Summer 2023

Children at the Hand Art Center
Photography by Grant Wolf

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Hand Art Center Announces New Community Exhibits for Summer

Three galleries welcome visitors of all ages for education, entertainment and fun.

DELAND, Florida, June 5, 2023 – Stetson University’s Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center is opening its arms wide this summer with this message to the community: “Welcome!”

The three galleries are specially designed to entertain and interact with visitors of all ages, particularly families, who can experience the art separately but in close proximity. 

The art center is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. — except for being closed June 24 through July 10. The exhibitions then continue July 11 to Aug. 25.

In addition, a special party is planned for Wednesday, June 21 to celebrate the birthday of Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938). Bluemner was a Modernist painter whose collection of more than 1,000 pieces was gifted to Stetson in 1997 by his daughter, Vera Bluemner Kouba, a DeLand resident.

Each of the galleries showcases something different this summer.

The Main Hall houses the quirky “Into the Bowl: Curating Toiletpaper Magazine,” curated, cultivated and transformed into a playground by Stetson alumni. It’s a fun and insightful look at how art exhibitions are born. 

In the Bluemner Gallery, children will find “Squares, Swirls and Saturation,” an interactive exhibition with free arts and crafts activities, allowing them to draw, play at a chalk wall, make magnetic buildings and go on an art-themed scavenger hunt. 

The Gary Libby Gallery features rarely seen artwork from the Permanent Collection, some by local artists. Among those artists are Ron Meyers, Gary Bolding, Brenda Star and Sean Erwin. The exhibit is called “Dusting Off: Pieces from the Permanent Collection.” 

According to Natália Marques da Silva, PhD, director of the Hand Art Center, the Bluemner birthday party on June 21 — including cupcakes — will “be a treat for children and adults alike.” For the party only, RSVPs are required. 

“We want to contribute to the cultural landscape in DeLand,” said da Silva, who joined Stetson in February 2023. “There are wonderful places to enjoy art in our community, and we are one of those places. I think the summer is a great time to have an inspiring  conversation about art — for all ages — with our community.”

The Hand Art Center is at 139 E. Michigan Ave., DeLand, 32723. Complimentary parking is available in the East Arizona Avenue parking lot off of Amelia Avenue and visitor parking spaces throughout campus. Contact: 836-822-7271;


Squares, Swirls, and Saturations: Oscar Bluemner’s Landscapes

Curators: Sam Berman, Marisa Ingram, Christina Knowles, Natalie Brooks and Beatriz Vossen

Dusting Off: Pieces from the Permanent Collection

Curators: Leah Marisi, Grant A. Wolf and Malachi Jimenez

Into the Bowl: Curating Toiletpaper Magazine

Curators: Lily Paternoster, Hallie Martin and Mario Saponaro

Faculty Adviser: Katya Kudryavtseva, PhD

Funding: Lavalle Experiential Learning Fund

Note: Programming and exhibitions are partially supported by the Florida Division of Arts & Culture.

About Stetson University

Founded in 1883, Stetson University is the oldest private university in Central Florida. Stetson focuses on intense learning experiences in a supportive community that allows students to develop their voice in a connected, inclusive environment. Stetson University ranks No. 4 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 list of Best Regional Universities (South) and has been recognized as one of The Princeton Review’s Best 388 Colleges for 2023.


Contact: Cory Lancaster

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