Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Atlantic Center for the Arts - ACA

Atlantic Center for the Arts is a nonprofit, interdisciplinary artists' community and arts education facility dedicated to promoting artistic excellence by providing talented artists an opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the world's most distinguished contemporary artists in the fields of music composition, and the visual, literary, and performing arts. Community interaction is coordinated through on-site and outreach presentations, workshops and exhibitions.


The idea of a quiet place where artists could go to focus on their art and work with internationally renowned "masters" in a tranquil, natural environment blossomed in 1977 in the mind of Doris Leeper, a painter, sculptor and active environmentalist. A forthright, determined, passionate woman, Leeper soon persuaded friends and community members to join in her vision. In 1979, she convinced The Rockefeller Foundation to provide a challenge grant that soon was matched. This $25,000 in seed money unofficially birthed Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Soon after, when a prime piece of property became available on the shores of Turnbull Bay, a tidal estuary west of town, Leeper raised the $50,000 necessary to buy the 10-acre plot. Three years later, five main buildings were completed. Over the years, five more buildings were constructed and an additional 59 acres were purchased. In 1997, the Leeper Studio Complex was completed. Comprised of six buildings connected to existing structures by raised wooden walkways, it includes a library and studios for painting, sculpture, dance, music/recording, and theater. In addition to increasing artists' workspace to 12,000 sq. ft., the buildings provide additional presentation space for public programs and increased opportunities for partnerships. The entire facility is handicap-accessible.
The residency program brings together internationally-acclaimed master artists from different disciplines with talented artists who are selected by the masters. The artists attend a three-week residency session that includes master classes, individual critiques, opportunities for collaboration, and private studio time. Atlantic Center for the Arts officially opened in 1982 for the first residency with author James Dickey, sculptor Duane Hanson and composer David Del Tredici (photo pictured above). Since then, over 121 interdisciplinary residencies have take place, featuring 360 Master Artists and over 2,350 Associate Artists, 30% from Florida. Atlantic Center is often the starting point for new works which go on to be produced at national performance centers such as the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival, Jacob's Pillow, the Walker Art Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Only after firmly establishing an exceptional artists' residency with extensive outreach programs did Atlantic Center for the Arts broaden its mission to promote arts education to the local community by providing exhibition opportunities for outstanding Florida artists and educational programs for children and adults. In 1991, Atlantic Center at Harris House opened and the community arts program had its beginning. Located in the heart of a revitalized downtown, an historic home was converted to a cultural community center that, since its inception, has assumed a leadership role in providing arts education programs for children and cultural enrichment for adults.
The vision of founder Doris Leeper lives on today as Atlantic Center continues to nurture the artists of tomorrow who are working today to create what will become our cultural heritage.
"If you had a world with no music, no dance, no visual arts - I don't even want to try and think about how horrible that would be."
Doris Leeper, founder

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cherie Dacko's "Pop Up" Gallery

Further evidence the arts are alive and well in Sanford, Florida.

Cherie Dacko, a fixture in the Sanford Art scene opened her "Pop Up" Gallery for two days in time for the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

I photographed her walking out of the gallery on Friday evening during the Sanford Art Walk.

The space looks exceptional. It's too bad that it's not open all the time. Congratulations Cherie! I hope it was a fruitful couple of days.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This an older piece that I have recently dusted off. It is a 16" X 20" Acrylic on canvas collage.

Monday, November 7, 2011