Yesterday attorneys for the homeowners embroiled in the “Starry Night” mural dispute filed suit in Federal Court against the City of Mount Dora for allegedly acting unlawfully and violating their clients’ constitutional rights.
Today US District Judge James S. Moody Jr. granted a temporary restraining order against the city to place a hold on fines until a federal judge has an opportunity to resolve the alleged constitutional issues raised by the actions of the city. The fines are now in excess of $10,000 and were increasing by $100 daily. Read more
Get your tickets to Eustis' party to celebrate and support the arts.
It’s always festive when a great time accompanies a truly great local cause. That’s always the case at Art-A-Fare, the party hosted by Lake Eustis Museum of Art (LEMA). This year’s party is March 8 and the theme is “Opening Doors to Creativity,” in which local artists were invited to paint large doors that will be auctioned at the event.
Guests at Art-A-Fare can peruse silent auction opportunities, while enjoying a happy-hour environment with live entertainment and body art, wine and craft beer tastings with appetizer pairing stations to delight the local foodies.
The goal of the annual event is to raise money and awareness for the museum’s diverse art educational programs for children and adults. The programs are reliant on the community’s support to thrive.
In addition to original artwork, jewelry, gift baskets, movie passes and restaurant and spa gift certificates, the auction will also include experiences like “Hamilton” tickets in Chicago complete with hotel accommodations and airfare. Guests can also bid on a private walking tour of historic Charleston with hotel accommodations included.
Art-A-Fare begins at 6 p.m. and continues until the last guest departs. Tickets are $40 for non-members and $35 for members. The attire is business casual. Lake Eustis Museum of Art is located on Lake Eustis at 1 West Orange Avenue in downtown Eustis. Tickets are available here.
LEMA has been serving Lake County since 1995 with regularly changing fine art exhibitions, art classes and other community programs.
Eustis is busy preparing for its biggest street party of the year, GeorgeFest.
The family-friendly event, now in its 116th year, is the longest running festival in Florida celebrating Washington’s birthday. Over 30,000 people are expected to descend into the heart of downtown Eustis for the three-day festival.
The free festival will take place February 23 through February 25 and feature a lively carnival full of rides for thrill seekers, lots of live music, food vendors, games and more. A fireworks display will light up the sky Friday night in Ferran Park, and Saturday morning will kick off with the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Parade.
Lake Eustis Museum of Art (LEMA), will offer a free kids’ 'Art Park' in their parking lot offering free creative activities. LEMA will also exhibit student artwork from Eustis Public Schools.
This year’s theme is “Through the Years” and will bring back the key memorable activities from GeorgeFest’s last hundred years. New family entertainment activities will also be introduced.
Just how do you really impress your amour for Valentine’s Day? Most might say arranging to spend the romantic night privately inside Lake County’s most storied historic mansion would be an incredible start. Throw in a gourmet dinner for two in the stately dining room, and you’re out of the dog house for life. That’s exactly what is being offered at Lake County’s newest special event venue, The Howey Mansion. The recently restored Mediterranean Revival estate, set on three acres in Howey-In-the-Hills northwest of Orlando, is raffling off a romantic overnight date for February 14.
Built in 1925, the 20-room mansion sits tucked behind stately wrought iron gates among live oaks and orange groves. The Valentine’s Date Night is the first time the mansion’s new owners have opened the impressive mansion to overnight guests.
The evening will include one night in a guest suite in The Howey Mansion, a brief guided tour, plus dinner for two in the formal dining room prepared by award-winning chef, Rich Rosado. After dinner the couple can enjoy a movie and gourmet popcorn. The next morning, the guests will be offered fresh local pastries before returning to their lives before the mansion.
Raffle tickets are twenty dollars each. The winner will be announced on February 12. For contest details & to purchase your tickets click here.
Top artists from across the country not only exhibit their work during Mount Dora Arts Festival, they also compete for prize money, bragging rights and shiny new ribbons. Here’s this year’s best of the best:
Best of Show ($5000 cash prize) Kevin Duval, metalwork,
Awards of Excellence 2D $500 each 1. Bobby Goldsmith, printmaking & drawing 2. Richard Wilson, printmaking & drawing 3. Marius Moore, photography 4. Michael Dlugolecki, painting 5. Igor Menaker, photography
6. Kate Carney, painting 7. Nicola Barsaleau, printmaking & Drawing 8. B. Eugene Bauer, photography 9. Kevin Chen, watercolor 10. Lorri Honeycutt, photography
ABOVE: Dawn Middleton, Award of Excellence
Awards of Excellence 3D $500 each 1. Joel Hunnicutt, sculpture 2. Pam Fox, jewelry 3. Jack Hill, sculpture 4. Anna Saulino – Jewelry 5. Al Clement, clay 6. Carly Gibran, clay 7. John Mascoll, fine Crafts 8. Patricia Karnes, jewelry 9. Larry Allen, clay 10. Dawn Middleton, jewelry For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, download the area's free mobile app. Free subscriptions to the monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz are available here.
It was the obvious next step. With no code on the books for murals or home-painting and a ruling their wordless mural was an “illegal sign,” it was easy to forecast the homeowners’ appeal. Given the constitutional issues at stake, it was only a matter of time before the legal cavalry would come. Now they have arrived. Read more
Above: Progress on the Epic Theatres in Mount Dora
The excitement is palpable. When Epic Theatres announced in 2016 it was planning a state-of-the-art multiplex in Mount Dora, movie-lovers waited anxiously, with every passing month seeming like an eternity.
Using a giant crane, construction crews began erecting the mammoth concrete walls for the 12-screen multiplex last September. As the exterior shell finishes up, new crews will begin the interior buildout and sound system installation, which typically takes Epic thirty days to complete. Giddy movie enthusiasts could be in the seats by the end of April and possibly sooner, according to an Epic Theatres representative.
The 50,000 square-foot project is being erected on the land between Target and Walmart. It will feature 1,400 reclining seats, beer and wine, two extra-large screens, optional reserved seats and an enhanced concession menu.
After the $10 million project is completed, Epic expects to hire between 30-50 employees, depending on the season.
“We're itching to get open and pop some popcorn and show some movies!" said Weegee Demarsh of Epic Theatres."
Perhaps it's something in the water. The Mount Dora area is a haven for individuals oozing with exceptional creative talent. This year, nine extraordinarily gifted local artists will be exhibiting and selling their work at the Mount Dora Arts Festival. The event is ranked seventh in the U.S. among art festivals, so just being accepted by the jury is no easy feat for artists.
Here's a list of the local stand-out artists you won't want to miss if you're headed to the festival on February 3 and 4:
LAUREN GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM Cunningham's realistic oil paintings have graced the festival for years. The canvases highlight her developed sense of shadow, light and perspective. On occasion, the Mount Dora resident and South Carolina native treats viewers to a refined and subtle surrealism. Read more about Cunningham. (Booth #D061, Donnelly Street between 4th & 5th Avenues)
LAURA VARICH One of the more contemporary painters in the festival, Varich is a master of abstract composition and color. The California native and Mount Dora resident is able to create large, bold landscapes and florals that command the viewer's attention, yet still evoke a sense of calmness. (Booth #D104, Donnelly Street between 4th & 5th Avenues)
DEBORAH BARNES This Mount Dora artist has exhibited at top art festivals across the U.S. for decades. Her contemporary jewelry designs are easily recognizable by collectors of artisan jewelry. Barnes' timeless pieces are fabricated using sterling silver, natural stones and pearls. (Booth # D067, on Donnelly Street)
JANE SLIVKA Slivka, an Ohio native that transplanted to Mount Dora, is an award-winning impressionist painter who often takes viewers on a trip to the shoreline. Layers of acrylic shape Slivka's often oversized landscapes and still-lifes. Read more about Slivka. (Booth #D103, Donnelly Street between 3rd & 4th Avenues)
ROSEMARIE BROWN Brown is the only local glass artist in the festival. Her stained glass panels not only show her creativity, but also her ability to engineer intricate and complex works. Her work features a variety of colorful subjects and designs. (Booth 517 on 5th Avenue)
BARBARA BOYCE This Mount Dora silversmith creates jewelry designs in sterling silver with meticulously selected stones and pearls. Boyce's trademark pieces have a crisp, modern aesthetic that make a contemporary statement. (Booth # D108, on Donnelly Street)
SHARON OSTERHOLT This Tavares painter focuses on Florida's scenic landscapes. The subject matter is Florida's hidden places whether they are corners of parks, pastures, trails or shorelines. (Booth # D085, on Donnelly Street)
SONYA WATSON A resident of Eustis, this jewelry artist typically fabricates designs from sterling silver and stone beads in her nature and coastal inspired designs. Her current mermaid collection features hand-wired chains with pearls, stones and sterling silver. (Booth # D043, on Donnelly Street) LINDA BEAN Residing in Tavares, Bean primarily paints with palette knives and uses expressive colors to create her canvases of primarily landscapes and florals. The result are vibrant paintings with rich texture and contrast. (Booth #307)
Above: Aerial of Donnelly St. during festival. (Photo for Mount Dora Buzz by Ty Williams)
Art lovers will once again make their pilgrimage to Mount Dora on February 3 and 4 when the 43rd Annual Mount Dora Arts Festival returns. Last year the festival gained national recognition by earning the ranking of 7th best arts festival in the U.S.
Painters, jewelers, sculptures, and potters from across the country will exhibit and sell their fine art, while competing for top prizes.
Mount Dora has an artsy reputation and visitors often enjoy the atmosphere, as much as the diverse art. During the festival, visitors fill downtown's boutiques and restaurants that line the streets of the festival.
Musicians will provide free live entertainment at the Donnelly Park Stage from on both Saturday and Sunday. Braziliance will be performing Samba music on Saturday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. The MasterSounds of Jazz Trio will take to the stage on Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The final performance will be Frank Primato on Sunday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The festival will feature a Kid Zone on Alexander Street where facepainting, airbrushed tatoos and personalized caricatures will be available.
The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Limited street parking and private lot parking is also available. Parking shuttles will also be available. Find the shuttle locations here. Find more area events on Mount Dora Buzz on Facebook.