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Life Explorers Speaker Series: Radical Textiles

September 21, 2023 @ 10:00 am 11:30 am

Topic: Radical Textiles

Speaker: Jan Clanton

Date: Thursday, September 21, 2023

Doors open: 9:45 A.M.

Program Time: 10:00 – 11:30 A.M.

Location: Azaela Lodge, Mead Botanical Garden, 1300 S. Denning Drive Winter Park, FL

Cost: Free – Join us for refreshments and conversation

The Mead Botanical Garden Life Explorers Series will start the season with a program by noteworthy Central Florida art historian Jan Clanton. Her presentation, Radical Textiles, will focus on the ingenuity of artists who create without using traditional media to produce their works. Contemporary textiles are not limited to silks and satins, but take on intriguing new formats based on the unusual materials the artists use. For instance, textiles have become sculpture in the hands of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, who uses detritus like bottle caps as his medium. The quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, were so poor that they had no money for supplies but created masterpieces out of old, faded denim. Artists like these have used their ingenuity and artistic vision to challenge the limitations of creativity in the traditional sense. These fascinating stories may inspire those attending to think outside the box on a broader focus beyond the art world about opportunities to recycle valuable resources in different ways in their own day-to-day lives.

Clanton is well-known in the Central Florida community for her 29-year career at the Orlando Museum of Art, retiring in 2014 as Associate Curator. She was instrumental in developing and leading a variety of educational programs at the museum in addition to curating many exhibits. She has teamed with many community partners including Winter Park Health Foundation, Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs, City of Winter Park and many others. She has won numerous achievement awards for her role in community art education and outreach programs for the homeless, elderly and people with disabilities, in addition to advisory roles for public art programs in Winter Park and Orange County. Since retiring she has continued offering art appreciation classes and leading Art’s the Spark at Orlando Museum of Art on a monthly basis for those with dementia and their healthy caregivers.