Primavera highlights area's spring cultural season

The Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival, which returns April 6 and 7, is one of many highlights of Primavera, the annual celebration of Alachua County's spring cultural season that begins Friday and runs through April 22. (File photo)

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 3:29 p.m.

The advent of spring also marks the return of Primavera, the month-long period in Gainesville in which arts and cultural events overflow on calendars like those perennial spring showers and not-so-long-after flowers.

As is in its first year, 2012, Primavera was coined as an umbrella concept to draw attention to Gainesville and Alachua County as a cultural destination by focusing on the events happening Friday through April 22, truly one of the most prolific periods for local arts and cultural events all year long.

This year's Primavera highlights dozens of events happening countywide from this week's Open Air Arts Festival and “Rite of Spring” from Dance Alive National Ballet, to next week's performance by Bela Fleck and Chick Corea at the Phillips Center and other events in April including the Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival and the Gainesville Orchestra's season-finale performance on April 22.

Annie Pais, director of Florida's Eden, the nonprofit citizen initiative that developed Primavera, notes that this year's celebration of the spring cultural season also includes five events clustered around area springs and water.

“This cluster features the work of many of our regional creatives, showcases their paintings, photography, books and music,” Pais says. “It's a testament to the work being accomplished by our resident scientists, naturalists, environmentalists, writers and artists — collectively bringing the issue of water awareness and springs protection into the public mainstream.”

Those events include:

“Springs Eternal: Florida's Fragile Fountains of Youth,” an exhibition of photographs by John Moran opening March 23 at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

“Finding the Fountains of Youth: Exploring the Myth of Florida's Fragile Waters,” an exhibition based on the upcoming book by Rick Kilby that explores how Ponce de Leon's quest for restorative waters shaped the state's image; also opening at the Florida Museum on March 23.

“The Quest for the Fountains of Youth in Florida History, Mythology and Art,” an exhibition of 62 original art works by Florida artists opening March 29 at both the Thomas Center and the Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center.

“Of Thirst, Beauty and Vision: Writing to Save Our Waters,” an event featuring four award-winning Gainesville authors — Cynthia Barnett, Jack E. Davis, Lola Haskins and Margaret Ross Tolbert — on April 22 at the Santa Fe College Building E Auditorium.

“Region 4 Superfund Art Project,” the art exhibition that runs through March 28 at the Santa Fe College Gallery.

Also new during the 2013 Primavera are a number of tours by local artists of their galleries and work spaces, including Pais, Eleanor Blair and others, Pais says.

There's much more to Primavera as well. For a complete rundown of the events, exhibitions and activities happening through March 22, see GainesvilleConnect.com

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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