On the first Wednesday of each month from November through April, the 28 galleries and independent artist studios that comprise the North Naples Arts Alliance open their doors to the public from 5-8 p.m. Called 1st Wednesday Underground ART, and it takes place tomorrow night, January 3.
The event is a unique opportunity to not only visit some of southwest Florida's most interesting galleries, but immerse yourself in the smells, sights and sounds of the studios of more than 80 emerging and mid-career artists working in a broad cross-section of genres and media. Tomorrow night:
- Sweet Art features Jack Wilentz, who will not only be exhibiting a series of impressionist cityscapes from Venice to Wall Street, but will be performing on the piano for the pleasure of the 1st Wednesday Underground ART crowd;
- Rosen Gallery & Studios features Tracy Magen Rosen: The Silly Series, inc which discarded wine boxes become small venues for "a day in the life" utilizing assemblage and collage.
Though it may be removed from Fifth Avenue South and the Third Street Gallery District, Shirley Street and the Pine Ridge Industrial Park seem to have more creative juices flowing than any other thoroughfare in town. Sandwiched between Goodlette Frank Road and Airport Pulling Road, the area acts as a refuge for local artists, allowing them to hone their craft with other like-minded artisans in an area that is still rent friendly.
“We have the largest concentration of professional artists in southwest Florida,” says Richard Rosen, owner and artist of namesake Rosen Gallery & Studios, and member of the North Naples Art Alliance. “We hear from so many people they never realized there were so many studios and galleries in the industrial park.”
This community of artists and artisans have pooled their resources to give Neapolitans the opportunity to not only explore this commune of creativity, but to experience art in action. Many studio and gallery owners are either working on projects, giving art demonstrations or holding special exhibitions during the three-hour Underground ART evening. This affords art lovers an unmatched opportunity to see the techniques and process that goes into creating a work of art for themselves.
“This is something special that people really seem to enjoy,” says Rosen.
Underground ART is free, and many of the galleries and studios serve complimentary wine and light fare. Participating galleries and studios have maps and information sheet so that you can find your way around the Pine Ridge Industrial Park, which lies north of Pine Ridge Road and west of Airport Pulling Road.
For more information, please telephone 239-821-1061.