The art fair and festival schedule shows little easing in March, with multiple shows available to art enthusiasts virtually every weekend.
On Saturday, March 2, Art in the Park returns to Park Street, adjacent to The von Liebig Art Center. Located just a block and a half from historic Fifth Avenue South, Art in the Park is within walking distance of trendy European boutiques, sidewalk cafes and iconic art galleries such as Sheldon Fine Art, Call of Africa's Native Visions Gallery and Shaw Gallery of Fine Art. The show is also just three minutes by car from fabled Gallery Row and the Third Street South Gallery District.
Since 1957, Art in the Park has been showcasing paintings in oil and acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass art, jewelry and wood-working created by members in good standing of the Naples Art Association. You can find more information on Southwest Florida's longest running fine arts and craft fair at http://www.naplesart.org/content/art-park-2011-2012.
The 4th Annual Mercato Fine Art Festival will be held Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3, 2013. The Mercato Shopping District, a high-end shopping center and condominium complex that is located at the corner of U.S. 41 and Vanderbilt Beach Road in North Naples. This is the Naples Art Association's newest festival, and participating artists will be out to avenge the rain and high winds that forced the cancellation of the second day of last year's festival.
“The Mercato is always open to holding special events, especially events that involve the community and nonprofits,” says Dougall McCorkle, senior vice president of the Lutgert Cos., the center’s developer. “Our merchants also love to have shows — art shows, car shows, wine tastings," and to encourage attendance, many of them offer discounts and specials for guests displaying their festival sticker. You can find more information about the Mercato Fine Art Festival at http://www.naplesart.org/content/mercato-fine-arts-festival-1.
On Wednesday, March 6, the 28 galleries and independent artist studios who comprise the North Naples Arts Alliance open their doors to the public from 5-8 p.m. Called 1st Wednesday Underground ART, the event is a unique opportunity to not only visit some of southwest Florida’s most interesting galleries, but to 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.
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. 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.