Central Florida’s Cultural Life

by Josh Garrick / Apr 21, 2009 / 2 comments

Central Florida’s Cultural Life by Josh Garrick      

London Symphony Orchestra Headlines 17-Day Festival
Fortunately for us, the British LOVE our beaches, and culturally, that translates into an every-other-year visit by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) – certainly one of the world’s great orchestras.  Built around this unique London Symphony residency (the only one of its kind for that superlative Orchestra), the 17-day Daytona Beach International Festival (DBIF) delivers an extraordinary offering of jazz, ‘world,’ and classical concerts.  In a variety of venues, the Festival distinctly enhances the Daytona Beach experience. The Festival managers and volunteers are to be congratulated for bringing this renowned orchestra to our shores.

The LSO headlines the Festival, which runs through May 2.  The 96-member LSO will perform seven concerts, several chamber concerts and recitals, and a series of in-home performances.  In addition, the 2009 Festival features artists performing everything from bluegrass to dance, and classical to Latin-jazz, at venues throughout Central Florida.  

Maestro Daniel Harding, Principle Guest Conductor of the LSO, will serve as their Conductor in Residence with the first orchestral performance scheduled for April 24.  Local interest is added when Winter Park’s own Bach Festival Choir joins the LSO on May 2 for a performance of Carmina Burana. Other Festival artists include jazz musician Chuck Mangoine; composer Lalo Schifrin; the jazz ensemble Yellowjackets; and the “Best Latin Band in 2008” Tiempo Libre.  For dates and times, contact the Festival Box Office at (386) 257-7790.  

Art for Your CHILDREN
This Saturday (April 25), the Maitland Art Center will present its 7th Annual Children’s Art Festival.  Everyone is welcome (from 10 am to 2 pm) to experience this hands-on introduction to a variety of learning activities.  Presented in a way that understands such “learning-experiences” also need to be fun, this year the offerings will include an ‘archeological dig’ site and an exploration of animal tracks.  

Tapping into the Museum’s current exhibition about the Seminole Indians, creative children’s activities will include: Doll-making, Drum-making, Beading, Paper canoes, Patchwork puzzles, Flying Eagle Puppets, Climbing Bear cup, all for the kids to make and take with them.  There will also be live performances by the Talako Indian Dancers, David White Wolf in full Native American regalia, and storytelling with ‘Grandma Coyote.’
A children’s art exhibit featuring Dommerich Elementary will display the student’s take on the four elements - Air, Water, Earth and Fire. Music and prizes are promised as well. Admission is a suggested donation of $3 for adults; Children are free.  Call 407-539-2181.

Polasek Museum to Host First-Ever Winter Park Paint Out
Beginning with some of the most beautiful grounds any Museum could ever wish for and then including ALL of the idyllic locations of Winter Park, the Polasek Museum will host the first-ever Winter Park Paint Out.  At this event, we have the opportunity to watch 24 professional artists painting outdoors (en plein air).  Each painter will choose a Winter Park location and then ‘interpret’ that location in their particular style and medium.  And – these unique paintings may then be purchased to help support the Museum.

The Paint Out (April 28 to May 3) begins when artists arrive at the Museum with blank canvases, which are then officially stamped. The artists then fan out throughout Winter Park, painting and bringing their canvases back to the Museum at the end of each day. The Museum will be open (free) from 10 am to 6 pm each day during the Paint Out to allow the public to view and purchase paintings. The Paint Out concludes with an Open House for the exhibit on May 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. This exhibit will feature works from the Paint Out and will run until May 17. Call 407-647-6294 for information. All proceeds will benefit the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, located at 633 Osceola Avenue in Winter Park.  

Millenia Fine Art presents “Bryce Hammond … ALL New Works”
If the Polasek is offering too much “plein air,” then head to Millenia Fine Art Gallery (Opening May 1 from 7 pm to 9 pm) for a very NEW exhibit by renowned artist Bryce Hammond.  Mr. Hammond’s works are all “in-door” scenes, some of which you may have already seen in movies.   Mr. Hammond is particularly popular in New York City and Los Angeles – to the point where several movie directors have used his paintings within the fictitious homes of characters in movies. Now that’s a new way to begin a collection!

This very ‘big city’ exhibit will run through June at Millenia.  Opening night (May 1) is free, and promises an opportunity to meet the Artist (and his family) at the Gallery.  A proud father of two, the artist sometimes paints his children into the scenes of his paintings!  

Hammond, who has exhibited throughout the United States, is unique in that he is known for “sold out” exhibits.  Featured in New American Paintings and a recipient of a Florida Foundation Fellowship grant, Hammond shares his time between a studio in Brooklyn and a home in Florida. From the beginning, his works have been popular.  Of his first solo show, 43 of the 44 paintings sold. “That was the breaking point. Everything changed after that,” says Mr. Hammond.

The new exhibit is called “ALL New Works,” because all the works ARE new.  Having sold all of his previous work in three successful exhibits in 2008, we get to see the newest work by this much-sought-after artist – right here in Orlando.  Millenia Fine Art is located at 555 South Lake Destiny Drive in Maitland.  For information, or to RSVP for Mr. Hammond’s Opening Night, please call 407 304 8100.

Orlando Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet
Consider the number of ways the story of Romeo and Juliet has been interpreted … from Broadway (West Side Story) to contemporary ballet.  Now, the Orlando Ballet is set to close its 35th anniversary season with that most enduring love story in three performances on May 1, 2, and 3.

Considering the ‘standing-ovation-dancing’ we saw last month at their 35th Anniversary performances, the Orlando Ballet is strong and talented and ready for this challenge.  With choreography by Alun Jones and music by Sergei Prokofiev, performed live by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Ballet will bring this love story to life.  Their new Artistic Director Robert Hill – whose own choreography was shown so brilliantly last month, says, “Romeo and Juliet is about passion, love that defies all odds and thrilling dancing. It is Orlando Ballet at its finest.”

This most passionate ballet is filled with dynamic dancing, including a total of 52 musical ‘scenes’ set to some of the greatest  music ever written for ballet.  And with the Orlando Philharmonic performing this great music LIVE, your ticket purchase will support two of Orlando’s great performing arts groups.  Performances are at the Bob Carr on Friday and Saturday May 1st and May 2nd at 8 pm and Sunday, May 3rd at 2 pm.  Call 407 426-1739 or 800 745-3000.

Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators

Comments (2)

  • Julie Royce

    14 years 10 months ago

    For most of the last several years we wintered in Central Florida. This year was an exception because we headed to California where we welcomed a new grandson.  It was great to read about new things to consider when we go to Florida next year and in the meantime I'm suggesting my friends who live in the Sunshine state read this piece and check out wanderingeducators.com.

  • guidebookauthor

    14 years 10 months ago

    Barbara Hudgins, author

    Crafting the Travel Guidebook


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