The Appleton Museum of Ocala, Florida has long been known to be a hidden treasure to its citizens. It holds millions of dollars’ worth of artifacts, paintings, sculptures and other types of art. Best of all, it is free to CF students to visit and browse the vast collection.
With all it has to offer, it has been hard getting the students of CF to realize this and visit or take part in its events. On Saturday, May 30, a group known as The Studio celebrated a year filled with art, creativity and community support at the Appleton.
The Studio is the Appleton’s young members group for aspiring artists to create and share works of art with the community. Ages range from 21 to 39, but the event was open to the public. Live music was brought to the museum event by Dane Myers Band, a local group that has its roots in Ocala. Studio members were able to greet and interact with other members of the community over refreshments, live music and art.
“I’d say the peak amount of attendees was about 80,” said Christi Manning, the Events Specialist at the Appleton. “We’re trying to attract younger crowds and local businesses.”
Artists from around the area were able to showcase their works. With a $5 donation, it was possible to enter a drawing to win an original piece of art. Kids to adults participated in the event.
Kristin Dean, invited to the event by a friend who was involved with the event, brought her friend Nicholas Florio. They both painted owls while enjoying beverages.
“There’s not a lot going on in Ocala, so something like this is nice,” said Florio.
The party brought together the community, the Appleton members, and even students. Artists from around the area like Mel Fiorentino proudly displayed their work. Fiorentino, who attended CF herself, has displayed her work in multiple exhibitions and been published numerous times. She mainly focused on earthly scenes and human figures.
“I have always been fascinated by the shadow play and contours of the human body, it amazes me that in the past the one thing that made my heart set on being an artist was when I was in high school when I bought a college humanities book at a yard sale and while flipping through I came across a photo of Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta.’ From there on I knew that I wanted to strive towards furthering my artistic skills,” she wrote in her blog.
Whether one had an inclination to make art or buy art or to simply appreciate art, the Studio party was the place to be on May 30.
“Ocala really needs something like this,” said Dean. “It’s just a fun, relaxing way to spend a Saturday.”
By: Raina Barnett