Art for all at the Appleton

Free First Saturday event draws crowd to see princess and chat with photographer.

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Posted August 12, 2022 |

Princess Belle, from Beauty and the Beast,” was truly the belle of the ball on Aug. 6 as guests, many in costume, enjoyed a day of festivities that showcased the “Finding Beauty” exhibit at the Appleton Museum of Art. The overflow crowd also heard photographer Steven Benson talk about his “Invented Observations” exhibition.

The museum hosts Free First Saturday events the first Saturday of each month. Visitors can peruse the permanent collection, special exhibitions and more.

The “Finding Beauty” exhibit, on view in the second-floor galleries through Jan. 15, merges costumes, drawings and other items from the Ocala Civic Theatre’s recent production of “Beauty and the Beast” with the objects from the Appleton collection that inspired them.

“Invented Observations” will be on display in the Balcony Gallery for Florida Artists through Nov. 6. The exhibit features 35 black-and-white photographs taken from 1970 to 2005. Benson is a professor of photography and video at the Daytona State College School of Photography and Media Studies. He has been an educator, fine art and commercial freelance photographer for more than 25 years.

The Appleton Museum, a campus of the College of Central Florida, is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. For more information, call 352-291-4455 or visit