Monday, March 28, 2011

Outing: Orlando Art Strolls

Art strolls (also known as any combination of art/studio/gallery + walk/stroll/hop) give local artists the chance to share their art with residents and visitors.  An art stroll is usually an exhibit of studio art spread throughout various studios, galleries, bars, and other venues within walking distance of one another.  Many events also include performing arts, such as live bands and dance troupes.  It's a great opportunity to ask the artists questions about their work while you explore different parts of town.  Since these events are always in the more interesting parts of town, you'll be sure to find plenty of good restaurants around.

Fun  Artists and art galleries have been vital in rehabilitating downtown environments throughout the United States, as is evidenced by the popularity of monthly art walks.  They're free, fun, interesting, and different every time you go.

Third Thursday Gallery Hop
Where: Starts at City Arts Factory, 29 South Orange Ave., Downtown Orlando
When: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Next one is: Thursday, April 21st

First Fridays Sidewalk Art Stroll 
Where: Varies along North Orange Ave.
When: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Next one is: Friday, April 1st starting at 1907 North Orange Ave.

Fourth Fridays, Celebrating the Arts
Where: Starts at Sanford Welcome Center, 230 East First St., Sanford
When: September - April, 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Next one is: Friday, April 22nd (season finale!)

Click to learn more about Mount Dora
Mount Dora Art Stroll
Where: Around Highland Street & Fifth Ave., Downtown Mount Dora
When: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Next one is: Friday, April 8th

There used to be a monthly art stroll in Baldwin Park, but I wasn't able to find details on an upcoming one.  Any that I'm missing?

Food  Restaurants and bars generally support art walks, so the dining selection is huge.  You'll always be able to find something within walking distance.  For example, if you're in the downtown / Thornton Park area, you should try Graffiti Junktion, famous for its burgers (under $10, veggie burger $6).  If you attend the Ivanhoe art stroll, you could try Ethos Vegan Kitchen, a restaurant even a very non-vegan like me can enjoy.  Prices are very reasonable and they serve a variety of meals including sandwiches ($5.95 to $8.95), pizza ($10.95), and soup ($2.95).

Dessert  Most artists or gallery owners will provide snacks like cheese and grapes, as well as small glasses of wine and other drinks.  If you're lucky, you'll be able to pick up some free drinks during your visits. 

Total Cost for an art stroll, dinner, and hopefully some free drinks: about $10 per person.


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