As a burgeoning arts community, Ocala is strutting its stuff not just in the galleries, but in its public displays, whether commissioned or not. And Ocala itself, as shown in these photos by Ralph Demilio, acts not only as a muse for artists but also the perfect canvas upon which ideas spring to fruition.
From the Horse Fever collection that places art in front of us at every turn, to the beautiful curiosities that guard Tuscawilla Park, to even the rogue work performed on sidewalks, park benches and railway cars, one finds Ocala tethered to the art world in ways it never before seemed capable. Some of the art excites while some of it makes one scratch the head. Some of the art tells a story while some of the art exists simply to please the eye in its moment of reception. The diversity of pieces, from the sublime to the provocative, showcase Ocala as a haven for creatives and as more than just a small-time player in the realm of community arts.