Fall ushers in the art-festival season — and hopefully some cool, breezy days in which to enjoy wandering around colorful scenery on the weekends. Popular gatherings are the Maitland Rotary Art Festival (Oct. 1-3), Winter Park Autumn Arts Festival (Oct. 9-10), Lake Mary-Heathrow Festival of the Arts (Nov. 6-7) and DeLand Fall Festival of Arts (Nov. 20-21). Balancing the fare on the festival circuit this fall, however, are several homespun exhibitions that delve into national politics, global history and local culture.
Just to be sure they had enough to choose from, the CrealdÃ© School of Art extended the date for submissions to The Art of Hope: A Southeast Regional Juried Exhibition commemorating the first African American U.S. President, Barack Obama (Oct. 8-Jan. 17). Aside from a title that's a mouthful, the ambitious show should tease out works by artists invited from nine southeastern states (Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina and Florida), most of which went to McCain in the 2008 election save the last two. CrealdÃ© asked the artists to 'interpret and reflect the historic, social and global significance' of Obama's election, and the 50 or so selected pieces will be split up for display between CrealdÃ©'s main campus in Winter Park and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in west Winter Park.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center deviates from its usual traveling exhibitions this fall to present the 10-day Under Vine and Fig Tree (Oct. 1-10), curated by the local Nile Foundation, which runs the Orlando Turkish Cultural Center. The project commemorates 500 years of Jewish-Turkish history with photos and historical accounts of how the two cultures have interacted. In conjunction with the exhibit, there's a screening of the Desperate Hours (Oct. 3) documentary, which chronicles the rescues of Jews by Muslims and Christians in Turkey during World War II.
The rarely seen but highly respected public-art coordinator for the city of Orlando, Frank Holt, puts his curatorial skills to work for a labor of love, Maury Hurt & Grady Kimsey (Oct. 15-Jan. 30), at Mennello Museum of American Art. Hurt and Kimsey are elders in the arts community but have rich reputations that go beyond local borders, and both imbue their works with mythical, spiritual essence. Expect to see luminescent oil paintings by Hurt, who studied at Maitland Art Center, and 3-D assemblages by Grady Kimsey, a master of tribal-looking found-object mixed media. Holt's discerning eye and loving touches also should be evident.
Pick up the print edition on newsstands now for hundreds of event listings during the fall season.