Every fall, art enthusiasts look forward to the Ocala Arts Festival, a prestigious, juried show that draws talent from around the country and more than 20,000 visitors to downtown.
Amid coronavirus concerns, Fine Arts for Ocala (FAFO) made the difficult decision to cancel the festival this year. While the news was disappointing, FAFO is introducing several smaller events and exhibits to keep our arts community alive in coming weeks.
“While FAFO did not feel like the large festival was appropriate or manageable in the time of COVID-19, we felt compelled to move FAFO’s mission forward,” explains FAFO President Beth Cannon. “We are excited to present two month-long art exhibits, an evening to celebrate horticulture as art and other art-related projects in the community.”
The Alone Together art show opens at the NoMa (North of Magnolia) Gallery on October 1st and continues through the 31st. Patrons are invited to a reception on October 9th, and the exhibition is open Thursdays-Saturdays. The featured artists are best-of-show artists from the last five Ocala Arts Festivals, including Michael Brennan, Richard Currier, Susan Currier, Tony Eitharong, Dustin Goolsby, Jeff Ripple and Michelle McDowell Smith. NoMa Gallery, in the historic Coca Cola building, is owned by Lisa and David Midgett, who support the arts through the Midgett Foundation.
At the Brick City Center for the Arts, FAFO has taken over the Marion Cultural Alliance gallery for art exhibits, events and classes all month long.
The Community exhibition, open October 2nd-31st, features works by local artists exploring the question “What does community mean to you?” Following the opening reception on October 2nd, the exhibit will be open Tuesdays-Saturdays. Accompanying events to encourage the support of local artists will be announced on FAFO’s Facebook page.
FAFO’s month-long celebration at The Brick will culminate with Ocala Art·I·Culture, a celebration of our community’s landscape and its fusion of horticulture and art, on October 29th. The free event featuring City of Ocala Horticulture Supervisor Suzanne Shuffitt will be held on the patio, with a walking tour available.
FAFO is a nonprofit organization formed in 1966 to promote appreciation of the fine arts and enhance art education in our community. For more information, visit www.fafo.org.