Joseph Kleitsch (1882-1931) Red and Green, oil on canvas, 36” x 40”
California Impressionism: Selections from the Irvine Museum, January 22 - April 10, 2016
-  An Enthusiastic Response to Nature  -
Three new exhibitions to open at Museum of Art - DeLand

From Thanksgiving to the first week of January, the holiday season puts many of us into a joyful, yet stressful, whirlwind, only to return to the grind facing a heap of deadlines, gift returns, early tax preparations and more. Well, let your local Museum help you. Step off the vocational treadmill for a short period and escape into a serene, natural world of mountains, oceans, gardens and streams, under bright blue and midnight starry skies. Regenerate yourself with abundant views of tranquil works of art by numerous gifted plein air artists from the past 150 years.
This Friday evening, January 15, 2016, visitors to the Museum of Art – DeLand will be intrigued by secluded dreamlike forms created by graphic artist Will Barnet (1911 - 2012) and be reintroduced to the vast bold landscapes of artist Jim Couper (1937 - ) whose work first appeared in DeLand in the exhibition Florida Masters during the 2013-14 winter season. Opening at 5 p.m. at 600 N. Woodland Blvd., will be a reception for the exhibitions Will Barnet: Graphic Retrospective (70 Years) and Jim Couper: There are no other Everglades in the world. Couper, professor emeritus in the Department of Art and Art History at Florid International University (FIU) and founding director of the Art Museum at FIU, plans to attend the opening and will return to the Museum in February (date TBD) for a Gallery Talk.
“Couper’s paintings tell us how exciting and good life is - how deeply moving it can be,” said Museum CEO, George Bolge. “His extraordinary skill at transcribing emotion and sensation into a brilliantly effective and universally comprehensible form allows us to share a great deal of what he saw and felt during his career.”
Another exceptional distraction from your daily mill awaits you one week later, on Friday, January 22, six blocks south. Presenting oils on canvas dating back to 1842 in the Museum’s downtown galleries at 100 N. Woodland Blvd., will be the remarkable exhibition California Impressionism: Selections from the Irvine Museum. The opening reception is between 5 and 7 p.m.
In the early 20th century, California produced a unique artistic style that combined several distinctive aspects of American and European art. The style – often called California Impressionism or California plein air painting, after the French term “in the open air” – concerned itself with light and color. 
Joan Irvine Smith, former president of The Irvine Museum, said that California Impressionist paintings, “with their beauty, their significance as artworks and historical records, and their reverence for nature… stand in silent testament to our regard for the environment, and their elegant account must not go unheeded.” View these masterpieces firsthand at DeLand’s Museum of Art and be as moved as she and countless others through the years.
An additional highlight to this exhibition is that the current president of The Irvine, James Irvine Swinden, will attend the opening and will be hosting a one-hour gallery talk the next evening, on Saturday, January 23, between 5 and 6 p.m. by RSVP (386.734.4371). Space is limited and the event will close once capacity has been met. Swinden gives lectures regarding the artistic and environmental significance of the Irvine Museum’s collection. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Juris Doctor from the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. 
Opening Night Receptions, and the Special Gallery Talk with Mr. Swinden, are $10 (free to Museum Members); New memberships are offered at a discount opening night. The Museum continues to offer its 1-2-3 Promotion: One admission ($5) to tour two Museums for three days. All three exhibits continue through the first week of April.
To experience other inspiring, hassle-free getaways, and obtain programming details related to the popular Rebel of the Modern Lecture Series, a two-day watercolor workshop in February and two Calls for Artists (for Wearable Art 5 and Exposed: A Body of Art), please visit the Museum’s website at [Press:
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- Two great opportunities for artists - 

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Museum of Art - DeLand 600 N. Woodland Blvd. DeLand, FL 32720 386.734.4371
Museum of Art - DeLand Downtown 100 N. Woodland Blvd. DeLand, FL 32720 386.279.7534