Dale Chihuly Merletto Basket Set (detail), 2019. Courtesy © Chihuly Studio/Scott Mitchell Leen

Southwest Florida Guide to the Arts


In the Land of Masters

Chihuly, Magritte and more icons delight in the recently expanded The Baker Museum.

When The Baker Museum opened in 2000 (then known as Naples Art Museum), it marked a significant moment for the city’s art profile.

An opening exhibit with Dale Chihuly spoke to the caliber of talent the museum would attract to Southwest Florida. Part of Artis—Naples, the cultural institution has continued its upward trajectory since.

The Baker Museum’s stunning building provides the ideal backdrop for its latest exhibits, including Dreaming Forms: Chihuly Then and Now. Below: Dale Chihuly Fire Orange Baskets (detail) Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands, installed 2018. Courtesy © Chihuly Studio/Scott Mitchell Leen

 

Last year, the museum debuted a fabulous update to its facility with a sleek design done to the tune of $26.5 million. The New York-based Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism was tapped to repair the building after its Irma damage, and expand the footprint.

The community got a glimpse of the renovation when The Baker reopened last December, but more was promised and the pandemic delayed locals’ full  introduction to the new center.

Now, with its doors reopened, The Baker Museum introduces its newest annex: a three-story beauty with educational spaces, auxiliary galleries and a third-floor terrace with views to the Gulf. Of the exhibits, the most anticipated is Dreaming Forms: Chihuly Then and Now, which honors the artist’s 20-year relationship with the museum and features early and newer works. Other highlights include Magritte: Reflections of Another World, which spans 24 years of the Belgian artist’s work, and Rodin: Truth Form Life, with 22 of the influential sculptor’s pieces. Hats off to Artis—Naples for continuing to raise the bar on fine art!

Photo by Alicia Vera
Courtesy Artis—Naples

 

METHOD & CONCEPT

Building on his forward-thinking gallery and design studio (part of Thomas Riley Artisans’ Guild), Chad Jensen moved METHOD & CONCEPT into a new home in Naples Design District’s swanky The Collective. The lofty space stuns with its soaring ceilings and stark walls that show off contemporary paintings, sculpture and functional art objects. The layout is intended to encourage exploration and dialogue. In this larger space, the team continues to push the envelope with more and bigger community-building events and exhibits, such as the current Beyond Nature with works by Arik Levy and Zoé Ouvrier.

Photo by Scott McIntyre
Courtesy METHOD & CONCEPT and Arik Levy

 

MUZYKA ART SPACE

Nearby, artist Arturo Correa and his wife, Jennifer, opened Muzyka Art Space on Fifth Avenue North. Born of a longtime partnership between Arturo—an established mixed-media artist—and the influential, Miami-based Ascaso Gallery, Muzyka aims to bridge the cultural gap between Florida’s west and east coasts, while elevating the contemporary art available to local collectors. In addition to the works on the walls by artists such as Alirio Palacios and Carmelo Niño, the gallery has full access to Ascaso’s encyclopedic collection.

Courtesy Muzyka Art Space
Courtesy Muzyka Art Space

 

ALDO CASTILLO GALLERY

After building its profile at Miromar Design Center since 2011, Aldo Castillo Gallery expands its repertoire with a second location on Naples’ Fifth Avenue South. Luis Barba, Metis Atash and Peter Mars are just some of the world-class artists you’ll find at the contemporary gallery.

Courtesy Aldo Castillo Gallery
Ancizar Marin’s Chanel Bear. Courtesy Aldo Castillo Gallery.

 

OLLIE MACK GENTRY

Photographer Ollie Mack Gentry made a name for himself with his striking photos of Fort Myers’ River District buildings, Caloosahatchee sunsets and downtown dwellers. His new gallery on Jackson Street features his own images, as well as the work of other local artists.