Pottery: It’s Earthen American Art
Winter Park’s Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is known worldwide for its collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, starting with his famed leaded-glass windows and lamps. But the Morse is much more than a Tiffany museum.
The internationally renowned North Park Avenue facility houses a treasure trove of U.S. decorative art from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries. Of particular interest: the Morse’s extensive art-pottery collection, one of the largest in the country and now the focus of a major new exhibition called Earth into Art – The Flowering of American Art Pottery.
The display, which fills one of the museum’s larger galleries, explores the origins of an industry that by the turn of the 20th century was producing work that earned widespread acclaim both domestically and abroad.
“American art pottery is one of the country’s great artistic successes,” says Laurence J. Ruggiero, director of the Morse. “Beginning in the late 19th century, potters in the U.S. began to produce ceramics that rivaled those of the highly creative European firms that had dominated the field for centuries.”
American art pottery was in peak demand for roughly four decades starting in about 1876 — when French and Asian ceramics at Philadelphia’s Centennial International Exhibition helped ignite a craze among U.S. women for painting blank pieces of porcelain — and lasting until about 1915.
The artists who created these ceramics shared many of the values of the Arts and Crafts movement, which was a broader response at the time to a perceived decline in decorative standards due to industrialization and mass production.
Many of America’s art-pottery pioneers were women — and no two were more important to the genre than Mary Louise McLaughlin (1847 –1939) and Maria Longworth Nichols Storer (1849 –1932), accomplished china painters both born in Cincinnati.
McLaughlin discovered a way to re-create the French underglaze that had so impressed her at the Centennial International Exhibition; that technique and the books she wrote on the subject laid the foundation for the American industry.
Storer, who briefly shared a kiln at a pottery shop with McLaughlin, soon founded Rookwood Pottery, which became one of the largest and arguably best known of America’s art potteries. Storer’s team of professional designers refined McLaughlin’s techniques, producing pottery celebrated at world’s fairs and sought by consumers everywhere.
The two rivals’ talent, business acumen and vision established Cincinnati as the center of the nation’s art-pottery industry. Consequently, the Morse exhibition focuses on pieces produced in the Ohio city.
The Morse’s collection of American art pottery totals almost 1,000 pieces, from which 100 were chosen to display. The museum acquired a few pieces for the exhibition, such as two ceramic tiles likely decorated by McLaughlin that illustrate the artist’s underglaze technique.
It also acquired three little Rookwood jugs shaped exactly like one it already owns — in part because the jugs are decorated differently and are made of different clays, illustrating how ceramic artists could create original works even when working with a single shape from an industrial mold.
Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery is the first major exhibition of the Morse’s American art-pottery collection since a comprehensive display at the Orlando Museum of Art in 1995. It’s also the first such show at the Morse, which opened its North Park Avenue facility that same year.
“The fact that American art pottery played such an important role in the development of the country artistically, and that its production was such a significant and positive part of the lives of so many Americans — including those outside of the privileged classes — make it especially attractive today,” Ruggiero notes.
To provide added context for the exhibition, which continues through September 2020, the Morse has revamped two adjacent galleries with relevant objects from both its Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau collections.
The museum has also organized its 2019 winter-spring lecture series around the exhibition. The four free lectures take place on select Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. in the Jeannette G. and Hugh F. McKean Pavilion, just behind the museum at 161 West Canton Avenue.
Dates and programs include “American Art Pottery and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: The Early Years,” with Nonie Gadsden, the museum’s senior curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture (January 30); and “A Most Exquisite Display: European Ceramics at the Centennial Exhibition,” with Donna Corbin, an independent curator from Philadelphia (February 13).
Other dates and programs include “Adelaide Alsop Robineau, America’s Finest Ceramist,” with Martin Eidelberg, professor emeritus of art history at Rutgers University in New Jersey (March 6); and “American Art Pottery: The Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” with Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, a Met curator of American Decorative Arts in New York (April 3).
— Michael McLeod
What: Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery
Where: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Address: 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park
When: February 12 through September 2020
Notes: An exhibition of 100 pieces of American art pottery plus two adjacent galleries with relevant objects from both the museum’s Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau collections. The museum’s winter-spring lecture series features subject-matter experts.
For More: 407-645-5311, morsemuseum.org
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. This lakeside museum, open since 1961, is dedicated to preserving the works of the famed Czech sculptor for whom it was both home and studio for more than a decade. Ongoing through April 14 is Lay of the Land: The Art of Florida’s Cattle Culture, a collaboration with the Florida Cattlemen’s Association that showcases five centuries of art by cowboys and so-called “crackers” as well as art by Native Americans. The exhibition includes a related presentation on January 22 at 7 p.m., Five Centuries of Florida Cattlemen History, by folklorist and exhibiting artist Bob Stone; an informal walk-through tour of the gallery follows his program. The museum also offers tours of Polasek’s home Tuesdays through Saturdays. And it offers tours of the adjacent Capen-Showalter House three times weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. The Capen-Showalter House, built in 1885, was saved from demolition several years ago and floated across Lake Osceola to its current location on the Polasek’s grounds. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. 407-647-6294. polasek.org.
Art & History Museums — Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums anchoring the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect J. André Smith. The center, located at 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, is the Orlando area’s only National Historic Landmark and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. Opening January 24 is a large exhibition that spans both the art center and the historical museum. Continuing through May 12 is Maitland and African-American Experiences, which combines the words of folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who as a young girl lived in Eatonville, with the art of J. André Smith, who painted vivid images of Eatonville in the 1930s. Meanwhile, on display through March 31, in a field between the art center and Lake Sybelia, is Indigo Waves, an interactive public-art project based upon agriculture. Artists-turned-gardeners Tory Tepp, Jill Altamore and Kim Reighter built sustainable irrigation and electrical systems so that, as the plants mature, they’re harvested and processed to make dyes, inks, pigments and fibers used to create tapestries and lattices in combination with recycled denim. As those natural-fiber creations break down from exposure to the elements, they’re composted back into the soil and replaced with new patches of “fresh art.” Admission to the art center’s galleries is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students (ages 5 to 17) and free for children age 4 and under. Maitland residents receive a $1 discount. The Cultural Corridor also includes the Telephone Museum, located with the historical museum at 221 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, and the Carpentry Shop Museum, located with the Waterhouse Residence at 820 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. 407-539-2181. artandhistory.org.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the Morse houses the world’s most important collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and an entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The museum opened its 2018-19 season in October with a major exhibition, Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery (see page 92) The displayed objects, which date from the 1870s to the early 1900s, are drawn from the museum’s collection of American art pottery — one of the largest such collections in the U.S. The exhibition will continue through September 2020. Continuing through January 27 is 19th-Century American Landscapes, which elucidates the affinity between artists from the French Barbizon School and American painters of the late 1800s, including Otto Heinigke, William Louis Sonntag and George Inness. Opening on February 12 is Iridescence in Glass and Pottery: A Celebration, examines how, during the second half of the 19th century, the premier decorative art studios in Europe and America — including Tiffany’s — developed iridescent glass and glazes that mimic the natural “shimmering” of seashells, butterfly wings and peacock feathers. A smaller related “vignette,” Charles Hosmer Morse’s Arts and Crafts Study at Osceola Lodge, features some of the Arts-and-Crafts-style furnishings with which Morse refitted Winter Park’s now-historic Osceola Lodge after buying the home in 1904. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than age 12, although free admission is offered during extended hours on Fridays, from 4 to 8 p.m., through April 26. The museum is also suspending entrance fees for free, all-day open houses on February 15 through 17 during Winter Park’s annual Weekend of the Arts celebration and again on March 15 through 17 for the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the Cornell houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Free tours take place at 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the on-campus facility, and at 1 p.m. on Sundays at the nearby Alfond Inn, which displays dozens of works from the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Happy Hour tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted on the first Wednesday of most months at 5:30 p.m. If you prefer historic works, Throwback Thursday tours are offered at the museum from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of most months. On January 17, the museum debuts four exhibitions: De La Torre Brothers: Rococolab, the collaborative work of artists-brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre, whose complex baroque-inspired sculptures and “lenticulars” — those accordion-pleated pictures that show different images when viewed from the left or the right — are a product of their bicultural existence in Mexico and Southern California (through May 12); The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations, works from the permanent collection that illustrate the notion of “place” in its varied definitions, from geographic locations to historical moments (through May 12); José A. Figueroa: A Transitional Generation, featuring photographs by the Havana-born artist that chronicle daily life in Cuba since the Cuban Revolution (through April 7); and Body Snatchers: Death in Culture, which tells through art the story of the shifting meanings attached to dead bodies, from religious reverence to medical research (through April 7). A long-term exhibition through which works periodically rotate — Ruptures and Remnants: Selections from the Permanent Collection — offers material manifestations, from antiquity to the present day, of ruptures ranging from personal crises to nation-state upheavals. It continues through December 31, 2020. Admission is free, courtesy of PNC Financial Services Group. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2526. rollins.edu/cfam.
Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this not-for-profit arts organization on Winter Park’s east side offers year-round visual-arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. Admission to the school’s galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. Continuing through January 12 is Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African-American Artists, a joint exhibition with the Hannibal Square Heritage Center that features works from the Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman, the core of which encompasses art created by Works Progress Administration (WPA) artists in the 1930s and 1940s. 600 Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-671-1886. crealde.org.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically African-American west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents that are together known as the Heritage Collection. Admission is free. Continuing through January 12 is Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African-American Artists, a joint exhibition with Winter Park’s Crealdé School of Art that features works from the Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman (see the description in the Crealdé listing above). Also ongoing is the Hannibal Square Timeline, which documents significant local and national events in African-American history since the Emancipation Proclamation. The center offers a walking tour of Hannibal Square, Now and Then, with Fairolyn Livingston, the center’s chief historian. The tour, offered the third Saturday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m., requires reservations; the cost is $10, or $5 for those with student IDs. Historic sites include Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, the Welbourne Avenue Nursery & Kindergarten and the Masonic Lodge, all built in the 1920s. 642 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-539-2680. hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org.
Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” in continuous operation on the campus of Rollins College since 1932, continues its 2018-19 season on February 15 with a new play. Yes, that’s the working title of a piece by playwright Kimberly Belflower commissioned by The Farm Theater of New York in partnership with three colleges, Rollins among them. The project allows students to work alongside Belflower on the world premiere of a work inspired by the Me Too movement, which has exposed systemic issues of sexual violence and harassment. Curtain time for the show, which runs for eight performances through February 23, is 8 p.m., 4 p.m. or 2 p.m., depending upon the day of the week. Tickets are $20. The theater’s Second Stage Series — located on the second floor of 203 East Lyman Avenue during construction of Rollins’ new Theatre & Dance Complex — features student-produced and student-directed plays. Upcoming is Grass Grows, a staged reading written and directed by Amanda Grace, in which a dancer whose world is colored by mental illness finds the courage to overcome the barriers that keep people apart. The single performance is February 9 at 8 p.m. Admission to Second Stage shows is free to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins.edu/annie-russell-theatre.
Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater continues its 2018-19 mainstage season with Ain’t Misbehavin’ – The Fats Waller Musical Show, which opens January 25 and continues through February 23. This song-and-dance revue evokes the humor and infectious spirit of Waller, a jazz pianist/composer/singer and an American original. It features 30 songs he made famous, including “This Joint Is Jumpin’” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.” Next up is What a Glorious Feeling – The Story of Singin’ in the Rain, which opens March 15 and continues through April 13. This Southeastern U.S. premiere brings to life through song and dance the little-known story of the love triangle between Hollywood dancing legend Gene Kelly, legendary director and choreographer Stanley Donen and their studio assistant Jeanne Coyne during the filming of the iconic movie musical. Performances of both shows are Thursday through Sunday, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $15 for students to $42 for evening shows. Meanwhile, the theater’s Spotlight Cabaret Series continues select Wednesdays and Thursdays with Lindsay Nantz and Kate Zaloumes on January 16 and 17, and Kevin Kelly on February 20 and 21. General admission is $20 plus a one-drink minimum (with $10 standing-room-only tickets available once general seating is sold out). 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145. winterparkplayhouse.org.
Pookie’s RescueFest. This annual pet-adoption day and fundraiser for local not-for-profit animal-rescue groups returns for its 10th year to Lake Lily Park in Maitland. The event, slated January 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attracts dozens of rescue groups and thousands of pet lovers. In addition to adoptions, there’s a wealth of information offered by a variety of pet-oriented vendors, including trainers, sitters, boarders and veterinarians. 900 South Orlando Ave., Maitland. 321-287-0390. pookiesrescuefest.org.
Unity Heritage Festival. This year’s 17th annual festival takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and promotes family history while raising funds for programs assisting economically disadvantaged youth. The January 21 event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square neighborhood, starts with a special program at 10 a.m. in Shady Park and continues through the day with live music, food concessions and various activities. Admission is free. 721 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-599-3334. cityofwinterpark.org.
Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Among the oldest, largest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals in the U.S., the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival celebrates its 60th year on March 15 through 17. The festival, which features more than 200 artists selected from more than 1,000 applicants, draws more than 300,000 visitors to Central Park on Park Avenue downtown. Participating artists compete for dozens of awards with tens of thousands of dollars in prize money at stake. In addition to works in a variety of media — painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, fiber, leather, wood, glass and jewelry — there are kid-friendly activities in the Children’s Workshop Village and an exhibition of student art from Orange County public and private schools. There are also dozens of food and drink concessions and live entertainment. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. The nearby Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is offering free admission to its galleries on all three days. 407-644-7207. wpsaf.org.
Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. This popular, weeklong series of events and exhibitions, now in its 30th year, takes place mostly in Eatonville, where the namesake author and folklorist spent much of her childhood. But there are also events in neighboring Winter Park, Maitland and Orlando. Running January 26 to February 3, the festival includes companion exhibitions at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts in Eatonville and the Arts & History Museums – Maitland, a two-day conference at Rollins College, two programs at Orange Technical College in south Orlando, several other programs in Eatonville — all leading to the Outdoor Festival of the Arts, a three-day street party in the heart of Eatonville. Many events are free and open to the public. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum, 227 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407-647-3188. zorafestival.org.
Enzian. This cozy, nonprofit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Tickets are usually $12 for regular admission; $10 for matinees, students, seniors and military (with ID); and $9.50 for Enzian Film Society members. But children under age 12 are admitted free to Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films, shown the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. School of Rock (January 27) and *Batteries Not Included (February 24) are coming up next. Upcoming Saturday Matinee Classics, shown the second Saturday of each month at noon, include Fargo (January 12) and Battleship Potemkin (February 9). Upcoming Cult Classics, shown the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m., include Gremlins (January 8), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (January 29), Clash of the Titans (March 12) and Deep Blue Sea (March 26). FilmSlam, which spotlights Florida-made short films, takes place most months on the first or second Sunday at 1 p.m.; the next scheduled dates are January 13 and March 10. Music Mondays present new and classic concert-music documentaries and music-focused films, usually on the third Monday of each month at 9:30 p.m. Midnight Movies is an ongoing series of envelope-pushing classic and cutting-edge films that start at 11:59 p.m. Other upcoming special showings include the Reel Representation: Diversity in Film showcase, scheduled for February 16 and 17. 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices). enzian.org.
Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, family-friendly films free in Central Park on Park Avenue. These outdoor screenings are usually on the second Thursday of each month and start whenever it gets dark. Upcoming films include Iron Man (January 10, 7 p.m.), Roman Holiday (February 7, 7 p.m.) and Smokey and the Bandit (March 14, 8 p.m.). Bring a snack plus a blanket or chairs. 407-629-1088. enzian.org.
Screen on the Green. The City of Maitland offers free outdoor movies each fall and spring on the field at Maitland Middle School. Bring a snack plus a blanket or chairs. 1901 Choctaw Trail, Maitland. 407-539-0042. itsmymaitland.org.
Friday Brown Bag Matinees. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art presents three film series each year on topics related to the museum’s collection as well as art in general. Admission is free to these lunchtime screenings, which span the noon hour on select Fridays in the Jeannette G. and Hugh F. McKean Pavilion on Canton Avenue, just behind the Morse. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunches; the museum provides soft drinks and themed refreshments. The four-part Winter Series, City Solutions, examines skyscrapers, urban planning and city parks. It kicks off February 1 and February 8 with Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture, a two-part film about the man considered to be the father of the skyscraper. Up next on February 15 is Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City, about the architect and urban planner who was director of works for Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The final film in the series on February 22 is Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, which examines the career of the iconic landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park and was the inspiration for Winter Park’s Central Park. 161 West Canton Avenue.
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home, designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II, is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by docents on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, live music is featured in the large downstairs parlor on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. (see “Music”). 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us.
Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, archives and a research library. The museum’s ongoing exhibition, Tribute to the Holocaust, is a presentation of artifacts, videos, text, photographs and other works of art. Admission to the center is free. 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland. 407-628-0555. holocaustedu.org.
Winter Park History Museum. Ongoing displays include artifacts dating from the city’s beginnings as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. Its current exhibition is Wish You Were Here: The Hotels & Motels of Winter Park. Admission is free. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-2330. wphistory.org.
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information about the historic city; it also sponsors exhibitions featuring the works of African-American artists and is an integral part of the annual, weeklong Zora! Festival each January. Open since September is Zora Neale Hurston’s “Native Village:” Historic Eatonville Remembered – Autobiography, Folklore, Literature. Admission is free, though group tours require a reservation and are charged a fee. 227 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407-647-3188. preserveeatonville.org, zorafestival.org, hurstonmuseum.org.
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. Eatonville, arguably the oldest incorporated African-American municipality in the U.S., begins its 42st annual parade on January 19 at 2 p.m. along Kennedy Boulevard, just east of Wymore Road and Interstate 4. 407-623-8900. townofeatonville.org.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Central Florida’s only St. Patrick’s Day parade is always held the first Sunday in March. This year’s 41st annual parade is slated for March 3 at 2 p.m., with more than 75 marching units starting by the Winter Park Country Club and heading south along Park Avenue through the city’s signature shopping district to Lyman Avenue. 407-599-3334. cityofwinterpark.org.
Gladdening Light Symposium 2019. Matthew Fox, an activist and theologian, and Ilia Delio, a Villanova University professor and authority on the integration of science and religion, are the featured lecturers at this year’s three-day symposium, organized by GladdeningLight, a Winter Park-based nonprofit that explores the intersection of art and spirituality. The February 1 to 3 event, which takes place at a half-dozen venues on the Rollins College campus, also includes Irish spiritual singer and Christian scholar Nóirín Ní Riain and her two singer-songwriter sons, Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin. This year’s theme is The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe. Tickets range from $25 (for Saturday evening’s forum only) to $220 (for an all-access pass that includes every event.
Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. Each year, the institute presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. The third lecture of the 2018-19 season, on January 23, features movie director Sean Baker, best known for independent feature films such as The Florida Project, about a 6-year-old and her mother struggling to survive hard times while living in the shadow of Walt Disney World near Orlando. The program, A Conversation with an American Filmmaker, starts at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium. The season’s fourth lecture, What Poets Talk About When They Talk About Love, will be given by Billy Collins, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate and the Winter Park Institute’s Distinguished Senior Fellow. Collins’ February 17 program starts at 2 p.m. in Rollins’ Tiedtke Concert Hall. Tickets for either lecture are $25. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins.edu/wpitickets.
Winter with the Writers. Sponsored by the Rollins College Department of English and open to the public, this annual series dates to 1927, when it featured such luminaries as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ogden Nash and Carl Sandburg. This year’s series opens on February 6 with a 5:30 p.m. screening of the film Don’t Think Twice in Bush Auditorium, followed by a conversation via Skype with writer/director/star Mike Birbiglia and the film’s consulting producer Jen Hope Stein. The series continues February 7 at 4 p.m. with Liz Allen: Improv Class, during which the improv veteran will teach a class in Rollins’ SunTrust Auditorium. Next up, on February 14, is Brian Turner, a poet and seven-year Army veteran whose recent memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country, has been called “achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful.” His reading starts at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium. On February 21 at 7:30 p.m. is a reading by Barbara Hamby, who teaches at Florida State University and is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent of which is Bird Odyssey. Her reading starts at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium. On February 28, author Jennifer Clement, the first woman elected president of PEN International, a worldwide association of writers founded in London nearly a century ago, will teach a master class in SunTrust Auditorium at 2 p.m. and have a joint reading at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium with an as-yet unannounced finalist for the 2018 National Book Awards. Clement’s recent novel Gun Love is an Oprah Book Club Selection and a National Book Award finalist. 407-646-2666. rollins.edu/winter-with-the-writers.
University Club of Winter Park. Nestled among the oaks and palms at the north end of Park Avenue’s downtown shopping district — a block beyond Casa Feliz — is another historic James Gamble Rogers II building, this one home to the University Club of Winter Park. Members are dedicated to the enjoyment of intellectual activities and socializing with one another. The club’s various activities, including lectures, are open to the public, although nonmembers are asked to donate a $5 activity fee each time they attend. (Some events include a buffet lunch for an added fee.) Check the club’s website for the next lecture or special event. 841 North Park Avenue. 407-644-6149. uclubwp.org.
Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, open-air market — held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses as well as plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music by Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. itsmymaitland.com.
Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old railroad depot, which also houses the Winter Park History Museum. The open-air market offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. cityofwinterpark.org.
Bach Festival. The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park celebrates its 84th season with another jam-packed festival in February and early March. This year the annual series of concerts begins on February 10 with performances at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, under the direction of John V. Sinclair, of Spiritual Spaces: A Musical Retreat, a program of relaxing and meditative music. On February 15 at 7:30 p.m. is a free organ recital by virtuoso Paul Jacobs, the only organist to have won a Grammy Award. On February 16, the well-known a cappella group Voctave makes its orchestral debut in a program with the Bach Festival Orchestra that includes the group’s version of “Disney Fly Medley.” The performance is at 7:30 p.m. (See page 40). Voctave performs again on February 17 at 3 p.m. On February 22 and 23, in an unusual take on music that celebrates the seasons of the year, the Bach Festival Orchestra and several instrumental soloists perform an amalgamation of four seasonal pieces — each written by a different composer from a different country about a different season. Concertos by Candlelight: Four Seasons Around the Globe starts at 7:30 p.m. on both nights. Also on the program: J.S. Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto No. 3 and Michael Haydn’s Double Horn Concerto in E flat Major. On February 24, Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman, winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition, performs a 3 p.m. recital program that had yet to be announced at press time. The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, plus soloists, close out the festival on March 2 and 3 with back-to-back days of music: a Saturday evening program at 7:30 titled Mozart Times Two, featuring his Symphony No. 40 in G minor and the composer’s Great Mass in C minor; and a Sunday afternoon performance at 3 p.m. of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion. All performances are in Knowles Memorial Chapel on the Rollins College campus, except the Itamar Zorman recital, which is in the college’s Tiedtke Concert Hall. Tickets range in price from free to $79 each, depending upon the performance and the seating. 407-646-2182. bachfestivalflorida.org.
Bach Festival Society Insights & Sounds Series. On January 24, the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra and four soloists, under the direction of John V. Sinclair, perform Antonio Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, the only surviving oratorio of the four Vivaldi is known to have composed. The Insights & Sounds concerts, at 7:30 p.m., combine great music with discussion of the works being performed; the programs are designed both for connoisseurs and classical music novices. Tickets range in price from $20 to $45. Tiedtke Concert Hall, Rollins College campus, Winter Park. 407-646-2182.
Bach Festival Society Visiting Artist Series. On March 16, the society hosts the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin in Tiedtke Concert Hall on the Rollins College campus. The ensemble was founded in 1983 by members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The program, which starts at 7:30 p.m., had yet to be announced at press time. Tickets range in price from $25 to $69. 407-646-2182. bachfestivalflorida.org.
Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This eclectic venue is part concert hall, part recording studio and part art gallery. It offers live performances most evenings, with an emphasis on jazz, classical and world music — although theater, dance and spoken-word presentations are sometimes on the schedule. Admission generally ranges from free to $25. Upcoming musical performances include: Mile Twelve (January 19, 8 p.m., $25); Svetlana & The Delancey Five (February 14 and 15, 8 p.m., $25); Sportiello, Parrott & Metz (February 17, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., $25); Alexis Cole (March 3, 8 p.m., $25); Jump, Jive & Wail – The Music of Louis Prima (March 6, 8 p.m., $25); and the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc (March 29, 7 p.m., $25). 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park. 407-636-9951. bluebambooartcenter.com.
Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based not-for-profit is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk music, primarily through concerts usually held on the last Sunday of each month (unless a holiday intervenes). The group’s primary venue is the Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. The next two library concerts are: Danika Holmes, plus Lee Kelly (February 24); and Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen, plus The Squirrel Hillbillies (March 31). Performances start at 2 p.m. A donation of $15 for nonmembers is suggested. 407-679-6426. cffolk.org.
Dexter’s of Winter Park. This well-known restaurant in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square district occasionally has live musical acts, with no cover charge. Upcoming performances include The Franchise Players (January 5, March 22 and March 23, 8:30 p.m.), and Eden Lane (February 16, 8:30 p.m.). 558 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-629-1150. dextersorlando.com.
Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum presents free acoustic-instrument performances most Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in the museum’s cozy main parlor. Upcoming performances include: USA Dance (January 6), Beautiful Music (January 13), Don Soledad Duo (January 20), Victoria Schultz (January 27), Shirley Wang (February 17), Lisa Ferrigno (February 24), Beautiful Music (March 10), Alborea Dances (March 24) and Luis Garcia (March 31). 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us.
Opera Orlando at the Casa. Experience Rossini’s The Barber of Seville as never before, as the audience moves about the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum with the characters as they act and sing (in English) this classic comic opera during performances that start January 31 and continue through February 10. Food and drink are served during the 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. performances. Opera Orlando’s Gabriel Preisser stars as Figaro, the dashing baritone, supported by a cast of Opera Orlando favorites including mezzo-soprano Sarah Nordin as Rosina, bass-baritone Nathan Stark as Bartolo and bass-baritone Tyler Putnam as Basilio. Tickets for this unique, site-specific production are $75 (with special pricing for the Sunday “brunch” matinees). 656 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-512-1900.
Yonetani Concert. The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens’ annual chamber concert, now in its 12th year, features internationally acclaimed violin/viola soloist Ayako Yonetani. This year’s performance, with a variety of guest instrumentalists, is on March 10 at 2 p.m. in the Capen-Showalter House on the museum’s grounds. Yonetani, who holds three degrees from the Juilliard School, is a professor of violin/viola at the University of Central Florida, but she also travels the world as a guest soloist and in Japan is a member of that country’s premier chamber ensemble in Tokyo. The Polasek concert, with seating limited to 45 people, is followed by a private reception. Ticket information was not available at press time. 633 Osceola Avenue. 407-647-6294. polasek.org.
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions/Vocal Competition. On January 19, as many as 40 young, classically trained singers from across Florida assemble at Trinity Preparatory School to compete for an opportunity to sing onstage at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This district competition, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is free and open to the public; the winners advance to a Regional Final, the last hurdle before New York. 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park. 407-922-4688. metauditionsflorida.org.
Weekend of the Arts. This annual event, first organized in 2018 by the City of Winter Park’s Public Art Advisory Board and its Arts & Culture Subcommittee, draws upon the resources of more than 20 local arts and cultural organizations to present four days of free, live performances and special exhibitions around the city Friday through Monday, February 15-18. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, for example, offers free admission to its galleries the entire weekend (although it is closed as usual on Monday). 407-599-3428.
Metro Cup Regatta. The oldest dual-crew meet in Florida is fueled by a crosstown rivalry between teams from the University of Central Florida and Rollins College as well as teams from longtime scholastic foes Winter Park and Edgewater high schools. On March 2, eight- and four-rower boats race across Lake Maitland starting at 8 a.m. The competition is best viewed from the southeast shore at Kraft Azalea Garden on Alabama Drive or, better yet, from a boat on Lake Maitland. The event is a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Orange County East-Winter Park, which sells refreshments and operates a shuttle bus between the parking lot at Lakemont Elementary School and the garden’s viewing area. Admission is free, but a donation is requested. Parking is very limited near the garden. rotaryoce.org.
Winter Park Garden Club. The club’s general membership meetings always offer something intriguing for lovers of gardening and the great outdoors. Its January 16 meeting, which starts at 10 a.m., will feature a presentation on growing spectacular camellias presented by Jim Hunter, a master gardener and owner of South Seminole Farm and Nursery. Its February 13 meeting, which also starts at 10 a.m., will include a private tour of Mead Botanical Garden, a 47-acre urban oasis aptly dubbed “Winter Park’s Natural Place.” Its February 27 meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m., will be the ever-popular Games Day (bridge, mahjong and more), which encompasses a silent auction and includes a continental breakfast with mimosas and lunch. Games Day, which benefits the club’s UCF Endowed Scholarship Fund and other projects, usually sells out quickly so make your reservations today. The cost is $25. Its March 13 meeting, which starts at 10 a.m., hosts Janice Banks, executive director of Edible Education Experience, a not-for-profit organization that operates the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden in College Park. Banks’ topic will be Seed-to-Table Learning Experiences for Children. All events are at the club’s headquarters at 1300 South Denning Drive. To make reservations for Games Day or to get additional information about the club, which was founded in 1922, call 407-644-5770 or email email@example.com.
Florida Writers Association. The Orlando/Winter Park-Area Chapter meets the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for guest speakers and discussions organized by author Rik Feeney. Upcoming events are slated for January 2, February 6 and March 6 at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. Another chapter, the Maitland Writers Group, meets the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for speakers and discussions organized by author Nylda Dieppa-Aldarondo. Upcoming events are slated for January 10, February 14 and March 14 at the Maitland Public Library. 501 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland.
Wednesday Open Words. One of the area’s longest-running open-mic poetry nights happens every Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Austin’s Coffee, 929 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park. The free readings are hosted by Curtis Meyer. 407-975-3364.
Work in Progress: A Group for Writers. This monthly discussion group is for writers in any genre who offer and receive feedback from their peers. Guest speakers are often invited to meetings, which are the first Saturday of each month. Upcoming dates include January 5, February 2 and March 2, each from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Those planning to read their works aloud should register with organizer and host Gerald Schiffhorst, a University of Central Florida professor emeritus of English, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Conference Room, Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. wppl.org.
Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts. This group offers various free programs that attract writers of all stripes. Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour ... or Thereabouts, a literary open-mic night, meets the second Wednesday of most months at 7 p.m. at Stardust Video & Coffee; it’s for authors, poets, filmmakers, comedians, musicians, bloggers and others. Upcoming meet-ups include January 10, February 14 and March 14. 1842 Winter Park Road, Winter Park. Orlando WordLab, a new program that combines the old Writers Roundtable and So You Think You Can Funny?, meets the fourth Monday of each month at the Winter Park Public Library starting at 7 p.m.; upcoming dates include January 22, February 26 and March 26. 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. meetup.com/writers-of-central-florida-or-thereabouts, stardustvideoandcoffee.wordpress.com, wppl.org.
Park Avenue 5K. This fourth race in the Track Shack Running Series, slated January 19, starts and finishes on Park Avenue. In between, it winds its way for 3.1 miles through beautiful neighborhoods surrounding downtown Winter Park. The 5K race starts at 7:30 a.m., while the Kids’ Run starts at 8:45 a.m. Runners and spectators are advised to arrive early because race-related road closures snarl traffic near Central Park. Registration is $33 through January 5, $38-$45 after that. 407-896-1160. trackshack.com.
Run 4 Love 4 Mile. This February 9 run is for those in love with running or walking — or perhaps with one another. The 4-mile run or walk starts at 7:30 a.m. followed by a Kids’ Run at 9 a.m. and a costume contest and awards presentations. Registration for this, the fifth race in the Track Shack Running Series, is $33 through January 26, $36-$40 after that date. Showalter Field, 2525 Cady Way, Winter Park. trackshack.com.
42nd Winter Park Road Race. This March 23 event, the final race of the annual Track Shack Running Series, includes a 10K (6.2-mile) race at 7:30 a.m. as well as a 2-mile race at 7 a.m. and a Kids’ Run at 9:30 a.m. Registration for the 10K is $40 through March 9, $45-$50 after that. Central Park, 251 S. Park Ave., Winter Park. trackshack.com.
Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly gatherings attract business- and civic-minded locals who enjoy coffee and conversation about community issues. Scheduled for the second Friday of most months, upcoming dates include January 11, February 8 and March 8. Networking begins at 8 a.m., followed by a 45-minute program at 8:30 a.m. Admission, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.
Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings — held the first Monday of most months from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — feature guest speakers and provide networking opportunities for women business owners. Topics revolve around leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. Upcoming dates include January 7, February 4 and March 4. Tickets, which include lunch, are $25 for members and $50 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.
8th Annual Chili for Charity. The Rotary Club of Winter Park’s chili cook-off, which sparks the creativity of top local caterers and restaurants, is slated February 27 from 5-8 p.m. at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. Participants in the fundraiser compete for awards and undergo the scrutiny of a select panel of judges. In addition to the savory chili, there are drinks, a silent auction and live music. Net proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Winter Park Foundation, which provides grants to more than 30 local charities. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Patron packages, which include four tickets and program recognition, are $250. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. clubrunner.ca/winterpark.
Woodstock Winter Park 2019: A Groovy Garden Affair. Mead Botanical Garden’s signature fundraising event is an evening of peace, love and groovy sounds from the ’60s. The event — which takes place at the garden — starts at 6 p.m. with food at various stations followed by a live concert at 8 p.m. courtesy of Central Florida Community Arts. Tickets are $125. 1300 South Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-599-2800. meadgarden.org.
Lakes Berry and Spier Watershed Cleanup. Volunteers who help the City of Winter Park collect litter from around lakes Berry and Spier — Berry is directly behind Westminster Winter Park at 1111 South Lakemont Avenue, while Spier is at the southwest corner of Lakemont and Glenridge Way— receive breakfast, a T-shirt, a snack and a water bottle. Kayakers and paddle boarders are welcome to participate. Volunteers meet January 5 at 8 a.m. at 1111 South Lake Avenue (Westminster Winter Park’s parking area). Gloves, bags and other supplies will be provided. 407-599-3364. cityofwinterpark.org.
A Poet Talks About Love
Baffled by love? Who better to explain things than a poet? Billy Collins, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate, will reveal What Poets Talk About When They Talk About Love during a reading on Sunday, February 17 at Tiedtke Concert Hall on the campus of Rollins College.
Collins is a rare poet whose collections scale the New York Times bestseller list and whose appearances attract packed houses. His presentation is part of the popular speaker series presented by the college’s Winter Park Institute.
A Winter Park resident since 2008, Collins is without question the most important writer of any genre ever to have a 32789 zip code. The genial Manhattan native has thus far published 13 volumes of poetry, including 2017’s The Rain in Portugal.
He has appeared regularly on A Prairie Home Companion — the first time in 1998 — and on other NPR programs, including Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
On the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Collins was asked to write a poem commemorating the victims and to read it before a joint session of Congress held in New York City. “The Names,” which alphabetically incorporated the surnames of those who had been killed, struck precisely the right tone with its quiet humanity.
Still, Collins is best known for his playful and poignant observations about everyday life. “The Lanyard,” about a child’s gift to his mother, is arguably his most-loved work. And a TED Talk in which he recites two poems about the inner thoughts of dogs has garnered more than 1.6 million views.
Accolades for Collins include the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry as well as fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 1992, he was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Literary Lion. Last year, Collins was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers and writers.
His proudest achievements: The Poetry 180 program for high schools, in which he chose and published one poem for each day of the school year, and making a birdie on the 12th hole at Augusta National.
Tickets for Collins’s talk are $25. Call 407-646-2145 or visit rollins.edu/wpitickets.
Chow Down on Chili, Help Local Charities
Dine on some of the most creative chili imaginable, enjoy live entertainment and hobnob with friends and neighbors — all while helping local not-for-profits.
It must be Chili for Charity time in Winter Park, when the Rotary Club of Winter Park turns the downtown Farmers’ Market on West New England Avenue into a culinary carnival featuring savory stews from a who’s who of local restauranteurs.
The event — the local Rotary chapter’s largest fundraiser — is slated for Wednesday, February 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. and everyone’s invited. Some of the more adventurous entrants may stretch the definition of what qualifies as chili, but it’s all delicious.
Tickets are $35 each, or four for $100. VIP tickets are $75 each, or four for $125. Funds raised are reinvested right in our own backyard. Since its inception more than eight years ago, Chili for Charity has returned more than $400,000 to organizations that provide cultural, health, educational and recreational services to Winter Parkers.
Over the past 25 years, those same organizations have received more than $800,000 from the local Rotary chapter.
Past grant recipients have included A Gift for Teaching, the Adult Literacy League, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida and the Boy Scouts of America: Central Florida Chapter.
Also, the Center for Independent Living, the Christian Service Center, the Crealdé School of Art, the Easter Bunny Foundation, Easter Seals of Florida, Family Promise of Greater Orlando, Foundation for Foster Children, the Give Hope Foundation, the Hemophilia Foundation of Greater Florida, I-Dignity and Impower.
Also, the Jobs Partnership of Florida, Killarney Elementary School, Lighthouse Central Florida, The Gardens at DePugh Nursing Center, Mead Botanical Garden, Michelee Puppets, New Hope for Kids, the Welbourne Avenue Day Nursery, the Winter Park Day Nursery, Winter Park High School, the Winter Park History Museum, the Winter Park Public Library, Winter Park Memorial Hospital (now AdventHealth Winter Park) and Winter Park Playhouse.
To buy Chili for Charity tickets, visit chiliforcharity.org.
Exploring Science, Spirituality, Love
GladdeningLight, a local nonprofit that holds an annual three-day symposium concerning the intersection of spirituality and the arts, has announced the keynote presenters for its 2019 event, slated February 1-3 at Rollins College.
And it’s not too early to register, since some symposium activities usually sell out in advance.
Featured will be Matthew Fox, an activist and theologian who ignited the revolutionary Creation Spirituality movement, and Ilia Delio, a Villanova University professor whose scholarship concerns the integration of science and religion.
The theme of the eighth annual GladdeningLight Symposium of the Spiritual Arts is The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe.
“Leading-edge science supports a new understanding of love as the fundamental energy of evolution,” says Randall B. Robertson, the organization’s founding director. “We’re fortunate to host two beacons of the modern Creation Spirituality movement, in dialogue together for the first time.”
Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of indigenous, Eastern and Western mysticism with the revelations of modern science to promote social, racial, gender and environmental justice.
Past GladdeningLight symposia have welcomed visitors from 33 states and around the world. The 2018 symposium was the first hosted by Rollins.
The arts play a prominent role in every GladdeningLight symposium, and next year is no different, showcasing the talents of Nóirín Ní Riain and Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin.
The Ó Súilleabháins, troubadours in the ancient Irish a cappella tradition, delighted local audiences two years ago. In 2019, they’ll bring their unique brand of musical magic to Knowles Memorial Chapel, where they’ll commemorate the feast day of Irish patron St. Brigid.
The February 1 performance will also include a candlelit processional. To help set the mood, GladdeningLight has engaged a guild of local iconographers to paint Celtic icons around the chapel.
In addition to performing, the three singers will also offer lectures throughout the weekend.
Delio, a Franciscan nun as well as a professor, has recently written a national bestseller, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being. Fox, a symposium keynoter in 2013, has written such perennial bestsellers as Original Blessing. He heads the Fox Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Cost to attend the entire weekend is $220, which allows access to all symposium events. There’ll be $25 single tickets available to hear Fox and Delio in dialogue on February 2. Rollins students, staffers and faculty members are granted free, all-access admission with pre-registration and valid ID.
Call 407-647-3963 or visit gladdeninglight.org for more information.