Front row seat: Consider a gift of arts this holiday season

Front row seat

With the holidays rapidly approaching and shopping time running out, we hope you will consider giving a gift of the arts this year. By shopping in our arts community, you’ll help support our local economy.

Tickets to plays and musical performances make great gifts. You’ll find options for every taste and in all price ranges at our local performing arts venues. To connect to their websites and purchase tickets, go to the United Arts Council’s website — www.CollierArts.com — and click on arts groups.

Who wouldn’t love to find an original piece of art under the tree? Visit one of our local art galleries for gift ideas such as jewelry, paintings, pottery and sculpture. For a list of local art galleries and links to their websites, visit the council’s site.

Don’t forget the gift shops at the county museums and the Naples Museum of Art, the Marco Island Center for the Arts and the von Liebig Art Center. You’ll find unique gifts that are sure to please everyone on your list.

The December calendar is filled with holiday activities to entertain your guests. Why not visit Palm Cottage and enjoy the holiday decorations? The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’mon) has planned a Breakfast with Santa event for Dec. 15.

For a complete listing of events for the holidays and beyond, visit the United Arts Council’s website and click on calendar. Or you can pick up a calendar brochure at your local Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Here’s the latest news from the arts community:

Museums

C’mon recently unveiled two programs for children with physical or learning disabilities. Breaking the Barriers provides children with extra time to experience the museum’s exhibits. Sensory Nights are designed for children on the autism spectrum.  Call 514-0084 for information.

Theater

Members of the play selection committee for the Naples Players are: David M. Corban, Carole Fenstermacher, Dave Gipson, Shelley Gothard, Charles Kolmann and Annie Rosemond.

Visual arts

■ Officers for 2012-13 at the Naples Art Association are Stacey Bulloch, president; John Huston, first vice president; Lou Vlasho, second vice president; Laurie Hulbert, treasurer; Jennifer Schell, secretary.

■ The area’s newest arts organization is the Goodland Arts Alliance, organized to promote the visual arts in the Goodland area. It has filed for nonprofit status and hopes to be operational soon.

■ Tara O’Neill is the newest featured artist at Blue Mangrove Gallery on Marco Island.

■ Florence Zdanovitz, Marvin Rouse and Ara Lou Panutsos received awards from the Naples Art Association at the recent Small Works show.

■ A painting by Muffy Clark Gill was named best in show in the United Arts Council’s exhibit at Rookery Bay. Honorable mention awards went to Joseph King and Patti Smith. Other local artists featured in the exhibit are: David Arrowsmith, Carolyn Burger, Dilla Camacho, Michaela Castaldi, Maggie DeMarco, Tanya Trinkaus Glass, Leigh Herndon, Joseph King, Deborah Martin, Tara O’Neill, Joan Roberts, JoAnn Sanborn, Sharon Shaw, J.B. Singletary, Pat Smith, Patti Smith, Karen Swanker, Donna Torrance, Skip Weber and Marge Williamson.

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