MOAS Member Trip: Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA)

Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 4:05PM

By Monica Mitry, MOAS Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

It was a beautiful day for MOAS members to enjoy a private tour of the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) in New Smyrna Beach. If you have not been, it is certainly amongst one of the many must-see cultural organizations of Volusia County.

Pabst Visitor Center & Gallery - Photo Credit: Atlantic Center for the Arts

Our members were greeted by Kathryn Peterson, Membership and Marketing Director, with fresh-brewed coffee in the Founder’s Room at the Pabst Visitor Center and Gallery. While waiting for the entire group to arrive, everyone enjoyed meeting other fellow MOAS members. Kathryn then began the tour through the Urban Amphitheater as she explained how the ACA came to be, due to the hard work of Doris Leeper, international sculptor, and painter. Her name may sound familiar to you. This is because Doris also funded the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve that surrounds the ACA.


Jim and Alexis Pugh Sculpture Studio - Photo Credit: Atlantic Center for the Arts

The tour continued through the remaining campus showcases the different studios that the artist in residents utilize during their three-week term at ACA. If you are not familiar with the program, the ACA bring master artists from around the world four times per year to work with up to eight artists in their area of expertise to completely unplug from the world and develop their artistic talents. The artists can range from any discipline of art whether it may be visual, music, dance, sculpture, writing, or media. Master artists included Edward Albee, Jack Mitchell, Robert Ward, June Havoc, and much more.

We first explored the Wilkinson Resource Library followed by the Everbach Painting Studio where a painting workshop was being held. Although the painters were not in the studio, members were able to see the process of the paintings and take a behind the scenes look into how the artworks come to life. Next, we toured the Pugh Sculpture Studio, Roberson Dance Studio, Hubbard Music Studio, Raffa Writing Studio, and Field House Media Lounge. Although there were not any artists working in the studios, it was great to be able to see the pace they work in and the beautiful views that they enjoy while working. Each studio, including the painting studio, provides artists with an abundance of natural light and inspiration for their work.



We ended the tour back at the Founder’s Room where ACA was kind enough to provide everyone with a free copy of the book Icons & Idols: A Photographer’s Chronicle of the Arts by Jack Mitchell. We then all enjoyed lunch in the Whatmore Commons, the same room that the artists also enjoy their meals, catered by Tom Kurtzhals Catering. Tom created a wonderful curry squash and sweet potato soup, deli sandwich bar, fresh fruit, and homemade brownies for dessert.

We had such a wonderful time with all of our MOAS members who attended this member trip. Would you like to join in the fun and meeting new people? Our next MOAS member events are all throughout Member Appreciation Week, April 3, 2017, through April 8, 2017.  Enjoy a variety of lectures and a special MOAS member after-hours mixer! For more details on these special member-only events, check out our Member Events Calendar.


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