There are a lot of happy members of the Vero Beach Art Club. After waiting months, they finally get what they’ve been working hard to bring to life – a permanent space to display their art. It’s the Art Club Annex, the home to an exhibition called “Art-TiNi,” opening this Friday, Sept. 4 during the First Friday Gallery Stroll, which is held in the 14th Avenue Art District. The show will feature art inspired by the pandemic and depicting its impact both personal and historical. One thing’s for sure: The more than 50 artists with works in “Art-TiNi” are pretty excited about finally having a proper show. “We opened in March, brand new, but closed down within a week,” said club president Paulette Visceglia. “We had no choice. It was rough. We had put a lot of time and energy into the annex and, all of a sudden, it’s gone.” The Vero Beach Art Club is an 84-year-old organization with regular shows at various locales. But everyone needs a proper home. It had a space briefly in the 1980s where they could show work and hold classes. So the Annex has been long desired. The club took over the space in December, and for two months volunteers worked to transform it into a gallery and workshop space. “Everything that needed to be done,” Visceglia said. “We did it on a shoestring.” Fortunately, they qualified for government assistance to help pay rent these past five months. Before reopening it, though, they had to get some guidance in how to maintain safety for both patrons and members. They turned to Mainstreet Vero Beach and came up with a plan that includes limited capacity, facemasks and social distancing. Even the opening won’t be conventional. The celebratory light refreshments will all be individually wrapped. “You have to think of everything!” Visceglia said. “It used to be real easy. You’d get a couple of trays of cheese and crackers.” The show runs through Sept. 24. Regular hours will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. The Vero Beach Art Club Annex is at 1791 Old Dixie Highway, Vero Beach. Call 772-217-3345 or visit VeroBeachArtClub.org.
The time is now to sign up for the Vero Beach Museum of Art’s International Lecture Series. On the schedule this season are four big names very well steeped in art, history and cooking. Curator Karen E. Quinn, a leading expert on the Hudson River School of art, will speak on “Glorious Marvels of the Land: The Hudson River School.” Her lecture coincides with the museum’s exhibition “The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School of Landscapes from the New York Historical Society,” which is scheduled to be on view from Jan. 23 to May 2, 2021. Quinn’s lecture begins 4:30 p.m. Jan. 25, 2021. John B. Ravenal, the artistic director of the de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass., will speak on “Outdoor Art in a Changing Landscape.” The de Cordova is well known for its 30 acres of outdoor space, which typically hold up to 60 impressive sculptures. Its permanent outdoor art collection includes works by Andy Goldsworthy, Nam June Paik, Beverly Pepper and Jaume Plensa, who has a piece in the Vero Beach Museum sculpture garden as well. His lecture begins 4:30 p.m. Feb. 15, 2021. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak on “No Ordinary Time: Three Leaders Who Shaped the American Century: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.” Kearns Goodwin’s presidential biographies includes her celebrated book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” She will speak at 4:30 p.m. March 1, 2021. The final speaker will be chef Art Smith, who many will recognize from television, especially “Top Chef.” A specialist in Southern cuisine, Smith worked for Florida Govs. Bob Graham and Jeb Bush. He was personal chef to Oprah Winfrey. His lecture will be “Tastes of America: From Land and Sea to Table,” and begins 4:30 p.m. March 15, 2021. The series costs $275 for members until Sept. 30, 2020. Membership begins at $50. The series will probably sell out soon. Call 772-231-0707 or visit VBMuseum.org and click onto “Programs & Events.”
For more art, and done in a very easy manner, go to YouTube and enjoy “Cocktails with a Curator: Ingres’s ‘Comtesse d’Haussonville.’” It is hosted by the Frick Collection curator Aimee Ng and it is as smart and engaging as can be. The video lasts just under 23 minutes. It begins with an entreaty to make yourself a cocktail, preferably made with Absinthe in order to celebrate the time and locale where Ingres painted this amazing work. The video is part of a series made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.