Unlike the hardcore art cities – New York, London, Berlin – Orlando’s visual art scene doesn’t experience a huge boom in the fall. Instead, our homegrown galleries and area museums keep to a steady year-round schedule of recurring events and rotating larger exhibitions. This year, however, a new kid on the block is shaking things up: As an outgrowth of the new energy brought to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum by the donation of the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, CFAM has opened Fractured Narratives: A Strategy to Engage, a Very Big Deal show featuring 14 international contemporary artists, including marquee names like Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin and Alfredo Jaar. Another exciting new spectacle, Artlando, was conceived right here in the offices of Orlando Weekly, and we hope the all-day outdoor art festival in Loch Haven Park will become an annual favorite. Read further to get a snapshot of painting, photography, sculpture and art festivals happening in the next eight weeks.
Through Jan. 4
Fractured Narratives: A Strategy to Engage
A group show by established and emerging contemporary artists who address social issues such as privacy, warfare and freedom of expression, Fractured Narratives seeks to inform and incite visitors’ consideration of the rapidly changing political and cultural climate of the past 10 years and its effects on the global psyche. The work includes painting, film, photography, sculpture and sound made by 14 artists from around the world, all of it offering trenchant comment on the way we live now. Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park; free for 2014; 407-646-2526; rollins.edu/cfam
Sept. 26-Jan. 4
David Rathman: Stand by Your Accidents and Lamar Peterson: Suburbia Sublime
OMA’s fall show is a double-barreled look at American symbology. In ink, oils and watercolor, Rathman takes on iconic emblems of masculinity – boxing, football, cars – capturing crucial moments of action. Peterson’s poppy, fantastical images and collages draw from pop-culture sources like comix and sci-fi, creating narratives that examine the American middle class and recontextualize racial stereotypes. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.; $8; 407-896-4231; omart.org
A gathering of as much Orlando talent as we could fit in one place, the inaugural Artlando is a massive display of installations, dance, live painting, puppetry, theater, photography and more. More than 80 artists (including Boy Kong, Doug Rhodehamel, Tasha Copley and SKIP) populate the lawn with works for sale, accompanied by al fresco performances from Orlando Ballet, SAK Comedy Lab, Ibex Puppetry and more; enjoy free admission to Orlando Museum of Art and special exhibitions inside by Snap!, the Falcon and Gallery at Avalon island. Food trucks curated by Tasty Tuesdays and bars stocked and staffed by the Hammered Lamb will satisfy the hungry and thirsty, so there’s really no reason to leave – bring a blanket and make a day (and night) of it! 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday; Loch Haven Park; free; artlando.com
Oct. 3-Jan. 4
The Taos Society of Artists
If you’ve ever spent time out West, you’re familiar with the shimmering golden clarity of the desert light. The Taos Society of Artists, a group of American artists who established an art colony in New Mexico between 1915 and 1927, set out to capture the colors, motifs and landscapes of the American West – and that marvelous solar illumination. This exhibition, curated by Mennello executive director Frank Holt, proves that they mostly succeeded, especially in the almost hallucinatory canvases of Ernest Blumenschein and the soft-focused oils of Martin Hennings. Mennello Museum of American Art, 900 E. Princeton St.; $5; 407-246-4278; mennellomuseum.com
Oct. 10-Dec. 28
The Paintings of John Mellencamp
A little ditty, ’bout painting in oils …. Look, it’s inevitable that some people are going to snicker at the idea of a rock star deciding to be a painter, but the truth is that Mellencamp has been painting all along – in fact, he attended the Art Students League in the ’80s, before that whole Johnny Cougar thing took off. Has his art career benefited from his celebrity name? Undoubtedly. But the work stands on its own, 40 canvases ranging from moody oil portraits clearly influenced by German Expressionists like Otto Dix and more complex works layered with text and images in the style of Bel Linquist or Jean-Michel Basquiat. Museum of Art DeLand Downtown Satellite, 100 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand; $10, two museums, three-day pass; 386-734-4371; moartdeland.org
CityArts Dia de los Muertos and Monster Factory Exhibit
We’ve always preferred the Mexican celebration of the dead to a typical American Halloween, with its scary vampires and grotesque zombies – on Dia de los Muertos, all the skeletons are grinning and all the ghosts are your own beloved departed ones. CityArts Factory’s annual Day of the Dead event closes off a block of downtown for a parade of towering skeleton puppets, a block party with music, dancing, sugar-skull face-painting and plenty of calacas – those happy, gaily decorated skeletons you see in Mexican folk art – plus a giant art sale that will please anyone for whom every day is Halloween. 6-10 p.m. Thursday; CityArts Factory, 29 S. Orange Ave.; free; 407-648-7060; cityartsfactory.com
To find more visual arts and gallery openings, visit our calendar.
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