Culture Worthy of Your Calendar: Artists – Start Your Engines

by Josh Garrick / Aug 23, 2010 / 0 comments

Culture Worthy of Your Calendar: Artists – Start Your Engines
By Josh Garrick


Orlando's Cultural Season Begins
It’s a fund-raiser; it’s an auction; it’s an art show; it’s a gala performance; and it’s the ‘official’ kick-off of Orlando’s Cultural Season.  IT is the 6th Annual Red Chair Affair and IT happens on Saturday, August 28th at 8 pm at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. This unique showcase of performing groups and visual artists is your preview ticket to all things ‘cultural’ in the coming season. Patrons, encouraged to dress in their ‘best red,’ will enjoy performances by the Bach Festival, Bay Street Players, Cirque du Soleil, Emotions Dance, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Gay Chorus, Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Power Chords, SAK Comedy Lab, VarieTEASE, Winter Park Playhouse and Yow Dance. Proceeds benefit the Red Chair Project, a community service working to increase participation in 360 arts and cultural organizations throughout Central Florida.  For tickets visit

“My Uzi is ART!”
As if to prove the point that the ART season begins with the Red Chair Affair, the Neon Forest Art Gallery will hold its Fall opening on August 28th beginning at 7 pm and running till 11:30 pm (so that those inspired by the Red Chair can attend this opening AFTER the Red Chair Affair ends).  Called “My Uzi Weighs a Ton,” this multimedia art exhibit explores our fascination with firearms in pop culture. Curator Dustin Orlando says, “Few objects inspire feelings of excitement, adoration, fear, fantasy and conflict like a gun. Showing over 30 pieces of original work, we will blanket the walls with custom made targets...each with an image of various ethnic groups, laser scopes, toy Uzi’s and anything else we can come up with to make the viewer feel as if they were in a gun range overthrown by artists!” Orlando Artists Sean Hartman, Scott Donald, Jeremy Lombardo, TOBAR, and Decoy, along with artists from around the United States will exhibit at this FREE event. Visit or Neon Forest is at 1741 S Orange Avenue in Orlando.

People 22 - My Uzi Weighs a Ton 



Stetson U Over-Achieves
As if to make the drive unquestionably worthwhile, Stetson University, in picturesque DeLand, will open three art exhibitions on Friday, August 27.  The exhibits include:
Matt Roberts: Waves Walks, featuring real-time video performance and new media in the Duncan Gallery of Art on Stetson’s Quad. The opening is from 6 pm to 8 pm on August 27, and runs through October 28.
Oscar Bluemner: “The Vermillionaire” in Black and White, featuring paintings from Stetson’s unique Bluemner Kouba Collection. This exhibit will be held in the beautiful, new Hand Art Center (also on the Quad). Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938) was a significant force in the creation of American Modernism. Exhibit dates are August 27 to December 3.
Selections from Stetson’s Ceramics Collection (also in the Hand Art Center) from August 27 to March 2011.  Call  386.822.7266

Charles Turzak, Master of Modernism
American Modernist Charles Turzak (1899-1986) enjoyed a long and celebrated career as a master woodblock printmaker, painter, WPA muralist, illustrator and teacher. His graphics of the skyline of Chicago and working class heroes epitomized the American Modern Art movement in the 1930s. Dynamic Art Deco lines and movement are trademarks of his style. Opening September 1, that gem of a Museum in Winter Park – the Albin Polasek Museum – will present “A Master of Modernism: Woodcuts and Paintings by Charles Turzak” running through November 14th.  The works to be displayed date from the 1930s to the 1960s and include views of Chicago, historical American figures, Czechoslovakian landscapes, and impressions of Orlando, Florida- the home of his retirement. Original carved maple woodblocks, linoleum blocks and printmaking tools will also be displayed. Turzak, a true artist of the people, often sketched on Chicago street corners, capturing the essence of the city and its people during the Depression. The Polasek Museum is located at 633 Osceola Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407-647-6294 or visit

Charles Turzak - the Dancers

Charles Turzak - the Dancers 



And NOT to be Missed …

The Art of Edward Gorey at the Orlando Museum of Art
The exhibition “Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey” at the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) shows off the deliciously malevolent illustrator whose Victorian settings and atmosphere of potential danger made ‘creepiness’ into fun – running through Halloween at the Orlando Museum of Art. Call 407 896 4231 or visit


Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators. He writes a weekly arts column that highlights the best of arts events in Central Florida.