Artageddon exhibit displays the talent of tattoo artists.

The artists who contributed works to the Artageddon – The End of The World Art Show are all local tattoo artists as well. (Photo by Dave Raith).

ORLANDO – Pointing to the many paintings hanging on the wall of his shop in downtown Orlando, Ken Deft noted it was his initial entry into the use of his space as an art gallery.
“This is actually our first time doing this,” Deft said. “We did this just for fun.”
But while Deft does not offically operate an art gallery, he noted that using his shop to display art really wasn’t much of a stretch to begin with. After all, Deft’s shop at 693 N. Orange Ave. doesn’t make sandwiches, clothing or Web sites – they create art. Only, unlike the paintings put on canvas, Deft’s artists create body art.
“Usually clients come in and tell us what they want, and we try to give them just that,” Deft said. “Every artist here has to know how to draw.”
Deft operates Black Chapel Tattoo, the studio at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Colonial Drive which on Dec. 21 opened its first art exhibit, called “Artageddon – The End of The World Art Show.” The title came from the prediction on the Mayan calendar that the world would come to a swift end on Dec. 21, 2012.
Deft said he and his fellow tattoo artists couldn’t resist having some fun with that.
“There’s really no theme at all to the art, except it was December 21 – the end of the world,” he said. “It was the end of the world, so all art must go.” Continue reading

Music in the hall during guided tours encourage visitors to see the Morse.

The Morse Museum in Winter Park has some special holiday offerings this time of year. (Photo by Dave Raith).

WINTER PARK – There’s music playing in the halls, ranging from Jazz to classical, as patrons get to enjoy a leisurely tour of the building.
The mood is meant to be soothing and relaxing, an oasis from the hectic day-to-day pace of the holiday season, when so many people are scrambling to complete their holiday shopping or ensure they have all the right ingredients for the big Christmas day meal, noted Catherine Hinman.
And if they need a break from all that running around, she said, then Friday night begins the calming festivities.
“This is a break from everything about shopping and cooking and all of that stuff that comes with the season,” said Hinman, the director of public affairs and publications at the place offering this peaceful and serene escape from it all: the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.
On Friday evenings, the museum at 445 N. Park Ave. in Winter Park is welcoming in patrons to not only admire its collection, but to also enjoy some music as well.
Welcome to Holidays at the Morse.
“We have our Friday night open houses, and our live music will go on through December 28,” she said. “We have six consecutive Friday nights where we have live music and curator tours of the museum. A lot of the music will be holidayish.” Continue reading

Historic downtown Leesburg comes alive for the holidays.

The Christmas House is one way that the town of Leesburg tries to draw in visitors over the holiday season.

LEESBURG – In the competitive world of holiday-themed tourism, the quaint town of Leesburg can definitely hold its own, Rachel O’Ryan said.
With a historic downtown and special events designed for the entire family, Central Florida’s residents and tourists alike have good reason to visit this Lake County city, said O’Ryan, who does marketing for the Leesburg partnership.
The partnership helps promote Leesburg, its business community and special events, and the city this December has an appealing combination of a charming downtown as the setting for some great family events, O’Ryan said.
“I think it’s the downtown’s old-fashioned charm,” she said. “I think it’s the fact that businesses all get together to make things happen there, and get people back to downtown. It’s a nice old town.”
There will be a definite Christmas backdrop as visitors get the opportunity to stroll the Venetian Gardens as the setting for a huge light display, she added.
The Venetian Gardens Light-Up started on Nov. 24 and continues through Jan. 1. At 6 p.m. nightly, a Christmas holiday display of lights will illuminate the Venetian Gardens, allowing visitors to drive or walk through one of Lake County’s largest holiday light shows. Continue reading

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