Central Florida may take pride in being the home of Barbara Sorensen, a renowned sculptor known for large-scale works in clay and bronze, as the Orlando Museum of Art presents a retrospective exhibit of her work through April 1. A recent recipient of The Florida Artist of Enduring Excellence award, Sorensen’s sculptures are inspired by nature and geological forms. And there is a playful side to this artist. Her new Dwelling series is made up of brightly painted, large-scale forms which, when juxtaposed to each other, create a kind of adult playground. From her early days of "throwing pots" to her present Dwellings, “All are containers of our spirit,” she says, “Although the medium has changed, from clay to resins to aluminum, the vessel is always present.” Topographies will remain on view through April 1. Call 407-896-4231 or visit www.OMArt.org
Hedwig is ‘Angry’ again
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is an outrageous (fictional) rock musical about a German transgender singer that first premiered in 1998 and has since, been performed throughout the world and made into a movie. The character of Hedwig is inspired by a divorced U.S. Army wife with music drawn from the androgynous 1970’s glam rock era of David Bowie. It’s been six years since the “internationally ignored song stylist” has been seen in Orlando, and this re-imagined production promises to “blow audiences away like a glam-rock blitzkrieg.” Starring Joshua Eads-Brown as Hedwig, the musical will be presented at The Abbey at 100 South Eola Drive in Orlando through Jan. 23. Visit AbbeyOrlando.com or call 1-866-468-7630 for tickets.
Valencia prez in concert
Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia College, was recently named the 25th Most Powerful Central Floridian based on Valencia College winning the Aspen Award as one of the best community colleges in America! On Saturday, Jan. 14, however, we are invited to see a very different side of President Shugart as he performs as a singer-songwriter at the Garden Theater in Winter Garden. Ranging in style from country to urban folk, Shugart (as performer) offers an acoustic tour of the emotions with original songs mixed with the occasional cover. Tickets: $15; $12 students/seniors. Call 407-877-4736 or visit GardenTheatre.org
Artists at Maitland Chamber
Lucky for us art lovers that Maria Alvarez Simmons, the new executive director at the Maitland Chamber of Commerce, is a true fine art promoter. Now that her compassionate hands are guiding the Chamber, she is joining with Edemuel Mora and artist Marcos Cruz to make the Chamber a new venue to exhibit art. Beginning on Jan. 13, on every second Friday of the month, the Chamber will provide the opportunity to meet artists, enjoy live music and view new exhibits. Friday’s Opening Reception – from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – is called “Nature: Timeless Source of Inspiration” and will show the work of artists who use nature as their subject. The artists include Gary Gessford, Donna Frank, Maryse Jupillat, Brandi Renee, Alan Cody-Rapport, Juan Rueda and Jaime Parra. The event is free, and the Maitland Chamber is at 110 N. Maitland Ave. Contact [email protected]
Culture & Cocktails
Maitland is now the place to be on the second Friday of every month as the Art & History Museums – Maitland (A&H) invites us to their celebration of art, music, food and friendship at their Culture & Cocktails event (the second Friday of every month). This Friday, Jan. 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., artist Doug Rhodehamel will present his newest installation BLUMP, complete with music to set the tone of the event. Rhodehamel is internationally known for his paper-bag-mushroom installations, which have been known to appear over night in parks and public spaces around the world. Admission is $5 (which includes one drink ticket). Visit ArtandHistory.org or call 407-539-2181.
And not-to-be-missed … The circus!
In one of their most spectacular seasons ever, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Dragons, a once-in-a-millennium event honoring The Year of the Dragon. The cavalcade of circus champions visits the Amway Center from Jan. 12 to Jan. 16. Tickets are available at ringling.com or ticketmaster.com, or at the Amway Center box office, 407-440-7900.
Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator, and fine art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at [email protected] or 407-522-3906.