An act of kindness and more light up the Rollins Museum of Art

Today we’re talking about art and empathy – two things the world could do better with.

A small but intriguing exhibition at the Rollins Museum of Art in Winter Park, titled ‘One Act of Kindness: A World of Difference’, features a selection of artworks that explore our relationships with others, especially those who differ from U.S.

“One Act of Kindness” is one of four new exhibitions on view this fall at the Rollins Museum of Art, formerly known as the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.

During a recent tour, guide Lauren McLevey explained that the “Kindness” works are intended to show how artists “use empathy and compassion to understand the world around them and keep their hearts and minds open to people different from themselves”.

I was particularly drawn to Guillermo Galindo’s “Zapatófono”, part of his “Border Cantos” series of invented instruments made from items left behind by immigrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border.

The basis of “Zapatófono” is a single Galindo shoe picked up near the border.

“It makes you wonder what happened, how did it get there?” McLevey said.

The use of this particular element puts what may be an abstract political issue on a human scale.

“We see shoes as very human, very personal,” McLevey said. And there’s something particularly haunting about a shoe without its companion.

by Barbara Sorensen

Also on display at the museum are “Billows” and “What’s New?”

“Billows” is a sculptural interpretation of the natural world created by Barbara Sorensen and departs from the artist’s mural series, “Ripples”. In “Billows”, suspended metal pieces transmit the invisible power of the wind. The work was influenced by the monumental cloud formations the artist observed while hiking in Aspen, Colorado.

Sorensen is familiar to Central Florida art lovers, with exhibits at the Orlando Museum of Art and the Mennello Museum of American Art in her past. His work also adorns the entrance to the Lowndes Shakespeare Center.

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In the “What’s New?” exhibition, visitors will discover six works that the museum recently received from the Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation of Orlando. The six are part of a larger collection of more than 20 works by important American artists of the late 18th and 19th centuries that the foundation has entrusted to the museum at Rollins College. Works on display include historic paintings by William Merritt Chase, Thomas Moran, James Peale, Elihu Vedder and William Williams.

Finally, we turn to the first museum exhibit to bring together modern works from Iran, India, and Turkey — and that’s thanks to a collector named Abby Weed Grey. The Rollins Museum of Art is home to selected works from New York University’s Gray Art Gallery that show how, in the 1960s and 1970s, artists from these three nations created works that drew on their heritages while exploring contemporary aesthetics.

The exhibition is titled, quite obviously, “Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian Art, 1960s-1970s”.

At a recent talk, Gray Art Gallery director Lynn Gumpert shared her thoughts on what drew Gray to art from these countries.

Rollins Museum of Art welcomes

“I think she wanted the world to get along better,” she said. “She was an incredibly open person. She listened, watched and learned throughout her life.

And thanks to her, we now have a window into the spirit of a bygone era in places most of us will never see.

  • What: The museum’s latest four exhibitions are ‘Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian Art, 1960s-1970s’, ‘Barbara Sorensen: Billows’, ‘One Act of Kindness: A World of Difference’ and ‘What’s New? Recent Acquisitions of the Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation »
  • Where: On the campus of Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave. at Winter Park
  • When: Until December 31
  • Cost: Free
  • Information:

Find me on Twitter @matt_on_arts, or write to me at [email protected]. Want more theater and arts news and reviews? Go to For more fun things, follow @fun.things.orlando on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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