In 2006, Richard Rosen, a sculptor whose working studio is located on J & C Boulevard, gathered together 4 other artists/studio owners located in the industrial park to discuss the possibility of forming a united effort to promote greater awareness of this concentration of local artists. This initial meeting led to the group of sixteen (16) artists’ studios in the industrial park uniting with the intention of promoting this art hub to the public.
A signature arts awareness event, initially known as “Underground Art Wednesday”, evolved from that first meeting in 2006, This free public event was held on the first Wednesday night of each month from November through April. It attracted not only Naples residents and visitors wanting to meet artists in their working venues but also many other working artists intrigued to see where they too might find affordable, comfortable working studio space.
This original alliance of 16 artists has blossomed into a vibrant network of over 80 independent painters, ceramicists, sculptors, jewelers, photographers, fiber artists, mosaic & glass artisans with potential for continued growth. There is tremendous talent among the growing number of artists attracted to our paradise coast, seeking to locate their working studios within the Naples Art District.
In 2016, the Naples Art District became a 501c-3 non-profit organization. In 2020, Collier County recognized the Naples Art District as a County “Cultural Arts District”, with the high concentration of of artist studios offering a unique destination for cultural tourism.