Founded in 2010, the Venetian Arts Society (VAS) is a member based not-for-profit 501©3 organization that highlights the multi-cultural diversity of our community through all the visual and performing arts in an intimate and interactive Art Salon atmosphere .
As of January 2015 we have augmented our mission to…Nourish the Body & Soul of South Florida by joining forces with Broward Health Foundation and Nova Southeastern University Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute of Cancer Research to find preventative and natural ways of dealing with disease.
Our Interpretation of The Art Salons
Our 21st century version of the Art Salon is a unique and innovative performance-educational-social concept that features the performing, visual, and cultural arts interacting simultaneously for a complete artistic experience, where each compliments the other and goes…above and beyond life’s trivialities!
Our goal is to offer everyone in our community, whether novice or connoisseur, the rare and extraordinary opportunity to observe and interact with local and international artists of all disciplines and…Nourish the Body & Soul of South Florida!
Founder and Executive Director
William (Willie) Riddle, President of a high-end interior design firm, Inspired Interiors of Fort Lauderdale, is the creator of the Venetian Arts Society, the rapidly growing organization that promotes all types of visual and performing arts in an intimate and interactive 21st century version of the european Art Salon.
Originally from the mountains of North Carolina, Willie grew up in the family’s restaurant business, and his early life revolved around music and theatre and he went on to an undergraduate degree in Music Education, a graduate degree in Vocal Performance, and an Artists’ Diploma in Opera Performance from The Hartt School of Music/University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
After his college studies he went on to sing opera and musical theatre professionally until 1993, when he was presented with the opportunity to become the general manager of a summer resort hotel, restaurant, and dinner theatre in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, where he ran a 500 seat restaurant, 35 guest rooms, with it’s 100 employees. His education in music and his 10 year professional experience as an opera singer made it easy for him to begin producing and directing the enormously popular dinner shows presented nightly by a waitstaff of 35 college students from all over the United States.
In 1998 he moved down to South Florida, where he began a successful career in interior design, catering to high profile individuals in Fort Lauderdale.
Willie’s deep knowledge and strong interest in the performance arts coupled with his background in hospitality, led to the partnership with a new gallery in town, to start hosting open houses with the exhibiting artists and guest artists performances, as a means to market the gallery. The Art Salon events quickly became the main concern, and this is how the Venetian Arts Society (VAS) was born, with very influential art enthusiasts taking an interest and supporting this initiative that seemed to be filling a void in our community…a void that no one knew existed.