“Among the Oaks”: Oakland celebrates trees with new art, history exhibit

Local artists are showcasing their individuality in multiple art mediums.

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Commemorating nearly two decades as a Tree City USA, Oakland is hosting a special art and history exhibit celebrating the beauty of nature and delving into the inspiration behind Oakland’s name. “Among the Oaks” explores when the town was just a sapling and how Oakland continues to care for its towering trees.

The show is being held at the Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at 126 W. Petris Ave., Oakland, now through Jan. 6.

The exhibit features the works of 49 Florida artists, including JR Ramoutar, Judi Bradford, Hope Barton, Melissa Gallo, Theresa Chin, Joan Lok, Joe Warren and Dave Minichiello. Works in various mediums, including watercolor, oil, mixed media and photography, follow the theme of trees of all shapes and sizes in fields and forests to wetlands and beaches.

An open house where attendees can meet the artists will be held during the town of Oakland's Santa's Lane Community Event from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Art is available for purchase and pick-up at the conclusion of the show.

Additionally, guests will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite beautifully decorated Christmas tree as part of the “Trees of the Season” display at the center, where community members display designed trees for a chance to win best in show.

This year’s trees are courtesy of Oakland Avenue Charter School Spirit Squad, West Orange Creamery, Healthy West Orange, Oakland Nature Preserve, Mike and Mary Ann O'Donnell, Eight Waves, Lakeview Networks, Lakeside Church, Realtor Kelly Zanini and the town of Oakland. Voting ends Jan. 3.

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and on select Saturdays and evenings. For more information, visit oaklandfl.gov/artsandheritage.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.