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Naples Art Association introduces 'Dinner with Artists' fundraiser

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The Naples Art Association is adding Dinner with Artists to its popular ArtConnects lecture series. Dinner with Artists combines visual and culinary arts into unique evenings to remember, and on February 6, sculptor John Merchant will team up with culinary master Michael Kang to craft striking abstract sculpture paired with the best in non-traditional Chinese-French cuisine.

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To prepare for each Dinner with Artists event, a Naples Art Association member visual artist and a master chef will visit each other's work spaces to share their creative process, motivations and techniques. The result is displayed, served and savored during the event. Proceeds from the evening will benefit ART Connects programming which includes Dinner with Artists, lectures for the public and professional development workshops for artists.

The Merchant/Kang dinner will be held at Veranda E at Hotel Escalante from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 6. The restaurant has been described as "beyond cuisine" and "one of the most beautiful places to dine in Naples." They offer the ultimate culinary experience and are the only fine dining restaurant in Naples with their own on-premises sustainable organic garden.

Merchant's "images in stone" combine variations in surface, texture and shape that "best display the natural features of each stone." Veranda E's Executive Chef Michael Kang "builds seductive blends of Asian, American and European flavors on a plate with the skill of a master culinary architect." The two share a passion for color and design, and together they will delight guests' senses from palette to palate.

The evening features a presentation by John Merchant, creative cocktails, sit down dinner and wine pairing, and beverages. A pop-up boutique of the artist's work will be featured in The Hotel Escalante's Courtyard for the evening, and 30% of the proceeds will be donated towards the Naples Art Association's ART Connects programming. Space is limited. Tickets are available for $75 and are all-inclusive.

For more information, please visit or call 239-262-6517.