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CONTENTS WINTER 2017

FEATURES 24 | THROUGH THE LENS OF A LEGEND Clyde Butcher is world renowned for his photographs of the Everglades. Now he has turned his attention to Mead Botanical Garden. See his spectacular photographs on pages 30-37. By Randy Noles, lead photograph by Rafael Tongol 40 | THE NATURE OF FASHION Wonderful winter looks are sprouting at Mead Botanical Garden. Photographs by Rafael Tongol, styling by Marianne Ilunga, hair and makeup by Elsie Knab 48 | IN FULL BLOOM An extraordinary new book highlights the life and work of Theodore Mead, the modest genius whose legacy is flower power. By Randy Noles 54 | WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? Now in its 30th year, Rollins’ Master of Liberal Studies program is ideal for lifelong learners who are interested in everything. By Randy Noles, photographs by Rafael Tongol 70 | THE MORSE AT 75 Although it’s known for Tiffany, the magnificent museum continues to reflect the eclectic aesthetic of its legendary founding director. By Michael McLeod

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DEPARTMENTS ARTS 14 | A WAREHOUSE OF CREATIVITY Blue Bamboo isn’t a typical nightclub. It’s a place where performers (and the people who love them) come together to celebrate music and much more. By Dana S. Eagles, photographs by Rafael Tongol BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT 69 | QUITE A RUN FOR TRACK SHACK Track Shack, a mecca for Central Florida runners, celebrates its 40th anniversary. Here’s how it all began, plus a calendar of upcoming events. By Mick Lochridge, photograph by Rafael Tongol DINING 80 | SAKÉ, SOBA AND ASIAN ANTIQUES Umi serves creative fusion cuisine in a magical space filled with Asian antiques. You’ll find some dishes you know, and several you might not expect. By Rona Gindin, photographs by Rafael Tongol

IN EVERY ISSUE 6 | FIRST WORD 8 | COVER ARTIST 84 | EVENTS 96 | ARTSBEAT


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FIRST WORD

BIOGRAPHY OF A TOWN

C

hronological History of Winter Park, by Claire Leavitt MacDowell, was published in 1950. It is, as the name implies, a year by year account of events in and around Winter Park from the time the Spanish ceded Florida to the United States in 1819 through the middle of the 20th century. No context or commentary is offered, and no distinction is drawn between the silly and the significant. An ice-cream social is treated as seriously as a mayoral race or a bond issue. Yet, the book is a must-read for any Winter Parker. I recently reviewed my dog-eared copy when researching new inductees into the Winter Park Hall of Fame, which now occupies the Chapman Room at Winter Park City Hall. (It will move to the new Library and Events Center when that’s built.) As usual, I just couldn’t put MacDowell’s relentlessly factual magnum opus down. The terseness of her prose — though prose is perhaps not the right word — creates mystery and raises questions. For example, MacDowell transcribes a 1909 letter sent by local boosters W.C. Temple, W.C. Comstock and E.H. Brewer, along with Rollins College President W.F. Blackman, to various pillars of the community: You are invited to meet us and a few other gentlemen at Dr. Blackman’s office in Carnegie Hall, on Saturday, March 6, at 3 p.m. to consider the following questions: First, what is the matter with Winter Park? Second, what can be done to promote the interests of the town? The meeting results in formation of the Board of Trade, the precursor to the Chamber of Commerce. But MacDowell fails to elaborate on the impetus for the oddly harsh call to action. “What is the matter with Winter Park?” Did something happen — or fail to happen — that incited or annoyed these prominent movers and shakers? The Board of Trade pops up time and again in MacDowell’s book, perhaps most notably in 1920, when the group led a fly eradication campaign. MacDowell reports that “Corbett Dodd caught and destroyed 2,200 flies during the year and won a pair of shoes contributed by Mayor Schultz.” She also refers to a “crematorium” for flies at town

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hall, where citizens are paid 15 cents per 100 insects delivered. The years roll by. Businesses are started or sold. Schools are built. Roads are bricked or paved. There are births, marriages and deaths. The Winter Park Telephone Company announces that the operator can no longer be expected to know you, and whomever you’re calling, by name. “Winter Park is no longer a small town,” subscribers are scolded. “And therefore we must discontinue small town methods and practices.” There are clubs for every interest. There are churches for every faith. In its workmanlike account of the events comprising daily life, Chronological History of Winter Park brings to mind Grover’s Corners in Our Town. In the play, when Emily Webb asks the Stage Manager if anyone truly understands the value of life, even the seemingly mundane moments, he responds, “No. The saints and poets, maybe — they do some.” Maybe Claire Leavitt MacDowell did, too. In her meticulous manner, she manages to paint a strangely poignant portrait of a quintessential small American town; one that surely Thornton Wilder would have recognized and appreciated. Of course, MacDowell’s perspective is that of a well-to-do white clubwoman. Issues of race — which were significant at various times in the city’s history — aren’t glossed over. They simply aren’t mentioned. Nonetheless, everyone who has ever written about Winter Park history consults this priceless tome, dry and deadpan as it is. I don’t know anything about MacDowell, except that in 1954 she wrote a biography of her late husband called Two Ears of Corn by Way of a Chemical Kettle. Charles MacDowell, a fertilizer magnate, appears to have been a confident of President Wilson’s. That book just went on my wish list.

Randy Noles Editor/Publisher randyn@floridahomemedia.com

Randy Noles EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Lorna Osborn SENIOR ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kathy Byrd ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Theresa Swanson GROUP PUBLISHER/NEW-HOME PUBLICATIONS Carolyn Edmunds GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dana S. Eagles Michael McLeod Mick Lochridge CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rona Gindin DINING EDITOR Marianne Ilunga FASHION EDITOR Marianne Popkins, Ned Popkins, Harry Wessel CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Rafael Tongol CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Rick Walsh, Jim DeSimone FOUNDING PARTNERS

FLORIDA CITIES MEDIA LLC Daniel Denton PRESIDENT Randy Noles CONSULTING PUBLISHER Pam Flanagan GENERAL MANAGER

Copyright 2017 by Florida Home Media LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida Cities Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. Winter Park Magazine is published four times yearly by Florida Home Media LLC, 2700 Westhall Lane, Suite 220, Maitland, FL 32751

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COVER ARTIST

PUTTING MEAD ON THE MAP

The legendary Clyde Butcher, renowned for his iconic Everglades images, recently visited Winter Park and spent several days taking photographs at Mead Botanical Garden. The cover — Winter Park Magazine’s first ever in black and white — shows a staghorn fern and a variegated cordyline. For much more, see pages 24- 37.

A

PHOTO BY WOODY WALTERS

lthough he is synonymous with Florida, Clyde Butcher, 75, was born in Kansas City and attended California Polytechnic University in Pomona, graduating with a degree in architecture.

While visiting Yosemite National Park in 1963, Butcher was profoundly influenced by an exhibition of photographs by Ansel Adams. He worked as an architect for several years, but in 1970 became a full-time photographer. He started a company, Eye Encounter, which sold his images to the wall décor departments of Sears, J.C. Penny and Montgomery Ward. Eye Encounter, with offices in Ohio and Southern California, eventually employed some 200 people. Most of Butcher’s photographs were of scenic locations in the Pacific Northwest. Although he preferred to work in black and white, as Adams did, he found that color was more marketable. Butcher and his wife, Niki, lived for a time on a sailboat moored in the harbor of Newport Beach, California. But their love of boating — and, oddly, the television series Flipper — inspired the couple to explore Florida. Frustrated by corporate responsibilities, Butcher sold his business in 1977 and moved to Fort Lauderdale, then Fort Myers. He began selling his photographs at festivals — including the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival — in the early 1980s. In 1986, the Butchers’ teenaged son, Ted, was killed in a collision with a drunk driver. Seeking solace and restoration, the couple retreated to Big Cypress National Preserve, which borders the freshwater prairies of

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Everglades National Park to the south. Butcher then resolved to use only black and white film and destroyed his color work, hiring a bulldozer to plow under hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of images — a decade’s worth of work. He bought a bulky 8-by-10 view camera with accordion-pleated bellows. The large-format film had to be loaded shot by shot. It was a time-consuming process, but ideally suited for the kind of high-definition black-andwhite photography for which Butcher would earn international acclaim. Many of Butcher’s iconic photographs have been collected in books such as America the Beautiful; Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades; and Celebrating America’s National Parks, Preserves, Monuments, Recreation Areas. In 1992, PBS aired a documentary about Butcher called Visions of Florida. He has hosted other PBS specials focusing on conservation, including Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades and Kissimmee Basin: The Northern Everglades. “My hope is to educate,” says Butcher, whose photograph of a staghorn fern and a variegated cordyline at Winter Park’s Mead Botanical Garden is shown on the cover. “I want to let people know that our land is a special place, and to inspire others to work together to save nature’s places of spiritual sanctuary for future generations.” Butcher has two galleries where his work is displayed and sold: Big Cypress Gallery, 52388 Tamiami Trail in Ochopee, and the Venice Gallery & Studio, 237 Warfield Avenue in Venice. For more information, visit clydebutcher.com. — Randy Noles


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ARTS

Chris Cortez and Mark Piszczek — musicians and lifelong friends — opened Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts last summer. The third founder is Cortez’s wife, aptly named Melody.

A WAREHOUSE OF CREATIVITY Blue Bamboo isn’t a typical nightclub. It’s a place where performers (and the people who love them) come together to celebrate music and much more. BY DANA S. EAGLES PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

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I

t’s a cool autumn evening, and in a nondescript converted warehouse in Winter Park, a Latin jazz-fusion band is playing like a furnace at full blast. Fusion Beat, an eight-member ensemble based in Orlando, is pumping out an exuberant sound that combines bass, drums, trumpet, trombone, flute and piano. About 60 people are seated, but they can’t sit still. The irresistibly eclectic music melds influences from Puerto Rico, Cuba, South America, Europe and New Orleans, according to the group’s leader, drummer Dimas Sanchez. “You put a lot of stuff into the gumbo,” he says. As indefinable as Fusion Beat is, the venue is just as unusual: Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park. It’s not exactly a nightclub, although it does sell beer and wine and has a few tables mixed in with the chairs. It’s more of a hangout for performers and people who love to watch them work. Tucked away on Kentucky Avenue near Interstate 4, across from an auto body shop, Blue Bamboo’s workaday façade gives no hint of the wide-ranging entertainment presented inside. A $10 or $20 ticket will get you into most


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ARTS shows, which rates as an extraordinary bargain considering the caliber of the talent on stage. Chris Cortez and Mark Piszczek — musicians who are also lifelong friends — opened the venue last summer to give Central Florida’s array of accomplished artists a way to connect with more discerning audiences. The third founder is Cortez’s wife, the appropriately named Melody. Of the venues available to Fusion Beat, Sanchez says: “This is the only place that’s run by musicians. They are vigilant about the artistic mission.” MUSICAL PARTNERSHIP Although Cortez, 60, and Piszczek, 59, both grew up in the Orlando area, they traveled distinctly different musical paths. Cortez, a guitarist, started in folk and moved into rock “as I got older and my hair got longer.” He finally found his niche, he says, in jazz. Piszczek (pronounced PEES-chek) majored in oboe at the University of South Florida in Tampa. There he played alto sax in a jazz band and began a career as a performer and a prolific composer of jazz and classical works. He earned a master’s degree in composition from the University of Southern Maine. In the early 1980s, the friends found themselves playing for a jazz-fusion group called Big Bamboo, the house band for several years at a downtown Orlando club called Daisy’s Basement. We went from ‘There’s no place to play’ to a steady gig five nights a week,” recalls Cortez. When Daisy’s basement closed, Piszczek wrote Don’t let Blue Bamboo’s unpretentious facade fool you. The venue is attracting first-rate performers and a growing audience.

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a tribute song called “Blue Bamboo.” The name had a certain enduring appeal to Cortez, who later formed a jazz record label and called it Blue Bamboo Music. In the decades that followed, Cortez continued to play guitar. But he also branched out into production and concert promotion while living in New Orleans, Houston and Charlotte. Piszczek also moved around the country, always performing, composing and arranging. Over the years, the erstwhile bandmates occasionally reconnected, personally and professionally. Cortez produced a 2009 album of Piszczek’s jazz work, Bamboo Philharmonic. But several years ago, Piszczek and Cortez each reached a crossroads — and each ultimately chose a route that led back home. Piszczek, living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was going through a divorce. “I was feeling really terrible,” he says. “I needed to go someplace where people had my back.” That refuge turned out to be Central Florida, where his parents still lived. The Cortezes were living in Houston when Melody was offered a high-powered job with an oil and gas company, which would have meant a move back to New Orleans. But she was ready for a break from the corporate world, and eager to be closer to her mother and stepfather, who lived in Central Florida. She had already been a “silent partner” in the record label, and told her husband: “I’ll jump off the cliff with you.”

So in 2015, the three teamed up to give yet another new meaning to the name Blue Bamboo. LEAP OF FAITH Chris Cortez answers the door at Blue Bamboo one fall morning while wheeling a vacuum cleaner — a sign of just how unglamorous running a small performance venue can be. As managing director, he oversees every aspect of the operation — including the technical stuff. Piszczek, whose title is creative director, acts as floor manager and, during performances, can usually be found behind the bar. Piszczek is also Blue Bamboo’s resident composer and handles special projects — such as working out an alliance with McRae Art Studios to fill the center’s winding gallery space. Melody, the director of operations, does everything from handling the money to greeting the customers. Each event, she says, is drawing return customers along with new faces. The 6,000-square-foot Blue Bamboo building, on which the founders have a 10-year lease, is a yellow, utilitarian box in an industrial area behind the new Lombardi’s Seafood. Unlikely as the location might now seem, real estate on the west end of Fairbanks is poised for takeoff, Cortez believes. In addition, he says, Blue Bamboo is close enough to other local arts venues to be considered part of the area’s cultural hub. Blue Bamboo has a spacious lobby and a wellappointed “green room” where performers can get ready. The concert hall, which seats about


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ARTS 100, boasts a high ceiling, a lighted 12-by-35foot stage, a grand piano, a sound system and acoustics that both performers and listeners have found surprisingly accommodating. A small bar occupies a back corner, and there’s a control room for performances and recording sessions. Scattered here and there are rugs covering a concrete floor that recalls the building’s previous use as a warehouse. The lanky, dark-haired Cortez knows music — and plenty of musicians. But figuring out how to tackle a project like Blue Bamboo was an education. Assembling enough nearby parking to get permits from the city was especially challenging, he says. During the $250,000 renovation, Cortez recalls, he followed construction workers around with a broom. But his hands-on approach means that he knows the location of every stud in the walls. “I’m very hard-headed,” Cortez says. “They told me I couldn’t build this place, and here we are.” Blue Bamboo is actually two operations under the same roof: Blue Bamboo Music Inc., a commercial studio and record label that also presents ticketed concerts; and Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, a nonprofit that supports local artists and arts education. The nonprofit arm will offer at least 24 free events per year, funded entirely by donations. During the center’s first four months, 10 free concerts were held. ADVENTUROUS SHOWS On opening night in July, Greg Parnell was at Blue Bamboo as leader of the Orlando Jazz Orchestra, a group of professional musicians who play in the Big Band style. The orchestra hadn’t had a concert in six months, and its audience was primed. The show sold out, “and we had to turn people away,” says Parnell, who also manages the orchestra that carries on the name of legendary bandleader Glenn Miller. The Orlando Jazz Orchestra has returned to Blue Bamboo because members like the space — and they like the adventurous attitude of Cortez and Piszczek. “Chris and Mark have an open mind,” Parnell says. “They’re willing to take chances.” Not all performers at Blue Bamboo have filled the room, of course — and some shows have drawn as few as 30 people. But musicians have an incentive to promote their own appearances because they can get a cut of ticket revenue. “What’s your dream of a concert?” Cortez says he asks musicians. “Put it on for us. We want to see that show.” Cortez and Piszczek have broadened Blue Bamboo’s programming beyond the jazz and classical programs they started with. Folk and bluegrass

The Blue Bamboo facility also houses a commercial studio and a record label. Cortez, who has performed for decades, describes himself as “a guitar player learning how to be a proprietor.”

concerts, theatrical performances and even literary readings now have a home at the venue. During a four-week period late last year, Blue Bamboo hosted the Licorice Sticks Clarinet Orchestra, a 25-member group that plays clarinets of all sizes; mezzo soprano Jacqueline Rawiszer; Master of Fine Arts students from the University of Central Florida reading from their stories and poems; and a plethora of jazz concerts. “The one thing they have in common is that they are very, very good at what they do,” Piszczek says of Blue Bamboo’s array of acts. “The quality of performance has been on a world-class level the whole time.” Cortez says that as Blue Bamboo becomes more established, he’s thinking about forming alliances with other arts groups and stepping up fundraising for the nonprofit. He hopes to use the space during the day for classes and private lessons in art, music, theater and dance, allowing the center to fulfill its goal of “supporting today’s artists and educating the artists of tomorrow.” “We are very much feeling our way,” Cortez says candidly. “We don’t know yet what it is, how to run it, how to do it the best way. I’m a guitar player learning how to be a proprietor.” Although Cortez plays guitar throughout the area — including at Blue Bamboo — he’s had to put new productions for his record label on hold while establishing the center. But he hopes to change that soon, perhaps by recording Blue

Bamboo performers. Piszczek, whose long, steely gray hair is gathered in a ponytail, has likewise curtailed personal projects. But in 2015, he celebrated a major achievement when the Brevard Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne premiered his Songs From the Gulf of Sorrows, a classical work dedicated to wildlife harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It was part of a program with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, no less. Jeff Flowers, a president of Performing Arts of Maitland, has become the fourth member of Blue Bamboo’s board of directors, and his organization’s Stage Band and Baroque Chamber Orchestra have both performed at the center. Flowers, who also owns an environmental testing firm, says he hopes his experience in building a nonprofit cultural organization will help as Blue Bamboo grows. “I think that they really scoped out the challenges and have taken a conservative approach,” he says of the center’s founders. “It’s tight right now, but they’re succeeding beyond what they would have expected at this point in their development.” It’s important for Blue Bamboo to succeed in the long run, Flower says: “It’s a local, intimate experience — and I can’t think of another one like it.” For more information about shows at Blue Bamboo, visit bluebamboocenterforthearts.com. W INTE R 2 0 1 7 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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LENS THROUGH THE

OF A

LEGEND Clyde Butcher is world renowned for his photographs of the Everglades. Now he has turned his attention to Mead Botanical Garden. 24

BY RANDY NOLES  |  LEAD PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | WI N TER 2017


Because Clyde Butcher is accustomed to wading through alligatorinfested swamps to get just the right shot, tranquil Howell Creek, which runs through Mead Botanical Garden, posed no particular obstacle. W INTE R 2 0 1 7 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Butcher’s photography of the Florida Everglades has been ranked alongside that of Ansel Adams, whose dramatic images of Yosemite National Park inspired him in the early 1960s.

C

lyde Butcher’s haunting black-and-white landscapes of the Florida Everglades are considered artistic masterpieces. His images have been widely showcased in books, on calendars and through major museum exhibitions throughout the U.S. Butcher’s art has been ranked alongside that of Ansel Adams, whose dramatic photography of Yosemite National Park inspired him in the early 1960s. Documentarian Ken Burns, who in 2009 produced and directed The National Parks: America’s Best Idea for PBS, said that the work of Adams and Butcher “reminds us of the abiding kinship we mortals share when we work together to preserve these magnificent places.” So when the legendary photographer, whom Burns called “a national treasure,” agreed to visit Winter Park and bring his camera to Mead Botanical Garden, it was an important milestone in the 77-year history of “Winter Park’s Natural Place.” While the garden has been significantly restored, thanks largely to volunteer labor, it’s sometimes overshadowed by the city’s more glitzy dining, shopping and cultural attractions. Mead Botanical Garden Inc., the nonprofit organization that operates the city-owned expanse of woods and wetlands, was able to snare Butcher in part because he and his family — including wife Niki and daughter Jackie Obendorf — were already going to be in Central Florida, where they own a timeshare. But more importantly, Butcher is an outspoken conservationist who finds it difficult to resist using his celebrity to raise awareness of local parks and preserves.

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“You need to protect what’s in your own backyard,” says Butcher, 75, a white-bearded happy warrior who’s known for wading waist-deep in alligator-infested muck to get just the right shot. While he was in Winter Park, Butcher headlined a $100 per ticket fundraiser dubbed Lens Envy: An Evening with Clyde Butcher, at the Winter Park Civic Center on New England Avenue. The event, which quickly sold out, featured the amiable artist discussing his career and projecting images of his work. He subsequently made three trips to Mead Botanical Garden to soak in the atmosphere and capture its ambiance with his camera. Winter Park Magazine was granted exclusive rights to reproduce the resulting images, which are shown on the cover of this issue and on pages 30-37. In a follow-up telephone interview from his home in Venice, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Butcher says he enjoyed his time at Mead Botanical Garden because it combined untamed natural areas with “controlled spaces” that appeared well used. “I hope people understand what you have there,” he says. “I would advise people who visit not to rush through it. Go slow. Watch what happens. You could easily spend a whole day there. And when you come back next, it’ll be an entirely new experience.” For some of his photographs, in typical Butcher fashion, he positioned himself squarely in the middle of Howell Creek. “That’s the kind of thing you have to do,” he says. “You want to connect to a place; to really become a part of it.”


IN BRIEF Mead Botanical Garden is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to dusk. It’s located north of Orlando, just off U.S. 17-92 in Winter Park. Coming from Orlando, turn right (east) onto Garden Drive just past the Winter Park city limits. Coming from Winter Park, turn left (east) onto Garden Drive, just past Orange Avenue. Garden Drive leads directly to the main entrance. In addition to being a beautifully unspoiled nature area, the garden boasts a number of facilities available for public use. Among them: • The Grove. This multipurpose, openair venue hosts an array of musical and theatrical productions. It’s a great place to bring a blanket or a lawn chair and watch a performance in the glorious outdoors. For rental information, call 407-599-2800. • The Amphitheater. Built in 1960, the amphitheater has for decades been one of the most popular settings in the region for weddings and other special functions. Outdoor bench seating can accommodate up to 300 people. For rental information, call 407-599-3397.

The Legacy Garden and Greenhouse, just beyond the entryway to Mead Botanical Garden, is now a colorful oasis restored and maintained by volunteers.

• Picnic Pavilion. Looking for a place to hold a picnic, family birthday party or class reunion? The pavilion, located near the main entrance, offers a shady setting and several tables. For reservation information, call 407-599-3397. • The Winter Park Garden Club. This 3,000-square-foot building accommodates up to 175 people for weddings, receptions, meetings, retreats and other events. There’s a fully equipped kitchen and a lovely patio that overlooks lush wooded areas. For rental information, call 407-644-5770. The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs has a similar facility adjacent to Mead Botanical Garden. For rental information, call 407-647-7016. Mead Botanical Garden also has a community vegetable garden and a popular summer camp as well as birdwatching expeditions, guided hikes, a fall plant sale and such events as the annual Great Duck Derby — the racing ducks are of the rubber variety — which supports the garden’s environmental education programs. For more information and a calendar of events, visit meadgarden.org.

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MEAD BOTANICAL GARDEN

PORTFOLIO BY CLYDE BUTCHER


Bald cypress with a cabbage palm along Howell Creek.


Bald cypress knees in Howell Creek.


Bat flower (Tacca chantrieri).


King palm (Archontopheonix aleandrae) with a variety of begonias beneath.


Oakleaf hydrangea, dracaenas, cordylines and a variety of begonias and ferns in the Legacy Garden.


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NATURE THE

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WONDERFUL WINTER LOOKS IN FULL BLOOM AT MEAD BOTANICAL GARDEN. 40

Photography by Rafael Tongol | Styling by Marianne Ilunga | Photo Assistant: Jenn Allen Hair and Makeup by Elsie Knab | Model: Cameron Michelle from Muse Models W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | WI N TER 2017


Cameron from Modern Muse wears a navy blue coat dress ($4,990) by Akris;Â black bell bottom pants ($995) by Roberto Cavalli; and a short-sleeve, charcoal-gray peplum top ($660) by Stella McCartney. Her blue velvet platform sandals ($825) are by Prada; her black velvet choker ($250) is by Dannijo; and her silk ribbon pearl necklaces ($295 each) are by Lulu Frost. All are from Neiman Marcus, Mall at Millenia.


Cameron wears a black puffer jacket ($1,180) by Moncler; embroidered jeans ($1,645) by Alexander McQueen; and a multicolor stripe turtleneck ($298) and a pair of metallic double strap pumps ($795), both by Saint Laurent. She carries a velvet embroidered mini purse ($7,250), and a fur keychain ($900), both by Fendi. All are from Neiman Marcus, Mall at Millenia.


Cameron wears a black turtleneck ($78) by Twenty; a velvet slip dress ($398) by DVF; and a Fox fur vest ($595) by June. All are from Tuni Winter Park. Her blue suede booties ($248) and blue suede bucket handbag ($295) are by Donald J. Pliner, and are from Donald J. Pliner, Mall at Millenia.


Cameron wears a floral print blouse ($298) by Tracy Reese; a floral print pencil skirt ($248) by Tracy Reese; and a burgundy leather bomber jacket ($550) by Nicole Miller. Her gold necklace choker ($264) is by C. Jackson; her black suede wrap choker ($15) is by Tuni Winter Park; and her round frame sunglasses ($330) are by Pucci. All are from Tuni Winter Park. She also wears lace-up black patent oxfords ($248), and carries a black Watersnake satchel ($495), both by Donald J. Pliner, and from Donald J Pliner, Mall at Millenia.Â


Cameron wears a red and black floral print maxi skirt ($2,390) and a red and black floral print blouse ($1,025), both by Roberto Cavalli. She also wears a gold blazer ($3,990) by Akris; black and gold platform gladiator sandals ($945); and a multicolor beaded choker necklace ($699), all by Jose Y. Maria Barrera. She carries a black and white shoulder bag ($2,660) by Prada. All are from Neiman Marcus, Mall at Millenia.


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IN

Full

An extraordinary new book highlights the life and work of Theodore Mead, the modest genius whose legacy is flower power.

Bloom P

BY RANDY NOLES

aul Butler first set foot in Mead Botanical Garden in late 2009, Smith Winter Park History Research Grant, which is administered by Rolslipping through the little-used pedestrian entrance on South Pennlins College and the Winter Park Public Library. sylvania Avenue. A retired professor who had recently relocated But with thousands of hours invested — plus research trips to New York, from England, Butler was an avid horticulturalist and was curious Colorado and West Virginia — Butler is unlikely to come out ahead finanto see this 48-acre urban oasis, which was named for arguably the most skilled cially. ”With something like this you have to struggle to stay on message,” he hybridizer of plants who ever lived. notes. “You find a new piece of information and before “The years had not been kind,” says Butler, who you know it you’re off on a tangent.” taught mineral science at Imperial College and the What truly matters, Butler says, is that at long last University of Oxford. So Butler joined a small army of proper recognition has been granted to both Mead the volunteers under the auspices of what is now known as scientist and Mead the man. “He was a true gentleman; Mead Botanical Garden Inc. The group managed to resan old-school gentleman,” Butler says. “He wasn’t a procue the garden from neglect and reestablish it as one of moter. He didn’t name his creations after himself. That’s Winter Park’s most important assets. the main reason he isn’t better known today.” But what about Theodore Luqueer Mead (1852Orchids and Butterflies is a hefty 358-page tome 1936), for whom the garden was named? “I was unable highlighted by dozens of never-before published photo find much published information about him,” says tographs of Mead and his family, some vividly restored Butler, who began researching Mead’s life — at first a caand colorized. Unlike most limited-run books aimed at sual pastime that quickly became an obsession. “I wanted enthusiasts, this one is priced for everyone: $29.95 for a to find the essence of what made him tick.” paperback and $39.95 for a hardback. Butler credits his interest in Mead to the late Kenneth That’s because Butler believes the book will be of inMurrah, a Winter Park attorney and history buff whom terest even to those who know nothing about horticulhe had seen perform “a short but captivating historical ture. And while some chapters do discuss Mead’s exactreenactment of Mead” at a meeting of volunteers. “I left Orchids and Butterflies is a fascinating — and ing work in detail, Orchids and Butterflies is, at its heart, with the impression of just having met a fascinating per- long overdue — biography of Theodore a human-interest story. son from the past who had lived in interesting times,” Luqueer Mead, the pioneering horticulturalist It recounts the marvelously productive — and occafor whom Mead Botanical Garden is named. Butler recalls. sionally tragic — life of a genial gentleman-scientist who The subsequent five-year project undertaken by Butenjoyed romping with children and portraying Santa ler resulted in the first-ever book about Mead and his (literally) groundClaus at community celebrations in Oviedo, where he and his wife lived on breaking work, Orchids and Butterflies: The Life and Times of Theodore Mead the shores of aptly named Lake Charm in an English-style cottage. (Little Red Hen Press, 2016). It is a monumental achievement within its It also provides fascinating background about the ornamental plant and relatively narrow niche, rightfully placing the low-key Mead among the likes citrus industries in Florida, and highlights Mead’s unheralded invention of of Luther Burbank in the pantheon of great horticulturalists.’ a still-commonplace method to protect fruit against freezes. The book, which is dedicated to Murrah, was a labor of love for ButFinally, it explores Mead’s ties to Rollins, and the effort by a student, forler. Some hard costs were covered by a Rhea Marsh and Dorothy Lockhart mer Boy Scout John “Jack” Connery, and a professor, the ubiquitous Edwin

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This lively portrait of Mead was painted in 1932 by Sam Stoltz, an artist and self-trained architect whose quirky "Spanish Florida" homes can still be seen in Windermere, College Park, Winter Park and on scattered sites throughout Central Florida.

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PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL

Paul Butler, a retired professor and an avid horticulturalist, wanted to learn more about the man who was arguably the most skilled hybridizer of plants who ever lived. That curiosity prompted Butler to embark on an intense research project that ended up spanning five years.

Osgood Grover, to create a botanical garden in his honor. Butler’s writing is direct and accessible, which is not always the case with books penned by academics (particularly, one assumes, academics with backgrounds in science). You do not have to know an amaryllis from a caladium to find Orchids and Butterflies engrossing, primarily because the book is a biography — not a treatise. Still, students of agriculture, horticulture and entomology will find a compelling, well-documented analysis of Mead’s contributions to those

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fields, studded with enough Latin designations and technical definitions to make the book as authoritative as it is enjoyable. If you only know the Mead name through the garden — and perhaps through a ’70s-era subdivision in Oviedo — then you’ll enjoy meeting the precocious youngster, the rugged adventurer, the pioneering citrus grower, the brilliant scientist and the beloved pillar of the community. Mead was born to Samuel and Mary Mead in Fishkill, New York, 60 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. Mary was deeply religious,

while Samuel, the well-to-do son of a wholesale grocer, might be best described as a freethinker. But the two made a congenial couple, and were equally indulgent of young “Theo’s” interests in plants and insects. In 1867, he and his mother enjoyed a sevenmonth tour of Europe, where “Theo” was fascinated by exhibits of machinery at the French International Expedition. In Florence, he wrote, he was “rather intrigued by Galileo’s dried finger … and also by the stuffed skin of a saint.” Indeed, what 15-year-old could resist? Fatefully, while in Europe the youngster also wheedled his mother into buying him a large and comprehensive collection of butterflies — it cost $50, the equivalent for more than $800 today — sparking a passion for studying and collecting the winged creatures. The family first visited Florida in 1868, where Theo was thrilled to find and net a rare Papilio calverleyi around the town of Enterprise in what is now Volusia County. The adventurous teen, certain that he had found his passion, spent the summer of 1869 at the Coalburg, West Virginia, home of William H. Edwards, the foremost expert in lepidoptera (the study of butterflies and moths) in America. In 1868, Edwards had published Butterflies of North America, which eventually encompassed three volumes. The lavishly illustrated books “secured Edwards’ reputation as the greatest American butterfly expert,” writes Butler, who adds that the volumes are today regarded “on the same iconic level as Audubon’s bird books.” After several months chasing specimens on the 30,000 acres owned by Edwards, the peripatetic young man returned to New York and joined his brother, Sammy, at the Columbia School of Mines. Two years later, the Mead brothers accompanied the Edwards family on a governmentsponsored mapping expedition of the Colorado Rockies. There, Mead gathered 3,800 butterfly specimens, including 28 new species — several of which were named by Edwards for Mead. He also explored by horseback an area now called the Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument, discovering numerous fossilized insects — including a variety of termite that had previously been unknown — and calling attention to the importance of the site for scientific research. In 1874, Mead enrolled at Cornell University, where he won $20 for the best lecture on a subject in physiology based on his butterfly research. But in 1875, he was devastated when Sammy, with whom he was extremely close, accidentally shot and killed himself while preparing for a hunting trip. Still, Mead managed to graduate in 1877 with a degree in civil engineering. He and his parents then embarked on a six-month-long nature excursion to California, traveling by steamer from


New York to Panama and up the coast to San Francisco, then returning via Salt Lake City and Chicago. Along the way he collected cacti and more butterflies. In 1881, the Meads moved to the town of Eustis in what is now Lake County. Mead’s father bought his surviving son 90 acres for citrus growing and an additional 800 acres of pine forest as an investment. The following year, Mead married Edith Edwards, daughter of his entomological mentor, after receiving personal assurances that she did not share his mother’s evangelical fervor. Mead, like Edwards, was an adherent of Darwinism, much to his mother’s dismay. “You won’t have to fear having chosen a ‘female revivalist,’” Edith wrote him, “for as you know, I don’t approve of that sort of thing. I believe in complete freedom of conscience, and shall never try to make you, dear boy, try to believe as I do where you can’t.” After honeymooning in England, the couple returned to Eustis and began life as frontier citrus growers — although Mead also began experimenting with ornamental and subtropical plants. But the operation was a financial drain, prompting

Mead to sell his butterfly collection to raise cash. Souring on Eustis, in 1886 the Meads moved to Oviedo, an isolated backwater south of Lake Jessup in what is now eastern Seminole County. With financial assistance from Mead’s father, they bought an 85-acre grove around Lake Charm and built a home they whimsically dubbed “Waitabit.” Across the small lake, Henry Foster, a savvy homeopathic physician and part-time citrus grower, maintained a winter home (which still stands). Foster’s wife, Mary, was Edith’s aunt. The Fosters, who had encouraged the Meads to relocate, also operated a sanitarium at Clifton Springs, New York, where the healing power of sulphur springs attracted patients. In 1887, the Meads had a daughter. Mead, however, had desperately wanted a son, and wrote his parents shortly after the child’s birth that “at present I don’t want to see her or hear her or have anything to do with her.” Soon, though, Mead was doting on the little girl, named Dorothy. But the youngster contracted scarlet fever at age 4, and died “after 17 dreadful days and nights.” The Meads, who would never have another child, were devastated.

Following the loss, Mead spent even more time gardening. He ordered palm seeds from England and Italy and patiently waited years for them to germinate. By 1894, he had as many as 250 palms in pots. But he gave up on palms after losing them all in the Great Freezes of December 1894 and February 1895. Mead’s interests turned increasingly toward flowers. His approach to hybridization was to create new types of plants that combined beauty and commercial value — whether the process was difficult, as with orchids, or simple, as with daylilies. “He would just give plants away to anybody,” says Butler. “People would come from miles around to see his home and his plants. They’d admire a flower and he’d just say, ‘Go ahead and take it.’” According to horticulturist Henry Nehrling, who then lived and worked in Gotha, his lowkey friend and sometime collaborator was a more accomplished hybridizer of plants than the far more famous Burbank. The grounds around Waitabit became a wonderland of exotic plants, including succulents and cacti, while Mead conducted his experiments in a greenhouse and sold plants to wholesale clients. Remembering weather disasters from years past, W INTE R 2 0 1 7 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF PAUL BUTLER

As a young man, Theodore Mead made his mark discovering new species of butterflies. He and his wife, Edith, later moved to Oviedo, where they built a home called "Waitabit." There, Mead grew citrus and experimented with orchids and other ornamental and exotic plants.


PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL BUTLER

A extremely rare example of Cattleya meadii, the only orchid actually named for Mead, can be found in the greenhouse at Mead Botanical Garden. It blooms during the fall of each year.

Mead also turned his attention to the problem of protecting citrus during freezes. He hypothesized that enclosing groves in wood-and-cloth sheds — and coating trees in water via an overhead irrigation system powered by a steam pump — might allow fruit to survive by encasing it in a 32-degree ice cocoon. He successfully used this approach on 475 of his own trees in the brutal winter of 1901. An article about Mead’s innovation in a 1905 edition of Country Life in America magazine included perhaps the first description of continual watering to prevent freeze damage — a technique still used by growers. The Meads also took an active interest in the young people of Oviedo, many of whom called Mead “Uncle Teddy.” Edith taught sewing classes, gave piano lessons and was a founder of the Oviedo Woman’s Club. Mead, with his jolly demeanor and white beard, played Santa Claus in local Christmas pageants and became Oviedo’s first Scoutmaster. “The Meads had an incredible library and had read a lot of medical books,” Butler says. “Edith had training as a nurse. So the two of them would ride around Oviedo in their buggy, going into the black areas and offering medical help, sometimes bringing remedies made from the plants he grew.” It was through the Boy Scouts, at Apopka’s Camp WeWa, that Mead met Jack Connery, an Orlando Eagle Scout who would later join forces with Grover to make Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park a reality. Connery was an avid collector of birds’ eggs and nests, which in 1932 he donated to Rollins College’s Thomas R. Baker Museum of Natural History in exchange for tuition. (The museum moved off campus in 1939 and no longer exists; the fate of its collection is unknown.)

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While serving as student curator for the museum, Connery also became Mead’s protégé, assisting the aging horticulturist at his greenhouse and gardens. “Someday,” he told his mentor, “I am going to build a memorial garden for you.” Mead, alone since Edith’s death in 1927, was undoubtedly flattered. But he could have had no idea that the eager Connery, along with a visionary professor, would do exactly that just a few years later. Although his health was failing, Mead continued to work into his 80s. An admiring colleague, horticulturist Julian Nally, made the pilgrimage to Waitabit in 1932 and found the property to be “a tangled ruin” overgrown with plants of every description. But he was most struck with his host’s disheveled appearance. “I left that afternoon more conscious of Mead’s peculiarity of dress than anything else,” Nally later recalled. “He had on a stocking skated knitting cap, the jacket of a Boy Scout uniform and a pair of shorts over long wool underwear.” Mead died in 1936, and the headline in the Orlando Morning Sentinel read: “Science Loses T.L. Mead — Well Known Oviedo Botanist Dies.” His legacy, according to Butler, is perhaps most profound in the development of the ornamental horticulture industry. His work with Nehrling led to the bi-colored Mead-strain amaryllis. He created hundreds of new orchids — almost all forgotten today, Butler says — and he was a pioneer in launching the orchid industry. All strap-leaved caladiums owe their origin to his efforts. Mead’s overhead water irrigation system to protect citrus against damage from freezing weather was revolutionary. As an entomologist, he discovered many species of butterfly, two of which still carry his name. His early experiments with Edwards demon-

strated that environmental factors controlled variations within butterfly species, supporting Darwinism. While regarded as irrefutable fact today, the theory of evolution was savaged as heretical, even by other scientists, when On the Origin of the Species was published in 1859. In his will, Mead left his orchid collection to Connery, who in turn discussed the idea of a memorial garden with Grover. The professor’s brother, Frederick, was a professor of botany at Oberlin College in Ohio, and admired Theo’s work. Grover was a tireless civic activist who knew what an asset a botanical garden would be for Winter Park. Through persistence, persuasion and sheer force of will, he spearheaded the drive to create Mead Botanical Garden from a primeval tract tucked away at the end of South Denning Drive, across the railroad tracks and bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue and Howell Creek. In 1937, Theodore L. Mead Botanical Garden Inc., a nonprofit organization that would operate the garden, was formed. At its helm was Grover as president and Rollins President Hamilton Holt as honorary president. Connery was named director and executive secretary. The memorial garden that Connery had promised opened, against all odds, in 1940. The story of how it happened — and the roller-coaster years between then and now — would fill another book. Orchids and Butterflies, which is, after all, a biography, appropriately concludes at Mead’s death. The formation of the garden is dealt with in a cursory final chapter. But that chapter reinforces the impression of Mead as a kindly and exceedingly modest man who, despite his accomplishments, would almost certainly have insisted that he was unworthy of a memorial garden. “They call a fellow a wizard if he takes the trouble to cross-pollinate a couple of blossoms,” he once said. “But as a matter of fact, we do nothing more than the farmer who drops seeds in the furrow. We merely do systematically what the bees do for the farmer instinctively and haphazardly, and what the wind does because it cannot help it.”

IN BRIEF Orchids and Butterflies: The Life and Times of Theodore Mead Publisher: Red Hen Press Price: $29.95, paperback; $39.95, hardback Purchase: Email Paul Butler at casajard@gmail.com. The book was not available on Amazon or at local bookstores at presstime, but may now be.


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Tom Cook, Professor of Philosophy

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BIG IDEA? WHAT’S THE

Now in its 30th year, Rollins’ Master of Liberal Studies program is ideal for lifelong learners who are interested in everything.

I

BY RANDY NOLES | PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

“WE HAD A POLICEWOMAN COME THROUGH THE PROGRAM. SHE SAYS IT MADE HER MORE THOUGHTFUL AND REFLECTIVE ON QUESTIONS OF JUSTICE.” —TOM COOK

f you’re the sort of lifelong learner who’s interested in just about everything, then you’re likely an ideal candidate for the Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program at Rollins College. The eclectic classes — from ancient Greek literature to the origins of rock ‘n’ roll — are what attracted Realtor Chris Bauman to enroll in the fall of 2016. “I looked at the list of requirements and electives, and I was just blown away by what was available,” says Bauman, 50, a busy professional who, like most of his peers, is able to pursue the degree because courses are offered in the evening, through the college’s Hamilton Holt School. “I said to myself, ‘I want to learn all of that.’” Bauman’s adventurous attitude is typical of the 50 or so students who enroll in the MLS program each year. They range in age from twentysomethings to sixtysomethings — and run the gamut from executives to retirees to stayat-home parents. All seek intellectual stimulation, personal enrichment and the company of kindred spirits. Few — aspiring college humanities teachers being the exception — pursue the MLS with the primary goal of mastering a more marketable trade. The point is learning for the sake of learning — although, program advocates say, critical thinking skills and a more expansive worldview are certain to enhance just about any activity, personal or professional. Most MLS students are well-established in careers and simply “cherish and enjoy the life of the mind,” according to Tom Cook, a philosophy professor who directs the program. It all sounds rather rarified. And perhaps it is. But it’s also fun, say professors and students — assuming your definition of fun encompasses reading great books, thinking deep thoughts and debating weighty ideas. Classes are taught by an elite cadre of faculty consisting exclusively of tenured or tenure-track professors — no adjuncts — who are academic all-stars in such fields as art, music, literature, philosophy, religion, science and more. “We had a policewoman come through the program,” recalls Cook, a good-natured bear of a man who earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. “She says it made her more thoughtful and reflective on questions of justice.” W INTE R 2 0 1 7 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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All MLS students are screened by Cook, a specialist in Spinoza and a past winner of the Hugh F. McKean Distinguished Teacher Award. He looks for people “with the ability to write and think clearly, and who are lifelong learners.”

“SOME PEOPLE REALIZE THEY WERE JUST TOO YOUNG WHEN THEY STARTED COLLEGE. NOW THEY’RE HUNGRY TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD BETTER.” —SCOTT RUBARTH

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LIBERAL ARTS ETHOS

The MLS program was started in 1987 — it turns 30 this year — with a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant covered, among other startup costs, the outfitting of a wood-paneled classroom in the Cornell Hall for the Social Sciences. Rollins launched the first MLS program in the state, but it’s no longer the only one. Today there are four, with the University of Central Florida, the University of Miami and Barry University in Miami Shores offering comparable degrees. Rollins, however, remains one of only a handful of non-university MLS programs in the country. Although the distinction between “university” and “college” can be muddled — especially nowadays — colleges are typically more focused on undergraduate education. They’re also usually smaller and less likely to offer vocational or professional training. Rollins, with about 2,600 undergraduate students, does offer some master’s degrees in addition to the MLS — most notably a highly ranked MBA program through its Crummer School of Business. But the 128-year-old institution remains firmly rooted in the liberal arts college tradition. Nationwide, there are about 90 institutional members of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP), which is headquartered at Duke University. MLS programs or their equivalent are offered at such prestigious universities as Dartmouth, DePaul, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Stanford and Vanderbilt. But only about a half-dozen small colleges, including Rollins, offer graduate degrees in liberal studies. Some institutions appear to have cobbled together MLS programs by bundling seemingly random assortments of existing graduate-level courses. Rollins, however, requires five sequential core courses designed specifically for MLS students. The core courses, which emphasize various aspects of Western civilization, are augmented by electives and a thesis project. The 48-hour program can sometimes be completed in three years, although many students — especially those immersed in demanding careers — may take longer. “We don’t encourage the seven-year plan,” jokes Cook, who nonetheless understands that other responsibilities sometimes make it difficult for students to take more than one reading-heavy course per semester. “We know we’re catering in large part to working people.” Fast-track or slow-track, a liberal arts college is the most logical place for advanced liberal arts studies, notes Rollins President Grant Cornwell, who has written and spoken widely on the value of a liberal arts education in a world where STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is increasingly emphasized. “The MLS program encapsulates the essence of the liberal arts ethos,” says Cornwell. “While every student leaves Rollins with a broad liberal education, MLS students’ thesis or capstone projects further exercise their analytical and critical thinking skills.”

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Julia Maskivker, Assistant Professor of Political Science

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BEST AND BRIGHTEST

All MLS students are screened by Cook, a specialist in Spinoza and a past winner of the Hugh F. McKean Distinguished Teacher Award. He looks for people “with the ability to write and think clearly, and who are lifelong learners.” College transcripts — which sometimes date back decades for MLS applicants — can only reveal so much, Cook says. He wants to know what kind of people would-be MLS students have become in the years following graduation. What have they accomplished? Have they demonstrated a propensity for lifelong learning? Are they readers with an insatiable curiosity about the world around them? Applicants must write two brief essays: one about why they’re interested in the program, and one about a book — other than the Bible — that has influenced their thinking. Two letters of recommendation are also required. The congenial Cook — an unpretentious intellectual who usually wears sandals — reviews applications, reads essays, conducts interviews and seeks to assemble a diverse group with varied life experiences. Those who are selected will study under professors who are as diverse as the courses they teach. First up is The Human Order, an intense but intriguing intellectual roller-coaster ride that begins with Homer and careens through Hesiod, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil and others. It’s taught by Scott Rubarth, who embodies the liberal arts and its power to change modes of thinking. As a teenager, Rubarth was enthralled by guns, survivalism and martial arts. He began his college career at Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s University), where “we thought Liberty University was too liberal.” Rubarth graduated with a degree in pre-theology before becoming a paramedic and a youth minister. But he grew increasingly dissatisfied with rigid fundamentalist Christianity. “I wasn’t comfortable giving kids the answers the church expected me to give,” he says. In an intellectual about-face, he earned a second bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree — in classics and philosophy, respectively — from San Diego State University en route to a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto. He came to Rollins from Toronto in 1997, shortly after graduation, and now holds an endowed chair as the George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Scholar in Classical Studies. “Some people realize they were just too young when they started college,” says Rubarth, who specializes in the Stoics. “Now they’re hungry to understand the world better. They’ve come to understand that there’s more to life than the external signifiers of wealth and success.” He describes his course as a kind of “boot camp” during which students explore the social and political thought of ancient Greece and Rome while honing their skills at writing argumentative essays. It’s tough, with a daunting amount of reading required. But if wisdom and enlightenment are not motivation enough, Rubarth throws in a semester-ending toga party for good measure. Another core MLS course is The Origins of Modernity, taught by Julia Maskivker, a native of Argentina who earned a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. Unlike The Human Order, in which writers and philosophers supposed the gods were in control, Maskivker’s course investigates the ways in which modern social, aesthetic and political thinkers sought to organize society on secular foundations. The MLS program, she says, is “a tool for self-realization” that reinforces independent thinking. “Students are there because they want to be,” she says. “So there’s always enthusiasm and excitement. I get younger people, midcareer people and even people who have retired and are looking for intellectual stimulation.” Maskivker, who has written extensively on the moral obligation of citizens to involve themselves in the democratic process, enjoys photography and says she would have been a novelist “in a different life.” Other required courses are Religion and Western Culture, Milestones of Modern Science, and Masterpieces of Modern Literature. Electives differ from semester to semester. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. For example, artist-in-residence Chuck Archard, a renowned bassist who teaches contemporary jazz, recently offered Roots, Rock and Rap, a history of popular music from the early 1950s through today. Elvis and Aristotle in the same semester? That is the MLS program in a proverbial nutshell (or in a box of chocolates).

“I GET YOUNGER PEOPLE, MIDCAREER PEOPLE AND EVEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE RETIRED AND ARE LOOKING FOR INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION.” —JULIA MASKIVKER

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The great circular window in Knowles Memorial Chapel celebrates Rollins’ commitment to the age-old ideal of a liberal arts education. Wisdom is seated at the center, surrounded by seven figures representing the seven traditional liberal arts of the classical and medieval ages.

“HERE WE CAN HAVE A DIRECT CONNECTION WITH OUR STUDENTS.” —ERIC SMAW

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Past electives have included Autobiographical Writing, The Radical ’60s, The Psychology of Love and Loss, Writers of the Wild West, Poetry of the Earth, The Art of Urban Design, Middle East Culture and Film, and Engaged Buddhism. Shorter “Masterwork” courses focus on particular works of art, music or literature. Eric Smaw, who earned a Ph.D. in the philosophy of law from the University of Kentucky, teaches an elective called Terrorism and Civil Liberties. He says a liberal arts education is in keeping with the vision of the Founding Fathers, who wanted people “to think deeply about the values they accept.” Smaw does just that. A board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, he has lectured and published articles on human rights and racial justice. One of his undergraduate courses, Zombies, Serial Killers and Madmen, applies philosophical questions to the actions of history’s most-despised mass-murders. In 2013, Smaw participated in a high-profile debate regarding same-sex marriage with Michael Brown, a conservative author and theologian who was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report among “30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right.” Smaw previously taught at the University of Massachusetts, where he also did post-doctoral work. “It was a big state university,” he recalls. “I found that with 170 students in a class, nobody was getting an education at all. Here we can have a direct connection with our students.” Susan Libby, who earned a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Maryland, also teaches electives in the MLS program, although she’s not on the roster for the coming semester. Previously she has taught Shock of the Nude, about Édouard Manet’s painting Olympia, and Rococo to Revolution, about French art in the Enlightenment. Her particular interest is in depictions of race and slavery in Caribbean colonies under French rule. Libby says the MLS program “teaches skills that can enhance any profession.” Plus, she says, “MLS students are absolutely fearless.” Even if they’ve had no prior exposure to art history, she adds, “they jump right in and they own it. They’re not as self-conscious as undergraduates.”

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Susan Libby, Professor of Art History

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“MLS STUDENTS ARE ABSOLUTLEY FEARLESS ... THEY JUMP RIGHT IN AND THEY OWN IT.” —SUSAN LIBBY

PERSONAL GROWTH

MLS students are eager to sing its praises. Among them is Patricia Schoene, a retired high school English teacher, who wanted to challenge herself and learn about subjects outside her field of expertise. “I took the Milestones of Modern Science class and wrote a 21-page paper on quantum physics,” Schoene says. “I never studied physics in high school or college. The paper far exceeded the required length, but I had the luxury of researching questions about physics that I’ve had for years, but never had the time to explore.” Alumni are also major boosters. Take, for example, Ben Brotemarkle, executive director of the Florida Historical Society and host of Florida Frontiers, a weekly radio broadcast about Florida history that can be heard statewide on PBS stations. When Brotemarkle was in the program, from 1993 to 1997, he was working at WMFE-FM 90, the local NPR station. “I’ll admit that with a full-time job, there were definite challenges to getting all the work done,” Brotemarkle says. “But the classroom discussions were always so stimulating, you never wanted to come unprepared. It was a great experience.” Brotemarkle’s thesis project evolved into a book, Beyond the Theme Parks: Exploring Central Florida, which was published in 1999 by University Press of Florida. It was a scholarly but entertaining tour of the region’s small towns, with an emphasis on historic sites, museums and obscure attractions. Other thesis projects have included traditional research papers as well as musical compositions and works of literary fiction. Almost anything goes if it gets faculty approval, is carefully designed and researched, and relates in some way to MLS courses. Oh, and there are the trips. MLS classes have traveled to Athens, London, Florence, Paris, Amsterdam and Istanbul. This winter, a trip to India will be co-led by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. If all this sounds appealing — and if you’re willing to spend a few evenings reading Plato instead of arguing with the unenlightened on Facebook — why not give it a try? The next application deadline is May 15 for the fall semester. But it’s suggested that you get the process underway much earlier. “This is the center of the Rollins mission,” says Cook, who adds that MLS students often form bonds that endure outside the classroom. “It’s rigorous liberal arts education and the quintessence of lifelong learning.”

There aren’t many degree programs in which you might study the influence of Aristotle and Plato on Western thought in one class and the influence of Elvis Presley on American popular music in another. But the Rollins MLS program is designed for people with wide-ranging interests.

WHAT

The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program is based on the premise that studying the great ideas of Western civilization increases intellectual awareness and self-fulfillment. Students read great books to revisit ideas and insights that emerged centuries ago, and to examine the relevance of those ideas to the modern world.

WHEN

The program is offered through the Hamilton Holt School, the college’s evening program, and is aimed at working adults.

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Applications are accepted throughout the year. New students begin the core-course sequence in the fall. The application deadline is May 15 for the fall semester, which begins in August.

PROGRAM LENGTH 48 credit hours

TUITION

$461 per credit hour. There is a dedicated scholarship fund based on financial considerations and other factors.

INFORMATION

rollins.edu/evening/academics/graduate/master-of-liberal-studies

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

QUITE A RUN FOR TRACK SHACK

Betsy and Jon Hughes

TRACK SHACK EVENTS

FOR DETAILS AND REGISTRATION, GO TO TRACKSHACK.COM

January 14 Park Avenue 5k Run/Walk Presented by Florida Hospital Park Avenue, Winter Park 7:30 a.m. January 28 Florida Hospital Lady Track Shack 5k Run/Walk Loch Haven Park, Orlando 7:30 a.m. February 11 Run 4 Love 4 Mile Run/Walk Presented by Florida Hospital Showalter Field, Winter Park 7:30 a.m. March 4 Smile Mile (Kids Run) Blue Jacket Park, Orlando 8 a.m. March 25 Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe Winter Park Road Race Presented by Florida Hospital Park Avenue, Winter Park 7:30 a.m. April 13 IOA Corporate 5k Run/Walk Lake Eola, Orlando 7:15 a.m. April 29 Run for the Trees 5k Run/Walk Showalter Field, Winter Park 7:30 a.m.

July 4 Watermelon 5k Run/Walk Park Avenue, Winter Park 7:30 a.m. August 12 Celebration of Running 5k Run/Walk Presented by Florida Hospital Orlando Cultural Park 7:30 a.m. September 16 Rock n’ Run 5k Run/Walk Secret Lake Park, Casselberry 7:30 a.m. October Date TBD U Can Finish 5 Mile and 2 Mile University of Central Florida 7:30 a.m. November Date and Time TBD Run Nona 10k Lake Nona, Orlando December 2 OUC Orlando Half Marathon and 5k Lake Eola, Orlando 7:30 a.m. December 9 Greg Warmoth Reindeer Run/Walk SeaWorld 7:15 a.m.

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PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL

Track Shack, which is synonymous with runners and road races, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Owned by longtime Winter Parkers Jon and Betsy Hughes, the now-iconic retail shop on Mills Avenue has prospered as running — for fun, health and competition — has enjoyed a decades-long boom. During those years, the Hugheses combined their love of the sport with a successful family business providing runners with the proper gear, training and advice — and plenty of road races to get them motivated and moving. Inside the store, the walls and racks are filled with everything a runner at any level could want or need, including shorts, shirts, technical gadgets, energy drinks and nutritional snacks. And, of course, there are shoes. Shoes everywhere. Shoes galore. “We’ve worked long and hard over the years,” says Betsy, 55. “It’s amazing, really.” Adds Jon, 59: “I find it hard to believe. It’s humbling. It’s gratifying to be able to support a sport that we love.” Jon and Betsy, married for 33 years, were both track stars at Winter Park High School. They aren’t the founders of Track Shack, but were there almost from the beginning. Three months after the store opened, Jon, also a competitive runner in college (Appalachian State), was hired and later became a partner. Jon, in turn, hired Betsy for a part-time job. After graduating from the University of Florida, Betsy returned to Central Florida — and Jon — at Track Shack. The two married in 1983, and shortly thereafter bought out the other partners. It’s been quite a run ever since. The original Track Shack, also on Mills Avenue, was 1,000 square feet; today’s store is five times bigger. And there are now two companies — one for retail and one for race events. Track Shack’s customer base has jumped from the hundreds to the thousands. Its staff has grown from two full-timers — Jon and Betsy — to 45 full- and part-time employees, including the Hughes’ son, Chris. Along the way, the couple created local races that have gained national and international attention. In 1994, Jon created and was the race director for the Walt Disney World Marathon, which spawned a number of highly successful half marathons at Disney. The Hugheses’ daughter, Emma, and her husband, Will, have competed in several. Track Shack also operates other races that are turning 40 this year. First was the OUC Orlando Half Marathon, which was held in December. Then there’s the Lady Track Shack 5k in January and the Winter Park Road Race 10k in March. “We started the races to promote the store,” says Jon. But for the Hugheses, it wasn’t just about business; it was about community outreach. In 1994, they formed the Track Shack Youth Foundation, which has donated more than $2.5 million to local organizations. On a smaller scale, Track Shack each month donates about 500 pairs of “gently used” shoes to Sneaker Seekers, a group that cleans and donates them to local organizations. Jon and Betsy’s long-term commitment to the sport has earned them both local and national accolades. In 2002, Jon was inducted into the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame; in 2009 Jon and Betsy were inducted into The Running Event Hall of Fame and the Running USA Hall of Champions. Track Shack was named Merchant of the Year in the Orlando Main Street Awards in 2013, and Retailer of the Year by the Florida Federation of Retailers in 2015. After nearly four decades, the Hugheses, appropriately for runners, have no plans to slow down. Jon, who runs 25 to 30 miles a week and will train for a marathon later this year, says running is “a positive addiction.” Betsy, who runs 15 miles a week and works out at the gym, says, “Exercise is a part of our lives. I want to run for the rest of my life.” — Mick Lochridge

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The restored (and breathtaking) Tiffany Chapel was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893 before being installed at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall. It now occupies its own wing in the one-of-a-kind Winter Park Museum, which is celebrating its 75th birthday.

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the MORSE at

BY MICHAEL MCLEOD

The museum originally opened on the Rollins College campus, but moved to new quarters on North Park Avenue in 1995, just months before the death of founding director Hugh McKean.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Although it’s known for Tiffany, the magnificent museum continues to reflect the eclectic aesthetic of its legendary founding director.


Quiet galleries throughout the museum offer stunning displays featuring stained-glass panels and glass and ceramic objects as well as paintings and drawings.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

F

rank Sinatra always hated “My Way.” It didn’t matter that the McKean’s abiding presence at the museum he co-founded and directed song, written just for him, was tailor-made to fit his debonair, for more than half a century is being more keenly felt than ever of late, macho-melancholia persona just as snugly as his Berluti lace-ups thanks to a retrospective exhibit that reflects the whimsical spirit of the with the elevator inserts. Apparently, Sinatra felt he deserved to iconic artist-educator who did it, well, his way. be known for more, much more, than that. Celebrating 75 Years — Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum, But then, being overshadowed by your which opened in mid-October and runs own claim to fame is a celebrity’s occuthrough January 21, is designed not only pational hazard. Institutions can face the to illustrate the breadth and depth of the same dilemma. Morse collection, but to provide a sense of Take, for example, Winter Park’s Charles McKean’s learned showmanship as its diHosmer Morse Museum of American Art, rector. The exhibit features more than 60 with its world-class array of stained-glass examples of pottery, prints, portraits and windows, lamps, and other art nouveau crelandscape paintings. ations that Louis Comfort Tiffany and his The 75th anniversary commemoration artisans created in the first half of the 20th continues in February, with the debut of a century. The collection is so comprehennew audio tour; free admission throughsive that a consulting firm once suggested out the month; and an open-to-the-public a name change: Why not just call it “The celebration on February 17 from 5 to 7:30 Charles Hosmer Morse Tiffany Museum?” p.m., which will feature champagne toasts Why not just make museum director and live music. Jeannette and Hugh McKean shared similar taste in art, and were both Larry Ruggiero choke on his lunchtime artists themselves. They rescued hundreds of Tiffany treasures from The Morse was founded in 1942 at an espresso? airy lakeside bunker on the campus of Roldestruction after they had fallen out of favor. “Hugh always said, ‘It’s not just a Tiffany lins College by McKean’s wife, Jeannette museum,’” states Ruggiero, invoking, as he Genius McKean, granddaughter of Chioften does, the name of the Morse’s first director, the late Hugh McKean, cago industrialist Charles Hosmer Morse. The omnipresent philanthropist, a whose expansive, egalitarian attitude about art remains as much a part of the part-time resident until he retired here in 1915, was recently named the city’s facility’s permanent collection as the Daffodil Terrace and the Four Seasons “Citizen of the Century” by Winter Park Magazine. window panels. Jeannette entrusted Hugh, whom she would wed in 1945, to oversee the

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museum and help her assemble a modest collection — funded by the family fortune — which would include Tiffany’s works, among others. His qualifications were obvious enough: He was an artist and an educator, a painter and a professor. He taught in the Rollins art department, which he later chaired. He was named president of the college in 1951. Less apparent was McKean’s previously underutilized flair for showmanship. In developing and operating the museum, that particular attribute — combined with his everyman aesthetic — would prove to be just as important, if not more so, than his artistic or academic credentials. With his square jaw line, close-cropped hair and immaculate seersucker suits, McKean looked every bit the dapper and patrician gentleman-scholar that most assumed him to be. But on the inside, he was a ringmaster twirling a moustache; a carny barker with a glint in his eye. McKean’s quirky side began to manifest itself during his 18-year stint running the college. In 1956, he picked a random day during the spring term and set a sculpture of a fox on Mills Lawn — a signal that he was cancelling all classes for the day. One year, he even arranged for a helicopter to deliver the concrete critter. Fox Day, as it became known, remains a hallowed annual Rollins tradition.

Required by the college’s board of trustees to submit an annual report, McKean in 1967 chose to do so in cartoon form, sketching buildings and bar charts in pen and ink and hand lettering descriptions. He and Jeannette brought the first peacocks to Winter Park and opened the grounds surrounding their sprawling estate, Wind Song, to let the public see the noisy peafowl strut and preen. Today, a peacock is emblazoned on the city’s official logo. In 1974, retired from Rollins and concentrating full time on the museum, McKean rescued a trove of elaborate Tiffany windows from a soon-to-bedemolished, 19th-century chapel owned by an organization with an equally elaborate name: The Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females. (Apparently, the unrespectable females of the day were on their own.) That Christmas, McKean illuminated and displayed the windows in Central Park, and in subsequent years enhanced the otherworldly setting by providing a rented camel. Christmas in the Park would become a signature event that now attracts thousands and includes a performance by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra. When McKean wasn’t celebrating established holidays — or masterminding one of his own — he was taking examples of the museum’s art collection out on unconventional field trips. W INTE R 2 0 1 7 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Among the Tiffany panels on display are Butterfly Window (left), as well as hundreds of objects such as vases, lamps and plates. Most were created between the 1880s and early 1900s.


PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Whether the Art Machine — a painting and a chair — is actually a machine or not, it’s still in working order after all these years. Not that you have to take our word for it. It occupies an honored place in the current exhibit, whose curator wouldn’t have it any other way. ascended its throne. So was much of the English-speaking world. He set up a display of priceless Tiffany windows in a vacant storefront on Today we would know all about her, especially her love affairs, whether or Orange Blossom Trail to see how passers by would react to a luminous popnot there had been any. In 1837, only a few had even a vague idea of what she up amid the washed-out urban clutter. looked like. He bought a decrepit van and transformed it into a mobile art gallery, fillSully, following the English portrait tradition, turns the best ing it with sculptures, paintings, and assorted curiosities, inside of his subject toward the viewer. Victoria, wearing a becluding a baseball signed by Babe Ruth. A driver piloted the coming crown and sitting alone in soft brown space, a device vehicle to local schools, sometimes accompanied by McKean, which throws all attention on her, looks over her shoulder with who personally explained the on-board wonders to his preconsiderable charm. teen patrons. The gown is a few skilled swishes of the brush. Her large eyes Then there was the Art Machine. have the doe-like quality of a silent screen star and the suggestion It consisted of a chair and a portrait of a very young of a twinkle. The colors, mixed with oil and turpentine, flow with Queen Victoria, which McKean hung on the wall of a janigentle elegance. Soft edges make it all seem a little dreamlike. The tor’s closet in a converted garage on Welbourne Avenue. jewels in the crown are loaded with pigment to catch the light. The museum had relocated from Rollins to downtown Queen Victoria lived so long she walks out of history a dumpy Winter Park in 1978. dowager dressed in black. Sully’s Victoria is a little beauty, fond Visitors were invited, via copies of an “Instruction Manof people and parties, and an ideal queen for storybook islands ual,” to sit in a chair and spend three quiet, contemplative complete with shining rivers, great estates, drafty castles and minutes regarding the portrait, painted by Thomas Sully in Larry Ruggiero, museum director, loyal subjects. 1838, after reading a typically informal but subtly informa- curated the Pathways exhibit. It’s vintage McKean — more story than lecture, with lestive McKean essay about it: sons about painting techniques tucked into a drama that begins with thunThe archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chamberlain galloped through dering hooves and ends in pathos and fairy-tale imagery. the night to tell little Victoria Uncle William had died and she was Queen. … Meanwhile, his use of the descriptor “machine” was pure irony, given The United Kingdom was fascinated with the headstrong teenager, who had

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Pursue your hunger for learning with a degree from Rollins College. The

IT’S

THOUGHT

THAT COUNTS

Master of Liberal Studies gives students the tools they need to teach, prepare for a Ph.D., or simply pursue their passion projects. With the direction of faculty mentors, students use the knowledge they have acquired in the program to design and execute their theses. These projects range from scholarly research papers to novels, memoirs, musical compositions, paintings, and photographic essays.

What will you create?

DISCOVER MORE 407.646.2232 or rollins.edu/evening

THE BLACK FIGURE in the European Imaginary

AFROFANTASTIC Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience

REFRAMING THE PICTURE Reclaiming the Past

FREE ADMISSION rollins.edu/cfam José Tapiró Baró (1836-1913) A Tangerian Beauty, Dahesh Museum of Art, New York, 1995.117 • Stacey Robinson, Afrotopia 1, 2015, Image courtesy of the artist • Lyle Ashton Harris (American, b. 1965) Toussaint L’Ouverture 1994, Collection of Jacquelyn Bradley and Clarence Otis. Image courtesy of the artist

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

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Tiffany’s Four Seasons panels, created in 1899, are always a visitor favorite. Shown (clockwise) are Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn. W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2017


glass windows; and ornate architectural elements and furnishings that evoke parts of Laurelton Hall, his sumptuous Long Island estate. Most of the Tiffany treasures were salvaged by the McKeans in 1957, after a fire ravaged the artist’s long-vacant mansion. So thoroughly had his decorative style fallen out of vogue that these now-priceless works were then considered essentially worthless by most collectors. But the only nod in the retrospective gallery to its art nouveau impresario, who died in 1933, is a glass bowl with a painted fish, created by his studio in the early 1900s. The bowl is stationed just next to a display of inexpensive carnival glass — which Ruggiero cites as “the poor man’s Tiffany — from roughly the same time period. “These things were so cheaply made that they were sometimes given away — you got them as a perk when you bought a washing machine,” he says. “This is like the other end of the art-world spectrum. But what Hugh wanted to get across is that [such work] should be sincerely considered, that you can enhance your life with it — and that you don’t have to be rich to appreciate it.” As Ruggiero notes, Hugh and Jeannette had been collecting art — and shaping the goals of the museum — for 15 years by the time they began focusing on Tiffany, under whose tutelage Hugh had once briefly studied. As a teacher, McKean was intent on creating an educational institution that would showcase a broad array of artists and art forms; hence the current retrospective’s eclectic assortment of plaster art replicas, ceramics, portraits, glass, landscapes and works on paper. It was only the happenstance of personal wealth — and an appreciation for an out-of-fashion artist that few others shared at the time — that positioned McKean to become perhaps the most important figure in preserving Tiffany’s legacy.

Pathways encompasses several unexpected — perhaps unimportant — works that have nothing in common except for the fact that Hugh McKean was charmed by them, and believed that visitors to the museum would be as well. One is Winter Quiet, No, 9 (above), a 1923 painting by George Wiggins. McKean notes that Wiggins “stood in the snow to make this picture so you and I can know the wonder of it all.” Another is The Dinky Bird (left) by Maxfield Parrish, a 1924 illustration for a poem of the same title that appeared in Ladies Home Journal. Writes McKean: “We will never know about that Dinkey-Bird because there isn’t anything to know. He lives in a poem, not a tree. The picture, it seems to us, is a meticulous, shimmering reverie, a reminder of moments you must never forget. It is we think, yourself.”

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

that he was operating at the opposite end of the technological spectrum. In fact, he was beckoning viewers to leave the factory-whistle world behind for an audience with a queen — and to experience a work of art in a still space, through their own eyes, rather than those of so-called experts. Whether the Art Machine — a painting and a chair — is actually a machine or not, it’s still in working order after all these years. Not that you have to take our word for it. It occupies an honored place in the current exhibit, whose curator wouldn’t have it any other way. That would be Larry Ruggiero. “What Hugh was all about was creating the opportunity for people of all walks of life to experience art,” he says. “That’s the main reason we’re here at this museum — to make art of whatever kind available to people, so that it can perform its magical function.” Continues Ruggiero: “What Hugh believed is that art is like an elixir, and there’s no one who can’t benefit from it. You don’t need a STEM course, or high scores on your SATs, or money in the bank, or professional certificates on your wall.” Ruggiero, who has a rumpled-scholar look and a personality that blends acumen with humor much as McKean once did, is standing in the middle of a gallery devoted to the anniversary exhibit. The faithfully reassembled Art Machine is just a few steps away, set up in a hallway that runs from the gallery to the gift shop, complete with the Instruction Manual, the original chair and Sully’s painting, carefully mounted at seated eye level for guests inclined to spend a little time with her majesty. Elsewhere in the 19,000-square-foot Park Avenue complex, which opened just months following McKean’s death in 1995, Tiffany reigns in all his shimmering glory. Galleries feature his iconic lamps; many of his favorite, oversized stained-


C e l e b r a t i n g 75 Ye a r s

Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum

Now Open Paintings, works on paper, art glass, pottery, and other objects that together reflect the range of the Museum’s collection and the marvelous diversity of American art.

www.morsemuseum.org

445 north park avenue winter park, florida 32789 (407) 645-5311 just a 5-minute walk from the sunrail station • follow us on MOR 149 AD_WinterParkMag.indd 1

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But he never changed his view of the Morse’s original mission. As a result, the museum wound up with the institutional version of a split personality.“That’s why we call this place a national treasure and a community resource,” says Ruggiero. He drifts across the gallery to stand in front of a wintry George Wiggins landscape, painted in 1923. Wiggins, notes Ruggiero, isn’t a particularly significant figure. “He wasn’t a master,” Ruggiero says. “Nobody’s going to come here from Wichita to see this.” But maybe they should. It’s beautiful. Breathtaking. Especially if you are inclined to slow your own breathing and hold still, as still and serene as those woods, which is somehow much easier to do after first reading the description of the painting affixed just beneath it. It was written by McKean. He was known for penning explanatory panels for the museum’s artwork that, not surprisingly, differed quite a bit from the stately reserve of the didactics found in most museums. Several of his lyrical descriptions are included in the current exhibit as a tribute to their author, without whom there might not be a Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art — at least not one that’s comparable to the facility now celebrating its anniversary. There’s a presence in those graceful, intensely personal descriptions; a presence that transforms the gallery into a silent echo chamber, if there can be such a thing. One might even call it a kind of art machine. The label beneath the Wiggins painting reads: Stand close. Touches of brown and gold float in soft grey mist. Move back. Birch trees rise against a winter sky. Cold, quiet, lovely. Distance is the magic. But button up. Wiggins gives the total beauty of a winter day, including crisp air that shows your breath. He stood in snow to make this picture so you and I can know the wonder of it all. Celebrating 75 Years — Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum runs through January 21. The anniversary commemoration continues in February, with free admission throughout the month and an open-tothe-public celebration on February 17 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., which will feature champagne toasts and live music.

the MORSE at


DINING

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François and Susie Lorin, from France and Korea, respectively, bring global influences — and Asian antiques — to the Japanese restaurant Umi.

SAKÉ, SOBA AND ASIAN ANTIQUES This Japanese restaurant serves creative fusion cuisine in a magical space filled with Asian antiques. You’ll find some dishes you know, and several you might not expect. BY RONA GINDIN PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

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mi is everything and nothing you’d expect from a Japanese restaurant. The elegant Park Avenue eatery serves dishes you know, such as sushi rolls and seaweed salad, but the predictability ends there. It’s a tapas-style Japanese restaurant owned by a Korean woman, Susie Lorin, who’s assisted by her husband, François Lorin, a native of France. The lively pair may have earned the right to take it easy — François jokes that Umi is their “retirement project” — yet they’re running two businesses. In addition to Umi, they own Asiantiques, which sells precious Korean, Chinese and Japanese art and artifacts from a warehouse on Orlando and Minnesota avenues. Over the years, they’ve also had a storefront on Morse Boulevard, then another on Park Avenue. Antiquing and dining meld at Umi. A Chinese rock garden out front is several hundred years old. The carved tiger panel behind the sushi bar is a 17th-century piece from a Japanese temple. Four 18th-century golden panels — Japanese doors, painted on both sides — line the main dining room’s wall. The corridor leading to the restrooms, and the rooms themselves, are lined with Japanese wood block prints from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “We want the art to be authentic, just as the food is authentic, but creative,” says François. Helping to make that happen — at least the food part — is Susie’s nephew, Stanley Yun, who trained in Korea and spent many years in Orlando-area Asian restaurant kitchens. Like its owners, the restaurant’s menu is multiracial and multifaceted. The offerings are essentially Japanese, but with influences from not only Korea but also Europe, South America and wherever else the cuisine inspires Yun. That’s why the tuna tataki — slices of seared, mostly raw fish — has a topping of a sweet syrupy balsamic reduction, not to mention wasabi-pear aioli. That’s also why the Mexican roll, well, exists at all. “That’s why we call it fusion cuisine,” explains François. That tuna tataki is a customer favorite, along with soyglazed sea bass with roasted fingerling potatoes, and braised beef short ribs with lump crab and potato salad. Those items stay on the menu season after season, but other dishes come and go. Yun tests new recipes as specials, then, twice a year, swaps some in for variety. In addition to sushi, rolls and hot dishes, Umi offers proteins and vegetables seared on a robata grill. The grill uses a very pure kind of charcoal, binchotan, which is made from white oak and burns at 1,832 degrees, sealing in moisture. Desserts, all made in-house, range from exotic to traditional. One of the most popular is deconstructed millefeuille, which consists of white chocolate, chocolate custard,


Antiquing and dining meld at Umi. Four 18th-century golden panels — Japanese doors, painted on both sides — line the main dining room’s wall.

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DINING

Soy-glazed yellowtail is simmered with Asian vegetables, creating a dish as colorful as it is tasty.

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orange confit and shaved roasted coconut presented in separate puff pastry sticks. The matcha green tea panna cotta topped with chocolate cookie and pine nut crumbles is also an intriguing choice. Or you might opt for a traditional crème brûlée, topped with a dollop of whipped cream, mint and a cherry. Umi lacks a liquor license, yet its beverage menu is extensive. It lists 70 wines — 34 by the glass — plus eight not-common-around-here Japanese beers and five Florida brews on tap. The saké menu lists 25 varieties, divided according to percentage of milled rice. “People are coming to the restaurant to try something different, so why not apply that to the drinks too?” François asks. Creative cocktails are available, although they’re made with soju, a Korean spirit (Umi uses a Japanese variety) and saké. The drinks pack less punch than, say, vodka martinis — but they’re pretty and tasty all the same. The crystal-clear Very Berry Mojito, loaded with fresh berries, is especially enticing. Manager Jimmy Himawan conjures up the cocktails. “He researches trends in New York and California and experiments a lot,” François says. “He doesn’t hesitate to refine a recipe.” W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | WI N TER 2017

Susie’s route from Korea to Winter Park restaurateur was a winding one. She long dreamed of an American life and, in 1978, while working a clerical job, was able to join an executive and his family in Minneapolis. “In Korea, I would have had to quit my job as soon as I got married, and that was not for me,” she says. “My dream was to be an American — no matter what.” Over time, Susie moved to south Georgia to work with friends in the antique business. She eventually established her own store, and later opened a gift shop in Destin, where she met François, a developer. Tiring of semi-annual business trips to Hong Kong and other rigors of an international trade, Susie is pleased as soju-based punch to be serving yellowtail collar instead of sitting for long airplane rides. “My nephew is able to express himself, and we believe very much in his talent,” she says. “It’s time to settle down.” UMI 525 S. Park Avenue, Winter Park 407-960-3993 • umiwinterpark.com


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EVENTS ART, HISTORY, ENTERTAINMENT AND MORE

An Exploration of Art and Black Identity

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CORNELL FINE ARTS MUSEUM

Three exhibits at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Rollins College deal in different ways with African-Americans and the visual arts. One exhibit, AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience, features fantastic and futuristic works created by black artists from the 1850s to the 1970. Two other exhibits are more directly related to one another: The Black Figure in European Imagery explores historic depictions of blackness by European artists, while Reclaiming the Past, offers more contemporary — and contrasting — images of African-Americans. AfroFantastic, which runs January 14 through April 2, was curated by Rollins students under the direction of Julian Chambliss, professor of history and chair of the college’s Department of History. Says Ena Heller, director of the Cornell: “We’re proud to present this exhibit not only because it explores a timely topic — the intersection between black identity, experience and imagination — but also because it reflects the voices of Rollins faculty and stu-

dents in collaboration with our museum.” AfroFantastic relates specifically to Chambliss’ field of scholarship, which is urban history. “The idea of the imaginary landscape as a space of contestation, negotiation and reconciliation is a defining concern,” he says. Adds Chambliss: “Weaving together these pieces of black imagery offers a chance for my students — and the public — to consider how the African-American struggle to achieve equality has continually intersected with a broader narrative of societal evolution.” The Black Figure in European Imagery, which runs January 14 through May 14, explores the manner in which black people were depicted by European artists from about 1750 to 1914. The exhibit is co-curated by Susan Libby, a Rollins professor of art history, and Adrienne L. Childs, an art historian affiliated with the Hutchins Center for African-American Research at Harvard University. In contrast to racist caricatures of African-Americans often found in American visual art of the period, black

people — although still socially marginalized — were often portrayed as beautiful, alluring and romantic by European artists. Reframing the Picture, Reclaiming the Past, which runs January 14 through April 2, addresses some of the themes and concepts presented in The Black Figure. It consists of contemporary works, and offers “a historical dialogue” between the two exhibits, according to Heller. Libby, whose current research focuses on visual representations of French Caribbean slavery, curated Reframing the Picture along with her students. The Cornell, which overlooks Lake Virginia, has more than 5,000 objects in its collection, and is the only local museum to own works by European Old Masters. Its Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art is shown both at the museum and at the nearby Alfond Inn, a boutique hotel owned by Rollins. Courtesy of alumni philanthropist Dale Mongomery, admission to the museum is free. 407-646-2526. rollins.edu/cfam. — Randy Noles

From three new exhibits at the Cornell: Patience (above left), by Whitfield Lovell (2004); Linen Market, Dominica (above right) by Agostino Brunias (1780); and Afrotopia (facing page) by Stacy Robinson (2015).

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FAST FACTS What: AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience (January 14-April 2); The Black Figure in European Imagery (January 14-May 14); and Reframing the Picture, Reclaiming the Past (January 14-April 2).

Where: The Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Rollins College Notes: Three new exhibits explore imaginative and futuristic works by African-American artists, as well as contrasting depictions of black people by European artists in the “long 19th century� (1750-1914) and by more contemporary artists from around the world. Admission: Free Information: 407-646-2525 or rollins.edu/cfam


EVENTS VISUAL ARTS Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. This 54-year-old lakeside museum is dedicated to preserving the works of Polasek, the famed Czech sculptor for whom it was both home and studio for more than a decade. While focused on Polasek’s sculptures, the museum also features the work of internationally renowned artists in all mediums. An exhibit of paintings by Frantz Zephirin, one of Haiti’s leading contemporary artists, runs through April 16. Related programming includes a free (and family friendly) Haitian Mardi Gras-themed open house on February 26. A lecture and guided tour by Rachel Walton, digital archivist at Rollins College, of another exhibit related to the Caribbean island republic, Haitian Culture through the Lens of Art History, is slated for March 14. The museum also offers tours of the adjacent Capen-Showalter House on Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park. 407-647-6294. polasek.org. Art & History Museums – Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums anchoring the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American sculptor, painter and architect André Smith. The center offers exhibits and classes at its Maitland campus, located at 231 W. Packwood Ave. The complex is the Orlando area’s only National Historic Landmark, and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. From January 14 to May 8, four artists-in-residence return to the center to showcase their work in three exhibits under the umbrella title Meditations, Mapping and Memories: Sharon Lee Hart, Marie Yoho Dorsey, Masha Ryskin and Serge Marchetta. Starting in March, other contemporary artists from across the U.S. converge on the center to create new works and engage the public in the creative process through a series of exhibits and art happenings known as Art31: Borrowed Light — Stephen Knapp, Deanna Morse, Nathan Selikoff & C.R. Barnett. The program kicks off March 3, and the work is on display through April 16. The Cultural Corridor also includes the Maitland Historical Museum and the Telephone Museum, both at 221 W. Packwood Ave. On display at the main museum through February 10 is Historic Threads, which examines the significance of fabric — for everything from clothing to furnishings — with examples of popular period fabrics. And completing the corridor’s lineup: The Waterhouse Residence Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum, both built in the 1880s and located at 820 Lake Lily Drive. Through January 10, you can still catch Holidays at the Waterhouse and explore the fully decorated residence, built in 1884 by William Waterhouse as his family’s home. From March 10 through May 15, it’s Springtime at the Waterhouse, when the Victorianera home is decked out for Easter and the new season. 407-539-2181. artandhistory.org. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the museum houses the world’s most

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important collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and an entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. With the approach of its 75th anniversary in February, the Morse celebrates the breadth and depth of its collection, assembled by founders Hugh and Jeannette McKean, in Celebrating 75 Years — Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum. The exhibit, which concludes January 21, includes portraits, landscape paintings, works on paper and pottery. Also in its final weeks, concluding January 29, is Arts and Crafts from the Morse Collection, which highlights objects that exemplify the Arts and Crafts movement. Continuing through September 24 is The Bride Elect: Gifts from the 1905 Wedding of Elizabeth Owens Morse, which features the original registry and some of the 250 gifts presented to the daughter of Charles Hosmer Morse and Martha Owens Morse by her family’s wealthy friends. Other ongoing exhibits include Revival and Reform: Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment, which encompasses two galleries and has as its centerpiece The Arts, a neoclassical window created by the J&R Lamb Studios, a prominent American glasshouse of the late 19th century. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than 12. However, in celebration of the museum’s 75th anniversary, admission is free for everyone during the month of February. 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org. Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the museum houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Free weekend tours take place at 1 p.m. each Saturday at the campus facility and 1 p.m. each Sunday at the nearby Alfond Inn, which displays dozens of works from the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Happy Hour art tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. On January 14, the museum opens a trio of related exhibits: The Black Figure in the European Imaginary (through May 14), which considers the manner in which the visual arts of Europe imagined black people during the “long” 19th century (1750-1914); Reframing the Picture, Reclaiming the Past (through April 2), in which contemporary art depicting the black body “talks back,” so to speak, to the historic works presented in the first exhibition; and AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience (through April 2), which explores sociopolitical forces linked to the black imagination in the American experience from the 19th century to the present. Admission is free, courtesy of Dale Montgomery, Rollins class of 1960. 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2526. rollins.edu/cfam. Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this notfor-profit arts organization offers year-round visualarts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. Continuing through January 7 is New Works from Crealdé’s Emerging Artist Program: Photography, Ceramics and Sculpture, in which creative up-andcomers display work produced during their fellowships at the school. Through January 16 is Spinning

Yarn: Storytelling through Southern Art, which explores the power of visual storytelling through more than 50 works. (This two-venue exhibition also has works on display at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center.) Admission to Crealdé’s galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park. 407-671-1886. crealde.org. Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically African-American west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents. Through January 16 is Spinning Yarn: Storytelling through Southern Art, a two-venue exhibit shared with the Crealdé School of Art. Ongoing is the Hannibal Square Timeline, which documents significant local and national events in African-American history since the Emancipation Proclamation. Admission is free. 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-539-2680. hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org.

PERFORMING ARTS Annie Russell Theatre. The next show at “The Annie,” the historic jewel-box of a theater on the campus of Rollins College, is A Piece of My Heart, by Shirley Lauro, a drama based on the true stories of six women who served in the Vietnam War. It runs February 17-25. Performances (intended for mature audiences) are at 8 p.m., with a 4 p.m. matinee on February 19, and a 2 p.m. matinee on February 25. Tickets are $20. The Second Stage Series, in the nearby Fred Stone Theater, features student-produced and student-directed plays. Upcoming is Constellations, by English playwright Nick Payne, a love story in which science and romance collide across time and space. It runs February 1-4 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on February 4. Constellations is followed by God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, a French comedy (also intended for mature audiences) that examines conflict and maturity when two couples meet after their children have a playground confrontation. It runs February 8-11 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on February 11. Admission to Second Stage shows is free to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407646-2145. rollins.edu/annie-russell-theatre. Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park. This volunteer-based organization bills itself as “Winter Park’s only community theater,” a non-Equity group that encourages self-expression through dance, music and theater. Upcoming are two shows that are part of the theater’s Breakthrough Cabaret series: The Songs of the Carpenters, January 6-8; and Best of Broadway (20062010), January 20 through February 13. Both shows are at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $12 to $20. 419-A W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park. 407-920-4034. breakthroughtheatre.com. Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater continues its 2016-17 mainstage season with Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, about best friends grappling with age-old questions


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Tribute To

shton

10 - 11 March 2017

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

THE SARASOTA BALLET’S WINTER & SPRING SEASON ASHTON, GRAZIANO & TUCKETT Sir Frederick Ashton’s Valses nobles et sentimentales Ricardo Graziano’s Before Night Falls Will Tuckett’s Changing Light 27 – 30 January 2017

PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY One of America’s most influential modern dance companies returns to the Sarasota stage. 24 – 26 February 2017

A TRIBUTE TO ASHTON Sir Frederick Ashton’s Scènes de ballet Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons 10 – 11 March 2017

Photography Frank Atura

ASHTON, DE VALOIS & ROBBINS Sir Frederick Ashton’s Apparitions Dame Ninette de Valois’ Checkmate Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free 28 – 30 April 2017

941.359.0099 | www.SarasotaBallet.org


EVENTS

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COMING IN MAY

Living in 2017-2018 EDITION

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MAKE YOUR ADVERTISING RESERVATIONS TODAY BY CALLING 407-647-0225

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about love, marriage and the dating scene during an impromptu bachelorette party. The musical comedy, which runs January 20 through February 18, features pop hits from the 1960s. Shows are Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m., with an assortment of 2 p.m. matinees that had not been scheduled at press time. Tickets range from $15 to $40. The theater’s Spotlight Cabaret Series also continues on January 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. with singer Natalie Cordone. Tickets are $20. 711 Orange Ave., Winter Park. 407645-0145. winterparkplayhouse.org.

FESTIVALS Pookie’s Pet RescueFest. This annual pet-adoption day and fundraiser for local nonprofit animal-rescue groups returns for its ninth year to Lake Lily Park in Maitland. The event, slated January 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attracts dozens of rescue groups and thousands of pet lovers. In addition to adoptions, there’s a wealth of information offered by a wide variety of petoriented vendors, including trainers, sitters, boarders and veterinarians. 900 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 321287-0390. pookiesrescuefest.org. Unity Heritage Festival. Shady Park in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square neighborhood is the setting for this annual, two-day event spanning the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend to promote family history and raise funds for economically disadvantaged youth. The January 15 and 16 festival, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, features live gospel music, dance, children’s games, food concessions, retail vendors, career booths and presentation of the annual Heritage Award. Admission is free. 721 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-599-3334. cityofwinterpark.org. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Among the oldest, largest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals in the U.S., the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival celebrates its 58th year from March 17 through 19. The festival, which features about 225 artists selected from more than 1,000 applicants, draws an estimated 350,000 visitors to downtown’s Central Park over three days. Participating artists compete for dozens of awards with tens of thousands of dollars in prize money at stake. In addition to works in a variety of media — painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, fiber, leather, wood, glass and jewelry — there are kidfriendly activities in the Children’s Workshop Village and an exhibit of student art from Orange County public and private schools. There are also dozens of food and drink concessions and live entertainment by an array of bands, orchestras and other musical groups. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. 407644-7207. wpsaf.org. Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. This popular, weeklong series of events and exhibits, now in its 28th year, takes place mostly in Eatonville, where the author and folklorist spent much of her childhood. But there are also events in neighboring Maitland and at the University of Central


Florida. Running January 20-29, the festival includes an opening gala dinner, an exhibition and reception at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts, a daylong bus tour of Eatonville and the surrounding area, an evening program at UCF, an education day for students, and more — all leading to a three-day street party known as the Outdoor Festival of the Arts. Many events are free and open to the public. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum, 227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville. 407-647-3307. zorafestival.org.

FILM Enzian. This cozy, not-for-profit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films are shown on the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. Upcoming flicks include Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (January 22), The Last Starfighter (February 26) and Born Free (March 26). Tickets are free for children under 12; otherwise they’re $9 (or $8.50, if you’re an Enzian Film Society member). Saturday Matinee Classics are shown on the second Saturday of each month at noon. Upcoming are Young Frankenstein (January 14), It Happened One Night (February 11), and Tampopo (March 11). Tickets are $9. Cult Classics are shown on the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m. Upcoming are Blazing Saddles (January 10) and Stir Crazy (January 24). Tickets are $9. FilmSlam, a showcase for Florida-made short films, is held most months on Sunday at 1 p.m.; the next scheduled dates are January 8, February 19 and March 12. Perhaps the biggest upcoming event is an offshoot of Rollins College’s annual Winter with the Writers: On February 1 at 6:15 p.m., there’ll be a screening of the 2002 film Adaptation, starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep. Afterward, there’ll be a question-and-answer session with Susan Orlean, author of the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, on which the Spike Jonze film is based. To attend, you must become an Enzian Film Society member. Other special showings include: 2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (January 3), Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (Book to Big Screen series, January 28), Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land (National Theatre Live, January 29), and Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus (National Theatre Live, March 25). 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices). enzian.org. Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, family friendly films free in Central Park. These outdoor screenings are usually on the second Thursday of each month, and begin at about 7 p.m. (or whenever it gets dark). Upcoming are The Producers (January 12), Harold and Maude (February 9) and A League of Their Own (March 9). Bring a blanket or chairs and a snack. 407-629-1088. enzian.org. Screen on the Green. The City of Maitland offers free outdoor movies most months on the field at Maitland Middle School beginning at 6 or 7 p.m. Bring a blanket or chairs. The next showing is scheduled for March 4; check the city website’s Special

Events calendar for titles. 1901 Choctaw Trail, Maitland. 407-539-0042. itsmymaitland.com.

HOLIDAYS Valentine Concert in Central Park. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Park Avenue Merchants Association hosts an afternoon of music and romance in Central Park on February 12 at 4 p.m. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and someone special for this pre-Valentine’s Day celebration. The concert, which features the incomparable Michael Andrew and Swingerhead, is free. 407-644-8281. experienceparkavenue.com.

HISTORY Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home was designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II and is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by trained docents every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, live music is featured in the large downstairs parlor on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. 656 N. Park Ave. (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course). 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us. Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibits, archives and a research library. Its ongoing exhibit, Tribute to the Holocaust, presents an overview of the Holocaust through artifacts, videos, photographs and artwork. Through January 6 is Two Regimes, an exhibit created from the salvaged works of two women: Teodora Verbitskya, whose journal chronicled her experiences in Russia during the first half of the 20th century; and her daughter, Nadia Werbitzky, a professional artist who translated her mother’s writing into haunting works of art. Anne Frank: A History for Today, opens January 23 and continues through March 18. The exhibit examines the life history of Frank and her family, juxtaposed with world events before, during and after the Nazi Party’s rise to power in neighboring Germany. Admission is free. 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland. 407-628-0555. holocaustedu.org. Winter Park History Museum. Ongoing displays include artifacts dating from the city’s beginnings as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. Its current exhibition, Winter Park: The War Years, 1941-1945 — Home Front Life in an American Small Town, looks at how World War II affected Winter Parkers. Admission is free. 200 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407644-2330. wphistory.org. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Huston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information about the city and sponsors exhibits featuring the works of African-American artists. During the opening

of the 2017 Zora! Festival (January 20-29), the museum debuts Back in the Day: Reflections of Historic Eatonville, which features artifacts and memorabilia related to Eatonville’s history. The exhibit continues through September. Admission is free, though group tours require a reservation and must pay a fee. 227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville. 407-647-3188. zorafestival.org.

LECTURES Gladdening Light Symposium 2017. Franciscan activist Father Richard Rohr opens this annual fourday series of events sponsored by GladdeningLight, a Winter Park-based not-for-profit that explores the intersection of arts and spirituality. Rohr will be joined for the January 26-29 symposium by Haitian surrealist painter Frantz Zephirin and world-music trio Free Planet Radio from Asheville, North Carolina. Tickets range from $30 for Rohr’s Friday night lecture to $330 for all related events, including a Thursday reception with the artists and additional weekend sessions led by Rohr. A Saturday night concert and Sunday’s final session are free and open to the public. Activities take place at various locations around downtown Winter Park, including the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, All Saints Episcopal Church and Rollins College. 407-647-3963. gladdeninglight.org. Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. The institute, affiliated with Rollins College, presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. Its ninth season continues January 19 with George Takei, the actor and social justice activist best known as Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise on the original television series Star Trek. In his presentation, Takei, a Japanese-American, offers the story of his life, from his family’s forced internment during World War II, to his rise to celebrity as a science-fiction icon, to his remarkable success as a social-media influencer and his high-profile battles for LGBTQ rights. The season will end April 4 with former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords and her husband, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. The couple became advocates for stricter gun laws after a near-fatal 2011 attempt on Giffords’ life. Takei, as well as Giffords and Kelly, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Warden Arena at the Alfond Sports Center. Tickets are $15, $30 and $50. 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins.edu/wpitickets. Winter with the Writers. Sponsored by the Rollins College Department of English and open to the community, this annual festival of the literary arts dates back to 1927, when it featured such luminaries as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ogden Nash and Carl Sandburg. This year’s series opens on February 2 with bestselling writer Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief. It continues February 9 with Peter Meinke, poet laureate of Florida, and David Kirby, author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Next up, on February 16, is Chris Abani, whose fiction includes The Secret History of Las Vegas. The grand finale on February 24 features two National Book Award finalists whose names had not been announced at presstime. W INTE R 2 0 1 7 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Specialty Shops 5 The Ancient Olive 321-972-1899 14 Brandywine Books 407-644-1711 7 Christian Science Reading Room 407-647-1559 15 Interiors 407-629-8818 10 Living Morocco 407-600-5913 13 Maureen H. Hall Stationery & Invitations 407-629-6999 407-644-8700 3 The Paper Shop 13 Partridge Tree Gift Shop 407-645-4788 407-622-7679 20 Rifle Paper Co. 18 The Spice and Tea Exchange 407-647-7423 19 Ten Thousand Villages 407-644-8464 407-647-5014 • Winter Park Florist 6 Writer’s Block Bookstore 407-592-1498

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Real Estate Services Beyond Commercial 407-641-2221 Brandywine Square 407-657-5555 Fannie Hillman + Associates 407-644-1234 Great American Land Management, Inc. 407-645-4131 Kelly Price & Company 407-645-4321 Leading Edge Title 407-636-9866 Olde Town Brokers 407-622-7878 Re/Max Town Centre 407-367-2000 Keewin Real Property Company 407-645-4400 Whittington Holt Properties 917-686-6119 Winter Park Land Company 407-644-2900

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Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens 407-647-6294 Annie Russell Theater 407-646-2145 Bach Festival Society of Winter Park 407-646-2182 2 Casa Feliz 407-628-8200 3 Cornell Fine Arts Museum 407-646-2526 1 Morse Museum of American Art 407-645-5311 3 Scenic Boat Tour 407-644-4056 • The Winter Park Playhouse 407-645-0145 10 Winter Park History Museum 407-647-2330

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310 Park South Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen The Bistro on Park Avenue blu on the avenue Boca Kitchen Bar Market BOIBRAZIL Churrascaria Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine Braccia Pizzeria & Ristorante Cocina 214 Daya Restaurant Luma on Park mon petit cheri cafe Orchid Thai Cuisine Panera Bread - Park Ave. Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant Paris Bistro Park Avenue Smoothie Cafe Park Plaza Gardens Power House Cafe Prato Rome’s Flavours UMI Japanese Restaurant The Wine Room on Park Ave

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EVENTS Each writer will give a master class for students at 2 or 4 p.m. and a public reading with an on-stage interview at 7:30 p.m. in the Bush Auditorium. 407-646-2666. rollins.edu/winter-with-the-writers. University Club of Winter Park. Upcoming lectures include Thank God It’s Over, a look ahead at politics, the media and Central Florida in the wake of the 2016 elections. The speaker for the January 27 event is Scott Maxwell, featured columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. Tickets for the noon event, which include a buffet lunch, are priced at $18 for members and $23 for nonmembers, who must make advance reservations. 841 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-6149. uclubwp.org.

MARKETS Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, open-air market — held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses as well as plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music by Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a serene boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. itsmymaitland.com. Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held each Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old railroad depot that houses the Winter Park History Museum. The open-air market offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items for sale. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. cityofwinterpark.org.

MUSIC Bach Festival. The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park celebrates its 82nd season with another jampacked February. Events include a free organ recital by Todd Wilson, head of the organ department at Cleveland Institute of Music, on February 17 at 7:30 p.m. That’s followed by Bach & Beer on February 18 from noon to 4 p.m. You’ll enjoy German music and selections from J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos as well as a limited-edition craft beer created specifically for the festival. The event is at Cask & Larder, 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, where admission is free, but the beer is for sale. Members of the Bach Festival Orchestra perform Spiritual Spaces: Peace and Serenity, a program of familiar and beloved pieces, on February 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Works include Claude Debussy’s “Clair de lune” and Paul McCartney’s “A Leaf.” The Bach Festival Orchestra and featured soloists perform four duo concertos: Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Mandolins in G Major, Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto C Major K 299, and Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra on February 24 and 25 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on February 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. with two cantatas composed by Bach for the Feast of the Reformation and one written for

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the Feast of St. Michael. Also on the program: Felix Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony, written 300 years after the cantatas in honor of the tercentennial of the Augsburg Confession. Giovanni Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in C Minor, a monumental work for string quintet and two female soloists, will be performed on February 28 at 3 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 338 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. That’s followed on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. by Antonin Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, performed by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra. In a nod to musical democracy, on March 5 at 3 p.m. the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra will play a program of favorite movements as chosen by the audience, choir and musicians. Closing out the festival on March 6 at 7:30 p.m. will be the Toronto-based Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, with 17 permanent members who specialize in historical performance. The orchestra’s new all-Bach program, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation, combines text, music, and projected video and images to explore the world of the artisans who helped Bach realize his musical genius. All performances are in Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College, except Bach & Beer and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Tickets range from free to $65, depending upon the performance and the seating. 407-646-2182. bachfestivalflorida.org. Bach Festival Society Visiting Artist Series. The series continues January 29 with pianist Olga Kern, a Russian-born musician who jump-started her U.S. career by earning a Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001 — the first woman in more than three decades to do so. The concert, which starts at 3 p.m. in Tiedtke Concert Hall on the Rollins College campus, includes pieces by Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Scriabin and Balakirev. Tickets range from $35 to $55. 407-646-2182. bachfestivalflorida.org. Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This eclectic new venue on the far-west side of Winter Park is part performance hall, part recording studio and part art gallery. It offers live performances most evenings, with an emphasis on jazz, classical and world music. There are also theater, dance and spoken-word presentations. Upcoming musical events include: Croatian jazz pianist Matija Dedik, January 6 at 8 p.m. ($15); The Nostalgia Radio Hour, a neo-vaudeville band, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. ($18); Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong, a finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, January 13 at 8 p.m. ($15); and jazz pianist Lenore Raphael and jazz guitarist Wayne Wilkinson, who’ll perform romantic ballads and songs from the Great American Songbook on February 14 at 8 p.m. ($15). 1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park. 407-636-9951. bluebambooartcenter.com. Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based notfor-profit is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk music, primarily through concerts on the last Sunday of each month (except May, when the Florida Folk Festival takes center stage). The group is trying out several venues right now, including the Winter Park Public Library, 460 E. New England Ave., Winter Park.

The next two concerts scheduled at that location are Andrew McKnight, with Nicholas Roberts (January 29); and Tim Farrell, with Katie Grace Helow (March 26). Both concerts are at 2:30 p.m., and there’s a suggested donation of $12 for non-members. 407-6796426. cffolk.org. Yonetani Concert Series. The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens’ 11th annual chamber concert series consists this year of a single performance. On February 12 at 2 p.m., internationally acclaimed violin/ viola soloist Ayako Yonetani will team with cellist Si-Yan Darren Li, an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida. The concert, with seating limited to 45 people, takes place in the elegant Capen-Showalter House and will be followed by a private reception. Yonetani, a world-renowned violinist with three degrees from the Juilliard School, is a professor of violin/viola at UCF but also travels the world as a guest soloist. Admission is $30 for museum members, $35 for non-members. 633 Osceola Ave. 407-647-6294. polasek.org.

EVENTS Metro Cup Regatta. The oldest dual-crew meet in Florida is fueled by a crosstown rivalry between rowers from the University of Central Florida and Rollins College, as well as teams from longtime scholastic foes Winter Park and Edgewater high schools. Eight- and four-rower boats race head-to-head across Lake Maitland starting at 8 a.m. The March 4 competition is best viewed from the southeast shore at Winter Park’s Kraft Azalea Garden (on Alabama Drive) or, of course, from a boat on Lake Maitland. The event is a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Orange County East-Winter Park, which sells refreshments and operates a shuttle bus between the parking lot at Lakemont Elementary School and the gardens’ viewing area. Admission is free, but a donation is requested. Parking is very limited near the gardens. rotaryoce.org. Ovations Awards Ceremony. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Ovations Awards, a sort of “best of” celebration recognizing local businesses and organizations, on January 26 at 5:30 p.m. Finalists and winners are feted during ceremonies at the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments are served. Tickets are $10 for members in advance, $15 for non-members and at the door. 1050 W. Morse Blvd. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org. Park Avenue January Sidewalk Sale. The Park Avenue Merchants Association hosts a four-day sidewalk sale running January 12 through 15 at participating stores along and near Park Avenue. Shop early for savings up to 70 percent. 407-644-8281. experienceparkavenue.com. Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll. Sip wine and enjoy appetizers while checking out what’s new at your favorite Park Avenue-area shops and restaurants on March 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, and can be reserved in advance; check-in is at the corner of Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard, where ticketholders


receive wine glasses and “passports.” 407-644-8281. experienceparkavenue.com. Tranquility in the Garden. Bill Metzger, head gardener at Matthew’s Hope Ministries in Winter Garden, gives a talk entitled Peace of Dirt, which describes the homeless-outreach organization’s horticultural-therapy program during the Winter Park Garden Club’s monthly meeting on January 18 at 10 a.m. at Mead Botanical Garden, 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-644-5770. winterparkgardenclub.com. Orchids 101. Doug Watson, general manager of Worldwide Orchids in Apopka, presents a class entitled Orchids 101: Their Mystery and Majesty, during the Winter Park Garden Club’s monthly meeting on February 8 at 10 a.m. at Mead Botanical Garden, 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park. Orchids will be available for sale. 407-644-5770. winterparkgardenclub.com. Flower Arrangements. John Kobylinski, owner since 1990 of In Bloom Florist of Orlando and Heathrow, gives a talk entitled Bringing Spring Indoors during the Winter Park Garden Club’s monthly meeting on March 8 at 10 a.m. at Mead Botanical Garden, 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407644-5770. winterparkgardenclub.com.

BUSINESS Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly

gatherings attract civic-minded locals who enjoy coffee and conversation about community issues. Typically scheduled for the second Friday of each month; upcoming dates include January 13, February 10 and March 10. Networking begins at 8 a.m.; each month’s program begins at 8:30 a.m. Admission, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org. The Hot Seat. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, this business-oriented series puts local executives in the spotlight as they offer advice and discuss entrepreneurism, leadership and sales-andmarketing techniques. These hour-long, lunchtime events take place quarterly at the Winter Park Welcome Center; the next scheduled gathering is February 22 at noon. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Reservations required. 151 W. Lyman Ave. 407-644.8281. winterpark.org. Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Membership Awards Celebration. The chamber’s annual gala, slated for February 3 at 6 p.m. at The Alfond Inn, pays tribute to the members and volunteers who make the organization and community so exceptional. Reservations are required; tickets are $75 for individuals or $700 for a corporate table. 300 E. New England Ave. 407644-8281. winterpark.org. Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly lunchtime gatherings feature guest speakers and provide networking opportunities for women business owners. Topics revolve around leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. Typically scheduled for 11:30 a.m. the first Monday of most months; upcoming dates include January 9 (to avoid the New Year’s Day weekend), February 6 and March 6. Check the website for the next scheduled topic. Tickets, which include lunch, are $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers; reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.

CAUSES Behind the Curtain: Elixir of Love. Selections from Gaetano Donizetti’s romantic-comic opera L’elisir d’amore (Italian for The Elixir of Love) are presented during this January 28 “informance” by Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra maestro Eric Jacobsen and director Mary Birnbaum at Kathy and Steve Miller’s lakeside home in Winter Park. This event, from 7 to 10 p.m., benefits the not-for-profit orchestra. 407-896-6700. friendsorlandophil.org. Chili for Charity. The Rotary Club of Winter Park offers chili made by top local caterers and restaurants during this annual fundraising event, held February 15 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. In addition to the savory chili, there’s a live auction

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

MEMBERSHIP AWARDS CELEBRATION Presented by

Please join us in celebrating our outstanding members and volunteers. Friday, February 3, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. The Alfond Inn $75 Individuals / $700 Corporate Table Reservations available at www.winterpark.org or call 407-644-8281. RSVP required by January 27. Supported by

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and live music. Net proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Winter Park Foundation, which provides grants to more than 30 local charities. 200 W. New England Ave. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Patron packages, which include four tickets and program recognition, are $250. For more information call 407-4085850. clubrunner.ca/winterpark. For the Birds. In this January 15 benefit performance for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, violinist Colin Jacobsen, in town for an Orlando concert with the orchestra, performs with his brother, conductor and philharmonic music director Eric Jacobsen, at the Audubon Birds of Prey Center in Maitland from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 for Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic members, $130 for non-members. 407-896-6700. friendsorlandophil.org.

ISSUES State of the City Luncheon. Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary delivers his annual appraisal of the city’s overall well-being at the annual event, slated for February 17 at the Alfond Inn. It’s co-sponsored by the City of Winter Park and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $35 for members, $40 for non-members; reservations are required. The program, which starts at noon, includes brief remarks from Winter Park’s city commissioners and formal recognition of the city’s Employees of the Year. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org. C

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Various creative and educational outlets exist for aspiring writers in all genres, from poets and storytellers to novelists and playwrights. Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts offers several monthly programs, all free, at the Copper Rocket Pub, 106 Lake Ave., Maitland. The group meets on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. for Some-Theme Special, a themed open-mic night; and on the third Monday of each month for Practice Session, a chance for new writers, or writers with new material, to take a practice run in front of their peers. On the last Sunday of each month, the group hosts Emotional Storytelling Hour, where invitation-only performances are featured. The Playwrights Round Table offers free monthly workshops in the Fred Stone Theater on the Rollins College campus in Winter Park, usually on the second Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. Writers may bring any piece they’re working on, from a short story to a full-length script. But you’ll need to email in advance to info@theprt.com to schedule a time slot. And Austin’s Coffee, at 929 W. Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park, hosts Open Mic Poetry every Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. For more information about these events and organizations, visit meetup.com/ writers-of-central-florida-or-thereabouts, theprt.com, or austinscoffee.com.

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March 25, 2O17 W I N T E R PA R K , F L O R I D A

Celebrating 4O Years Running

10k Finisher’s Medal Gender Specific Tech Tee Souvenir Pint Glass Sports Towel from Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic Be a VIP on Park! Limited to the first 300. VIP access includes chair/table massage plus coffee and pastries. Injury Assessments at the Florida Hospital Wellness Pavillion A Distance Dare Event!

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Benefiting the Meridian Club of Winter Park Scholarship Fund which awards college scholarships to graduating high school seniors from area schools.


ARTSBEAT | BY MICHAEL MCLEOD

HOPE, LOVE AND A SPECIAL STRAD

W

e had great seats that night: rightcenter orchestra, 20 rows back. The concert was a wondrous double-header, pairing stellar jazz trumpeter Chris Botti with Joshua Bell, the greatest violinist in the country. Botti brought along his 1940 Martin Handcraft Committee trumpet, while Bell travels with a $4 million, 300-year-old Stradivarius. I had never been under the same roof with a Stradivarius before, let alone that close, let alone that Strad. When Bell walked onto the stage of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and raised the instrument to his chin, the sight of it raised goosebumps on my forearms and made the hair on the back of my neck prickle up before he so much as played a single note. For this was the Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius, surely one of the most legendary Strads in the world. It had been stolen and recovered — not once but twice — before being acquired by Bell in 2001. More significantly, it had survived a time of murderous hate — and then played a part in overcoming it. Once it belonged to Bronislaw Huberman, an early 20th-century Polish virtuoso. He charmed Johannes Brahms as a 12-year-old violinist. He grew up to become an international star. But in the end, his virtuosity as a musician would be transcended by his courage as a humanitarian. In 1936, he founded what would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, fleeing from Central

Europe to Tel Aviv and recruiting scores of Jewish musicians to follow. In the process he rescued the musicians and their families — roughly 1,000 souls altogether — from the oncoming genocide of the Third Reich. I promised myself, that night at the arts center, to always remember the sweet spell cast by Botti with his Martin and Bell with his legendary Strad. The next morning, I awoke to the news of the Pulse nightclub attack. Suddenly, the very thought of a sublime concert being separated from a senseless slaughter by a few city blocks and a matter of hours was just another ragged edge to the horror. Over time, I would come to see things differently. For generations, community leaders have championed the arts for the role they play in sustaining both the prosperity and the life-worth-living connective tissue of our communities. So we dress ourselves out for the fundraising galas, buy the season tickets and applaud the performers. But it’s one thing to pay lip service to the arts, and another altogether to wake up to a grief that leaves your soul scoured in a way that resists the usual, go-to ministrations of friends, family and faith. And so you find yourself among hundreds of people who’ve gathered for a community vigil on a grassy plaza in front of the very place where you’d heard that beautiful music — music you can’t let yourself think about anymore.

Bronislaw Huberman (below), an early 20th-century Polish virtuoso, was also a humanitarian whose efforts rescued roughly 1,000 Jewish musicians and their families from the oncoming genocide of the Third Reich. His much-traveled Stradivarius is now owned by Joshua Bell, who was playing the 300-year-old instrument for a Central Florida audience just hours before the Pulse tragedy unfolded blocks away.

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And then you look around and realize that you’re surrounded by artists — by ordinary people who’ve reached out for a way to raise themselves up against this terrible thing. Their grief and indignation, their connection to the living and the dead, are borne by makeshift tableaus of votive lights and flowers and stuffed animals, by poster boards and sheets and even the canvasses of their own skins, now inscribed with tributes to the children, friends and lovers they’ve lost. And soon enough, the seasoned performers and playwrights and musicians and muralists would follow with their tributes, not just in Orlando but around the world. But from start to finish, it would remain a primal outpouring, a pro-am affair in which the playing field was leveled, with no distinction to be made between street-corner mourners and Broadway stars. It was the most important year in the history of the arts in Central Florida — a darkly won course in art appreciation whose lessons were viscerally absorbed rather than intellectually learned. In the days that followed the Pulse attack, we told ourselves that love would conquer its opposite, hate. The parallel role the arts played was to remind us that creativity can triumph over its opposite, destructiveness. Bronislaw Huberman understood the principle. There was always more to his plan than saving musicians. That was just the beginning of his battle. He had seen an enemy coming, and he had fought it with the only weapon available to him: his music. He described his orchestra as an upraised fist against anti-Semitism, a way of protecting a people and a culture from a hatred that wished to eradicate them from the face of the Earth. The presence of his violin among us that night was a harbinger of hope and defiance, a reminder of the power the arts can wield. I’ll remember that concert. I’ll remember that Strad. Not just for its sweetness, but for its strength. Michael McLeod is a contributing writer for Winter Park Magazine and an adjunct instructor in the English department at Rollins College.

W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2017


Photo by Jamses F. Wilson, courtesy BUILDER magazine Architecture by Phil Kean, LLC AA26002050 , Phil Kean Designs, Inc. CRC1327855, PKD Studio, LLC IB26001665

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