Victor Bokas Opening at Lake Eustis Museum of Art January 15, 2010

Florida native Victor Bokas translates tropical heat and life in his colorful, bold painted images on exhibit Jan. 15 – Feb. 21 at Lake Eustis Museum of Art. VIVID REALITY TROPICAL INTENSITY: VICTOR BOKAS, reflects Bokas’ Greek heritage and opens with a 6 – 9 p.m. reception and artist’s talk Jan. 15.

His whimsical assemblages of found objects and Florida kitsch capture fun and absurdity while explaining Florida’s past and present in a language like no other. Bokas represents himself in paintings as his alter ego, Biff. Biff is a super canine star of adventures and travels that elude Bokas until he touches brush to canvas.

Working in his Orlando studio filled with found objects, “I never know where inspiration will strike. My collections are often incorporated into my work,” says Bokas. In 1994, he was driven to paint 100 individual oil on paper abstracts that chronicled the whimsy, emotion, color and spirituality of his personal journey that year. The result is a series that when joined is 62 yards long, that debuted at Maitland Art Center in 1995.

As a boy in Gulf Breeze, Bokas followed destiny when he rode his bike into an outdoor art exhibit. Enthralled by art and artists, Bokas bought the $1 winning ticket for a collaborative painting created by a dozen West Florida artists. That was truly a day in the sun for the 12-year-old, who convinced his parents that he must learn to paint. The following week he was a student embarking on his creative and career paths.

Bokas has taught art and exhibited his own work solo at Valencia Community College. His abstract floor mosaic is trod upon by travelers at Orlando International Airport. Bokas, free- lance art director for Tupperware, has been featured in solo exhibits at Harris House Atlantic Center for the Arts, Mount Dora Center for the Arts and his alma mater, Pensacola Junior College. His work is in permanent collections at Tupperware, Darden Restaurants, Maitland Art Center, Winter Park Library, Orlando City Hall, Walt Disney Productions and Container Corp. of America. He is art has won awards at many group exhibits and festivals, including Festival of the Masters Disney.

Bokas is the featured artist for the art museum’s United Arts ArtsFest Art Escapade, a day of free family fun from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday Feb. 7.

Lake Eustis Museum of Art is open weekdays, excluding Monday, from 10 – 4 p.m. Weekend hours are noon – 4. A $5 donation is asked of adult non-members. For information call 352-483-2900, or see www.LakeEustisMuseumofArt.org.

Members of Central Florida Watercolor Society complement Bokas’ exhibit with a coinciding opening reception Jan. 15, of their TROPICAL TREASURES watercolor exhibit at Eustis City Hall Gallery across Grove Street from the art museum. Featured artists include Margarita Chapman, Sally Hall, Nancy Gonzalez, Nancy Larkin and Faye Tambrino. TROPICAL TREASURES runs through March 29 and admission is free during City business hours and for the 6 – 9 p.m. reception.

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