We went to Orlando yesterday and on the way back I noticed an art center sign. So we took a detour and discovered the Maitland Art Center.
What looked like a private residence in a walled garden is actually a long standing artist colony which was founded in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect, Andre Smith, (1880-1959).
After seeing the current exhibit of illustrations by Henry Patrick Raleigh in the gallery space (come back tomorrow for photos), we were fortunate to meet with Kent Arblaster, a teacher of bronze casting at the center.
Kent gave us quite a description of the various bronze casting techniques used at the school which is one of the few foundries left in the State of Florida. He also told us about the history of the making of the gardens, walls and buildings and told us about current and future plans for the center.
I love this quote above the fireplace in the gallery space. Gary said it fits me perfectly; I think he's right.
The Maitland Art Center was designed and built by J Andre Smith. The carvings on the walls were made by carving in wet concrete and then attaching them to the walls. The Art Center style is "Mayan Revival" or fantasy architecture and is on of very few left in the Southeast. The Center is also entered on the National Register of Historic Places.
The center has quite a number of separate buildings eight or so for artist studios and at one time the artists lived and worked there. For over thirty years artists have only worked there during the day. We learned of recent plans to renovate J Andre Smith's residence to once again use it for an artist in residence. I could just imagine myself staying there for a year immersed in such an artistic and historical atmosphere.
J Andre Smith
Oil on Masonite c 1950
Oil on Masonite c 1950
We arrived in the middle of the day and as expected it was unbearably hot which prevented full appreciation of all the gardens had to offer.
Needless to say I was completely awestruck and inspired by the art, architecture, and gardens.
Unfortunately we had to cut our visit short because we were due at the drum circle (info upcoming) last evening so we left too soon.
We plan to go again on a cooler day when we can spend all day there.
Come back tomorrow to see works by Henry Patrick Raleigh. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.