Three local artists are participating in the newest exhibit — “Oakland Historical Homes & Buildings” — at the Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland. The art of Craig K. Brown, Rod Reeves and Scott Lineberger depicts homes and landmarks that are all part of the town’s history.
The pieces are unique to the artist — from Brown’s digital paintings to Reeves’ pencil drawings to Lineberger’s photographs on wood panels.
In the early 2000s, Brown, a West Orange County resident, photographed popular area landmarks and landscapes and then digitally manipulated them until they resembled watercolor paintings.
“They all start with photographs — I think the term I gave to it was camera-based computer art,” Brown said. “I was concerned about all the historic places around West Orange County vanishing because of the building and so on, and I had done some of this stuff for our church for some of the publications they had, and I thought, ‘Maybe I should start going out and getting photos of these places in Winter Garden, Oakland, Ocoee.’
“These digital prints, back when I was starting that was all kind of a new thing; the software was just coming out,” Brown said. “Today, that’s much more common, and there’s lots of software now. You can actually create a real painting in simulated oils.”
He created dozens of images of homes, landmarks and churches in West Orange County. He also created a series of art prints based on the city of Winter Garden’s 2003 centennial, and many of his pieces were made into postcards and notecards.
His mother was an artist, he said, and his son has artistic talents.
Brown’s framed prints are on loan from the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, which periodically has them on display.
Reeves, an accomplished artist and draftsman, documented much of the West Orange County region and collected an assortment of books, clippings, interviews and his drawings throughout his life. During his tenure as the inaugural director of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, the collection grew into an important resource.
Reeves is a retired Orange County Public Schools art instructor who spent 32 years teaching watercolor, humanities, drawing and lettering at Lakeview and West Orange high schools. He also taught college-level night classes and courses for senior citizens. His passion is drawing, having learned the basics in college. He has degrees in art education and illustration.
Reeves has sketched thousands of local residents, students, diners and shoppers, as well as hundreds of historic buildings, homes and landmarks.
Lineberger’s artwork is unique — his photographs are printed onto wood. He has six pieces in the collection; four are hanging in the Oakland gallery. One of them is his latest work — a montage print that contains the arts and heritage center and is a tribute to the town and its new facility.
He got his start in 2014, when he photographed and created a different montage of Oakland sites, trees and notable buildings and printed it on wood. The wood print process is completed by Mill Wood Art in Raleigh, North Carolina.
He has created commercial and documentary video productions on both a regional and national scale, including an independent made-for-TV movie. He's a Florida native, and eight years ago he returned home to assist his grandmother, longtime Oakland resident Mildred Arrington.
Lineberger also took this opportunity to return to his photographic roots. He now produces images and videos including drone photography for real estate agents in Central Florida and utilizes his free time to capture images.
“Oakland Historical Homes & Buildings” will allow visitors to learn about the historical buildings and homes located in the Oakland area, all while catching a glimpse of well-known local art pieces featuring these locations.
Among the images are a home built around 1910 by Charles Herbert Tilden and a school house built in 1860 and considered the oldest surviving building in West Orange County.
“We’re excited to display some of the phenomenal works by (these artists) at Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland,” said Ashlynn Webb, Oakland’s public arts and heritage coordinator. “The West Orange community will enjoy learning about some of the historical buildings in the area and seeing historical 1924 deeds from two of the homes and registry books from the Oakland Hotel.
The art and heritage center currently is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays. The exhibition is on display until the end of August.