See the Heart and Soul of Grand Bohemian
Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 17:02
On a crisp Friday evening in February, the Grand Bohemian Gallery opened its doors to the public to introduce the three artists behind the featured exhibit, Heart and Soul.
This annual "Meet the Artist Reception" is hosted by The Grand Bohemian, an upscale hotel situated in the heart of downtown Orlando's up-and-coming arts district.
"It's really creative energy," said Florida-native artist Audrey Phillips.
The special, one-night meet and greet, held on Feb. 11, wrapped around the hotel, from the filled art gallery, through the hotel and into the Bosendorfer Lounge. Guests of the hotel and gallery can wander the ground floor for works to peruse or purchase.
The hotel boasts floors of art galleries and art-lined hallways and bathrooms, with artists from Klimt to Schiele.
The exhibit included the works of local painters Donna Dowless and Audrey Phillips, as well as Amber Higgins, a jewelry artist from Toronto.
"Women love hearts!" Higgins said of the success of her art.
The image of the heart in art and jewelry is timeless; the artists presented clearly draw upon the classic motif, drawing in some of Orlando's most eclectic and refined aesthetic palettes.
The diverse art included contemporary painting, art glass, ceramics, jewelry and sculptures, which according to Phillips, "capture that burst of energy that just is so raw and so pure."
Higgins is a self-taught glass bead artist, whose works of hand-crafted glass hearts in myriad colors and style were on display, spoke openly about her work for the event.
"It's about making pieces people love, that people can connect with," Higgins said.
Her fine glasswork is a new addition to the venue, and is presented by her in person for one night only. She will migrate to the next trunk show for her art at a Grand Bohemian location in Asheville, N.C., but leaves behind her artwork for sale at each location year round.
"Everything should be done with love … no matter what," Higgins said.
Chairperson of the Downtown Arts District and local artist Donna Dowless features her signature collection of heart and love-themed pieces at the hotel.
Dowless said that humanity inspires her line of artwork.
"It's so important to live from the heart and love from the heart," she said.
The Heart and Soul exhibit lasts until March 9. For more information, visit www.grandbohemianhotel.com or call 407-581-4801.