Altamonte-Wekiva Springs Life is once again turning the spotlight on two visual art groups that have a strong presence in Seminole County. In this issue, we take a look at a pair of clubs that have been uniting artists in our community for decades.
Central Florida Watercolor Society
Painting with watercolors can be a challenge, particularly if you’re a perfectionist. But watercolors can also be a beautiful and rewarding medium, especially if you’re willing to bend a little. Take it from Mary Dall, president of the Central Florida Watercolor Society (CFWS).
“Watercolor makes you give up some of the control,” she says. “Watercolor helps you to expand and realize that happy accidents sometimes make your painting even better. You can get some of the best results with things that you didn’t realize would happen.”
A Chuluota resident, Mary is a longtime fan of watercolors for several reasons, including their portability.
“They’re conducive to interesting art done in a lot of different places,” says Mary, who often takes her paints on trips to the beach.
The CFWS was organized in 1998 by Ken Austin, a nationally recognized watercolorist. The group currently boasts about 150 members from Seminole, Orange, Volusia, and Lake counties. Demos by members and guest artists are a big part of the CFWS meetings, which are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month, from September through May. The group meets at the Maitland Art Center, at 231 West Packwood Avenue. Guests are welcome to attend for a $10 donation.
In addition to the meetings, the group offers workshops by well-known watercolorists and hosts frequent plein air painting events throughout Central Florida.
The group held an exhibit in December at the Casselberry Art House, titled Hidden Gem: Central Florida Watercolor Society. Next, the society’s annual juried exhibit will be showcased in February and March at SoBo Gallery, 127 South Boyd Street in Winter Garden.
For details, visit CentralFloridaWatercolor.org.
Sanford Seminole Art Association
The Sanford Seminole Art Association (SSAA), which has been around for nearly 60 years, is enjoying a surge of growth. Formed in 1959, the group’s membership has nearly doubled over the past few years, according to treasurer Bob Jackson. The SSAA currently has 60 members from Seminole, Orange, Volusia, and Lake counties.
President Mike Bisceglia trumpets the association’s merits every chance he gets, even recruiting members from his yoga class and other art groups. While many art organizations focus on one specific medium, the SSAA is all-inclusive. Its members work in everything from oils, acrylics, and watercolors to pastels and mixed-media. Most are 2-D artists, but a few create 3-D artwork.
“We are a diversified group, which makes us unique,” says Mike, who lives in Winter Springs. “It’s a fantastic group with good camaraderie. And, we have great demos by members and guest artists.”
The SSAA has two major shows a year – one at Gallery on First in Sanford in the spring and one at the Casselberry Art House in the fall.
A nonprofit organization, the SSAA is also growing in ways other than its ranks. The group is striving to be more active in the community. Last year, the SSAA launched a student art scholarship program, conducted a holiday food drive, and partnered with the City of Casselberry on a storm drain art project. Members have also refurbished a mural at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and given presentations during Teach-In for Seminole County Public Schools.
The SSAA typically meets at 1:00 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of the month, from September through May. Most meetings are at the Seminole County Public Library’s north branch, at 150 North Palmetto Avenue in Sanford. Demonstrations by local artists are a highlight of the meetings. The public is invited to attend at no charge.
For details, visit SanfordSeminoleArt.com.
Are you part of an active visual arts group in Seminole County? Let us know at JHoppes@LakeMaryLife.com
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