The Florida Museum for Women Artists is a smallish but important institution in DeLand. The folks there curate some conceptually creative exhibitions, including the new "Expanding Visions." The show, opening Friday, April 5 from 5:30-8 p.m., depicts the growth of eight artists who appeared at the museum's Second Annual Juried Exhibition in September 2011. As regular readers of this column know, I love to watch artists working and observe their artistic growth over time. This exhibit does the latter by showing the growth of a whole group of artists. The museum is at 100 N. Woodland Blvd. Call 386-873-2976 for details.
McRae open house
The public can only visit McRae Art Studios by appointment and during its semiannual open house, which, lucky for us, is Saturday, April 6, 4-9 p.m. The artists' sanctus sanctorum will be open to the masses, with up to 700 original works by the studios' 21 professional and award-winning artists on display. Arrive early to avoid the crush and to get the best selections for yourself. McRae is near downtown Winter Park, at 904 Railroad Ave. Call 407-599-9956 for details.
First Friday at FAVO
FAVO is a realization of a dream I had several years ago to turn a run-down motel near downtown Orlando into an artists' colony. I never managed to make that happen, but the community-minded folks at the Park Lake Presbyterian Church did. They already have turned about 20 former motel rooms into working studios/galleries and plan to renovate more. They host at least one big art happening on the first Friday of each month, such as Friday's (5-9 p.m.) open studios, food trucks, live music, hands-on crafts for kids and more. The work each month ranges from amateur to seasoned professional, prices are affordable and a portion goes to continuing rehab of the facilities at 221 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando.
Under the stars
it's time for one of our more spectacular fundraisers. "Participation: Sideshow of the Senses," a benefit for the Maitland Art Center, is Saturday, April 6 at 6 p.m. Held under the stars at the historic MAC, tickets are $130 ($100 for members) and include food and wine by Cuisiniers' executive chef Jamie McFadden, entertainment by Phantasmagoria under the direction of John DiDonna, working artists, art, auctions and more. The Maitland Art Center is at 231 Packwood Ave., Maitland. Details: 407- 539-2181.
Get a group of friends together this weekend to visit nine Lake County studios for Off the Beaten Path Art Tour, along with an additional 12 "guest artists" also showing their work in those studios. Some work will be sold at "spring cleaning" prices. Hours for the free, self-guided driving tour are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; noon -5 p.m. Sunday. Get more info/maps at: http://www.floridaartstour.com/artstour.pdf