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Art and History Museums Maitland Art 31

Photo by Stephen Knapp, OW Cover image Art 31, orlandoweekly.com
Photo by Stephen Knapp, OW Cover image Art 31, orlandoweekly.com

The “Art and History Museums – Maitland” is the bit-of-a-mouthful name adopted after the 2010 merger of the Maitland Art Center and the Maitland Historical Society formed a five-museum complex. In 2014 the staff of this newly reinvigorated organization launched a program called Art31 that would have made Maitland Art Center founder André Smith proud.

Every March, the A&H produces an entire month of related events and exhibitions showcasing projects by artists both local and nationally known. Now in its fourth year, Art31 functions as a neural network, processing creative impulses in multiple directions. Artists come from out of town to show their work, or to take up residence and create more. Local artists reach a wider audience, and viewers both observe and take part in the work.

This year's featured installations explore interactivity and the use of light as art, with site-specific work by Stephen Knapp, 2016 A&H artist-in-residence Deanna Morse, Ryan Buyssens, Nathan Selikoff, and C.R. Barnett.

The latter three artists make work that responds to viewers' presence and to the environment, using processes based in engineering and technology to encourage and reward participation.

With its focus on engagement, Art31 fully embodies the Art Center’s founding mission of experimentation, collaboration and community.