Central Florida's creative community have been given a boost by Mount Dora, a city long recognized for its quaint downtown and vibrant community of artists. The city invites artists onto its sidewalks and Sunset Park one evening a month for Art Splash, an event designed to celebrate the arts by providing a welcoming venue for emerging and professional artists, as well as performers.
Art Splash, co-produced by Mount Dora Center for the Arts,Mount Dora Buzz, and the City of Mount Dorawas inspired by Portland, Maine's Art Walk. The monthly event is held the second Friday of every month beginning at 6 p.m. and features artists selling their creations, while musicians and other performers fill up their tip jars and local studios open their doors to the public. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the creative energy of the evening.
Participation in the event is free, however artists and performers must obtain a free permit in advance from Mount Dora Center for the Arts. For more Art Splash information, click here. For permit information call Kristina Groh-Rosenburg at 352-383-0880. Maps to downtown's open galleries will also be available.
It's a good sign when a colony grows. That's exactly what's happening to Mount Dora's thriving artist colony. 6th Avenue Studios opened in October and brought nine additional artists into downtown Mount Dora.
Central Florida artists Christine Peloquin and Heather Earnest had been looking for a building in the area for over a year.
"After a few places in Eustis fell through, we came upon this building. We were so excited," said Peloquin. The historic house, located at 133 W. 6th Avenue, was already set up for studio spaces as well as a teaching space for workshops.
Artist Christine Peloquin with some of her work
Word of the studio traveled fast and it took just six weeks to jury and sign seven more artists. There is now a waiting list of seven more, according to Peloquin. Peloquin specializes in bold mixed media, painting and drawing while Earnest focuses on watercolor and mixed-media painting. The other Central Florida artists include Cindy Anderson, a surrealist painter; Jennifer Ball, a local painter and print maker; Gretchen Bies, a mixed-media painter; Joyce Crabtree, a local weaver; Jan Krassner, a mixed-media jewelry artist; Linda Hastings, a painter; and Michael Hawthorne who specializes in drawing. The original art from the various artists ranges in price from $25 to $8000.
The artists plan for 6th Avenue Studios to be open for all art-related events in Mount Dora, including Mount Dora Arts Festival and downtown's monthly Art Splash on the second Friday of every month. Some of the artists will also be holding monthly workshops for the public. Private viewings with any of the artists are always available by appointment. Peloquin can be reached at 407-620-4350.