garnered numerous awards, including in just 2014 Best in Shows at the Port Clinton Art Festival in Highland Park, Illinois and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, an Award of Excellence at the Lakefront Festival of Art in Milwaukee, and Awards of Distinction in Art on the Square South Lake, Texas and Naples National Art Festival. As expected, his lumen bowls are coveted both by collectors and galleries and museums nationwide. Because they Glass Art with Ribboncomplement most architectural styles and home decor motifs, they work as well in showcase homes in Palm Beach as they do in rustic weekend retreats in Colorado and Wyoming. Today over 90 galleries in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico display the lumen bowls, including the Corning Museum of Glass in New York and the Los Angeles Museum of Art.

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More than 280 artists and 62 new faces will display their art at the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair (12-30-14)

From the Street 5The Naples Art Association presents two festivals the first full weekend of January.  Crowds in the thousands will attend the 19th Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, one of Southwest Florida’s favorite art festivals. It is a two-day Southwest Florida tradition during which Fifth Avenue South is closed to vehicular traffic and pedestrians are free to roam the boulevard as more Violinist 02 (2)than 200 artists from across the country set up booths containing more than $15 million in fine art. And as an added bonus, the Naples Art Association presents its monthly Art in the Park festival on Saturday only, which exclusively features association member artists. Naples’s oldest outdoor art show, Art in the Park is in its 58th season!

Together, the two shows feature an exciting 062 (5)variety of original paintings, photographs, unique décor, wearables, collectibles, gifts and more. In total, more than 280 artists will be exhibiting in downtown Naples.

The Naples Art Association is known for its nationally high-ranking art festivals, but part of what makes this one stand out is the timing. Jody Anagost2Traditionally, says Events Coordinator Jody Anagnos, the buzz of the new year fuels the excitement. “There is a renewed spirit of optimism and hope (among the artists and the attendees) that comes with the start of a new year. Everyone is happy. This festival allows people an opportunity to find that special personal, one–of-a-kind gift to themselves or something that will brighten their home for the new year.”

There are about 62 first-time artist participants taking part in this year’s Downtown Naples New Year’s Fine Art Fair, so festival-goers will find many new faces and a lot of new Street Shotart. Artists on view hail from all over the country.

Artists are juried into the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair by a panel of judges through the website Juried Art Services. Credentialed officials from around the country score applicants based on images of their work and their booth displays.

The fair takes place on Saturday and Sunday, January 3-4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and there is ample free parking within easy walking distance of Fifth Avenue.

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