8:19 AM PST, February 7, 2013
If you haven't received any not-so-subtle reminders yet, next week is Valentine's week. Why not plan a romantic evening that includes an art event or two, with some wine, nibbles, dinner and dessert? Top off the evening with a gift of art as a reminder of your love.
•"Heart and Soul" celebrates its 10th anniversary Friday at the Grand Bohemian Gallery in downtown Orlando. Each year this exhibition features the very different works of Central Floridians Donna Dowless and Audrey Phillips and an invited artist. Canadian Amber Higgins and her sculpted glass jewelry join the festivities from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the gallery inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel. Dowless' signature heart-and-love-themed mixed-media paintings have a national following — including many A-list celebs. The wine reception is free, but valet parking, dinner and drink are extra. The exhibit hangs until March 10. The gallery is at 325 S. Orange Ave.; call 407-581-4801 for details.
•The 2nd Thursday Wine and Art Walk of Thornton Park conveniently falls on Valentine's Day, 6:30-9:30 p.m. For a $10 donation, you can pick up a venue map and refillable-for-free wine/beer glass at Wildside Bar & Grille (700 E. Washington St., Orlando). In addition to the various bars and cafés, there are retail shops, live music and artists on the sidewalks.
Soft colors, hard steel
The Bowersock Gallery in downtown Mount Dora brings in professional artists from out of state and sometimes pairs them with a Florida artist. "Whispers of Wilds" show opens Friday, 6-8 p.m., and matches New England watercolorist Dustan Knight and Eustis sculptor Doug Hays. Gallerist Steve Bowersock says of this pairing: "These artists could not be more different on the surface, soft colors and hard steel. Yet, their work addresses and captures the same thing — the spirit of the natural world." Hays has shown widely in this area and several of his works are public art, including his 14-foot-tall sculpture of a heron on Eustis' waterfront. Bowersock is at 137 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora.; call 352-729-2415 for details.
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