FLORIDA ARTS Offer Variety

by Josh Garrick / May 06, 2010 / 0 comments

FLORIDA ARTS Offer Variety
By Josh Garrick

New Performing Arts Center
Any person with an appreciation for the arts, and an awareness of the manner in which great cities are ‘judged’ by the world, understands the very real NEED we have in Orlando for the new Performing Arts Center.  While every contribution is important, last week the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts celebrated another milestone in becoming a reality as the receipt of the Center’s 21st ONE MILLION DOLLAR GIFT was acknowledged.  With the official groundbreaking set for this fall, Judson and Joyce Green announced their gift of $1 million to the Center. “The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will enrich our community for generations,” said Joyce Green. “As passionate believers in the importance of the performing arts and music education, we are excited to help bring this world-class project to reality so that it can be enjoyed by everyone who lives in or visits our great community.” Speakers from Mayor Buddy Dyer to Dr. Phillips Center President Kathy Ramsberger thanked the Greens while also commenting on the thousands of jobs which will be created as the Center is built. The Dr. Phillips Center will embrace – and enhance – every culture, interest and walk of life in the “City Beautiful.” Glory hallelujah – its time has come! Visit www.DrPhillipsCenter.org

Artist/Architect Richard Reep’s Timely Exhibit
When Susan Loden booked an exhibit by Winter Park artist and architect Richard Reep to open on May 13, neither curator nor artist could have foreseen the tragic irony which makes this exhibit the most ‘timely’ art exhibit of the season. Through painting, drawing, and assemblage, Reep’s art evolves from his Nostradamus-like fascination with our urban future. The often bleak changes, due to technology, climate, and economic shifts, have led the artist to see abandoned oil rigs as tomorrow’s cities.  Urban Intrigue; Richard Reep at Lake Eustis Museum of Art may be viewed through June 6, with an artist’s talk and reception scheduled for May 16 from 1 to 3 pm.  An authority on urban studies, Reep transforms the ‘remains’ of our day into enduring fine art. The Lake Eustis Museum of Art, in Eustis, Florida, may be called at 352.483.2900 or visit www.LakeEustisMuseumofArt.org

Winter Garden Gets Behind “Joseph”
This is the final weekend for the Winter Garden Theater’s first self-produced musical – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  This early Lloyd Webber musical features true community participation in a cast of “hometown Winter Garden talent” that is ‘professional’ in every sense of the word.  The staging and costumes are wonderfully inventive and the leads, played by David Coalter (Joseph), a regular performer at the Holy Land Experience, and Patte dePova (Narrator), a Disney veteran, are first rate. This is a not-to-be-missed beginning for the Garden Theatre as they embark on their own productions – fun for the whole family and truly worthy of our support. Visit gardentheatre.org or call 407.877.4736.

Spring Awakens at the Bob Carr
Having swept the Tony Awards (with 8 wins including Best Musical) in the 2007 season,  Broadway’s most controversial new musical in years is coming to Orlando. Set in 19th century Germany, Spring Awakening tells the story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the characters of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, the musical celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood. Spring Awakening will play May 18 through May 23 at the Bob Carr.  Prepare yourself, the New York Times said, “Broadway may never be the same.” Tickets can be purchased at the Amway Arena Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Online purchases can be made at www.OrlandoBroadway.com; to charge-by-phone call 1-800-982-2787.

The Orlando Museum of Art (for Children)

Each summer the Orlando Museum of Art presents a family-friendly exhibit that is both entertaining AND educational.  This year the work of New York Times author and illustrator, Mo Willems, will be featured from May 22 through August 29.  Knuffle Funny: The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems will exhibit Willems’ sketches and drawings of quirky characters and even quirkier story lines. Willems is known for his award-winning picture books Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale.  Original sketches from these books and others will be presented. The winner of six Emmy Awards for his work on Sesame Street, Willems also served as head writer for Cartoon Network's #1 rated show Codename: Kids Next Door. The creator of over 100 short films and TV shows, Willems' stories have appeared on MTV and HBO.  There is a full schedule of “play-dates” and storybook ‘tours’ for family members of all ages related to the exhibit.  For the complete schedule (some need advance registration), call 407 896 4231 x258 or visit www.omart.org

SNAP! Festival Celebrates Photography
Snap! is the easily remembered name of Orlando’s newest art festival, set to showcase the work of photographers – from the internationally famous to the emerging talent. Presented by the Lucie Foundation, exhibits may be viewed in a dozen art galleries, cafés, and boutiques in Downtown Orlando. While Snap! will exhibit the work of more than 30 artists, the largest exhibit, to be held at the Gallery at Avalon Island, is entitled “Hello From Florida: Photographs of the Sunshine State,” and is curated by Jennifer O’Malley. That exhibit may be viewed from May 20 to June 11 with an Opening Reception on May 20 from 6 pm to 10 pm.  Hello from Florida presents the work of 14 photographers, each capturing a personal view of Florida’s history, culture and/or sunshine. In addition, the opening night will showcase a series of documentary films in the Gallery’s upstairs theater. The Gallery at Avalon Island is on the corner of Pine and Magnolia in downtown Orlando. For the full SNAP! schedule, visit snaporlando.com

Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators