Collier County hosts many national art festivals and gallery/museum exhibits throughout the year. But there is one event that stands apart from the others and it’s happening Sunday, March 17, 11-5 PM. It’s the 11th annual “Five Painters & a Potter.” The uniqueness of 5P&P stems from the fact that it is comprised of nationally known artists all of whom work locally and have had deep roots in our community for decades.
The party – and it is most certainly a party as well as an exhibition – is held at Jim Rice’s Clay Place, 1555 Shadowlawn Dr. (corner of Davis Blvd.), in Naples. The venue is charming; old-growth trees form a canopy over winding paths and gardens enhanced with Rice’s pottery ranging from the whimsical to the monumental. Live music will fill the air and there will be plenty of refreshments to sustain you as you enjoy the art.
According to his web-site, potter Jim Rice “has converted his craft into a fine art and his works reflect confidence, vigor, and the joy of living.” From fish platters to fireplaces to pool tiles, his custom work and commissions are installed in private and public collection around the country. [www.naplesclayplace.com]
Jeff Fessenden is an artistic virtuoso: mural and trompe l’oeil, humor and caricature, fine art, and accomplished musician. He selects his medium depending on the needs of the individual project. It’s the pure joy of painting that keeps Jeff creating, “I love what I do, and I love the unique challenge of each job. The variety of subject matter always keeps me piqued.” (BTW: He will be a guest musician performing at the Goodland Arts Alliance‘s inaugural Harbor Arts & Music Festival on Sunday, March 10!) [www.fezzart.com]
Natalie Guess has been creating and teaching the fine art of batik for over 32 years. Her work is also installed in private, corporate, and museum collections throughout the country. Her technique involves both traditional batik (painting with hot wax and immersing fabric in colored dyes) and fine art batik (which involves the traditional process as well as hand-painted enhancements.) She and her husband, artist Phil Fisher, own Guess-Fisher Gallery, 810 12th Ave. S., at Crayton Cove. [www.natalieguess.com]
Phil Fisher works predominately in oil & watercolors and is commonly seen painting en plein air throughout the Naples area. His award-winning seaside images both soothe and stimulate viewers around the world. “I like to think my paintings as sanctuary for those whom feel anesthetized by technology.” [www.philfisherfineart.com]
World traveler Paul Arsenault, the fourth of the five painters, needs very little introduction in these parts. He is an outspoken activist for the causes he believes in, recently spearheading the movement that saved the lily pond at the Naples Zoo. He is dedicated to environmental protection and historic preservation and touches on these motifs frequently in his immediately recognizable paintings. Paul is responsible for the beautiful tile mosaic outside the Marco Island History Museum depicting life in an ancient Calusa village. His paintings are on view year round at Arsenault Studio, just a few doors down from Guess-Fisher on 12th S. [www.arsenaultstudio.com]
And now it’s transition time. I have been asked to be the fifth painter for the 2013 event. Historically this place has been held by famed maritime artist Jerry Vallez, who passed away last September. This year Five Painters and a Potter will be dedicated to his memory. (It’s an honor I don’t take lightly.) Some of Jerry’s work will be on hand, so in a way, he’ll still be with us.
It is my sincere hope that you will be on hand to experience the joyful interpretations created by critically-acclaimed artists, all of whom call Collier home. The setting is playful and the work premier.