Saturday, April 4, 2020

Get off the highway

Do your part, take a short drive to see art. Photo by Tara O'Neill

Do your part, take a short drive to see art. Photo by Tara O’Neill

Get off the highway? I know, I know, last time I told you to Get out on the Highway. But c’mon! It’s summer. The roads are empty; the crowds are non-existent; and it’s the perfect time to visit all those places not so easily accessible in high season. So, before it’s suddenly December and you are w a a y too busy and the roads are…oh, what’s the word…terrifying, get out of your climate-controlled home and into your climate-controlled vehicle and drive to one of Collier County’s fabulous climate-controlled non-profit Art venues. Here are a few suggestions:

Museum of the Everglades, Tues – Fri 9-5, Sat 9-4, 105 West Broadway, Everglades City, 239.695.0008 www.colliermuseums.com

In winter, it can be difficult to enjoy even a short trip east on US41 when your eyes are snapping between the lurching motor home in front of you, the 18-wheeler that FILLS your rearview mirror, and the airboat-towing pick-up truck attempting to pass all of you before a west-bound motorcycle club comes abreast. But right now, it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s rainy season and the `Glades are lush, the wildlife plentiful, and the vistas generous. The Museum of the Everglades is a charmer. Faithfully restored to its 1920’s appearance, the museum is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It has permanent, as well as rotating, exhibitions, and is currently featuring Young Artists of the Everglades.

Art League, Marco Island Center for the Arts, Tues – Thurs, 12-5, 1010 Winterberry drive, Marco Island, 239.394.4221 www.marcoislandart.com

Marco Island’s Center for the Arts is an Island must-see. It houses two galleries that change their exhibits monthly and feature some of the best of area talent. The first Tuesday of every month, they host a delightful reception, 5:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. The Center has a gallery gift shop with museum-quality offerings. You can also investigate a wide variety of classes geared for everyone from the beginner to the professional. On display now: Multi-Media Meltdown II.

Collier County Museum, Mon – Fri 9-5, Sat, 9-4, 3301 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, 239.252.8476 www.colliermuseums.com

Near the Courthouse Complex, The Collier Museum has it all: artistic impressions by, and about, the Ancients, the Explorers, the Pioneers and the Seminoles. Nestled on five acres of Florida landscaping, pack your own picnic and linger in the Museum’s shady backyard.

Von Liebig Art Center, Mon-Fri 10-4, 585 Park Street, Naples, 239.642.6571 www.naplesart.org

Home to the Naples Art Association, the Von Liebig Center anchors the northwest corner of beautiful Cambier Park, just one block in from all the happenings on busy Fifth Avenue. There’s a Members’ Gallery featuring artwork by members of the Naples Art Association in a variety of artistic media, and it’s all for sale. The permanent collection, of mid- to late-Twentieth Century paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photography and mixed media, documents the legacy of artists who were influential in establishing Naples as a vital art community. The von Liebig Art Center currently holds a collection of 172 works of American art from 1950 forward. They also host a rotation of visiting exhibitions.

This is but a tiny sampling of all there is to see and do for the year-round residents and intrepid summer visitors. You have your list, now go on, get going!

Tara O’Neill has been an area resident since 1967. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the University of South Florida, Tampa, and currently has a studio-gallery at the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island. She can be contacted through her web site www.taraogallery.com.

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