Past Exhibitions

A Dickens Christmas: Urban Family Holiday Collection

November 15-January 4, 2015

The Appleton is pleased to once again host the Urban Family Holiday Collection, the private collection of Dr. Paul and Joyce Urban and their daughters, Katie, Kristie, Kassie and Karlie.

Joyce Urban's love of Christmas began when she was a child in the city of Philadelphia. On her way to see Santa, she would walk past the elaborate decorations in the department stores and the wonder of Christmas has stayed with her through the years. She began publicly displaying her collection in 1989 because she wanted to provide a place for children of all ages to have the same magical experience she did as a child.

Over the years, her Christmas Tour has raised money for many local charities including Harvest International, Interfaith, Pilot Club, Women's Pregnancy Center and the Counseling Resource Center where she once worked as a counselor.

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection

November 8-January 4, 2015

An engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, through more than 40 inspiring paintings, sculptures, works on paper and photographs. Curated by Jared Packard-Winkler.

ReTooled celebrated the prevalence of tools in our lives with art that magically transforms utilitarian objects into fanciful works that speak of beauty, insight and wit. Providing a dynamic entry point into the rich themes, materials and processes of 20th century art, ReTooled profiles 28 visionary artists from the Hechinger Collection including major artists such as Arman, Richard Estes, Howard Finster, Red Grooms, Jacob Lawrence, Fernand Lèger and H.C. Westerman; photographers Berenice Abbot and Walker Evans; as well as pop artists Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist. Retooled was organized by International Arts & Arists, Washington, DC, from Tools as Art: The Hechinger Collection, gift of John and June Hechinger.

A Creative Life: Gladys Shafran Kashdin

July 26-November 2

This exhibition features a selection of paintings, collages and drawings by Dr. Gladys Shafran Kashdin, whose love of nature inspired a lifetime of making art. Kashdin studied at the Art Students League in New York and at Florida State University. She was also Professor Emerita of Humanities at the University of South Florida. Her work deals with time, process and nature. Dr. Kashdin's artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally for over 60 years. Her works are in the permanent collection of the Tampa Museum of Art, the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, the Appleton Museum of Art, the Mississippi Museum of Art, public institutions, as well as corporate and private collections.

2014 Biennial: OUTSIDE THE BOX

July 19-October 19

The Appleton Museum of Art is pleased to present works by Patricia Schnall Gutierrez, Michael Bauman and Kate Helms, Richard Herzog, Terri Lindbloom, Judith Salmon, Zachary Gilliland and Mikaela Raquel Williams; some of the best Florida artists working in this innovative and thought provoking medium.

The juror for this year’s Biennial is Matthew McLendon, Ph.D. Currently, he is the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fl. The juror selected winners for Best of Show, Second Place, and Honorable Mention. The People’s Choice Award was determined by museum visitors.

  • Best of Show: Mikaela Raquel Williams, Rainbow
  • Second Place: Terri Lindbloom, Untitled
  • Honorable Mention: Michael Bauman & Kate Helms, FL2907EL
  • People's Choice: Zachary Gilliland, Brokedown Palace

  • Click here to view the 2014 Biennial catalog.

    Symphonic Style: The Art of Benny Collin

    May 24-July 13

    This exhibition features over thirty works by American artist Benny Collin (1896-1979), who was devoted to colorful and rhythmic, mathematic abstraction. Collin, who was born Benjamin Cohen, was a Danish émigré who came to the U.S. fleeing Nazi persecution during the war. Upon arriving in the United States, he pursued a career in art working on altarpieces for churches in the northeast by day and geometric abstractions based on the “Golden Spiral” by night. Informed by the strong tradition of European abstraction, he created many colorful acrylic-washes on paper with compositions based on a complex mathematical formula that yielded vibrant, kaleidoscopic images evoking the repetition of musical scores by Bach and Mozart.

    Exhibition Lecture, Isis Unveiled: Abstract Mathematics and the Esoteric Dimension of Art
    Thursday, July 10, 6-7:30 p.m.
    Dr. Scott Olsen, author and College of Central Florida professor of Philosophy and Religion, will give an illustrated lecture in the museum’s auditorium, followed by a book signing. This event is free and open to the public; no RSVP required.

    IndustrIal Nature: Work by Michelle Stitzlein

    March 1 - July 6

    Michelle Stitzlein, Baltimore, OH, creates found object art/sculpture from recycled materials. Stitzlein's series of more than 14 moths and lichen range in size from 3’ to 11’. She began working on this series in 2003, inspired by "myriad varieties of beautiful, exotic moths and lichen in my own backyard." These pieces are cobbled together in the most pristine way from old piano keys, tin cans, license plates and bicycle tires, among other things. The exhibit will also include several pieces from her new series using recycled electric wire and other found objects.

    She has also written two books, Bottle Cap, Little Bottle Cap; and Cool Caps outlining projects for children, families, schools and non-profits utilizing recycled, plastic bottle caps. In late Feb. Stitzlein will spend two days creating a bottle cap mural for the Appleton with the help of students at North Marion Middle School. Stitzlein will also participate in the March 1 First Saturday from 1-3 pm where families will be able to create bottle cap magnets. The exhibit and mural project are funded in part by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    New Art of the Loom

    April 26 - June 29

    This exhibit reveals the woven dreams of artists from 18 countries who combine the ancient craft of weaving with artistic expressions of today, resulting in a display of visually captivating and thought-provoking murals. Organized and curated by Dirk Holger.

    [in]justice:art and atrocity in the 20th century

    February 8 - May 11

    “[in]justice: art and atrocity in the 20th century,” features works by 20th century masters such as Leonard Baskin, Leon Golub, Robert Morris and Alison Saar.

    Guest curator Tyrus Clutter, College of Central Florida assistant professor of Visual and Performing Arts, chose the works for their ability to explore elements of the darker side of humanity.

    “Sometimes life is beautiful, and sometimes beauty is simply not enough. And sometimes art is the most powerful tool to call attention to man’s inhumanity,” said Clutter. “Artists of the 20th century were often heralds of injustice, holding up a mirror to the acts that many wished would quietly fade away.”

    A Gathering of Legends

    Jan. 25 - May 4

    A piece of Americana with ties to historical figures such as Joe Louis, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson and President Ronald Reagan will be on display, Jan. 25-May 4. The “Gathering of Legends” exhibit will feature an Irish linen tablecloth with nearly 700 autographs embroidered on it, alongside photographs of the politicians, athletes and celebrities who signed it over the past 84 years. The tablecloth and photos belong to Silver Springs resident Walter Light Jr., a retired musician, whose mother, Joy, started the collection in 1929.

    The museum will host a reception with Walter Light Jr. Saturday, Jan. 25, from 2-4 p.m.


    Young in Art

    April 18 - May 19

    The Appleton Museum of Art is pleased to showcase artwork produced by Marion County public schools. Exhibition pieces have been chosen by art teachers to represent the best of their individual programs.


    11th Congressional District Art Competition

    April 30-May 4

    The 11th Congressional District Art Competition is hosted by Congressman Richard Nugent and includes artwork by highschool students from Hernando, Sumter, Citrus and Marion Counties. Judging for the competition takes place April 30, and one winner will have their entry sent to Washington, D.C. to be hung in the Capitol for one year.

    The winner will be announced at the exhibition reception being held at the Appleton on May 2 from 6-8 p.m.

    All 11th District entries will be on view through May 4, 2014.

    Exploration: The Art of R. Gregory Christie

    February 01 - April 27

    R. Gregory Christie, who owns and operates Gas Art Gifts Bookstore and Art Studio in Decatur, Ga., has illustrated more than 40 books in the past 17 years. Christie won a Coretta Scott King Honor Award in Illustration for his first book, “The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children.” His book “Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth” was selected as a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book.

    As part of his residency with the museum, Christie will unveil a mural he created specifically for the Appleton, using the museum’s collection as inspiration. The mural may be viewed Saturday, Feb. 1, from 1-3 p.m. during the museum’s First Saturday event. Families are invited to come participate in a hands-on art activity with Christie at that time. Christie will also present a workshop on bookmaking and illustration to students at Howard Middle School Jan. 30 and 31.


    Very Special Arts

    Feb. 25 - March 23

    An exhibit of children’s art work organized by the State Organization on Arts and Disabilities.

    The Living Art of Bonsai

    January 17 - April 13

    Bonsai from the collections of members of the Marion Bonsai Society will be on display in the Courtyard.


    A Celebration of Japan

    January 18 - April 13

    Decorative sword guards, pen & ink containers, kimonos and wood block prints from the collections of the Appleton Museum of Art and Mulvane Art Museum.


    Canstruction Ocala

    February 22 - March 9

    Canstruction Ocala is a creative design and build competition where artists construct giant-sized structures made entirely out of canned foods. The amazing creations will be on display at the museum as a larger-than-life art exhibit. After feeding the imagination of museum visitors, the 4,247 cans equalling 1,232 lb. of food, will be dismantled and donated to local food banks.

    Canstruction Awards

    Jurors Favorite-B9 by the Cornerstone School

    Structural Integrity-CF Students (Ambassadors and Student Activity Board)

    Best Use of Labels-Girl Scout Troop 281

    Honorable Mention-Girl Scout Troop 281

    Best Meal-Appleton Museum of Art Staff

    Peoples Choice Award- Girl Scout Troop 281

    Age of Revolution

    September 5, 2013 - February 2, 2014

    This exhibition, organized in collaboration with the 2013 Ocala Civic Theater debut of  Les Miserables, brings together works from the Appleton’s nineteenth-century collection with others from the  Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville and the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach. 

    Selections from the Florida Watercolor Society’s 42nd Annual Exhibition

    November 23, 2013 - January 19, 2014

    The exhibition will present 35 of the best watercolors produced by artists from Florida and around the country. With over 1,100 members, the Florida Watercolor Society is one of the largest state-based watercolor societies in the United States. Membership is open to all artists residing in the state of Florida. Juried by the internationally-renowned watercolorist Linda Baker AWS, NWS, this exhibition represents a choice selection from FWS’ 2013 Annual Exhibition in Sarasota.


    A Dickens' Christmas

    Selections from the Urban Family Collection

    November 16, 2013- January 5, 2014

    “A Dickens’ Christmas: Selections from the Urban Family Collection” will be on display through Jan. 5, 2014.

    The museum’s lobby and first floor galleries will be filled with decorated trees, miniature villages, nutcracker soldiers and countless items collected over the years by Dr. Paul and Joyce Urban and their daughters Katie, Kristie, Kassie and Karlie.

    There will be free admission to “A Dickens’ Christmas” exhibit during Family Days Dec. 7 and 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. Families are invited to see the exhibit, meet Santa Claus and enjoy holiday treats.

    Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
    Works by Members of the Ocala Art Group

    November 2, 2013 - January 5, 2014

    This juried exhibit features works by members of the Ocala Art Group.

    Welcome to A Toast to the Arts a juried exhibit organized by the Ocala Art Group. The mission of the Ocala Art Group, organized in 1950, is to promote and assist artists through monthly demonstrations, organizing group exhibitions and special opportunities, like this one, to demonstrate what we have learned and how we see the world – past, present and future.

    We are constantly in search out there, when the art is right here, before our eyes. Look closely. Talk with the artists – listen to their stories of how and why they create their art. Then look at their work with this new knowledge to better understand their vision. This exhibit shows only a small portion of the artistic talent located in our own back yard and surrounding communities.

    Dr. Nadine Pantano, assistant adjunct professor of Art History at Florida Southern College, served as the juror of art work and awards. 90 works are on view here by 86 artists selected from 303 works submitted by artists. We invite you to come and join us! The Ocala Art Group (OAG) is a not-for-profit educational corporation and membership is open to all who share an interest in developing and promoting fine art. OAG meetings are held at the Appleton Museum of Art on the second Wednesday of each month with a meet and greet at 11:00 a.m., followed by the meeting at noon and an art-related demonstration. For more information please visit our web site at

    A Toast to the Arts


    New World Treasures: Artifacts from Hernando De Soto’s Florida Expedition

    February 9, 2013 - December 31, 2013

    See the first public exhibition of rare artifacts discovered recently in Marion County from Hernando De Soto’s travels through the Ocala area in August 1539. On display are medieval coins, delicate Murano glass beads, chain mail from Spanish armor and Native American artifacts.

    Ocala Star Banner article click here

    To view the text on the 'New World Treasures' information panels, please click here

    Art Of The Robot

    June 22, 2013 - September 22, 2013

    Showcased are 45 robots created by 16 artists expressing the issues and contradictions of living in modern society.

    Artists use their art work to reflect the world around them so it is only natural to discover that robots have become a part of reflection. Each of the artists invited to participate in this exhibit has a unique way of portraying their robot creations-through paintings, prints, found object sculptures, photographs and other materials. The Art of the Robot exhibit features works by: Don L. Jones, Pittsburgh; Amy Flynn, Raleigh, NC; Nemo Gould, Oakland, Calif; Eric Joyner, San Francisco; Tim Warchocki, Winter Garden, Fla; CyberCraft Robots, St. Petersburg, Fla; Richard Muller, Altadena, Calif; Brian Despain, Seattle, Wash.; Mark Brown, Easthampton, MA; Donna Sophronia-Sims, Birmingham, AL; Lisa Grothman Ryan, Wilmette, Ill; Will Wagenaar, Port Richey, Fla; Heather Heilman Loercher and Howie Hartman, Wrightsville, PA.

    Create Your Own Robot at the activity station in the exhibit!

    Join us for Family Day ROBOTS! on Saturday, August 10 from 10am to 5pm

    Art of the Robot Brochure


    Edge to Edge: Vintage Panoramic Photography of Florida

    June 15, 2013 - September 8, 2013

    Presented are more than 100 vintage panoramic photographs and original postcards that focus on the fascinating history of this unique style of photography shot during Florida’s tourism and real estate boom years in the early 1900s.



    April 13, 2013 - June 9, 2013

    Showcased are exquisite examples of 19th century English and American decorative art, furniture, fine art and antiques from the period of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) and up through the 1920s. Within the exhibit are beautiful paintings and sculpture combined with Gothic, Elizabethan and Renaissance-inspired furnishings and gilded decorative art.


    This exhibition was made possible through collaboration with the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine and the Henry B. Plant Museum in Tampa.

    Out of Abstractions: Divergent Directions in Late 20th Century Art

    April 6, 2013 - June 2, 2013

    CF Assistant Professor Tyrus Clutter is the guest curator of this exhibition featuring selected works from the Appleton's permanent collection. This show presents the multiple pathways of art that emerged from the dynamic American Abstract Expressionism of the mid-20th century.

    Young in Art

    April 20, 2013 - May 26, 2013

    Showcased is the artwork produced by students in various Marion County public schools (from kindergarten through grade 12).


    Rebels With a Cause: American Impressionist Women from the Huntsville Museum of Art

    February 2, 2013 - March 31, 2013

    On exhibition are 54 paintings, drawings and sculptures by many of the most prominent females artists between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. Works presented exemplify the effects of French Impressionism and the Barbizon style that influenced American art at that time and what became known as the American Impressionist style.

    Chick Schwartz: Cedar Key Artist

    January 19, 2013 - March 24, 2013

    View more than 50 works of whimsical sculpture, ceramics and oil on canvas by renowned Cedar Key artist Chick Schwartz. Many of his works have three or more components that together creates depth and his ceramic wall panels provides the viewer with a unique sense of looking down from the tops of buildings. All of his pieces reflect his delightful perspective on busy city life as well as the slower and more relaxed pace of Cedar Key.

    Read the article written by David Moore from the Ocala Star Banner about this exhibit here.


    Art on the Move: Kids’ License Tag Art

    January 26, 2013 - February 24, 2013

    See the art created by Marion County fifth graders who designed a series of new automobile license plates and received the Awards of Distinction.


    Appleton in Bloom

    February 1, 2013 - February 3, 2013

    This collaboration of the Appleton Museum and the Ocala Pioneer Garden Club and features 30 floral designs inspired by the museum’s finest works of art. During this exhibition guests can also attending gardening, floral design and art-related workshops and browse among vendor booths offering gardening supplies. Appleton in Bloom is presented with support from Jenkins Auto Group, Macy’s and Regions.



    Until January 31st, 2013

    Featured are 59 rarely viewed examples of Islamic ceramic art crafted by artists between the 10th and 14th centuries
    in Persia (today's Iran).

    2012 Exhibitions

    2011 Exhibitions

    2010 Exhibitions