All posts by Jeremy Kemp

Construct: Our Orlando & American Youth: Cause

(October 2, 2020 – January 10, 2021)

Construct: Our Orlando presents artists Don Rimx (b. San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1981) and the collective Lemon Press [Anna Cruz (b. Manila, Philippines, 1992) and Adam Lavigne (b. Hillsboro, Missouri, 1988)]. In their individual practices, Don Rimx examines the shaping of Afro-Caribbean American identity through the lens of anatomy, place, and portraiture, while Lemon Press explore visual mapping of both time and language through storytelling and communication. These artists play with opposites and wrestle with what has traditionally been considered high and low in art – classic and historic elements of drawing, mural making, print, and illustration converge in vibrant contemporary portraits and invented narratives that immediately draw the viewer into the canvas searching for a new way of perceiving the world through the artists’ creations.

The exhibition American Youth: Cause provides a space for the developing voices of our talented Orlando teen residents to engage in conversation about their own art and ideas. Exhibited artists were selected by museum Curator of Art and Education, Katherine Page, after an open call to all students throughout Orange County to explore the multiple definitions and meanings of “cause” in their artwork. From motivation and origination to principle, subject matter, and action – the cause belongs in the hands of the artist. Eight finalists were chosen for this juried exhibition based on the excellence of their work and personal narratives of their creative processes.

Maria Arias Correa (12th Grade, Cypress Creek High School)

Taylor Davidson (11th Grade, Boone High School)

Miller Georgoudiou (10th Grade, Edgewater High School)

Kiley Mack (10th Grade, Boone High School)

Lindsay Merrill (12th Grade, Bishop Moore Catholic)

Leliet Moran (11th Grade, Cypress Creek High School)

Amaya Nash (11th Grade, Boone High School)

Mackenzie Werking (10th Grade, Boone High School

American Artists in the Southwest & American Paintings from the Melanson Holt Collection

(January 22 – April 11, 2021)

American Artists in the Southwest from the Melanson Holt Collection and American Paintings from the Melanson Holt Collection showcase masterful painters and printmakers, who lived and created primarily in Taos and Santa Fe throughout the 20th century, working in lithography, etching, aquatint, wood block, and screen print. In honor of Mennello Museum of American Art Founding Director Frank Holt, the Melanson Holt Collection gift made from 2017-2019, furthers the story of American art for new and returning visitors with views of the land and people of the Southwest. The collection highlights 32 artists, including Indigenous artists Harrison Begay and Pop Chalee, along with Gene Kloss, John Sloan, Kenneth Adams, Dole Reed, Clark Willard, Homer Boss, B. Brussell-Smith, E. Martin Hennings, and many more. These artists sought to reveal and document the awe-inspiring desert light, remote lands, and extraordinary way of life in the changing American Southwest through their inventive forms of printmaking and painting alike.

American Artists in the Southwest from the Melanson Holt Collection featuring prints by—

  • Kenneth Adams
  • Henry Balink
  • Gustave Bauman
  • Harrison Begay
  • O.E. Berninghaus
  • Oscar Florianus Bleumner
  • Homer Boss
  • B. Brussell-Smith
  • Pop Chalee
  • Willard Clark
  • Howard Cook
  • John Stuart Curry
  • Adolf Dehn
  • E. Martin Hennings
  • Rockwell Kent
  • Gene Kloss
  • Leon Loughridge
  • Peter Moran
  • Russell Natt
  • Herbert Pullinger
  • Dole Reed
  • Coy Avon Seward
  • Will Shuster
  • John Sloan

Modern American Paintings from the Melanson Holt Collection, Abstraction and Realism on view in the Marilyn Gallery featuring—

  • Emil Bisttram
  • Charles Burchfield
  • Arthur B. Davies
  • Henry Martin Gasser
  • Richard Haley Lever
  • Reginald Marsh
  • Jan Matulka
  • Alfred Maurer
  • Max Weber

Mr. Eddy and His Grand Portraits

(April 23 – August 1, 2021)

This intimate exhibit presents the vibrant portrait of self-taught, folk artist Eddy Mumma. From kings commoners to ornate self-portraits, the artistʼs prolific production of paintings highlights his interest in art history, color, human form and popular culture.

Floating Beauty: Women in the Art of Ukiyo-e

(August 13 – November 7, 2021)

Examines historical perspectives on women and their depiction in art in Edo Period Japan (1615 – 1858). Made up entirely of woodblock prints created in the ukiyo-e style, this exhibition highlights female characters in literature, kabuki theatre, and poetry; the courtesans and geisha of the Yoshiwara district; and wives and mothers from different social classes performing the duties of their station, in order to gain some insight into the lives of women in pre-modern Japan.

Through the Darkness to Light: Photographing the Underground Railroad

(November 19, 2021– January 9, 2022)

While honoring the historical necessity of the movement’s secrecy, Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad invites visitors to a small glimpse of what the long road to freedom may have looked like for 100,000 enslaved Americans in the years before the Civil War’s end. Over the course of a decade, photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales researched those brave men and women, their collective steps toward liberation, and the complicated paths that led them there—with the hope that visitors might learn more, ask questions, and open dialogue on the subject, all toward better understanding how we all are connected.

Mennello Museum of American Art Officially Reopens June 2.

The Mennello Museum of American Art plans Phase One reopening of the museum beginning June 2, 2020 with new safety provisions and limited capacity in place. We are excited to welcome you back to a safe place for you to be inspired through art and culture. During this new Phase One period, we are pleased to allow access to our wonderful exhibitions and collection of art once again.

We ask for your patience as we open with new safety protocols. Guidelines allow only 25% capacity access, and we will require masks for all visitors for your safety and ours. We have a new online booking option, so you will be able to schedule your visit in advance. There will be no group tours, workshops, or events in the first stage of reopening. Some programs, such as virtual tours and other events, will continue to be offered online-only at mennellomuseum.org. We have taken enhanced health and safety measures, and request guests follow all posted instructions while visiting the museum. First Friday Tours, Free Family Day, and Bank of America’s Museums on Us program are cancelled for June. Our Yoga in the Sculpture Garden on June 28 will take place with additional social distancing for stretching.

We are excited to reopen our building as a place for learning, inspiration, reflection, and comfort, but do so with cautious optimism.  All current exhibitions that had opened before the museum closed on March 17 will be extended. We are tremendously appreciative of the enthusiastic cooperation of the artists and collectors who have worked so diligently with us to make our schedule adjustments possible.

New dates for current and upcoming exhibitions —

Construct: Our Orlando featuring local artists Don Remix and Lemmon Press originally scheduled to open May 28 will open October 2, 2020 and close January 10, 2021.

American Artists in the Southwest: Prints from the Melanson Holt Collection originally scheduled to open September 25, 2020 will now open January 22, 2021 and run through April 25, 2021.

Re-Calibration: Kenturah Davis, Kambui Olujimi and Alex Jackson originally scheduled to open January 22, 2021 will open May 1, 2021 and run through August 21, 2021.

Our Collection and Earl Cunningham exhibition galleries are open.

Our Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden is open every day and is a beautiful spot to enjoy wellness and respite on Lake Formosa while experience the work by renowned artists Alice Aycock and Albert Paley and more!

We look forward to welcoming members, friends, visitors and new audiences to the museum. Enjoy your visit and we thank you for your kindness.


COVID-19 Warning

We have taken enhanced health and safety measures—for you, our other Guests, and Staff. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting the museum.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and Guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

By visiting the Mennello Museum of American Art you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Help keep each other healthy. Thank you.


About the Museum
The Mennello Museum of American Art, owned and operated by the City of Orlando, is located on the beautiful shore of Lake Formosa in Orlando’s Loch Haven Cultural Park. The museum provides residents and visitors welcoming opportunities to understand and value creativity through innovative experiences with art further connecting it to nature and communal gathering. Our goal is to encourage creative and diverse experiences with art that nurtures audiences while reflecting the dynamic relationship between art and society.  In addition to housing the permanent collection of folk modernist Earl Cunningham, the museum presents temporary exhibitions that feature a broad range of American art from traditional to contemporary practices.

The Mennello Museum is located at 900 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803

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City of Orlando leadership has officially made the decision to temporary close the Mennello Museum of American Art to the public beginning March 19, through May 1 (subject to change).

This decision was made in an effort to remain cautious regarding our members, visitors, docents and team, and the Orlando community as a whole.  All events and programs through May 1 will be postponed until further notice.

We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice and guidance from government and health officials.

Please revisit this page of our website or social media channels for the latest updates.  If you have immediate questions or concerns, please contact us at 407.246.4278 or mennello.museum@cityoforlando.net.

Thank you for your patience and support.  We look forward to welcoming you back to the museum when we reopen.”

Indie-Folkfest Reserved Picnic Areas

This year, there will be the opportunity to purchase a limited amount of reserved 10’x10′ picnic spaces for $40 each – to include an Indie-Folkfest blanket. You may choose from shaded (4-7) or front-row spaces (1-3) — only 7 available and when they’re gone there gone! Get yours today!

PICNIC AREAS for 2020 are sold out!

Indie-Folkfest VIP Lounge

This year features our new, exclusive tented VIP area, featuring complimentary signature “The Indie” cocktails with Tito’s Vodka, an artist designed reusable water bottle, Indie-Folkfest 2020 tshirt, access to the museum’s galleries and restrooms, as well as limited comfortable lounge seating. You will also have the opportunity for meet & greets with the musicians. VIP tickets will be limited and can be purchased for $50 each. Not only will you have the best Indie-Folkfest experience possible, you’ll also help support funding for education programs at the museum!

Mennello Museum of American Art is pleased to begin its 2020 season with an enticing solo exhibition, MIRA LEHR: HIGH WATER MARK — a delightful exploration into the recent work of highly esteemed Miami-based artist and eco-feminist, Mira Lehr.

Orlando, FL — November 2019

Mira Lehr’s entire career as an artist has focused on the natural world and our relationship with our surroundings.  Her residence in Miami, with a studio nestled right on the water, has unmistakably navigated her work toward the waterways and open ocean that form a unique and integral part of a life in Florida.

A “high water mark” indicates a literal measurement for the highest point the water level reaches in a given area at a particular time.  However, alternate meanings of the term suggest maximum value in various other sectors of life.  It seems fitting, then, that this phrase should be applied to the work of an artist whose career spans five decades, building ever forward toward a well-earned new heights.  Lehr’s recent work has been lauded by critics for the meaningful and contemplative commentary she offers on a timely and contentious subject — the state of our natural world.

Guest Curator, Ginger Gregg Duggan, states —

“Mira’s sense of wonder and faith in humanity’s ability to rise to the occasion with solutions, guides both her life and work.  It is precisely this character trait that inspired the theme of this exhibition, High Water Mark.”  She continues,“The experience of standing in the gallery, surrounded on all sides by the expansive panel painting, Siren’s Song, is not unlike visiting an aquarium viewing area, with windows granting vistas of mysterious underwater life.”

MIRA LEHR: HIGH WATER MARK is tailored to the Mennello Museum’s galleries and will feature four distinct installations in each of the main gallery spaces.  Visitors will be greeted by a site-specific installation of Lehr’s haunting, lighted sculptural cages, which will dance along the right side of the entry hall, opposite a newly ignited painting, Magenta and Green Mangroves.  Once in the reception area, viewers will find an environment comprised of multiple mangrove sculptures, suspended from the ceiling, growing into the space, thus forming a fully immersive experience for visitors to walk in, and among.  Another focal point will be a seven-foot-wide suspended glass sculptural installation titled Below the Surface — a commentary on jellyfish and their role in our environment.  Along the perimeter walls Lehr’s large-scale panel painting, Siren’s Song, will be further enriching the space.  Within the Mennello’s intimate front gallery, viewers can discover another immersive experience, where they will be surrounded by bare, suspended light bulbs reflecting the mirrored, coral wall sculptures as if underwater.  Titled, Below Mixing Currents, this installation serves as a tribute to the diminishing coral reefs that play such a vital role in the Earth’s overall health and balance.

In her new essay on Lehr’s work, which can be found in the special publication accompanying this exhibition, Curator, Duggan writes:

“This atmospheric condition of the underwater experience carries with it a vulnerability that can understandably be either intimidating or inspiring. Without being open to the unknown, one may never reap the rewards of a new adventure or experience. Considering Lehr through this particular lens reinforces her fearless and enthusiastic approach to both life and art.”

Speaking about the upcoming exhibition, Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, states —

“We are honored to work with Mira Lehr as she enters the sixth decade of her career as a pioneering artist, whose radical artmaking and community building advanced the arts in Miami, starting in 1960, long before Miami had evolved into what it has become today.  Interested in the plight of women artists, and relocating from New York where she had worked with some of America’s most prominent artists such as Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, and Hans Hoffman, Lehr was shocked in Miami, yet dedicated her career to carving out a place where she could create the art she wanted, and garner the visibility she deserved.  I applaud Lehr’s legacy and celebrate her desire to share it with us and the Orlando community.”

Mira Lehr is an eco-feminist artist from Miami whose career spans five decades. Her nature-based imagery encompasses painting, design, sculpture and video installations. Lehr’s processes include non-traditional media such as resin, gunpowder, fire, Japanese paper, dyes, and welded steel.  She has affected a new generation of young artists, serving as a mentor and collaborator, teaching master classes with the National Young Arts Foundation, and has been an artist in residence at the Bascom Summer Programs.  Lehr’s solo and group exhibitions number over 300, and she is presently represented by Rosenbaum Contemporary in Boca Raton, FL.  A monograph about Lehr, Arc of Nature, was published by Hard Press Editions and Hudson Hills Press in the Spring of 2015.  In 2016, a major show was installed at Fairchild Gardens reflecting her love of nature and her interest in protecting the environment.  She went on to receive the Centennial Commission for a multimedia work at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. In 2018, Lehr was invited to mount a one-person exhibition of her work at the MOCA Museum in North Miami. This critically-acclaimed project once again reflected her interest in the environment. Her most recent solo exhibition Mira Lehr: A Walk in the Garden, at the Jewish Museum of Florida-Florida International University, Miami, on view from October 15, 2019 through February 3, 2020, is receiving critical national praise.


Please save the date for the opening reception of MIRA LEHR: HIGH WATER MARK.

The artist will be in attendance.

Opening Reception
Friday, January 24, 2020

Members-only Preview
5:30–6:30 pm

Public Reception
6:30–8:00 pm

Free for members | $10 for Guests

Artist Talk & Curator Talk and Reception
Saturday, April 18, 2020 | 1 pm

First Friday Talk & Tour
Each First Friday fo the month | 11am


PLEASE NOTE THE BELOW REQUIRED CREDITS FOR IMAGES:

Mira, Lehr, Invisible Cities (detail), 2018
Brass, burned and dyed Japanese paper, lights, and fabric. 
Courtesy of the artist
Mira Lehr, Siren’s Song, 2017
Silver emulsion on panel, ignited gunpowder, burned and dyed Japanese paper, and acrylic.
Courtesy of the artist
Mira Lehr, Mixing Currents (detail),
Light bulbs, video projection with sound, and mirrored acrylic.
Courtesy of the artist
Mira Lehr, Mangrove Labyrinth (detail), 2018
Marine rope, steel, resin, burned Japanese paper, and latex paint. 
Courtesy of the artist
Mira Lehr, Magenta and Green Mangroves, 2019
Burned and dyed Japanese paper, ink, ignited fuses, and gunpowder on canvas. 
Courtesy of the artist
Mira Lehr, Creation, 2017
Silver emulsion on panel, ignited gunpowder, burned and dyed Japanese paper, and acrylic.
Courtesy of the artist

About the Museum
The Mennello Museum of American Art, owned and operated by the City of Orlando, is located on the beautiful shore of Lake Formosa in Orlando’s Loch Haven Cultural Park. The museum provides residents and visitors welcoming opportunities to understand and value creativity through innovative experiences with art further connecting it to nature and communal gathering. Our goal is to encourage creative and diverse experiences with art that nurtures audiences while reflecting the dynamic relationship between art and society.  In addition to housing the permanent collection of folk modernist Earl Cunningham, the museum presents temporary exhibitions that feature a broad range of American art from traditional to contemporary practices.

On view through January 12, 2020:

Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers

View all of our upcoming events: www.mennellomuseum.org/events

The Mennello Museum is located at 900 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803

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The Mennello Museum of American Art and its exhibitions are generously supported by the City of Orlando and Friends of The Mennello Museum of American Art. Additional funding is provided by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program and United Arts of Central Florida. Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture

Jeremy Kemp
Marketing & Graphic Design Coordinator
Mennello Museum of American Art and Public Art, City of Orlando
Jeremy.kemp@cityoforlando.net
407.246.4113