Category Archives: event

Mennello Museum Day of Art

The Mennello Museum of American Art will be hosting Day of Art again this year, and we invite elementary, middle, and high school students to come explore their creative side with us.

This year, complete your summer with a back to school art party at the Mennello Museum of American Art.  With the museum all to themselves, participants and their friends will create large scale portraits of swirling ink silhouettes, write their own poetry, and tear up books while exploring fiber arts in projects inspired by artist on display, Firelei Báez.  All of the art will be ready to take home and show off on the first day of school.

Monday, July 29th will be open registration for all Elementary aged students and Monday, August 5th will be open registration for Middle School aged participants.  High School students will have the opportunity to volunteer with these age groups, assisting the teacher while creating and inspiring alongside the younger students.  Both days activities will be led by artist, Lourdes Figueroa.  Activities will begin at 8:30AM and students will be ready for pickup at 5:30PM.

Finally, this year we will have Teen Takeover for ages 14-18 years from 12 – 4PM on Saturday, August 10th.  Teens will have the opportunity to write poetry, create ink pour portraits, and work on paper before returning to school.  This group will also have the chance to contribute to a large scale community painting as part of the program as well.  High Schoolers will be inspired by the individuality and power of the image and history portrayed by New York artist, Firelei Báez.

Elementary and Middle school sessions are $45 for Mennello Museum members, and $50 for general public.  Teen Takeover is a free event.  Registration is open and space is limited with a maximum of 15 students each day.

Educational programming at the Mennello Museum of American Art delivers access to captivating American art of all genres through permanent collections, as well as renowned curated and temporary exhibitions.  Whether through lectures given by world-renowned and established artists the likes of Firelei Báez and Bo Bartlett, docent-guided tours for school-aged groups or seniors, Toddler Tuesdays, the museum’s workshops and special programming are designed to ignite personal connections to exhibitions and the exploration of art.  We endeavor to engage all individuals who come through the doors in participatory learning of the visual arts. We seek to advance their confidence in discussions around the exhibitions and inspire creativity in personal life and art making.


Elementary Day of Art
Monday, July 29, 2019
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Middle School Day of Art
Monday, August 5, 2019
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Teen Takeover Day of Art
Saturday, August 10, 2019
12 – 4 PM

*For Elementary and Middle School Days, drop off begins at 8:30 am (activities begin at 9 am) with all students ready for pick up by 4:00 pm (late pickup available until 5:30 pm)


Non-Members: $50
Members: $45

Teen Takeover: Free with registration
Mennello Museum Members must present their valid Membership card at the museum if purchasing a summer camp session in advance online.  Space is limited – early registration is encouraged.

To Register:

Elementary School

Middle School

Teen Takeover


Purchase Tickets Online 

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 Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden features many artists, including world renowned Alice Aycock.

On view through May 13, 2018:
The Unbridled Paintings of Lawrence H. Lebduska

 Opening June 7, 2019:
Immersion into Compounded Time and the Paintings of Firelei Báez

View all of our upcoming events:

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

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Our Orlando: Making Sense of Our World and American Youth: Our Future

August 24 – October 7

Our Orlando: Making Sense of our World features the work of four rising local artists: Sarah M. Bender, Peterson Guerrier, Boy Kong, and Kelly Joy Ladd.  These four artists conceptualize a multitude of relationships within our shared world – ranging from the personal and familiar to the mysterious and universal. In this exhibition, human experience is depicted, varied as it is in its accounts, through figuration and form, in two and three dimensions. The voices and visions of the artists presented here can be seen in a consideration of how we, as humans, relate to one another and our time on earth by reflecting upon their representations of individuality and imagination.

Bender uses humor and the figure to explore both personal and prevailing experiences of womanhood as an artist and mother in compositions that meld time. Guerrier realizes large-scale portraits that are at once penetrating but deny intimacy through mark making to cover. Kong creates contemporary mythologies that function to enliven our notion of seeing and storytelling. Ladd forms the imperceptible, making visible and tactile visions of introspection and our connection to the universe.

Join us for the opening reception on August 24. More information.

Sarah M. Bender
(b. Orlando, FL 1989)
Sarah M. Bender’s compositions reference specific people or are often autobiographical and employ art historical nods and themes, which demonstrate intersections of herself and her indifference towards needing to ask permission for societal acceptance of personal choices as a woman and mother. She often uses hens or chickens as stand-ins or masks as a commentary of concealment and stereotypes linked to women.

Bender graduated with a BFA in Studio Art from Florida State University in 2010. Born and raised in the tourism capital of Florida, she gained both an appreciation for cultural diversity and a longing for a cultural identity removed of mouse ears. Bender works primarily in oils, but has begun to incorporate ceramic sculpture and mixed media into pieces.

There is a Rockwellian sense of nostalgia and sentimentality in my imagery, but surrealist elements create an unsettling feeling. I draw my inspiration from childhood memories and photographs, as well as pop culture and books.

—Sarah M. Bender


Peterson Guerrier
(b. Miami, FL 1983)
Peterson Guerrier paints in a powerful and ambitious style wherein the viewer is seemingly given primacy to the sitter. Yet through this image – its composition and details chosen and structured by Guerrier — the artist has denied revealing what he has seen, the soul and familiarity of a relationship that he holds close.

Guerrier grew up in Miami and attended Design and Architecture Senior High thereafter securing a Fine Arts degree from College of Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit. He works in both painting and photography– interested primarily in extremes, juxtapositions, and duality. His approach to mark making is instinctual and creates figures through the transformation of layers of color and multiplying shapes. Guerrier’s layers employ strokes of bright colors, softer deposits of color, and drips, which may all combine and saturate the surface fusing into a whole. Drawing from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, for Guerrier, his brushstrokes create a description, a statement, which on its own is powerful, but when related to additional movements and statements, coincidentally build an image- “every physical description resolves itself into a number of statements, each of which refers to the space-time coincidence of two events A and B.”

Beauty is only the beginning of a conversation.

—Peterson Guerrier

Boy Kong
(b. Orlando, FL 1993)
Boy Kong is interested in creating stories — a new folklore of unbelievable lions and tigers described as though they have just been discovered, reported, and then depicted only as delighted and tense storytelling can convey. His works on paper, canvas, and wood all twist with energy where neon or pastel colors serve to enliven or sustain, respectively, that strength and awe. Animals take on human traits and supplementary eyes, symbols that create myth and metaphor.

Kong is a self-taught painter, illustrator, muralist, and collage artist. Inspired by a mixture of Ukiyo-e, Surrealism, Graffiti art, and animal folklore, Kong’s visual style connects elements of these styles with a mastery of color and rhythmic application. In a short time his body of work has become immediately identifiable throughout the media he works in without succumbing to a singular aesthetic. Kong divides his time between Orlando and NYC.

Color, lines, movement and impact. Those are the main points that itch my mind and beat me up when I think about (my inspiration).

—Boy Kong


Kelly Joy Ladd
(b. Tallahassee, FL 1977)
Kelly Joy Ladd responds to themes of light and darkness, cycles that are intended to be introspective and celestial at the same moment. In her assemblages of torn or cut paper on canvas, the artist takes a therapeutic approach to the repetitiveness of her process. Perfect circles are bent or cut to form texture and tone within the works that build up from the canvas. Her intention is to leave viewers awe inspired by the potential of self and the universe.

Ladd is a self-taught artist who grew up in Orlando and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Liberal Studies degree with a focus in astronomy and creative writing. While she has never been formally trained in the arts, throughout her life, Ladd has always painted or created art on her own terms as well as through creative ventures performing at Disney or writing and editing with, Garden Design, Florida Travel + Life, and Parenting magazines. When her husband became ill and severely allergic to paints and various chemicals, Ladd had to channel her practice in a new direction. Choosing paper, Ladd now rips, cuts, and folds paper into visions of her meditations, connecting these internal pieces to the great wonders of the astronomical universe through name and form.

Color excites me, but I also honor the sleek simplicity of black and white. Even more, I’m enthusiastic about texture and dimension…I love the playful, unexpected and dimensional element that textured paper brings to canvas.

—Kelly Joy Ladd


American Youth: Our Future is an exhibition to support and foster the creativity of Orlando’s talented teen artists. In this exhibition’s second year, the Mennello Museum of American Art will hold a juried art show for which a Call for Art was open to all Orange and Seminole County high school students as part of our increasingly expansive, diverse, and inclusive exhibition program.  American Youth: Our Future aspires to empower rising artists and give them a space to engage in conversations through their art with our community. This year’s artists chosen to be included in the exhibition are Manuel Delgado Ordaz, Miller Georgoudiou, Zoe McDonagh-English, Maria McKenna, Paula Meja, Shannon Song, and Valentyna Willard.

OUR ORLANDO and AMERICAN YOUTH are curated by Katherine Navarro, Marilyn L. Mennello Associate Curator of Education and is organized by the Mennello Museum of American Art.


Opening Reception

Join us for the opening reception! More information.

Opening Reception
Friday, August 24, 2018
Catered by Runway Catering

Members-only Preview
5:30–6:30 p.m.

Public Reception
6:30–8:30 pm

American Youth Winners Announcement
6:30 pm

$10 for Non-Members  |  Free for Mennello Museum Members

Our Orlando Artists Panel

Saturday, September 15
1 – 2 pm

Curator Katherine Navarro will moderate a panel discussion with the artists from OUR ORLANDO as they consider creativity in practice, inspiration, and the stories yet to tell. Join Sarah M. Bender, Peterson Guerrier, Boy Kong and Kelly Joy Ladd as they discuss their experiences in the art world.

Art Credit:
Boy Kong, A Prayer, 2017, acrylic, oil and horse hair on wood. Courtesy of the artist and Gitler &_____ gallery

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art

October 19, 2018 – January 13, 2019

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art presents a selection of works from Dr. Robert B. Feldman’s extensive collection of contemporary art. The artists gathered in the exhibition have all drawn upon art history, American history, and popular culture to create powerful works that, independently and collectively, present a broad range of concepts about identity, beauty, belonging, and religion, as well as work with deep gravitas around poignant issues of race, sexuality, violence, displacement, vulnerability, erasure, and visibility.

The title is evocative and an emblematic reference to art history and the critical social agency of our current times. Through various media, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, and collage, the Black and Hispanic body (physical and metaphoric) is implied or materializes with subtlety in some instances, beautifully unfolds in others, and in a few, is direct, dramatic, and heartbreaking. The symbolic framework of the Shifting Gaze and Reconstruction helps generate a larger dialogue between the works on view and the specificities of a diverse African & Hispanic Diaspora in our current physical, social, and political landscape, as revealed through each artist’s personal experience and distinctive aesthetics.

The Shifting Gaze, who is looking at who engages perception, seeing and objectification while Reconstruction represents a rebuild, new articulation, and possibly new constructs via a new voice – from the past and projected into a resonant now. The power of this collection, conceptually, formally, across contexts, sensibilities, and interests is the result of the extraordinary vision and passionate quest of the Winter Park collector Dr. Feldman who shares with us an unparalleled visual intellect fueled by his knowledge, curiosity, humanity, and keen eye.

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Artfeatures works from the following artists:

Nina Chanel Abney
Farley Aguilar
Radcliffe Bailey
Yoan Capote
Nathaniel Donnett
Mark Thomas Gibson
Luis Gispert
Clotilde Jiménez
Jennie C. Jones
Samuel Levi Jones
Nate Lewis
Kyle Meyer
Lavar Munroe
Toyin Ojih Odutola
Ebony G. Patterson
Lamar Peterson
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz
Paul Henry Ramirez
Jamel Shabazz
Vaughn Spann
Shawn Theodore
Mickalene Thomas
Hank Willis Thomas
Carlos Vega
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Nate Young

Exhibition is curated by Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Mennello Museum of American Art.

Opening Reception

Join us for the opening reception!

Opening Reception
Friday, October 19, 2018

Members-only Preview
5:30–6:30 p.m.

Public Reception
6:30–8:30 pm

$10 for Non-Members  |  Free for Mennello Museum Members

Shifting Gaze Panel Discussion
October 20   |   11:30 am – 1 pm
At Orlando Museum of Art
Mennello Museum Executive Director Shannon Fitzgerald will moderate a panel discussion with artists and gallerists from the exhibition “Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art from the Collection of Dr. Robert B. Feldman”: Radcliffe Bailey, Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, Mark Thomas Gibson, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Vaughn Spann and Carlos Vega.
NOTE: This panel discussion will be held in Orlando Museum of Art’s Auditorium.

Art Credit:
Ebony G. Patterson, Untitled I-beyond the bladez series, 2014, Mixed media on paper, 30 x 36 inches. Collection of Dr. Robert B. Feldman, Winter Park, FL. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

The Unbridled Paintings of Lawrence H. Lebduska

January 25 – May 12, 2019

This exhibition presents the rare opportunity to exhibit the notable paintings of Lawrence Lebduska, one of the most popular modern folk art painters of 1930s America. Lebduskaʼs dreamlands and invented gardens teem extraordinarily with life and optimism in a nostalgic, uncorrupted style that captured the admiration of the American public.

Lebduska was an outsider artist who navigated the intensifying New York art scene without the academic trainings and institutional tenure of his contemporaries. Competing with the rise of the avant-garde modernist movements that seized the art historical world in New York and abroad, Lebduskaʼs intrinsically painted Edens of bucolic farms, city parks, and remote jungles, which propelled the artist and his work to celebrity among galleries, collectors and museums. Lebduska earned his first solo show in 1936 at the Contemporary Gallery in New York City nearly selling out his works, a show known to have ignited the folk art collections of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and Eleanor Roosevelt. Lebduska was also included in the famed 1938 exhibition Masters of Popular Painting shown at the Museum of Modern Art.

This exhibition is curated by Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education. The Mennello Museum is pleased to present paintings from the Fenimore Museum; Cooperstown, NY, as well as those from our permanent collection and local collectors.  Lebduskaʼs work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the University of Arizona, The Fenimore Art Museum, and the Mennello Museum of American Art, among others.


June 7 – September 1.

The Mennello Museum of American Art is pleased to present IMMERSION INTO COMPOUNDED TIME AND THE PAINTINGS OF FIRELEI BÁEZ. The exhibition will be on view at the Mennello Museum from June 7 through September 1, 2019, with an Opening Reception on June 7.

This exhibition will explore Firelei Báez’s investigations on the visibility and the construction of complex cultural identities within the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora and how these notions are perceived in today’s global world. Her large-scale and intricate portraits of influential individuals and mythical goddesses of Afro-Caribbean history create a contemporary narrative of a woman’s life, embracing the past, and staking her place in a universal future.

Báez is best known through her extraordinary paintings of lush landscaped-figures, intricately patterned tignons, and otherworldly bodies with striking eyes. Here, she considers the reality of ones current social and the historic construction of cultural self in America. These complex, intersectional bodies and symbols alongside large-scale portraits are painted in vibrant, swirling colors, which intermingle time and character. For Báez, “identity is malleable, negotiated,” and given strength by the female body and mythology of her being.

This exhibition is curated by Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education.


Member Preview & Opening Reception
Friday, June 7, 2019
Members only: 5:30 – 6:30 pm | Guests: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Free for members | $10 for Guests

Artist Talk & Book Signing (FREE EVENT)
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Guests: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Swirling Memories and Compounded Time: Curatorial Talk (FREE)
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Guests: 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Free Family Funday

Sponsored by

Every second Sunday of the month is Free Family Funday!

Join us at the museum for free admission, a free miniature fine art project and free docent touring.  Each Free Family Funday has a different theme based on the current exhibition in the museum.

Miniature fine art project and museum tours are available 12-2:30 p.m.  The museum galleries stay open until 4:30 p.m. for all guests.

Alice Aycock: Waltzing Matilda and Twin Vortexes

Grounds for Exhibitions − Inaugural Outdoor Exhibitions Series
On view since September 2016

The Mennello Museum inaugurates Grounds for Exhibitions with two large-scale works by American sculptor Alice Aycock installed in the Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden. The beautiful works, Waltzing Matilda and Twin Vortexes were originally part of series of seven sculptures in Aycock’s significant outdoor exhibition on Park Avenue in Manhattan entitled Park Avenue Paper Chase. Grounds for Exhibition features year-long large-scale sculpture exhibitions by nationally renowned American artists who otherwise would not be shared with Orlando audiences.

Shannon Fitzgerald states: “It is thrilling to inaugurate this outdoor exhibition program with such beautiful work by Alice Aycock, one of America’s most recognized and respected sculptors of her generation. I think visitors will delight in experiencing the stunning sculptures nestled in our lakeside landscape that challenges perspective, materiality, whimsy, and nature—in all its power and fragility.  She continues: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for our community to contemplate the vital role art has and the impact it can have when shared in the Public realm.”