Winning Artists Return to Naples Invitational Art Fest Art for 15th Annual Show
01/17/2012

Naples, Florida (January 10, 2012) — John Chen and Marcus Thomas, Best of Show winners at the 2011 Naples Invitational Art Fest will return for this year’s two-day juried show on January 28 and 29, 2012 at Fleischmann Park, 1600 Fleischmann Blvd., Naples, FL

Online PR News – 17-January-2012 – – Winning Artists Return to Naples Invitational Art Fest Art for 15th Annual Show

John Chen and Marcus Thomas earned Best of Show in 2011

Naples, Florida (January 10, 2012) — John Chen and Marcus Thomas, Best of Show winners at the 2011 Naples Invitational Art Fest will return for this year’s two-day juried show on January 28 and 29, 2012 at Fleischmann Park, 1600 Fleischmann Blvd., Naples. They’ll be joined by nearly 150 other artists exhibiting a range of mediums including oil, acrylic and water color paintings, blown glass, turned wood pieces, sculptures, jewelry to a variety of mixed media painting, sculpture, jewelry, metal, ceramics and wood. The show benefits Eden Autism Services.

Both Chen and Thomas overcame obstacles before becoming noted artists. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, John Chen graduated from the National Taiwan Normal University of Fine Arts. He spoke no English when he arrived in the United States, but his discipline and dedication to his art have earned him numerous First Place and Best of Show awards throughout the region. "John has taken a traditional technique and developed quite an innovative style" said Art Fest Director Jill Spanbauer.

At the age of 26, Marcus Thomas suffered a skiing accident that broke his neck and left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. When the accident left him with only his imagination, his mind, the muscles of his head and neck, Marcus turned to art and began to realize his calling as an artist. “Marcus’ work captures the natural world in color and light,” said Spanbauer. “He pushes beyond the boundaries of what we believe possible, perfecting difficult techniques and capturing elusive moments.”

Consistently ranked as one of America’s top art shows by industry magazine Sunshine Artists, the show is judged by prominent art collectors, gallery owners, educators and guest artists. The Naples Invitational Art Fest is unique in Florida and the country because the proceeds benefit a 501 (c) 3 organization, Eden Autism Services. Eden Autism Services' mission is to improve the lives of children and adults with autism and provide support to their families by providing a range of community based services to meet specific needs throughout the lifespan. These services include K-12 schools in Fort Myers and Naples, clinical services, consultations and community training, and adult residential, vocational training and employment services. Participating sponsors include Arthrex, First National Bank of the Gulf Coast and Home-Tech.

“The Art Fest is a major fundraiser for us each year and we greatly appreciate the community’s support,” says Eden’s Executive Director of Florida Operations, Susan Suarez. “We’re able to raise needed funds to support developmental and educational programs for our students with autism.” For more information about sponsorships for the 2012 Naples Invitational Art Fest contact Taire Malloy at 239-992-4680, ext. 5014 or Taire.malloy@edenautism.org or visit www.edenartfest.com

About Eden Autism Services
The Naples Invitational Art Fest benefits a 501 (c) 3 organization, Eden Autism Services. Eden Autism Services Florida was founded in 1996 to address the state’s growing need for specialized services for children and adults with autism and their families. Eden Autism Services' mission is to improve the lives of children and adults with autism and provide support to their families by providing a range of community based services to meet specific needs throughout the lifespan. These services include K-12 schools in Fort Myers and Naples, clinical services, consultations and community training, and adult residential, vocational training and employment services. For more information, about Eden Florida or the Art Fest, contact Taire Malloy at 239-992-4680, ext. 5014 or Taire.malloy@edenautism.org.
About Autism

About Autism
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, and one in 70 boys. The prevalence of autism has increased 600 percent in the past two decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.