Thanks to friends and classmates who keep pointing me to the treasures (almost) in my own backyard. While the greater Orlando area may conjure up images of Shamu, Harry Potter, and Minnie Mouse for most folks, I'm learning there's a rich arts community throughout central Florida.
A case in point is the Maitland Art Center which we visited this morning. Founded in the 1930's by artist Andre Smith, it's an idyllic retreat that invited artists to relax, refresh, and re-locate the muse within. Today, it's recognized as a Florida Historic Site and promotes knowledge and education in American art and artists through its offering of classes, lectures and exhibits. The complex consists of 23 separate structures linked by beautiful gardens and courtyards, all configured in the rare "Mayan Revival" style. The property includes an outdoor church under a canopy of massive live oaks laden with hanging moss.
This day, there's an exhibit of the works of American Impressionist William Vincent Kirkpatrick. His work is reminiscent of the French Impressionists -- it glows off the canvas!