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Discover 13 Things To Do in Southwest Florida This July

Fill your summer calendar with art exhibits, centennial celebrations and comedy shows.

BY July 13, 2023
SEA MARVEL AQUALANE SHORES, 2000 Paul Arsenault remembers when humble fishing boats docked throughout the now-ritzy Aqualane Shores in Naples. “The owner of the Sea Marvel (boat depicted) wanted to purchase the painting with grouper as a barter, rather than pay for it,” Paul says with a laugh. “It ended up selling to someone else, and it’s in California now.” All jokes aside, Paul points to the fishing community as a driving force in maintaining Naples’ character.

Summer is in full swing, and while the snowbirds have long since fled, there’s still plenty to do. In Naples, local art collectors have opened their vaults to lend prestigious pieces to Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum for its Naples Collects exhibition and veteran comic Peter Fogel brings the laughs to Marco with his one-man show. Don’t miss these July events. 


Now – Jul. 18

Joanne Rafferty at East West Fine Art, Naples

Mixed-media artist Joanne Rafferty layers color and texture to create multidimensional depictions of oceans and horizons. This month’s show features new and previous works inspired by views of Naples’ many waterways. 

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Now – Jul. 28

Paul Arsenault’s Reflections of Collier County: Celebrating 100 Years of Our Waterfronts at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, Naples

Painter Paul Arsenault, known for his pastel depictions of the region’s landscapes (like the painting shown above), has been a staple of the local arts scene since moving to Naples in 1974. As a board member of Collier County Waterkeeper, he emphasizes the importance of protecting coastal and inland waterways through his art. In this exhibit, he shows new works from his recent For the Love of Water series alongside his vintage paintings depicting Southwest Florida’s bodies of water.

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Now – Jul. 29

Hoods Up at Revs Institute, Naples

The annual exhibition offers a rare look under the hoods of more than 30 vintage and antique cars. Keep an eye out for some of the show’s most prized autos, including the 1896 Panhard et Lavassor Wagonette, the institute’s oldest automobile, and the 1948 Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa, the first racing Ferrari imported to the United States and a favorite of race car enthusiasts. 

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Now – Sep. 10

Frida and Her Garden at Naples Botanical Garden

The iconic home and garden of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo come to life in this exhibition. Mexican plants that inspired her work are dispersed throughout the garden, and animal sculptures decorated with folk art imagery allude to some of Kahlo’s greatest muses.

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Now Oct. 15

Naples Collects at Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum 

Local collectors, including Patty and Jay Baker, Terry and Bob Edwards, and Jeri Wolfson, open their vaults to lend some of their prized pieces to The Baker Museum. Among the rarely seen finds are a striking Mickalene Thomas, a wall of 20 pochoir Matisse prints, Suzanne and Norman Cohn’s grand collection of table art, and revered works loaned by Naples couple Charles Marshall and Richard Tooke, a descendent of one of Naples’ pioneering families, whose collection is a veritable who’s who of regional art. 

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Jul. 7

A Brother’s Revival: Allman Brothers Tribute at Artis—Naples

Led by former Allman Brothers bassist David “Rook” Goldflies, this tribute group plays familiar hits, like “Midnight Rider” and “Soulshine,” with an improvisational flair that embodies the ethos and spirit of the iconic rock band.  

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Jul. 7-27

Iberian Influences: Spanish Artists in Florida at Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers 

Experience a taste of Spain’s rich cultural and artistic heritage in this exhibition, hosted in the Grand Atrium. Trained in the style of Old World Spanish masters, these six artists blend their Spanish heritage with New World influences in oil and acrylic painting and sculpture.   

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Jul. 10 – Aug. 1

July Exhibitions at Marco Island Center for the Arts

Explore the complex relationship between humans and nature in three, complementary exhibitions. In Sticks and Stones, woodworker Cori Craciun transforms ordinary materials into sculptural installations. Christie Noonan’s expressive brushstrokes are the focus of 1 Painter, which includes her Everglades landscapes. And Cuban artist Ivonne Ferrer is showing in La Petite Galerie, where her works blend aspects of figurative and abstract art.   

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Jul. 15

Path of the Panther at Silverspot Cinema, Naples

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida screens National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward’s latest documentary on the preservation of Florida’s sacred big cat. The film is followed by a Q&A with Path of the Panther co-founder Tori Linder and conservation environmental policy manager Amber Crooks to discuss the importance of conservation efforts in Southwest Florida.

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Jul. 20

The Queen’s Gambit: How Tommie Barfield Helped Collier Create the County at Museum of the Everglades, Everglades City

As we celebrate Collier County’s centennial, museum manager and speaker Rebecca Mazeroski delves into the story of the Queen of Marco, Southwest Florida pioneer Tommie Barfield. The talk coincides with Tommie’s 135th birthday.

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Jul. 21

Comedian RC Smith at Arts Center Theatre, Marco Island

The warm-up comic, who has worked the live audiences on hit television shows including The Colbert Show, Good Morning America and The Chew headlines his own standup performance.   

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Jul. 27

Kevin Lee at Snappers Comedy Club, Fort Myers 

An alumnus of long-running comedy shows, including HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Jamie Foxx’s Uptown Comedy Club, Kevin Lee blends standup with show-stopping feats like juggling, magic tricks and fire-twirling. 

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Jul. 30

Peter Fogel’s Til Death Do Us Part…You First! at Arts Center Theatre, Marco Island 

In his one-man show, the veteran comedian grapples with a bout of intense self-reflection regarding his love life. During the 90-minute monologue, Peter is accompanied only by the booming voice of his therapist as he revisits the past and confronts his flaws. 

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