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Naples was named the #1 Small Art Town in America by author John Villani in the fourth edition of The 100 Best Art Towns in America, distributed in March 2005 by publisher W.W. Norton. In choosing Naples as No. 1, Villani cited the area’s “amazing range of natural splendor,” along with its “sophisticated and serious art galleries,” its art fairs, community arts centers and theaters and the Philharmonic Center complex” that includes the Naples Museum of Art.
TravelSmart, the nation’s oldest consumer travel newsletter, has selected the Naples Museum of Art as one of the ten best museums in the state of Florida. The designation appears in the September 15, 2005 issue of the publication. www.travelsmartnewsletter.com.
Florida Monthly named Ochopee resident Clyde Butcher as Best Florida Artist in its 10th Annual Best of Florida Awards, profiled in the September 2005 issue. This is the sixth time that Butcher has received the honor from Florida Monthly. Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery is located in Ochopee within the Big Cypress National Preserve halfway between Naples and Miami, along the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41). He is famed for his striking, large format black & white photography of the Florida Everglades.
There are at least 100 art galleries in Naples. Many galleries are located downtown along Fifth Avenue South and in the Third Street South area. Broad Street near Third is known as "Gallery Row." There is now a group of fine art galleries located in the Bayfront Center just across from Tin City. The von Liebig Art Center in downtown Naples offers free galleries, classes and special events. Marco Island also has numerous galleries, including the free galleries at the Marco Island Center for the Arts.
There are numerous art shows throughout the year in downtown Naples, including the prestigious Naples National Art Show that takes place in February, sponsored by the Naples Art Association. Every November is Celebrate the Arts Month in Collier County, with events throughout the Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades City area.
For arts and cultural events and gallery information, visit the United Arts Council of Collier County online at www.uaccollier.com.