UCF’s prestigious fine-art print studio Flying Horse Editions has had, even for them, an unusually high-profile year in the national art press. First Luis Gispert, in the New York Times T Magazine, credited an idea that struck him while at Flying Horse as the inspiration behind his new series, Aqua Regia. Then modern master Will Cotton decided he wanted to experiment with lithography, something he hadn’t done since art school, and when he heard about Flying Horse’s facilities – including their giant litho stone – he came down to Orlando at director Theo Lotz’s invitation for a residency. A piece he made in the Flying Horse studio, in fact, became the cover of the Summer 2015 issue of ArtNews. It’s never been a local secret that FHE attracts international art stars to spend time in Orlando; now the rest of the world knows, too.
2. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org
3. Florida Film Festival, floridafilmfestival.com
1. Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk, thorntonparkdistrict.com
2. 1st Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art, omart.org
3. Third Thursday Gallery Hop – Downtown Arts District, orlandoslice.com
If you’re an animal lover who just doesn’t cotton to cats, skip to the next entry. Now, to all the cat devotees still reading: If you didn’t see the Acrocats’ first-ever Orlando appearance at the Venue in March, you missed the greatest stage performance in the whole history of everything. Samantha Martin’s troupe of rescued felines can walk tightropes, balance on balls and play musical instruments – and occasionally they even do so on command! Did we mention the percussion-playing chicken named Cluck Norris? ’Nuff said.
2. Pat Greene
3. Terry Olson
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2526, cfam.rollins.edu
In April, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum opened Women and Abstraction, a major survey of abstract and minimalist art made by female artists from the late 1940s to the present. For CFAM curator Amy Galpin, it was a passion project long in the making; for the rest of the community, it was simply jaw-dropping. Works by giants like Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe and Helen Frankenthaler joined lesser-knowns like Hayal Pozanti and Shinique Smith – 80 years’ worth of abstract art so powerful it gave viewers chills. Under the leadership of Galpin and director Ena Heller, and with this show coming on the heels of CFAM’s formidable Kara Walker exhibition, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), it definitely felt like the Year of the Woman at CFAM.
2. VarieTease, thevenueorlando.com
3. Polylust Burlesque, polylust.tumblr.com
2. Improv Orlando, 9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, theimprovorlando.com
3. Shit Sandwich at Bull & Bush, 2408 E. Robinson St., shit-sandwich.com
2. Uncomfortable Brunch, uncomfortablebrunch.com
3. Love Your Shorts, loveyourshorts.com