Why in the world are art lovers converging on Shirley Street, the traditionally industrial neighborhood in Naples? I’m guessing it’s for a chance to see fine artists of all genres at work in their studios. Okay, I’m not guessing, I’m filthy with inside information.
Shirley Street Galleries and Studios, formerly the notorious Shirley Street 16, is a group that began with five members eight months ago and has grown to include 23 artists. A diverse group of Florida artists, each studio showcases unique and original art.
Fine Art Watercolorist Barbara Groenteman, who moved her gallery to Shirley St. this summer, calls it a place where visitors “can find new and exciting art work in an interactive environment.” And Cynthia Adams, well-known mixed-media artist, treasures her own “proximity to a great and diverse group of artists; we share ideas, resources, and a little motivation when needed.”
“Bringing people into the studios, letting them see where the art is made, has turned out to be a rich experience for both visitor and artist,” says potter Annabelle Johnson, adding “Having so many different mediums right nextdoor to each other creates the perfect atmosphere. Our slogan is ‘Art in any Direction,’ and we deliver that.”
That’s not all they’re delivering, this season. We can count on monthly happenings. The third Saturday and Sunday of each month, October through April, Shirley Street Galleries and Studios will host open art tours at 5760 and 5860 Shirley St. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. These events will include lively conversations and the opportunity to win a special piece of art in participating studios.
Here are a few dates to look forward to: Oct. 15-16, 11-4 p.m. ART – In Any Direction, an event demonstrating talents in glass, pottery, wax works, paintings, and sculptures.
Nov. 19-20, 11-4 p.m. ART – Good Things in Small Packages, featuring small art pieces for the perfect early holiday shopping solutions.
For more information call 239-572- 3386.
Tara O’Neill, a lifelong artist, has been an area resident since 1967. She holds Bachelors Degrees in Fine Arts and English from the University of South Florida, and currently has a studio-gallery at the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island. Contact her through www.tarao gallery.com.