Central Florida artists are as creative and innovative as any artists anywhere.
So, it should be no surprise that Orlando's Chris "Tobar" Rodriguez has twisted the concept of "art exhibit" into a whole new adventure. On his website (http://www.christobarart.com), Tobar has a map of locations in Orlando and Winter Park where he has placed his art, along with hints to find "treasures" hidden at those sites.
Says the young urban artist: "I wanted to find new ways of sharing my artwork with my fellow art lovers, while allowing them to be involved in the process as well. This is more than just your run of the mill, 'let's go to [a] gallery and stare for hours ' art show. This, for me, was a chance to take people on an adventure."
"Dexterous Shadow," which hangs until the end of February, is his way of introducing himself, his Man in the Mask character, our city, and his hip, urban art.
Meet the artists
The Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach attracts emerging- and master artists from all over the world. Meet New York painter Arnold Mesches, the ACA's latest artist-in-residence, and see an exhibit of his work at Friday's reception, 5-7 p.m. The ACA is at 1414 Art Center Ave.; call 386-427-6975 for details.
Closer to home, the Maitland Art Center has a similar program with artists from across the U.S. You can visit the working studios before attending "Artists' Critique & Conversation" on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Nine artists of various levels will bring samples of their newest work and allow the audience and panelists to offer suggestions, criticism and praise. The times I've attended this free, monthly event as an audience member or panelist have been standing-room-only. MAC is at 231 W. Packwood Ave.; call 407-539-2181 for details.
'Soul of a City'
Crealde School of Art has been serving our community since its founding in 1975. Not only does it offer great classes to adults and children on its Winter Park campus, the school provides free outreach and arts education to many unable to pay. One of its outreach projects became the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, which will celebrate Black History Month with "Soul of a City" on Sunday from 5:30-8 p.m. There will be live entertainment, a costume photo booth, a historic photo exhibition and a collection of community art-quilts. The Heritage Center is at 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park; call 407-539-2680 for details.