Don’t Miss These at the Appleton Museum


If you want to see unique artwork and exhibits from local and historical artists with a variety of backgrounds and cultures, then look no further than the Appleton Museum of Art.

The Appleton Museum of Art was opened in Central Florida in 1987 and now hosts over 24,000 objects, an outdoor sculpture walk, and garden. According to the Appleton Museum’s website their mission is to “bring art and people together to inspire, challenge and engage present and future generations through [their] wide range of collections, exhibitions, programs and educational opportunities.” And they do just that.
One of the most interesting things about the Appleton Museum is their curated exhibits. Jason Steuber, director of the Appleton Museum of Art, was kind enough to give us some more insight on how these exhibits are created.
“Working at least three years in advance, the museum team continually reviews the world-class collection and conceptualizes exhibition ideas, which are then researched, developed and scheduled. In addition, the team keeps informed on traveling exhibitions, as well as artists working in Florida, and considers how these shows and individuals could complement the exhibit schedule. The choice ultimately comes down to providing an array of exhibits that are meaningful to today’s audiences.”
Steuber also shared that there are at least ten exhibits going on at any given time, ranging from permanent collections to artwork that is on loan. The team at the Appleton has various outlets to collect the artwork they have. This artwork can be acquired through gifts, purchased by funds from donors or loaned by the artists themselves.
Steuber says: “Art that is being considered for addition to the permanent collection undergoes a rigorously vetted process of internal and external review by Appleton staff experts and the museum’s Collections Committee. Art that enters the collection is of high quality and meets certain criteria that the museum has established for building the collection.”
Some exhibits that are currently being featured at the Appleton are “Blow Up II: Inflatable Contemporary Art”, “Sintiendo la Exposicion,” which includes works from the permanent collection by Argentinian, Cuban and Mexican artists, and “Finding Beauty,” which is a collaboration with the Ocala Civic Theatre. “Finding Beauty” showcases artwork that inspired the costumes and original concept drawings for the Ocala Civic Theatre’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.”
One remarkable exhibit that is coming to its conclusion is “Connecting Pop!” This collection was curated by summer intern Alexandria Truesdell, who is also a student at the College of Central Florida. When asked, Truesdell said that the idea for “Connecting Pop!” came from planning the schedule of the museum’s summer camp with Registrar David Reutter. This exhibit was meant to incorporate the camp’s themes of superheroes and pop art. Truesdell shared that she had a few artists in mind and conducted research of artists’ backgrounds as she curated this exhibit.
Truesdell said this about the exhibit: “My intended theme of “Connecting Pop!” is how 20th and 21st century artists—including comic book writers and illustrators—use popular subjects to connect their messages of social commentary with audiences in a powerful, relatable way. The Pop Art movement was about challenging traditional art expectations, and many of those artists in this exhibit mentioned comic books among the influential mass-media images of their childhoods. It was fascinating to then explore how recent artists like the featured John “Crash” Matos and Ummarid Eitharong have continued this innovative use of popular subjects and styles. Dulce Pinzón’s photographs of Mexican immigrant workers in superhero costumes felt similarly poignant, and I was glad that we could display several together.”
This exhibit was intriguing and fascinating to visit. It is amazing to see all the work that goes into making the Appleton Museum of Art an outlet of creativity and inspiration. All of the exhibits offered by the museum share a wide variety of artwork that is beautiful and unique in its own way. Make sure to visit the Appleton Museum of Art soon so as to not miss out on any of these amazing works of art.