Art lovers, history buffs and people that just like to hang out celebrated 34 years of art and culture in Ormond Beach at the Starry, Starry Night gallery walk on Friday, Jan. 12.
Attendees strolled through Ormond Beach’s “culture corner” — The Casements, the MacDonald House and the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens — and had the option to take a peek inside the Hotel Ormond Cupola located at Fortunato Park.
Dr. Philip Shapiro, OMAM board secretary, said they had over 310 visitors by 7:30 p.m. He said the event was about community awareness from a cultural standpoint.
“I’ve lived in Ormond beach since 1981 and I must say we have expanded tremendously with cultural enhancement and heritage in the community,” he said. “What we have here is Museum Row. It goes from the art museum, the MacDonald House, The Casements and the Cupola. It’s a unique district in the community.”
Founder of the Ormond Beach Historical Society, Alice Louise Olmsted Burt, known as Lupe to her friends, was instrumental in saving many of Ormond’s historic landmarks before she died in 2023. Shapiro said The Casements was saved, in large part, by Burt’s initiative. It is considered to be the city’s cultural center.
I’ve lived in Ormond beach since 1981 and I must say we have expanded tremendously with cultural enhancement and heritage in the community. What we have here is museum row. It goes from the art museum, the MacDonald House, The Casements and the Cupola. It’s a unique district in the community. - Dr. Philip Shapiro, Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens board secretary
Members of the Beaux Arts of Central Florida featured their work in the “Reflections of Starry, Starry Night” exhibit at The Casements during the event. Guests enjoyed finger foods, and music by Paul Ricci and Glenn Lowry, who played saxophone and piano, respectively.
This is Lowry’s first year performing at the Starry, Starry Night event. Originally from Canada, he has lived in Ormond for six years and recently acquired his American citizenship.
“I love it here,” he said. “Especially this area. I bring people here all the time for the tours. I canoe, kayak, sail and walk the beaches. This is my retired life.”
Ormond Beach residents Suzanne Engel and Timo Hogan said the event sign on the Granada bridge piqued their interest.
“Starry, starry night brought me in,” Hogan said. “I got a thing for Van Gogh. I wanted to grab the advertisement off the bridge — it’s got a Van Gogh look to it.”
The artwork for the event poster features “Starry Night Over the Halifax,” created by Sherrill Schoening.
Those interested in the history of the area stopped by the MacDonald House to take a look at the recently renovated Hotel Ormond model and the “Women of Ormond Beach: Eileen Hubbard Butts” exhibit.
Pam Woodsome, Ormond Beach Historical Society second vice president, was on-hand to answer questions. She said the gallery walk event is a good way for the Historical Society to generate membership along with the return of the historic bus tours. They currently have approximately 427 members.
“Membership is our main revenue source,” she said. “We did increase membership by about 30% in 2023 over the previous year. We want to let everyone know we are now accepting new members.”
OMAM hosted the Cultuvue photography exhibition and an opening reception for artist John Wilton, whose modular art panels adorn the walls that lead to the rooftop terrace. Starry, Starry Night guests were treated to the sounds of musician Kyle Bogdan and a view of Ormond.
OMAM Executive Director Stephanie Mason-Teague said they have added two new programs for veterans and is eager to generate interest in the community. They are offering a creative workshop, paired with an exhibition tour, which is free to veterans and their families. Quarterly, they will host a lunch and learn. The museum will buy veterans lunch, follow it up with guest speakers who will cover a wide range of topics and then have them complete a project.
“We are dedicated to nature in our botanical gardens, art in our exhibitions and also honoring veterans,” she said. “As the third leg of our stool, there’s always an opportunity to bring our veterans’ programs to the forefront. It’s so important to us.”