NAPLES, FL.- The Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center opened its annual statewide juried exhibition, Art Encounter, to national submissions for the first time and received submissions from 261 artists living in 36 states. Exhibition juror and awards judge Dahlia Morgan, Director Emerita for the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami and member of the Art Basel Miami Host Committee, selected 68 works by 60 artists from 12 states for the resulting National Art Encounter 2009 exhibition, which is on view May 16 through July 12 throughout the art center, 585 Park Street in Naples.
"What a thrill it was to see the entries coming in from all over the United States," said art center Curator Jack O'Brien. "Artists from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast were eager to exhibit in Naples."
The exhibition highlights artists' recent work in installation, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, fiber, works on paper and more.
Morgan said she was "amazed" at the depth and variety of media submitted. "I enjoyed seeing paintings from totally abstract to naturalism, super- realism and surrealism." Morgan noted a number of works reflecting the current political climate as well as narrative paintings and "spiritual responses to land and nature."
In selecting works for the exhibition, Morgan said she prepared a show with "something for everybody's taste and perhaps some styles they haven't seen before." She said visitors will enjoy a "tremendous variety of very high caliber, very professional work in all media."
The von Liebig Art Center will host a free Preview Reception and Awards Presentation from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15 to present $3,000 in cash awards to artists selected by Morgan.
The exhibition is sponsored by Physicians Regional Medical Center, Pine Ridge; Publix Super Markets Charities, Comcast and WGCU Public Media. Awards are sponsored by Artisan Framers and TCA Graphics.
The art center's hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday through Memorial Day. The von Liebig Art Center will be closed on Sundays beginning June 1 and will reinstitute Sunday hours on October 4. Suggested donation is $5 for adults and $2 for children 10 and older. The center is located at 585 Park Street in Naples, FL, and features an extensive art library and gift shop. The public may call 239-262-6517 or visit naplesart.org for more information.