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Arts & Culture in Florida
Take a break from the great outdoors and head inside to explore some of Florida’s best art venues and museums. All you need is ten minutes to view some of the country’s most-acclaimed pieces to experience Florida’s culture. For those in the western region of the state, pay a visit to the Ringling Museum of Art which showcases over 10,000 works over 21 galleries from European art from the 16th century to present, to American, Asian, and contemporary art. Over in St. Petersburg, visit the beloved Dalí Museum for a peek inside the mind and eye of the Spanish surrealist painter. Jacksonville is home to one of the most extensive fine art collections in the US, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.
For something less conventional, be a part of the Miami art world and visit the Wynwood Walls. Located in Midtown, walk the streets to view a living tribute to some of the world’s best graffiti and street artists. The area is filled with galleries and restaurants, so it’s easy to spend a day soaking in South Florida culture. Another fun way to discover new and upcoming artists is by attending Art Basel. Held annually in Miami Beach, this multi-day event showcases artists from around the globe for a chance to meet and greet fellow art advocates.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Established by the Crealdé School of Art, the Hannibal Square Heritage Center preserves the history of Winter Park's historic African-American community through permanent and rotating exhibits. Don't miss the award-winning Heritage Collection, which features over 100 archival pieces that provide a snapshot of African-American life in the Orlando area.
You can also catch various rotating exhibitions, public art installations, and educational programs of the African-American experience. Visitors are encouraged to check out the Hannibal Square Community Outreach Art Classes for Seniors and Youth for a more hands-on experience.
Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
Dedicated to preserving the works and legacy of American representational sculpture, the Albin Polasek Museum's centerpiece collection features over 200 works by American sculptor Albin Polasek.
Tour Polasek's historic residence, which is featured on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of Winter Park's top attractions.
Aside from its exhibitions and collections, guests can tour the gardens along Lake Osceola, visit the gift shop, take yoga and art classes, or drop by the museum's concert series, one of the most intimate in the Orlando area.
Winter visitors are invited to experience Winter Park Paint Out – an annual event held in the sculpture gardens.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Established in 1942, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art house some of Winter Park's most extensive art and pottery collection. Explore the most comprehensive collection of works from Louis Comfort Tiffany and fine art collections from the late 19th and early 20th century.
Visit Tiffany's jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, and leaded-glass lamps and windows collection. Don't forget to view the centerpiece chapel interior from the 1893 World Exposition.
For guests visiting the Orlando area, the museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Located on the campus of Rollins College, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is home to a range of art pieces, collections, and exhibits. Housed in attractive Spanish-Mediterranean style grounds, the museum is one of Winter Park's best cultural expeditions.
The museum is located only a few blocks away from the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and offers guests an excellent one-two combination visit of the Orlando area's museums. The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Orlando Museum of Art
View extensive collections of African and American art with a visit to the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando area's premiere fine art destination. Catch masks, objects, and textiles from ancient African cultures or browse the lithographs of the Contemporary American Graphics Collection.
Don't miss the selection of ceramic, jade, stone, and more with the Art of the Ancient Americas collection or the museum's classic paintings of American people and landscapes. The museum's hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Atlantic Center for the Arts
An interdisciplinary community for artists and arts education, the Atlantic Center for the Arts is located in New Smyrna Beach. See a variety of art installations, including visual, literary, composition, and performing, with presentations and exhibitions open to the public.
The Pabst Visitor Center & Gallery features art galleries and a public art and nature trail. There are actually multiple facilities around town: ACA’s main campus on the north end of town just off A1A and U.S. 1, a Community Artist In-Residence facility, and ACA’s Yurick Studios and Alt Space in the historic downtown on the east central Florida coast.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
Originally opened in 2001, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is located in the Cube at Rivergate Plaza in one of Tampa's top fine-arts district. Explore rotating and permanent world-class exhibitions of photography, take photography classes, or attend First Fridays at FMofPA.
It is also a popular choice for west central Florida private events, including weddings, graduations, and business meetings. The museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday, with hours varying throughout the week and weekend. It is also free, though donations are suggested.
Tampa Museum of Art
Located just off the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa, the Tampa Museum of Art features extensive exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Founded in 1979 and sporting award-winning architecture, the museum is open Monday through Sunday, with varying hours of operations.
Explore collections of modern & contemporary art alongside Greek & Roman antiquities and enjoy the museum exterior's LED light show held at night. Don't miss the museum's traveling exhibitions, which include cultural, mythical, and historical art installations from west central Florida and all around the world.
Harn Museum of Art
Visitors to the Harn Museum of Art enjoy browsing current and ongoing exhibitions, representing over 8,000 works of art. This accredited museum is located in the Cultural Plaza on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. It is one of the nation's largest museums affiliated with a university.
The free, 86,000-square-foot Gainesville facility includes the exhibition space, museum store, auditorium, and a study center. Several museum tours are available including self-guided, school, preschool, and even the Art for Life tour for senior citizens.
Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
Founded in 2003, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA Jacksonville) is one of the largest contemporary art museums in northeast Florida. The museum is located in downtown Jacksonville.
The museum works in tandem with the nearby University of North Florida, operated as a cultural resource for the college. The museum houses an impressive collection of pieces dating back to the 1960s, as well as a slew of rotating exhibits.
Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida
A top cultural center located on the Panhandle, the Visual Arts Center is one of the reasons Panama City was recognized as one of "America’s 100 Best Small Art Towns." You’ll find a variety of art, from paintings to sculptures and more, spread across the 2,000-square foot facility.
Adjacent McKenzie Park is often the site of festivals, events, and concerts put on by the Visual Arts Center, including the annual Spring Festival of the Arts. Exhibits at the art center include the annual Best of Bay, Bay Annual Juried Art Competition, and Faces & Facets.
Apalachicola Museum of Art
Housed in a small building with stately columns near downtown Apalachicola, the Apalachicola Museum of Art houses several exhibits – from local and regional artists. The museum, located on the Florida Panhandle, conducts numerous events throughout the year as well.
Plan your next visit to Florida and head north to the Panhandle. You'll find a wealth of premier attractions, excellent scenery, and ideal weather. Visit in early may and check out the annual Artists of Apalachicola Area Association Exhibition, hosted by the Apalachicola Museum of Art.
Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy
Flanked by giant orange and pink flamingos, the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy is one of the most unique destinations in Sarasota and west-central Florida. Enjoy a variety of paintings, sculptures, and mixed artwork from artists from all over the globe.
Admission is free and guests are also encouraged to explore the museum gardens', complete with Florida oaks and a wide variety of tropical plants and flowers. The museum hosts annual events as well, including Cookies n' Cans and Groundbreaking on Groundhog Day.
Ringling Museum of Art
Established in 1927, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is a Florida state art museum set in Sarasota on the west-central Florida coast. Encompassing over 150,000 square feet, the Ringling Museum features 10,000 items over 21 galleries.
Governed by Florida State University, the Ringling Museum of Art also features the Cà d'Zan estate and rose garden, the Circus Museum, Tibbals Learning Center, and Ringling Art Library.