Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Winter Park, FL – The Alfond Inn Hotel has a collection of Fine Arts, which is located on the Rollin College campus in the heart of Downtown Winter Park. The Cornell Fine Arts Museum sponsors these free art tours every Sunday at 1pm excluding some holidays. This is a great opportunity to enrich oneself into our local treasures in our backyard. One does not have to be an art historian to go this tour. If you have an interest in art than one will love this art tour of this art collection. One will learn so much about most of the pieces along with the artist too.
When heading down to the Alfond Inn, arrive early to find great parking at the street side. There is also parking at many of the public parking lots and garages around town. The front of the hotel entrance is on East New England Street. When you walk through the front doors head straight behind the Lobby to the Conservatory where one will find a glass dome ceiling along with furniture. Wait in this area for your tour guide to arrive and escort your art tour group around the 1st floor of the hotel. This tours last from thirty minutes to forty-five minutes long. Attendees are welcome to ask many questions about the works of art on display while on the tour. One is allow photograph the work of art while on a tour. There is no flash photography that is permitted inside the hotel. This is a hotel policy.
Your art tour guide will meet for the tour in the conservatory. These Cornell Fine Arts Museum staff will escort the group around the hotel art collection. The day I came out for a visit Dr. Amy Galpin, has a PhD in Art History, gave me a wonderful personal art tour of their art collection. All the museum staff have a background in art history. For more information on the upcoming art tours listing go to www.rollins.edu/cornell-fine-arts-museum/events/index.html .
The hotel art tour starts out at the conservatory and then heads over to the hallway near large ballrooms. There is roughly 110 works of art on property at this hotel. Upon entering the hallway many people notice the bright blue Every Thing For Love neon sign hanging from the white wall. Also, one will notice the marble chair like sculpture with engraved text on it. There are many other various art pieces, which include paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Tours are escorted to the Lobby, Library, Bar, Restaurant, and Elevator landings.
There were three art works in the collection that stood out to me the most. The first piece entitled DNA: Black Painting: PH BK/B Cert:1 and was created by McArthur Binion in 2015. Binion created this work with oil paint stick and paper on Masonite board on wood. McArthur Binion is an American artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Binion was born in Macon, Mississippi. He holds a BFA from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Dr Galpin describes this artist has an African –American background. She goes on to explain what the artist used to create this work. He used ripped pages out of his personal telephone book. The overall composition is made up of lines, which forms into squares and rectangle patterns. If one looks closely, one can see the hand written telephone book entries. This art piece has a natural color palette consisting of black, white, gray, and white. For more information on this artist go https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McArthur_Binion
Another piece that caught my eye in the collection was a grouping of three different Cinema photos that were created in black and white prints by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Dr Galpin goes on to describe this artist as having a Japanese background. The collection of prints are located right off the Lobby in a private area which is open to the public. The first print on the left is entitled Castro Theater and is a gelatin silver print, edition 17 of 25, 1992. Next, is the middle print entitled South Bay Drive-In and is a gelatin silver print, edition 1 of 25, 1992. Then, the right print entitled Regency, San Francisco and is a gelatin silver print, edition 2 of 25, 1992.
When one looks at each photo one ask our self how did he create these photos? As a professional photographer, I can describe how he came up with the finished image. The technique used in his work is from one long exposure frame, which is taken from the full length of the movie being shown at one time. Sugimoto bought a movie ticket for one of the films and brought his large format camera, tripod, and cable release into the movie theater.
He positioned himself usually in the back of the theater or on the second floor balcony. Before the movie started at adjusted his aperture to the smallest hole, which is the largest number aperture on the lens. Once the movie started he would open the shutter to bulb and expose the film until the end of the movie. Sugimoto made sure not to shake the camera on the tripod when photographing the interior and or exterior of the movie theater. If he shook or even bumped the camera with the tripod he would have to start all over again from the beginning of the movie. For more information on this artists go to http://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/.
Finally, the last work of art is a grouping of hand castings made by Capote Yoan entitled Abstinencia (Libertad). These castings were created in bronze and framed alphabet (engraving and drypoint), 2014, which are positioned on the wall. Dr Galpin goes on to describe this artist having a Cuban background. These hand castings are from anonymous Cubans. Each hand casting relates to a different hand signing. Each of the casting spells out signs such as politica, economia, democracia and libertated, Abstencia (Liberated). There is a variation of color for each hand signals. For more information on this artist work go http://yoan-capote.com/en
If your unable to make it to one of the many tours. There is a self pace tour with a pre-programmed audio device which describes each piece in detail. To acquire this device go to Concierge Desk in the front of the Lobby when you walk in the door. The Concierge person on duty will be happy to assist you.
All of these artists in this art collection are well known in the art world. Many more of their works can be found around the world at museums and in art galleries. It is worth a visit to the Alfond Inn to take this free guided art tour. After taking an art tour one will find it inspiring and maybe will want to create your own work of art. Beside the Sunday at 1pm art tours, they also offer a Happy Hour Art Tours every Wednesday at 5:30pm. There are two great free opportunities during the week to checkout when you’re looking for an activity to do in the Central Florida area. For more information go to: www.thealfondinn.com/art-collection
Some sources of information came from Dr. Galpin with Rollins College Cornell Fine Arts Museum, and Wikipedia. If you like this article, then like it on our Otownfun WordPress account. For more great event listings please check us out at www.otownfun.com .
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