The Maitland Art Center has so much going on, I could easily fill my column with all the happenings at that historic institution. Here's a shorter version: The center is bringing back its artist-in-residency program started by founder Andre Smith in 1938 and suspended in 1957. Meet the first of (hopefully) many new artists-in-residence, Josette Urso, at 7 p.m. Friday at MAC's Summer Concert Series featuring music from the popular Hindu Cowboys, food trucks, poetry readings and beverages. Admission is $3 (free to members). On Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., bring your own supplies and paint along with Urso in the center's beautiful gardens. Then on Wednesday, 6-7 p.m., participate in a free "Conversation with Josette Urso," in which the artist will talk about how she translates her reactions to her environment into paintings and drawings. A little trivia: Mary Curtis Bok (of the Bok Tower Boks) was the sponsor of original programs at the MAC, then known as the Research Studio. MAC is at 231 W. Packwood Ave.; call 407-539-2181 for details.
Here's your chance to attend an artist's debut showing of her work on Saturday, 8-11 p.m. Twenty years from now you can say, "I was at Kelly Joy Ladd's very first show of her now famous color saturated mixed-media works" inside Halo Salon and Spa (1910 Alden Road, Orlando, 407-898-4256). Meet Ladd, listen to DJ "OMG It's Becky" and purchase food and drinks provided by The Hideaway.
There's another historic "MAC," the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg. Founded in 1917, the huge facility is having a "friend raiser" on Friday, 6-10 p.m. Save $5 by getting your tickets online at MoreanArtsCenter.org, $25 per person or $45 per couple. You'll get to vote on the best MAC — mac and cheese — from the best restaurants in St. Pete. The Morean provides its community with more than 200 classes in many mediums each year and also runs four other St. Petersburg art institutions: the Chilhuly Collection, Glass Studio & Hot Shop, Bank of America Children's Learning Center and the Train Station Center for Clay. The Morean is at 719 Central Ave.; call 1-727-821-5623 for details.
Pencils with flair
When I was a child, one of my favorite toys was a color-by-number coloring book that came with a set of numbered colored pencils. That had been my only experience with colored pencil "art" until I discovered works by professional artists who use them with magnificent results. Learn more about this medium, watch live demos, win prizes and view works by many of the more than 100 members of the Colored Pencil Painters Guild on Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 pm., at Colony Cottage Recreation Center, 510 Colony Blvd in The Villages. Call 352-750-1935 for more information..