2004 NAIA Artist Conference

(561-586-0764) explains some of the great reasons for choosing Lake Worth, in the following excerpt from a post she made on the NAIA Member Forum:

I think the hope was that this Conference would draw in artists with down time between shows, and Lake Worth is an affordable, pleasant location. I hope those of you who read this (that will be in Florida) will consider attending as we have tried to pick a location that will be enjoyable as well as beneficial to you. Those who will fly in – thank you for your support and taking the financial plunge to show your committment to the NAIA and the conference. I know this won’t be the conference for everyone – I’m sorry that it may exclude some of you, but as the Logistics planner of this conference I felt the ambience of a small artistic community won out over a large urban concrete jungle. Lake Worth is close as I could get to a laid back “Retreat” that I could find and make it economically acceptable to a large group of artists. In no way was it ever a thought to exclude ANY group or person from attending. Its our life as it seems to always be missing something due to our “work”—how many weddings, parties, plays… have you had to decide to not attend due to show schedule? I missed last year’s conference because we had a show in Miami. Please keep giving us suggestions for next conference’s (2005) location/time frame —our goal is to be a year ahead in planning. This is in its infancy please be patient with us—–we are just a volunteer organization and trying our best.You wouldn’t believe the hours spent lining this stuff up, I appreciate your concerns on time flying etc but please appreciate the time we spend on working on these projects.I hope the arguments can end here as I hope you will understand there are NO ulterior motives on any of these decisions other than giving all the attendees a great safe fun place to meet. That said…

Lake Worth is on the East coast, about 1 hr and 15 min. north of Coconut Grove, 45 minutes north of Ft Lauderdale, 2 1/2 hrs. from Naples, and 10 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport.

The hotel I selected for the meeting, the Gulfstream, is an old Florida Mizner style hotel which is listed in the Historic Registry and has recently completed renovations. Its on the Intercoastal waterway on a beautiful public park with a health trail, playground, picnic and boating facilities. Across the street is Lake Worth’s public 18 hole 3 par course which is also on the Intercoastal. The Lake Worth Beach is a pleasnt 5 minute walk from the hotel.

Lake Worth has an incredible array of great eats all within walking distance of the hotel. IT’S A SAFE WALK on quiet neighborhood streets lined with palm trees and fascinating architecture. We have a great local art museum in Lake Worth, plus the nearby Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, and the Society of 4 Arts in Palm Beach.

Lake Worth has a very artist friendly mayor and town council that has set up an arts designated area to make it affordable and possible for artists to have home studios open to the public.

Here’s a web page up that will list all bed/breakfast’s in Lake Worth and some cheaper hotel/motel selections, and for those with transportation– Extended Stay type hotels for weekly rates. The Gulfstream Hotel (888-540-0669) has offered us a $99 room or $149 Deluxe Suite which will sleep 4, two TVs, etc. But if you choose to stay elsewhere at a cheaper rate it will be possible.

Also there are about 12 NAIA artists living within the area who will be of great help to attendees and Board with conference.

For campers there’s John Prince Park– a county park on Lake Osborne (lots of recreational stuff) that will take tents and RVs– within 10 minutes of downtown.

US Airways, SouthWest, AirTran, and Jet Blue, to name a few, fly into Palm Beach International and the Hotel provides a complimentary shuttle service from 8 AM to 4 PM daily.

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Board member shares with us some of the Board’s additional reasons for this choice. Again, from the member forum:

Dear Members,

I would like to offer some insight into the Board’s decision for the location of our next Artist Conference.

South Florida, with four major shows going on the weekends before and after the Artist Conference dates, became a natural choice. The Lake Worth location was chosen due to its proximity to the airport, and the proximity of the art fairs going on the weekends before and after the conference.

It is important to remember that this is a conference for all artists, not just our members. Keep in mind we WILL be moving the time and location of the Conference every year, and there will be plenty of opportunities to have it in other locations

The Artist Conference Committee is in the process of evaluating agenda ideas, potential speakers and panel discussions. Our working theme is: SURVIVING AND PROSPERING IN CHANGING TIMES, and the very popular MOCK SLIDE JURY from the first Artist Conference will return. Many artists considered the Slide Jury segment as one of the single most beneficial parts of last year’s conference.

We will also go fearlessly where others fear to tread with a segment called Slaying the Digital Dragon, everything you never wanted to know about digital but now need to, in order to meet the evolving application processes.

Additional ideas under consideration will deal with Staying Motivated While Working Alone and New, Different and Potentially Profitable Venues for Artists. The complete agenda, along with detailed logistics, costs, etc., will be announced as soon as possible. Our goal is to provide our members and all artists who attend the conference with as pleasant, informative, productive and stimulating Artist Conference as possible.

We hope to see you there!

The Artist Conference Committee:
Co-Chairs and , along with:

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This from member Gail Silverblatt:

“Lake Worth – Where The Tropics Begin” This is the signage that greets all when entering Lake Worth. Here are a few web sites of Lake Worth to help you know this small art city better. The town is a walking paradise of french bakeries, interesting restraunts with outdoor seating of seafood, finnish, italian, japanese, irish, chocolate shops, antiques, dance theater, black box theater, contempory art museum, historical museum, WPA Mural in the post office, wonderful wood 3-D carvings in the library, old-florida style houses is bright tropical colors, shady park with ‘big bands’ and dancing under the stars on the intracoastal,.an easy walk across the bridge to the beach. I could keep going on but you get the idea, everything is within walking distance. The Palm Beach Airport (PBI) is 10 minutes drive, cab was $17 the last time we took one. People seem to liken Lake Worth to the early days of Key West before the tourists all took a piece home with them.

Last summer when booking flights I checked Expedia but found lower prices on Delta’s site. Here is the Palm Beach Airport Flight Guide. Shows which airlines fly when (it’s set for arriving from Milwaukee, just change that on the address bar to your airport).

Forgot to mention Lake Worth also has an upscale blues club The Bamboo Room.
And a ‘Heart Trail’ on the intracoastal in the park across the street from the GulfStream Hotel , so you can indulge in the bakeries and milkshake shop.

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Hey Everybody!
Here’s a bunch of info I promised on Lake Worth area for conference attendees.

First of all EVERYONE (not just attendees) is invited to Christine Ellinghausen’s (former sidewalk artist/now gallery owner) Color and Light Gallery Tuesday night, Feb 17th from 6:30 to 9:00 for an evening of art and conversation. Christine represents many local and national artists. She has kindly opened up her gallery for us that evening to have a fun place to gather and make dinner plans! There will be a cash bar(everything is a buck) and light snacks provided. The Gallery is i West Palm Beach, south end, about a 10 minute ride from hotel.

Color and Light Gallery 6207 “B”, South Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach (not LW – they both have Dixie addresses.) Five blocks north of Forest Hill Blvd on west side of street. Park on street, behind gallery or Medical Center. 561-632-3698

I’ll be giving out some stuff from Tourist Bureau–Wed but here are some suggestions for Tuesday…..

Lake Worth is loaded with antique stores on Lake and Lucerne Ave.–just park your car/van go up one street and down the other.

We have a great beach, there’s a pier for fishing, or just enjoy the surf. Two restaurants – Benny’s (at the pier) or join the line at John G’s (It’s worth it!) The line moves fast. Do lunch or breakfast, it’s not open for dinner.

John Prince Park at 2700 6th ave. South has canoes,etc for rent plus walking trails, etc.

Golfers – Lake Worth Municipal Golf Club–561-582-9713 for tee times.

Ecotourism – Arthur Marshall Wildlife Refuge, 10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach (about 20-30min away) call for directions 561-732-3684. The birds are amazing here now – spoonbills ,ibis, egrets, herons. Plus, wait to hear the noise gators use to communicate with each other!

Fun tourist stuff…

DivaDuck tours – A bus that drives right into water and gives tour of West Palm and Intracoastal.561-844-4188. 501 Clematis St, West Palm Beach.

Lion Country Safari – 2 parks/1 price drive-thru Safari then walking zoo.
561-793-1084.

Palm Beach Zoo – Closer to Lake Worth. 23 acres of tropical gardens.
1301 Summit, West Palm Beach
561-533-0887

Palm Beach Casino – spend that Grove money!! 5 hour day cruises–
561-845-2101.

ART STUFF
Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art – 601 Lake Ave, Lake Worth
561-582-0006 call for times.

Norton Museum of Art—1451 South Olive, West Palm Beach. Great collection and nice cafe.
561-832-5196

ALSO – there’s a Tropical Flower Show opening in downtown West Palm Beach on 19th along Flagler, its always wonderful, lots of orchids!

DRIVING TOURS
Drive across bridge in Lake Worth head north (left) on Ocean and do the Palm Beach tour! Check out the Million $+ homes. Jed Clampett’s looks mighty frumpy compared to these! Lots of condos first but be patient! You’ll drive past John Lennon’s estate, Jimmy Buffets’, Lily Pulitzer’s, even Mr. EGO/Rush’s home. Of course there’s the Kennedy estate too. Just keep driving north to end of Island to Inlet. Drew Barrymore owns last house on right, ocean side. Check out the Breakers hotel, Mara Lago (Donald Trump’s now, was built by Post cereal family.) There is a public beach here too but bring lots of quarters for high priced meters! The Flagler Museum is worth a visit if you are interested in learning more about this nutty place! Address is Coconut Row and Whitehall Way just south of Royal Poinciana along Intracoastal. It was built as a home by Henry Flagler who brought railroad to Florida.

Things to keep in mind
Lake Worth is a city and the name of the Intracoastal. Also Lake Worth and West Palm both have Dixie Hwy addresses. Just make sure where you are going. Also, it’s Federal Hwy in Lake Worth but it changes name to Olive Ave once you cross into West Palm Beach.

We will have a list of local restaurants for you at registration–but plenty to choose from in Lake Worth. The hotel has very good restaurant/bar (“Digs”) too. Bamboo Room blues club is usually free weekday nites, walking distance of hotel.

Ok, that’s it for now. My index finger is sore – never took typing, two art classes instead. Now I’m paying for it!

See you all soon – safe travels!

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