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From Handel’s Messiah to a Boat Parade: Culture Worth the Miles

| December 8, 2010

barbara sorensen sculptor florida

'Topographies,' an exhibit by Florida sculptor Barbara Sorensen, opens at the Museum of Florida Art on Dec. 10.

“Artist of Enduring Excellence”

Central Florida may take pride in being the home of Barbara Sorensen, a renowned sculptor known for large-scale geological forms in clay and bronze. The three “goddesses” outside the Shakespeare center are the work of Sorensen, whose travels to rugged settings inspire her large ‘dwellings’ in which she sees the vast landscape as an allegory for life. On Friday, December 10 (from 6 to 8 pm), the Museum of Florida Art in Deland will open an exhibit of Sorensen’s work – called Topographies.


Sorensen is this year’s recipient of The Florida Artist of Enduring Excellence award, a juried honor and exhibit recognizing the artistic contribution Sorensen has made to the cultural landscape of the state and the nation. The exhibit may be seen through March 13 at the Museum of Florida Art at 600 N. Woodland Blvd in Deland. Visit or call 386.734.4371.

PaperWorks 4 Me Exhibit

Susan Mulholland's 'Ode to Degas' (Click on the image for larger view)

Artists working with a more delicate medium – paper – will be the focus of the next exhibit at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art. At the Museum’s 2nd annual PaperWorks 4 Me exhibition – featuring 40 Artists, and opening on December 10 – votes from the public will be tallied and the Artist with the most votes will receive a ‘Purchase Award.’ In addition, the ‘winning work’ will be added to the Museum’s permanent collection. “The Artists are from Florida, as well as Washington, New York, Georgia, South Dakota and Louisiana,” says Executive Director Susan Loden. For example, Artist Charlene Thomas of Winter Park presents a collection of her miniature paintings housed inside a dollhouse, which she transformed into an art gallery sculpture. Votes may be cast in person during the 6 to 9 pm Opening at the Museum at 200 B East Orange Avenue in Eustis. The exhibit runs through January 10, 2011.  Visit where you may find an example of each exhibitor’s work, or call 352.483.2900.

Charlene Thomas' 'Thomas Jarvela Gallery'

Holiday Boat Parade

One of the great things about living in Florida is that our Holiday Boat Parades also get to feature a water ski show. Our temperatures may have cooled, but our lakes are (not frozen) and ready to provide fun and family entertainment on Saturday, December 11th when the 7th Annual Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade takes place on Lakes Virginia and Osceola. The schedule begins at 3:30 pm with a one-hour ski show on Lake Virginia with viewing on the Rollins College campus. Then at 5 pm, the festivities move across the street to the Albin Polasek Museum where live music will be provided by The Coons Brothers and the 12-piece band The Escorts, leading up to the Polasek Museum hosting the official judging stand for the Boat Parade at 6:30 pm. Admission to the Polasek Gardens is FREE with Limited on-site parking for a $5 donation. The Boat Parade begins on the east shore of Lake Virginia proceeding clockwise around the Lake, through the Palm Canal to Lake Osceola. Your whole family will enjoy the parade of holiday-themed and inventively ‘lighted’ boats along the lakes’ shorelines. Information is available by contacting or calling 407.647.6294

Maitland Symphony’s FREE Holiday Concert

“Dance, Love, Be Merry” is the title of the FREE Holiday concert to be presented by the ever-growing Maitland Symphony Orchestra on December 12th at 7:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Maitland. The program is an ‘around-the-world’ musical trip including music from Russia, Ireland, and Germany, Holiday favorites, and a medley of traditional Hanukah songs.

Conducted by Maitland’s own Margaret Patten, the concert is a gift for all ages including the special delights of A Charlie Brown Christmas, Bugler’s Holiday, and Sleigh Ride, and featuring the virtuosity of “The Orlando Brass.” The December 12th evening of joyful music is a gift to the community from the Maitland Symphony Orchestra designed to entertain all ages. Even the dress rehearsal (on Saturday December 11 at 10 am) is open for adults unable to attend Sunday evening.  For information call 407.325.4941 or visit

Handel’s Messiah

The most beautiful – and memorable – music of the Holiday season is Handel’s unequaled masterpiece, Messiah. That much-anticipated work will be performed by The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra on Monday, December 13th at 7 pm when Maestro Christopher Wilkins leads the Philharmonic in this monument of choral literature.  Joining the Philharmonic is the First United Methodist Church of Orlando Choir. Maestro Wilkins says, “Handel’s Messiah was popular from its very first performance and was presented during Lent rather than at Christmas-time. Today it inspires people of all faiths with its stirring choruses and sublime arias, and without any doubt, the Hallelujah chorus remains one of the most thrilling passages in all of music.” The performance will take place in the intimate setting of the Shakespeare Center at 812 East Rollins Street in Orlando. Visit or phone 407-770-0071.

And Not to be Missed …

The Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol comes to life on-stage at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden through December 19th. Call 407.877. 4736 or visit

ICE! At Gaylord Palms Resort 2 million pounds of ice has been carved into amazing sculptures while the resort is decked out in its holiday finest through January 2. Call 407.586.4ICE.

From the comfort of your car your little ones will marvel at millions of twinkling lights as you drive through the new Wonderland of Lights at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. Available from dusk to 10 pm through January 9.  Call 321.697.3333.

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Holiday offering is called Chaps! A Jingle Jangle Christmas. This family-friendly musical comedy takes us back to 1944 and the heyday of singing cowboys. Now through December 26. Call 407.447.1700 or visit

Guests of the Orlando Science Center may explore the fine art of ‘mechanical music’ through displays of antique music boxes at The World of Mechanical Music through January 9. Call 407.514.2000 or visit

Donne Bitner's 'Fly Away,' at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art

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1 Response for “From Handel’s Messiah to a Boat Parade: Culture Worth the Miles”

  1. Shelley Kleinfelder says:

    Handel’s Messiah WAS performed on Sunday 12/5 IN PALM COAST at Trinity Presbyterian Church, with guest soloists from New York City and Jacksonville. It was a great event…to bad you missed it!

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