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Arts & Culture


Art31 offers a different art event every day in March

Art & History Museums – Maitland makes the public part of the art

Photo: Painting by Trent Tomengo, License: N/A

Painting by Trent Tomengo

The most rigorous and resonant piece at Art31 is the multiday live performance art installation La Finca de Parchman: Seven Days and 16 Hours in Parchman Farm. Florida artist Jake Fernandez created this piece in remembrance of the civil rights Freedom Riders jailed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (aka Parchman Farm) in 1963. From March 23-30, Fernandez will have absolutely no outside contact, attempting to continuously create for more than a week while confined to a blacked-out 8-by-12-foot studio on A&H’s campus. The performance will be live-streamed to the world on art31.org. Fernandez will only be provided a bathroom (no shower), dry food, water, one light and his art materials: oils, charcoal and canvas.

“He wanted to learn what isolation would do to his creative process,” Cox says. “He originally wanted to be in a bamboo tiger cage in the middle of the garden for weeks, but decided to be completely isolated from social interaction instead.”

A new exhibition titled Film Stories takes over galleries 2 and 3 from March 14-May 25, featuring installations created from coiled celluloid by sculptor Nancy Cervenka. On Tuesday, March 25, famed Miami gallery owner and presenter Mindy Solomon is the featured panelist of the Artists’ Critique and Conversation, a long-running A&H event at which artists sign up to have their work critiqued by visiting professionals.

“To crank it up for Art31, we reached out to Mindy to provide the ultra-level gallerist perspective,” Larson says. “This free event is a great opportunity for career artists to get feedback on their work or take it to the next level of getting a gallery or museum exhibition.”

A&H is no stranger to trying new things. The Maitland Art Center was founded in 1937 by modernist artist and architect J. André Smith, who envisioned an artist colony where people could live and create away from the distractions of everyday life. It was a place where artists could come to experiment and develop new styles and techniques in solitude and warm weather.

A&H development director Devin Dominguez thinks Smith would be proud of Art31. “This is the first time we’ve been able to offer the same kind of programming and experience André would have offered if he were alive today.”

Must-see Art31 events

March 19
Film Stories and Moving Pictures
Curator’s tour of current exhibits by Nancy Cervenka and Joyce Ely-Walker (3 p.m.)

March 20-23
Four-day watercolor workshop with Bernard Martin
6-8 p.m. Thursday, meet and greet; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, work all day on the Maitland Art Center grounds and gardens; 9 a.m-noon Sunday, conclude workshop by painting at Casa Feliz during a live musical performance
March 23
La Finca de Parchman: Seven Days and 16 Hours on Parchman Farm
The performance piece by Jake Fernandez begins. Kickoff includes a lecture and Q&A session. Live video stream of the weeklong performance will be revealed. (2 p.m.)
March 25
Artists’ Critique and Conversation
Artists’ work is discussed and critiqued by renowned Miami gallerist Mindy Solomon. (6 p.m.) 
March 29
Annual fundraising gala with visual and performing artists, gourmet food and wine (6 p.m.)
March 30
La Finca de Parchman
Performance finale features Q&A session with Jake Fernandez (4 p.m.) 

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