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2416 N. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: (407) 228-4007
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Arts & Museums
Orlando Science Center is a glistening structure that looks like the product of a meeting between Greco-Roman architects and Star Trek engineers. The analogy applies to the inside activities as well. The museum strives to teach kids (and adults) about classical science using modern, hands-on, sometimes high-tech activities. The museum houses themed exhibit halls where patrons can explore the human body, modern technology, the solar system and other topics. The exhibits often change, so you can always learn something new. Its eight-story CineDome is billed as the world's largest movie theater. It shows large-format nature/technology films.
All the artwork on display at Boom-Art by Rogers Studio is created by the studio's owners--two former circus clowns. Much of the colorful, whimsical, and often bizarre artwork is available for purchase, and pieces range in price from just a few dollars all the way up to several hundred. The beauty and creativity behind each piece on display in this quirky store makes Boom-Art worthy of a visit, even if you aren't in the market for a new piece of artwork.
The Mennello Museum of American Art is a great destination in Orlando. The museum was founded with 50 paintings by Florida artists Earl Cunningham that were donated by the Mennello family. Since it was founded in what used to be a private residence in 1998, it has expanded the breadth of its exhibits to include other artists as well. It's worth checking out for the programs they offer, including a scavenger hunt for kids and evening workshops with wine and cheese for adults.
According to Newsweek, this piece of 1950s architecture serves as one of the best art museums in the South. Founded in 1924, the museum now consists of three permanent exhibits - the American Collection, housing nearly 900 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures from the 19th century onward; the Art of Ancient Americans Collection, boasting 500 artifacts of jade, gold and clay from Mexican, Costa Rican and Peruvian cultures; and an African collection of more than 70 artifacts, including masks, from various West African countries. OMA also hosts rotating exhibits. Residents of Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties receive free admission.
This lovely 50-acre botanical garden situated on Lake Rowena offers visitors a chance to escape into Old Florida. Wander miles of paved paths through forests of giant camphors, oaks and palms. The formal Rose Garden is the largest in the South, but don't pass up the opportunity to visit the herb, butterfly, palm and bamboo gardens as well. Towering over all this natural wonder is the Leu House. Built in 1888, it now serves as a decorative-arts museum.
Snap! is one of the trendiest destinations in the Orlando art scene, hosting events throughout the year and displaying contemporary art and photography from both local and international artists. This artists' space also features photography workshops, photography contests and influential guest speakers.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center is a veritable haven for those interested in exploring the history of the African-Americans of the area. Brought into being in 2007 by the Crealdé School of art, this unique museum boasts of a rich culture and heritage, best viewed through a series of permanent and temporary exhibits. Take a look at the community's history down the ages or check out fascinating art work that line up the walls during special exhibits. Special events, workshops, art lessons, and tours will further enhance your knowledge on the subject. The center has an associated library that you can explore at leisure. Call for more details.
A quiet, charming village, Winter Park is popular with artists, whose work is displayed in a number of tucked away galleries. Jeanine Taylor Folk Art is a particularly interesting gallery which has a loyal crowd of fans attracted by the colors, character and simplicity of the artwork. Here you'll find some fine examples of the work of self-taught artists from Florida and other Southeastern states, including such notables as Kurt Zimmerman, Ruby C. Williams, Sarah Rakes and Woodie Long. A gift gallery offering other kinds of artwork, including stationery and sculpture, adds to the allure.
Specializing in art of the American West and in general nature scenes, this gallery gives visitors and residents the opportunity to express their appreciation for the great outdoors. You'll find original artwork by nationally renowned artists such as John Seery-Lester, Richard Sloan and Carl Brenders, along with creations by a variety of Florida painters. Whether or not these names ring a bell, a visit to the gallery is always fun, thanks in large part to the animal motifs. View huge dolphin sculptures and paintings of native Florida wildlife.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, located north of Orlando in the friendly town of Winter Park on the grounds of Rollins College, ranks as one of the country's best college art museums. The American Association of Museums has accredited the museum, and the museum includes more than 6000 artifacts and works of art ranging from Antiquity up to the 21st Century. Cornell Fine Arts Museum features permanent collections as well as various temporary traveling exhibitions that rotate throughout the year. Other features of the museum include workshops, films, lectures and interpretive sessions.
The Orange County Regional History Center allows visitors to explore 12,000 years worth of Central Florida history. The detailed exhibits go as far back as the Seminole Wars, and cover everything from natural disasters to the arraignment of Ted Bundy. You can even find out what Orlando was like before the establishment of Walt Disney World. Be sure to explore the gift shop for some excellent souvenirs.
The History Center has three floors of permanent collection which includes everything to do with Orange County history. These are also lent to museums and other institutes for display purposes. The center library is a massive resource for research and has rare and out of print works, artifacts, and archives. The Center's educational programs include field trips, the library can be used to teach a history lesson, fun and educational parties, and camps. The center is rented out for occasions and has a shop for accessories, books, toys, fun items and kitsch at their store.