Sunday, June 24, 2012

An Art Adventure in DeLand, Florida!

I had a big day Friday! My husband and I were lucky enough to participate in the West Volusia County Explorers program. Basically, you let the tourism office know you are interested, and they call you up and set up the Where, When, and What you will be exploring. Wouldn't you know it, we were fortunate enough to be heading to the Museum of Florida Art, right here in DeLand! Picasso, Girl before a Mirror c. 1932
Though we moved to DeLand back in November, we had yet to visit the museum. It's awesome, so if you are in the area it's a must visit. It might be small compared to other places, but there's still some beautiful and intriguing art to be seen. On exhibit was the original piece, Iconoclass by New Smyrna Beach artist Harold Garde. The piece is an imposing  8' x 24' acrylic mural on Masonite and covered much of the far wall in the first downstairs gallery. The style reminded me some what of one of my favorite Picasso paintings, Girl Before a Mirror. As we learned from the film playing, the mural was adapted to be part of the brand new sign the museum just added to their facade. Turns out a lot of people didn't notice the museum and thought it was part of the Stetson University campus. The sign is beautiful, so now the world driving by should know there's art waiting inside! The museum asks that you not take pictures, so you'll just have to stop by and see the mural in person to appreciate it.

I really enjoyed the other gallery's offerings as well. I'd never heard of Strappo before, so I assumed it was the artist's name. Not so! According to the Museum of Florida Art, Strappo is a combination of painting and printmaking utilizing the plastic nature of acrylic paint to produce a monotype. Harold Garde was also the main artist in this exhibit, in addition to other local artists in a juried exhibit using the same technique. First, the artist paints in layers on the surface of clean glass, then the dry layers are pulled away from the glass as one piece. It was pretty cool to watch the film as Garde demonstrated his process. I'm a fool for watching other artists work. You always learn something new! Now I've added Strappo to my list of things to try.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Museum of Florida Art. I couldn't believe we hadn't gone for a visit sooner! After our art date, the hubby and I decided to take a little stroll in downtown DeLand. Right across from the tourism office is the Volusia County Courthouse and Chess Park.
DeLand has a lot of beautiful old architecture to enjoy! This is the view of the courthouse from Chess Park.
Beautiful Chess Park in Historic Downtown DeLand, Florida.
 There wasn't any chess playing going on during our visit due to the off and on rain showers, but it was a beautiful spot to enjoy a short stroll with my sweetheart. And they had public bathrooms. That helps.
The beautiful wall fountain of Chess Park in DeLand, FL.
The showers chased us back to the car, but I'm glad we explored another little corner of our new hometown.  There's a great art community and loads to do and see here in DeLand.  I'm pretty glad we landed here!


  1. Awesome! Can't wait to walk around more of Deland with you! See you soon!


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