Prauge-born Jan Kaláb, who began his career as a graffiti artist, was recently in residence at the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, where he’ll showcase his neon-hued canvas creations and two outdoor installations during The Soul of Graffiti: Jan Kaláb. The exhibition is timed to coincide with the 100th birthday of Czechoslovakia, which was also the home country of the museum’s namesake.

Graffiti Artist Makes His Point

It sounds like a recipe for disaster: Invite a graffiti artist onto the venerable grounds of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, where — what were they thinking? — he might run amok and redecorate its priceless collection of 200 irreplaceable 20th-century sculptural masterpieces as though they were so many freight cars.

Not to worry. The visiting artist, Jan Kaláb, isn’t just a fellow Czech. He’s also a respectful kindred spirit with the artist for whom the museum is named — albeit one from another generation who works in a very different genre.

To see Kaláb’s work is to realize what happens when a graffiti artist grows up. 

An installation of his three-dimensional, neon-hued canvas creations and two outdoor sculptures — one site-specific and one he previously exhibited at Art Basil in Miami — is on display on the grounds and in the galleries of the museum through December 2. 

The Soul of Graffiti: Jan Kaláb is timed to coincide with the 100th birthday of Czechoslovakia, which became a sovereign state in 1918.

Polasek, born in 1879 in what was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, avidly followed his homeland’s struggle to gain independence, even after immigrating to the United States as a young man. 

Two of his most memorable sculptures are a statue of President Woodrow Wilson, who championed the emerging nation, and Victory of Moral Law, a tribute to the Czech resistance against a 1957 invasion by the Soviet Union. 

Kaláb, who lives in Prague, was born in 1978 into a generation of European artists for whom graffiti was often a form of protest against totalitarianism and other social ills. Eventually, however, his interest shifted from fleeting, subway-and-boxcar-style images toward more permanent, three-dimensional and abstract forms. 

He’s strongly influenced by Frantisek Kupka, a 20th-century Czech painter with a pioneering interest in Orphic Cubism, which focuses on bright colors and pure abstraction.

“I’m 40 now. I see things differently,” said a paint-spattered Kaláb as he took a break from adorning an interior wall during an August residency at the Polasek.

Although he has established himself in the traditional art world with exhibitions in Argentina, Paris, London, Miami and elsewhere, Kaláb’s past as a street artist catches up with him now and then. In his youth, he tangled with authorities on a graffiti-painting expedition to New York City during an era when Mayor Rudy Giuliani was intent on having the city swept clean of it. 

Kaláb was detained and his name somehow wound up on a security-risk list. To this day, he occasionally gets pulled aside by airport security when he travels. “They look at me funny and ask me strange questions,” he said. “They ask me: ‘Do you paint things?’” 

Yes, he does. But not like before. Years ago, he changed his “tag” — a graffiti artist’s version of a byline — from “Cake,” which was a complicated play on words that he tried (unsuccessfully) to explain to me, to “Point,” which emphasizes his current focus on precision and minimalism. 

A good example of that focus is the site-specific sculpture, roughly the size of an SUV, which can be seen on the museum’s grounds. Though you might mistake it for an abstract dinosaur or a lightning bolt, upon closer examination you’ll see that it spells out “Point.” And it’s doing just that: pointing toward the epic-scale, heart-rending sculptures in the surrounding garden. 

Polasek was on a hero’s journey with these sculptures, and Kaláb’s brightly colored creation pays homage to that journey — a tacit way of acknowledging his sense of being in a conversation, of sorts, with the artist who preceded him here. 

Working to the very end, even after being partially paralyzed by a stroke, Polasek died in 1965. He had lived for 15 years at the lakeside retreat that would eventually become a museum showcasing his work. It’s a local treasure that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I see this as a dialogue,” said Kaláb. “That is the beauty of art. Even though [Polasek] is not alive, with art, we can still communicate.” 

Kaláb’s exhibition is presented by the Czech Republic’s Embassy and its Ministry of Culture along with numerous local sponsors. Curator Rachel Frisby sees the exhibition and the events surrounding it as a way to demonstrate how art has evolved in that country from Polasek’s era to the present. 

Events will include an open house on October 28 to commemorate Czechoslovakian Independence Day. The event, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m., is free for everyone. Snacks and hands-on art activities will be included. 

That’s followed by a Paint & Wine Night, which will offer step-by-step guidance for creating your own Cubist masterpiece along with a glass of wine and the requisite art supplies. It’s on November 9 at 7 p.m., and the cost is $35 for members and $40 for nonmembers. 

In addition, there’ll be an Artful Book Club meeting featuring a discussion of Franz Kafka’s The Trial, followed by a gallery tour with members of the Writer’s Block Bookstore staff. It’s on November 26 at 10 a.m., and admission is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. 

A Meet & Greet with Kaláb will be held on December 2, the final day of the exhibition, from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free for members, while regular museum prices is required for non-members. 

— Michael McLeod

What: The Soul of Graffiti: Jan Kaláb
Where: The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
Address: 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park
Hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors (60-plus), $8; college students (with ID), $8; K-12 students, $3; members and children age 4 and under, free. See separate pricing for special exhibition-related events.
For More: 407-647-6294, polasek.org


VISUAL ARTS

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 December 2 is Soul of Graffiti: Jan Kaláb, which showcases sculptures, 3-D canvases and a selection of new works as well as an original installation created while the contemporary Czech artist was in residence. Opening on December 11 is Lay of the Land: The Art of Florida’s Cattle Culture, which continues through April 14, 2019. The museum offers tours of Polasek’s home Tuesdays through Saturdays. It also 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 to the museum 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. Continuing through January 7, 2019, are two exhibitions timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. At the Maitland Art Center is Soldier’s Home: Veterans’ Art in Central Florida, which features the work of J. André Smith as well as that of three local artists who are also veterans: William Gura, Michael Moffett and Jim Hosner. At the nearby Maitland Art Center is J. André Smith and the Art of Camouflage, which re-creates some of the artist’s experimentation with camouflage during World War II. There’ll be two evenings of Haunted Tours of Maitland Art Center in the run-up to Halloween: October 5 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. (with family-friendly tours at 6 and 6:30 p.m.), and October 28 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The $15 tours ($10 for members) will include ghost stories, although the appearance of actual ghosts can’t be guaranteed. On display through March 2019, in a field between the art center and Lake Sybelia, is Indigo Waves, an interactive public-art project based upon the growing of plants. 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 the 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 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 Waterhouse Residence Museum and Carpentry Shop Museum, both built in the 1880s and located 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 opens its 2018-19 season on October 16 with Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery. The displayed works, which date from the 1870s to the early 1900s, are drawn from the museum’s extensive collection. The Morse offers free admission during extended hours on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. starting on November 2 and continuing through April 26. It also has a pair of all-day (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) open houses with free admission on December 22-23. Ongoing is 19th-Century American Landscapes, which illustrates 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. Admission to the museum is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students, and free for children younger than age 12. 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. Continuing through December 12 are a quartet of exhibitions: Fake News? Some Artistic Responses, works by American artists that contemplate the way we consume, perceive and transmit information; Forging Modern American Identities: Recent Acquisitions, a first look at recent gifts of early 20th century photographs and abstract art from Rollins alumni Barbara and Theodore Alfond; Jamilah Sabur: Ibine Ela Acu/Water Sun Moon, a multidisciplinary installation inspired by Central and North Florida history and traditions; and Dangerous Women, a series of more than 20 works from Sarasota’s John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art that collectively explores artistic responses to women of the Bible. A new, 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 replaces the museum’s long-running Conversations exhibit and continues through December 31, 2020. Admission to the museum 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, 2019, 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 ’30s and ’40s. 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 December 31 is HIS – Henderson, Israel & Simpson Project, a look at three key African-American leaders in Winter Park during the late 19th century: Gus C. Henderson, who started one of the first black-owned newspapers in Florida; and Frank R. Israel and Walter B. Simpson, who were the first — and thus far the only — black elected officials in the city. Continuing through January 12, 2019, is Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African-American Artists, a joint exhibition with the Hannibal Square Heritage Center 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. Also ongoing is the Hannibal Square Timeline, which documents significant local and national events in African-American history since the Emancipation Proclamation. The center also 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 a person, or $5 for those with a student ID. 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.

PERFORMING ARTS

Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” in continuous operation on the campus of Rollins College since 1932, kicks off its 2018-19 season on September 28 with Twelve Angry Jurors — originally called Twelve Angry Men — about deliberations that follow the trial of a young man accused of fatally stabbing his father. It seems like an open-and-shut case — until one juror refuses to agree to a “guilty” verdict. Curtain time for the show, which runs for eight performances through October 6, is 8 p.m., 4 p.m. or 2 p.m., depending upon the day of the week. Next up: Avenue Q, the story of a recent college graduate who moves into a shabby New York apartment and, with his new friends, struggles to find a job, women to date and a purpose in life. The musical won Broadway’s “Triple Crown” of Tony awards in 2004: Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. It, too, runs for eight performances, from November 16 through December 1. Four-show season tickets start at $60; a single performance is $20. 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 I Love a Piano, which runs through October 15. The revue, which celebrates the music of Irving Berlin, follows the journey of a single piano from its first days in Tin Pan Alley at the dawn of the 20th century through the 1950s. Next up is Winter Wonderettes, about a four-girl singing group that finds itself entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party when Santa Claus goes missing. The musical comedy, which opens November 16 and runs through December 16, features 1960s-style versions of such holiday classics as “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Winter Wonderland.” Shows are Thursdays through Sundays, 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 performances. Meanwhile, the theater’s Spotlight Cabaret Series continues on select Wednesdays and Thursdays with Dustin Cunningham on October 10 and 11 and Laura Hodos on November 7 and 8. General admission to the theater is $10. 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145. winterparkplayhouse.org.

FESTIVALS

Winter Park Autumn Art Festival. This two-day art show and sale, now in its 45th year, is the only juried fine-art festival in the state to feature Florida artists exclusively. The event, held downtown in Central Park along Park Avenue, runs October 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to art, there’s live entertainment. 251 South Park Avenue, Winter Park. winterpark.org.

Maitland Rotary Art Festival. The 42nd edition of this boutique art festival is, after a decade, dropping its “Art Under the Stars” theme and adopting daytime hours. The park around Lake Lily will come to life with artists, live entertainment and other free activities on November 17 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Only 150 artists are admitted to this juried show near the heart of Maitland’s new downtown core. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. maitlandrotaryartfestival.com.

Leadership Winter Park Oktoberfest. Held in the historic freight depot at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market, this October 24 event squeezes plenty of brats and beer into three hours starting at 5:30 p.m. Naturally, there’s an “oompah” band as well as savory German appetizers, beer and wine. Tickets are $20 for Leadership Winter Park members and alumni, and $25 for everyone else. Proceeds benefit the Legacy Fund of Leadership Winter Park, which offers scholarships for adults and youth seeking entry to Leadership Winter Park, a program sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.

FILM

Enzian. This cozy, not-for-profit alternative cinema kicks off its fall season with a trio of festivals. The 24th annual South Asian Film Festival takes place over three days, from September 29 through October 1. “Beyond Bollywood” showcases a diverse lineup of acclaimed independent films about the Indian subcontinent. Then, from November 10 through 12, the 20th annual Central Florida Jewish Film Festival celebrates Jewish life, culture and history. Finally, on November 17 and 18, the 27th annual Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase features locally produced films and videos, plus the best work from film-school students statewide. During October, many of the theater’s regular film series and special programs adopt appropriately spooky Halloween themes. Midnight Movies, for example, unleashes a series of envelope-pushing classic and cutting-edge films that start not at midnight, but at 11:59 p.m. Unsettling offerings include Sisters (October 6), Creepshow (October 13), Re-Animator (October 20) and The Hills Have Eyes (October 27). Upcoming Cult Classics, shown at 9:30 p.m., include The Craft (October 2), Frankenhooker (October 9), The Thing (October 23) and Horror of Dracula (October 30). Upcoming Saturday Matinee Classics include Nosferatu (October 13, noon), Lawrence of Arabia (November 10, 11 a.m.) and It’s a Wonderful Life (December 8, noon). New and classic concert-music documentaries and music-focused films are shown on Music Mondays. Coming up is a definite classic: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (October 15, 9:30 p.m.). Other impending special screenings, and the series to which they’re connected, include: Misery (Book to Big Screen, October 20, 11 a.m.), Frankenstein (National Theatre Live, October 28, 11 a.m.), King Lear (National Theatre Live, November 24, 11 a.m.) and The Madness of King George III (National Theatre Live, December 29, 11 a.m.). For youngsters, there’s a Halloween Party featuring Frankenweenie (October 21, 11:30 a.m.). For grownups, there’s the annual Halloween at Eden Bar Party (October 27) and the annual James Bond New Year’s Eve Party (December 31). The next scheduled FilmSlam, which spotlights Florida-made short films and is held the second Sunday of most months, is October 14 at 1 p.m. Children under age 12 are admitted free to Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films, shown the fourth Sunday of most months at noon. Coming up are Ponyo (November 25) and The Wizard of Oz (December 16). Tickets for most Enzian movies are $11 for regular admission; $9 for matinees, students, seniors and military (with ID); and $8.50 for Enzian Film Society members. 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 The Pit and the Pendulum (October 11, 8 p.m.) and Enchanted (November 8, 7 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. The program’s summer break ends October 6 with a showing of Peter Rabbit at 7:30 p.m., followed on November 10 by Jumanji and on December 15 by The Polar Express, both at 6 p.m. 1901 Choctaw Trail, Maitland. 407-539-0042. itsmymaitland.com.

HISTORY

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. Continuing through December 28 is Heroes of Warsaw, featuring artwork from two children’s books illustrated by Bill Farnsworth, who’s now based in Venice, Florida. A Hero and the Holocaust: The Story of Janusz Korczak and His Children is about a Polish doctor who died trying to protect the children in an orphanage he had founded, while Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto is about a Polish social worker who helped nearly 400 Jewish children escape the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. 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 to the museum 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. Opening September 29 is Zora Neale Hurston’s “Native Village:” Historic Eatonville Remembered — Autobiograpghy, Folklore, Literature. On October 20, a two-hour interactive workshop called Ekphrastic Eatonville will explore the town’s by using visual prompts to inspire the creation of poems and narratives based upon the personal knowledge and collective memory of participants. The program, presented by the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, starts at 2 p.m. Admission to the museum 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.

HOLIDAYS

8th Annual Pumpkins & Munchkins. Kids of all ages are invited to a city-sponsored Halloween gathering at Shady Park, located in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square district. The free event, which runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on October 31, includes games, bounce houses, a costume contest and a Trick-or-Treat Trail. Corner of New England and Pennsylvania avenues, Winter Park. 407-599-3334. cityofwinterpark.org.

Handel’s Messiah. The Messiah Choral Society is a Winter Park-based not-for-profit that assembles volunteer vocalists to perform George Frederic Handel’s most famous composition every Thanksgiving-to-Christmas season. The main event this year — its 46th annual local performance — is November 25 at 3 p.m. in the Bob Carr Theater, 401 West Livingston Street in downtown Orlando. Admission is free. messiahchoralsociety.org.

40th Annual Christmas in the Park: The Morse Museum of American Art and the City of Winter Park present this annual exhibition of century-old Tiffany windows combined with a free outdoor concert of holiday favorites by the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park’s choir, youth choir and brass ensemble. This year’s event is on December 6 from 6:15 to 8 p.m. in Central Park. North Park Avenue at Morse Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org.

Winter on the Avenue. The annual holiday street party, set for December 7, encompasses a flurry of activities, including the traditional tree-lighting ceremony at dusk. There’s also an outdoor movie and live entertainment including, of course, carolers. A Merchant Open House and Window Contest as well as a Holiday Art Competition are also in store. As a gift to the community, the Morse Museum of American Art offers free admission from 4 to 8 p.m. And Santa Claus — the real one, not just a guy dressed up in a red suit — is expected to drop by. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.

66th Annual Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade. This venerable holiday tradition, set for December 8 beginning at 9 a.m., has delighted locals since the early 1950s. More than 80 parade units are expected to make their way south along Park Avenue beginning at Cole Avenue and ending at Lyman Avenue. Participants in the 90-minute event include marching bands, dance troupes, police and fire departments, local dignitaries and, of course, the real Santa Claus — who will have appeared the night before at Winter on the Avenue. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.

Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast. Before and during the Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade on December 8, you can help turn pancake batter into dough — the spending kind — for civic-leadership scholarships at the 19th Annual Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast. From 7 to 10:30 a.m., a traditional pancake breakfast is served in Central Park near the outdoor stage. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. Proceeds benefit the Winter Park Improvement Foundation, which offers scholarships for adults and youth seeking entry to Leadership Winter Park, a program sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.

A Classic Christmas. Take part in yet another cherished Winter Park holiday tradition — this one purely musical. The program, part of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park’s Choral Masterpiece series, features beloved Christmas works performed by the society’s choir, youth choir and orchestra. Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College is the venue for the performances, which are set for December 15 and 16 at 2 and 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $79. 407-646-2182. bachfestivalflorida.org.

Vivacity Christmas Show. The Orlando dance band Vivacity spreads holiday cheer with jazzy takes on traditional holiday classics at the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts on December 9. There are two shows, at 3 and 7 p.m., and tickets are $20 to $35. 1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park. 407-636-9951. bluebambooartcenter.com.

New Year’s Eve with CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion. Ring in the new year at Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts with a high-octane group whose blend of blues, soul and roots music has been entertaining and inspiring audiences for more than 16 years. The evening includes hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $75. 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park. 407-636-9951. bluebambooartcenter.com.

LECTURES 

Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. Each year, the institute presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. The second lecture of the 2018-19 season, on October 22, features Martha C. Nussbaum, a philosopher, author and professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago. Her presentation, “Fear, Anger, and Hope: Democracy in Peril,” begins at 6 p.m. in the Bush Auditorium on the Rollins College campus. Tickets are $25. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins.edu/wpitickets.

MARKETS

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.

MUSIC

Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The society’s signature festival of concerts occurs every February and March, but it offers musical programs throughout the year. Here’s what’s coming for the remainder of 2018. First is Carmina Burana, a collaboration with the Orlando Ballet at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. There are four shows: October 12 at 7:30 p.m., October 13 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and October 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets to composer Carl Orff’s extravaganza are $19 to $99. Visit drphillipscenter.org or call 844-513-2014. Next, as part of the Visiting Artists series, is the Eroica Trio. The October 28 concert features the award-winning trio of pianist Erika Nickrenz, violinist Sara Parkins and cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Trio in E minor, Op. 67, and Felix Mendelssohn’s Trio in C minor, Op. 66. The performance begins at 3 p.m. in Tiedtke Concert Hall, and tickets are $25 to $69. Then, as part of the Insights & Sounds series, is Joe and Mike: The Haydn Brothers. The November 8 concert features music written by Franz Joseph Haydn and his younger brother Johann Michael Haydn, whom Mozart called the best church musician in Austria at the time. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Knowles Memorial Chapel, and tickets are $20 to $45. Also in November, as part of the Choral Masterworks series, is Mendelssohn and Mahler. The November 18 concert features the society’s choir and orchestra presenting a program of works by Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Knowles Memorial Chapel, and tickets are $25 to $69. The year concludes with two Christmas programs: Christmas in the Park is an annual exhibition of century-old Tiffany windows from the Morse Museum of American Art combined with an outdoor concert of holiday favorites by the society’s choir, youth choir and brass ensemble. The December 6 event, held in Central Park, begins at 6:15 p.m. and is free. Finally, as part of the Choral Masterworks series, A Classic Christmas is set for December 15 and 16 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. It features the society’s choir, youth choir and orchestra presenting another program of holiday music, this time in the more contemplative setting of Knowles Memorial Chapel. Tickets are $35 to $79. 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 also on the schedule. Admission generally ranges from free to $25. Upcoming musical performances include Nate Najar Trio (October 5, 8 p.m., $20), Ronnie Leigh (November 3, 8 p.m., $20), Mark Dawson (November 24, 8 p.m., $20), Mike Arroyo: The Expanded Jazz Organ Trio (November 25, 8 p.m., $20), Jason Marsalis Quartet (December 4, 7:30 p.m., $25), Diane Marino Quartet (December 7, 8 p.m., $20), Jonathan Baptiste and The Urban Intellectuals (December 8, 8 p.m., $25), Jaimie Roberts (December 14, 8 p.m., $20), Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci (December 30, 7:30 p.m., $28 to $55). 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 three concerts are: Ruth Wyand, with Tony Macaluso (October 28); Giulia Millanta, with Brett Cammack (November 18); and Keith Rea, with Jenn Weidley (December 9). 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 events include Dave Schweizer: Life on Mars (October 3, 6:30 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 on Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in the museum’s cozy main parlor. Upcoming performances include: Omar Miguel and Alboreá Dances (October 7), classical guitarist Luis Garcia (October 14), harpist Victoria Schultz (October 21), Classern Quartet (October 28), jazz saxophonist Matt Festa (November 4), Beautiful Music (November 11), pianist and singer Shirley Wang (November 18), classical guitarist Brian Hayes (November 25), saxophonist George Weremchuk (December 2), Alboreá Dances (December 9) and Anthology Quartet (December 16). The venue will be closed December 23 and December 30 for the holidays. 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us.

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert. Celebrate the season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in Central Park’s West Meadow. The Phil’s 4 to 6 p.m. program, set for December 2, will include holiday favorites. Bring a blanket and a picnic to this free event, made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. 407-599-3399. cityofwinterpark.org.

Performing Arts of Maitland. This not-for-profit group works with the City of Maitland and other organizations to promote performances for and by local musicians. It supports various groups, including the Maitland Symphony Orchestra, Maitland Market Music, the Maitland Stage Band and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra. Its fall schedule includes a free October 18 concert by the full orchestra at 7:30 p.m. in Maitland Presbyterian Church, a November 3 concert by the chamber orchestra at 4 p.m. in the Venue on the Lake ($10 at the door) and November 17 performances by Maitland Market Musicians and the Maitland Stage Band featuring Michael Andrew during the Maitland Rotary Art Festival at Lake Lily. 407-339-5984, Extension 219. pamaitland.org. 

CELEBRATIONS

Independence Lane Block Party. The City of Maitland celebrates the grand opening of Independence Lane — a scenic street designed for shopping, restaurants and public events — with a “Getdown Downtown” block party on October 5 from 6 to 10 p.m. The street, which parallels U.S. Highways 17-92 and Maitland Avenue from Horatio to Packwood avenues, is part of a newly built, high-density residential and retail project in the heart of the city’s redeveloped downtown. The block party will include live music, food and drink, and activities for children. Independence Square — a large park at the north end of the new street, next to City Hall — is set to be completed next year. 407-539-6200. itsmymaitland.com.

Park Avenue Sidewalk Sale. Enjoy savings of up to 70 percent at participating stores along Park Avenue October 11 to 13. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Park Avenue Merchants Association. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org/park-avenue.

EVENTS

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 discussions are set for October 3, November 7 and December 5 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 dates are October 11, November 8 and December 13 at the Maitland Public Library. 501 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland. floridawriters.net.

Elixer Mixer. Meet and watch the best shakers and stirrers in the area as they compete for your vote at Eden Bar’s annual Elixir Mixer. A $20 ticket to the outdoor bar — part of Maitland’s Enzian movie theater complex — on November 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. offers access to this tasting event, during which drinks are created by some of the region’s most talented (and most flashy) bartenders. Of course, you must be age 21 or older to attend. 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices). enzian.org.

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. austinscoffee.com.

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. Upcoming dates include October 6, November 3 and December 1, each from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Those planning to read their work should register with organizer and host Gerald Schiffhorst, a University of Central Florida professor emeritus of English, by emailing schiffhorst@yahoo.com. 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, open-mic programs that attract writers of all stripes. Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour ... or Thereabouts, a literary open-mic night, meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of most months at 7 p.m. It’s for authors, poets, filmmakers, comedians, musicians, bloggers and others. Upcoming meet-ups include October 10 and 24, November 14 and 28, and December 12 and 26. A new series, sponsored by the group Tim Rumsey’s Touch the Heart, focuses on works that reach readers emotionally. Upcoming meet-ups include October 17 and December 19. Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 Winter Park Road, Winter Park.
meetup.com/writers-of-central-florida-or-thereabouts, stardustvideoandcoffee.wordpress.com.

University Club of Winter Park.  Members are dedicated to enjoying intellectual activities and socializing with fellow knowledge-seekers. The club’s activities, including lectures, are open to the public, although nonmembers are asked to donate a $5 activity fee each time they attend. 841 North Park Avenue. 407-644-6149. uclubwp.org.

Sip, Shop & Stroll. Experience the charm of Winter Park’s world-famous Park Avenue, the region’s premier shopping district, while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres at participating businesses throughout the area. The November 15 event, organized by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Park Avenue Merchants Association, runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Check out fashions, gift ideas and seasonal menus during this lead-up to Small Business Saturday, which this year is November 24. Tickets are $25; check in at the corner of Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard between 5 and 7 p.m. to receive your wine glass and “passport.” 407-644-8281. winterpark.org, experienceparkavenue.com.

BUSINESS

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 October 5, November 9 and December 14. 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.

The Hot Seat. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, this series of quarterly, business-oriented luncheons puts local executives in the spotlight as they offer advice and discuss entrepreneurism, leadership and sales-and-marketing techniques. The next gathering, set for October 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., features Doug Storer, chief executive of Night Tech Gear Shoe Lights of Orlando. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. 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 October 1 and November 5. 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.

CAUSES

12th Annual Peacock Ball. The Winter Park History Museum’s annual fundraiser takes place this year on October 6 at Interlachen Country Club. This year’s event honors Randy Noles, editor and publisher of Winter Park Magazine. Tickets are $200 per person, or $1,900 for a non-sponsor table of 10. 2245 Interlachen Court, Winter Park. 407-304-6355. wphistory.org.

Curtains Up! 2018. Winter Park Playhouse’s annual fundraising gala, set for October 24 from 6-10 p.m., includes more than a dozen musical performers in a one-of-a-kind show plus food, an open bar, and both silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater. Tickets are $150 each; seating is limited to 123 persons. 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145. winterparkplayhouse.org.

Lake Killarney Watershed Cleanup. Volunteers who help the City of Winter Park collect litter from around Lake Killarney — bounded by Orlando Avenue (U.S. Highway 17-92), Lee Road, Wymore Road and Fairbanks Avenue — receive breakfast, a T-shirt, a snack and a water bottle. Kayakers and paddle boarders are welcome to participate. Volunteers meet October 20 at 8 a.m. at 450 Harper Street; parking is available there by the softball field in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Supplies will be provided. 407-599-3364. cityofwinterpark.org.

Partcipation 2018. Each year the Art & History Museums – Maitland stage a celebration on the grounds of the Maitland Art Center to raise money for the region’s only National Historic Landmark. This year’s event, set for October 25 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., features an elegant dinner, live entertainment (including music by Trecio and paintings by PJ Svejda) and a silent auction. Honorees include Maitland Mayor Dale McDonald, Jacqueline and Daniel Devine, The Joe & Sarah Galloway Foundation, Attillo and Florence Banca and Mary Curtis Bok, one of the original patrons of the museum and its founder J. André Smith. Tickets are $125. Germaine Marvel Building, 210 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland. 407-539-2181. artandhistory.org.

Backyard Biodiversity Day & Native Plant Sale. The local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society will do more than just sell plants at Winter Park’s Mead Botanical Garden on October 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free activities include guided hikes, workshops, live music, food trucks and children’s activities. All proceeds from the sale — which includes caterpillar-host plants, native wildflowers, and native trees and shrubs — benefit the ecological restoration projects ongoing at the garden. 1300 South Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-647-5233. meadgarden.org.

GrowVember Fall Plant Sale. With cooler weather and fewer bugs, autumn is a fabulous time for planting. That’s why, on November 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mead Botanical Garden hosts a variety of plant and nursery vendors offering a large selection of plants, home-and-garden accessories and specialty items. Net proceeds from the sale also benefit the ecological restoration projects ongoing at the garden. 407-599-3397. meadgarden.org.

Cows ’n’ Cabs. It’s a celebration of food and wine with some of the region’s best chefs and restaurants at the helm — and 100 percent of the proceeds go to Elevate Orlando and After-School All-Stars, two local not-for-profit programs that help underserved middle and high school students. The November 3 event, which includes live music, begins at 6 p.m. in the West Meadow of Central Park. Last year, tickets ranged from $110 to $500 a person; this year a new price structure is planned that had not been finalized at press time. cowsncabs.com.

9th Annual Pumpkin Run 5K. This family-friendly event in Winter Park’s Mead Botanical Garden — for runners, race-walkers and casual walkers — is a fundraiser that supports mission projects undertaken in Haiti by St. Margaret Mary and St. Stephen Catholic churches. Registration for the November 10 race ranges from $15 for students before October 9 to $35 for adults on race day. The chip-timed 5K begins at 7:30 a.m., with last-minute registration opportunities beginning at 6:30 a.m. All participants receive a race T-shirt and are invited to an after-race celebration and awards ceremony. Free digital photos are available. 1300 South Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-421-2151. pumpkin5krun.com.

ISSUES

CoffeeTalk. These free gatherings, sponsored by the City of Winter Park, are held on the second Thursday of most months and offer residents an opportunity to discuss issues of concern with local officials. Coffee is supplied by Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen. Upcoming topics and guests include Vice Mayor Pete Weldon (October 18) and Commissioner Carolyn Cooper (November 8). The hour-long sessions begin at 8 a.m. at the Winter Park Country Club, 761 Old England Avenue. 407-644-8281. cityofwinterpark.org. 


 

Authors Matthew Fox (above left) and IIia Delio (above right) will be the keynote presenters for the eighth annual GladdeningLight Symposium of the Spiritual Arts. This year’s theme: The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe.

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.