Art in Public Places–DeLand, Florida

Art is all around us. Some cities are enthusiastic supporters of public art and work to make sure their landscapes are enhanced with art, whether it be murals, sculptures, or other types. The city of DeLand, Florida is one of those cities.

Take a look at this page hosted by Maintstreet DeLand to review an amazing series of murals that can be found throughout the city. Here is an interesting look at Florida and DeLand history on the sides of local businesses. Also included in the listing is a page showcasing a series of plaques recognizing historical buildings. You can learn a lot about early DeLand history by taking this walk.

If you are more interested in sculpture how about taking the DeLand Sculpture Walk, available through the Museum of Art—DeLand. My personal favorite is American Dog, by Dale Rogers, that is located at the fire station. On this page you can also learn about the DeLand Utility Box Art Project, which is an innovative way to disguise the rather ugly utility boxes that dot modern American streets.

No matter where you live or visit, keep your eyes open. There is wonderful public art available for your viewing pleasure. Some is traditional, some is modern, a lot of it is just plain funky. It’s up to you to find and enjoy it.

Have a favorite piece of public art? Share it with us by commenting.

New World War I Related Exhibit at Musee de l’Armee Invalides

A major new exhibition at the Musée de l’Armée (if you visit the museum website you may translate to English through the drop down menu in the upper right corner) opening musee de l'armee invalidesin October will retrace the reorganization of the Eastern Europe and the Near East from 1918 with the loose conglomeration of disturbances, violence and instability. The exhibition will explore this little-known period in history marked by revolutions, civil wars, major border shifts and the creation of new states.

While the conflicts came to an end on 11 November 1918 in Western Europe, the Great War allowed in the East until 1923. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to understand the complex struggles of the Eastern Europe and the Near East whose repercussions can still be seen today.

In the wake of the fall of the empires – Russian, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and German – some new countries were created by treaties which were soon contested. The Treaty of Sèvre, signed on 10 August 1920 by Turkey and the Allies, was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923.

The exhibition sets out to show how, in this troubled context of the resolution of the First World War, France tried, with some difficulty, to put its military dominance to use in bringing stability to the region within a complex partnership of allies.


19th Annual Tybee Island Tour of Homes May 14

The 19th Annual Tybee Island Tour of Homes to be held May 14

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. – Tybee Island will host the 19th annual Tybee Island Tour of Homes May 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $35 each and lunch is included in the price of the ticket.

Guests can begin at the home of their choice and will be given a map, along with a list of homes, located on the back of the ticket. Tickets for this event can be purchased online or picked up at Chu’s Department Store, Saints and Shamrocks, or Seaside Sisters. Lunch will be served at Tybee Island Maritime Academy charter school and money raised from the tour will go to benefit the school.

For more information about the Tybee Island Tour of Homes visit For media information, contact Hannah Burnsed, Visit Tybee communications coordinator, at or 912.704.8108.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination Date

In December 2015 my wife and I visited Memphis and we were able to tour the National Civil Rights Museum, housed at the Lorraine Motel, where King was gunned down on April 4, 1968.

The exterior of the Lorraine Motel, home of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.
The exterior of the Lorraine Motel, home of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.

Just a few thoughts and then I will share some of the exterior photos I took. The admission charge of $15, while seemingly high, isn’t that unreasonable. This is not a state or federally operated museum. According to their website, the state owns the property and the museum is operated by a 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization. This is where I take issue with the naming of the museum. The name implies a governmental endorsement but that does not appear to be the case. In addition, with the modern emphasis on Civil Rights for all people, the naming of the museum should more reflect the goal of the museum, which is the education of visitors about the Civil Rights struggles for African-Americans.

As a final aside, we found the employees and volunteers to be standoffish and unhelpful. They were more interested in getting a tour group through rather than assisting those of us, and there were several, who were paying. The security checkpoint seemed overdone and the employee working it came off as dictatorial and rude. Those working in the gift shop were more interested in talking and socializing with each other and we left without making a purchase. As a museum junkie, that is something that seldom, if ever, happens.

On to the positives, and the museum itself is a positive. This is a wonderful place. The exhibits are well done, interesting, and this is overall truly a gem of a museum; a true must see for those interested in American history. One can not tour this facility without feeling a deep respect for what these men and women, young and old, black and white, went through in order to achieve what seems like such a basic thing to us today.

Must visit attractions include the Montgomery Bus Boycott exhibit, including a sculpture of Rosa Parks seated on a bus. We Are Prepared to Die: The Freedom Rides 1961 is a truly moving experience, bringing to life the horrors that were perpetrated upon those looking to secure the most basic of rights and freedoms. The Freedom Rides encountered violence on a scale I find unimaginable, having not lived through this era.

Looking across to the building where James Earl Ray fired his shot from.
Looking across to the building where James Earl Ray fired his shot from.

The true highlight of the visit however are seeing Dr. King’s room and the area from which James Earl Ray fired the shot that killed Dr. King. The room Dr. King was staying at was a basic room, nothing fancy. Room 306 is set up as it was the fateful date when Dr. King stepped out onto the balcony, thus meeting an assassin’s bullet. A visit to the Legacy Building is a must do as well. This allows you to see where Ray was staying and the vantage point he had when he fired his shot. In addition, there is a very interesting display covering the conspiracy theories associated with King’s killing. It is unfathomable that it took two months before Ray was captured in England after attempting to use a fake passport.

This is a well done museum that is worth a visit by anybody interested in American history. It covers an important subject, one which we should never forget. Some training of staff in basic customer service skills would go a long way toward making this a more enjoyable destination.

Entrance to the National Civil Rights Museum.
Entrance to the National Civil Rights Museum.
A close up of the outside of the Lorraine Motel and Room 306.
A close up of the outside of the Lorraine Motel and Room 306.
Showing the view of King's room.
Showing the exterior view of King’s room. Kings room overlooked the parking lot as shown.