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Naples Downtown Art Show draws sizeable crowd, vendors from all over country

Posted at 6:05 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 06:12:58-04

NAPLES, Fla. — Naples Art's last major national art show of the season took place this weekend.

Artists from all over Florida and the country gathered on Fifth Avenue South to show off their talents. And nestled under one of the many tents, you’ll find Linda Heath— the self-dubbed artistic angler.

"It’s just a great way to authentic story telling," says Heath, talking about her work. "You can’t say this fish is how big? And it’s just a beautiful art. I get up in the morning, I go downstairs, I work on some art and it’s real joy. I look out of my studio over the Manatee River and my boat and just get inspiration from everything swimming under my deck.”

It’s that inspiration that drove heath to a life dedicated to art. With a job in international trade, her work took her to Asia. Where she found a love for Gyotaku— a traditional Japanese way of printing fish.

“Imagine hundreds of years ago you didn’t have a smartphone with a camera or a Yeti cooler so the fishermen would take their fish and press it with black sumi ink like their cholography and press Japanese rice paper onto the fish to make a perfect image," she says. "When they got in to the fish monger, that would be their receipt to get paid.”

The paper Heath uses is authentic rice paper from Asia. She has it shipped specifically for her work.

“It is beautiful texture. Some of it comes with sparkles, some of it has banana peels that are in it, but it’s the co-star of my art.”

But no matter the amount of pieces she creates, it doesn’t come close to the personal connections she makes when selling her art.

“It’s a conversation piece and it’s just a great feeling to know that, if I had a little red flag that I could see all over the United States where my art lives, it’s a wonderful feeling.”

And now that Heath has been retired for so many years, she says she sees herself doing this for quite a long time.

"It’s not work, it’s joy," Heath said. "It’s fun. And who gets to go out on their boat and fish and call it a hard day’s work, right? It’s a good gig."

To learn more about Heath's work, you can visit her website right here.