Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Rigoberto Torres

Rigoberto Torres began working at his uncle's statuary and mold factory doing religious-themed pieces. He was trained in using air brushes and mixing colors. In 1980, a cousin introduced Rigoberto to artist John Ahearn who was doing live casting of peoples' faces. He went to school, while at the same time helping John do his live casting. He learned that he is good at working with people.

He asked John if he could borrow some of the equipment and do some live casting in his neighborhood. He did a sculpture of his friend named Felix out in the street of his neighborhood in the Bronx. It was good to do things out in the open because more people can get involved. Less explanation is needed. John was living on 10th Street and Rigoberto asked him if he wanted to move out to the Bronx. They then worked together for more than 30 years. They rented a studio and had a store front.

Throughout the years they improved their technique of casting. A table must be set up and 2 straw are put in the nose while a shower cap covers the hair. The entire face is covered with the mold material with a gap at the back of the head so it later can be peeled off. They used to use straws that point out and switched to the newer straws that were curved up. They used to use a Vaseline but people complained because it would not wash off for weeks. They used to have the person wear one shirt but then for girls they decided to use 2 shirts so one could be cut off, leaving the other in place. They then decided to cut the shirt up the back beforehand so it was easier to come off. They learned to work faster. They found a material that would set faster and in time people could be done in less than 20 minutes.

Every weekend on Friday or Saturday, they would use the studio window to get a table out onto the sidewalk. On the side of the building the super allowed them to hang a series of finished busts. People would stop to ask how they could get involved. It was a way to interact with the community. The more you do the more they want. Kids who have seen casts being made in the street for months and months, then decide they want to be involved. It is a good feeling when they go after you.

Rigoberto has created so many busts and sculptures that he has lost count. Many he gave away as well. They are happy when they carry their own piece home. If they break them or scratch them he fixes them up. Sometime he makes a deal, if he makes a new one he gets to keep the old one. He makes three copies from any mold. One for the gallery, one for exhibition, and one for his collection. John did a cast of a boy named Thomas, he was 5 years old. Rigoberto wanted to top that, so he did a cast of his daughter at 2 years old. He tries to do things to improve himself as an artist.

He moved to Orlando after experiencing medical issues in the Bronx. A cat scan showed a blood clot at the back of his scull, pressing on his brain, which caused memory loss and blindness. I can think of nothing worse for a visual artist than to experience blindness. After more than 6 months however, he was able to regain his eyesight. He joked that the one thing he continued to have trouble remembering was the named of who he owed money too.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, December 9, 2019

Virgo's Narcissa Beach Party

Local actress, Michelle Papaycik, hosted a mermaid-themed photo shoot party at Driftwood Boneyard  (Big Talbot Island, Jacksonville Fl). Photographers and beach lovers were encouraged to spend as long as they wanted taking pictures and soaking up the sun. Usually, photo shoots are a challenge to sketch since models vogue quickly for the camera and then change poses incessantly. I figured that a mermaid might not move around quite as much on the beach since the large tail might slow her down.

Half way on my drive to the beach I got a message that the main contingent of people going were running late. I had seen pictures of the beach and decided it was worth the trip just to take the time to sketch the driftwood beach. I brought along a tent to keep myself out of the sun while I worked. There was a nice long sandy trail that lead down to the beach, and once there it really felt like another world. All the plentiful driftwood created wonderful patterns against the sand.

I figured I could beach a few mermaids in my sketch once hey washed ashore. Unfortunately, mermaids never appeared. But I had a decent sketch and decided to get back on the road to Orlando. My passenger side mirror had been demolished by a garbage can, so I was a bit blind when people passed me on the passenger side. So, on the drive I stayed in the right hand lane and just accepted that I might need to slow down on occasion as cars entered and exited from the highway. I've since fixed the mirror which is wedged in with an eraser. This amazing beach was well worth the visit.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Sunday, December 8, 2019

1920 Ocoee and Beyond

An event was held at Valencia West building 8, Special Events Center (1800 South Kirkman Road, Orlando, Fl) in honor of the people who lost their lives in the Ocoee Massacre. On November 2, 1920 the day of the United States Presidential Election, a white mob attacked African-American residents in Ocoee, Florida. As many as 35 African Americans may have been killed during the riot, and most African-American-owned buildings and residences in Ocoee were burned to the ground, while others were later killed or driven out on threat of more violence. West Orange was incorporated in 1922, and Ocoee essentially became an all-white town. The riot has been described as the "single bloodiest day in modern American political history".

Perhaps the most horrific thing about this event is that we concretely know so little. We do not actually know who started what, how many African-Americans were killed, who ran to where, and whose property was stolen versus later sold, and whether or not for a fair price. There are many many versions of the narrative surrounding the Ocoee Massacre/Riot and little verifiable source documentation to back it up. Generally, the story goes as follows.

Mose Norman, a prosperous African-American land owner, tried to vote but was turned away on Election Day for not having paid his poll tax. In anger and frustration, Norman returned to the to the polling place. allegedly with a gun and tyring to get the names of the people who were illegally trying to keep him from voting. He was sent packing again. Norman took refuge in  the home of Julius "July" Perry, another prominent African American land owner.  

Colonel Sam Salisbury, a prominent white native New Yorker and a former chief of police of Orlando, led a group of white officers and other men to find and presumably punish Mose Norman. He later proudly lauded his part in the massacre that followed. Sam knocked on the door of July Perry and July came out. When July was grabbed, a shot rang out injuring one of the white officers.  Suddenly bullets were flying. It is unknown how many people were inside the house, how many were armed, and who actually was shooting, but in all, we do know that several white men were injured, 2 white men were killed, and only have any sort of proof that July Perry was seriously wounded along with his daughter Coretha. She escaped with her mother and children out the back door into a cane field.

The whites laid waste to the African-American community in West Orange. Fires burned a reporeted 18 or more black homes, two churches, and a lodge.  July Perry was reportedly taken to the Orange General Hospital (now Orlando Health), then to be taken to the jail. It is unclear whether he was taken by a mob en route to the jail or whether he was pulled from his cell, the jailor overwhelmed by the mob. Accounts vary from his being drug behind a car, his body being riddled with bullets, and being hung from either a pole or a tree. The location of said hanging is also very unclear and ranges from Church Street to up near the Country Club.

Norman escaped and relocated to New York City, eventually selling all of his land in Ocoee. Hundreds of other African Americans fled the town, leaving behind their homes and possessions.

Descendants of July Perry were in the audience of this Ocoee and Beyond event. Two of them are in my sketch seated at the table in front of me. They got up to talk a bit about their family's experiences through the years. Being two or three generations removed, they didn't have any direct commentary about July Perry. Their families fled Ocoee, moving to other states and the family continues to thrive. The evening was filled out with music and dance. Pam Schwartz of the Orange County Regional History Center was there because the museum plans to mount an exhibition about the Ocoee Massacre around the time of the 2020 elections. In front of the History Center, a historic marker was put up to remind modern residents about the Ocoee Election Day Massacre.

This event was not about placing blame or  anger at the past, but to find ways to heal and grow together as a community moving forward. It was a look at Central Florida's past so that we do not repeat it.

The 1920 census listed the following African American land-owing families, though there were more than 250 African Americans living in Ocoee at the time.
Anderson, Garfield and Janey Bell; two children; eldest son Sidney
Battsey, Randolph and Annie; daughters Alice and Bessie; owned farm
Blackshear, Martin and Candyce; four children, oldest son Morgan
Blue, Sanborri and Lilly
Dennys, Thomas and Lavinia
Dighs, Edward and Willamina
Edwards, John and Genie; oldest son Usteen
Frank (or Franks), Daniel and Carrie; four children, oldest son Allen
Green, Sally; six children, oldest son, Jeremiah; owned farm
Hampton, Jackson and Anna; owned farm
Hightower, Valentine and Janie; three children; owned farm
Johnson, Stephen and Julia; three grandsons, oldest James
Langmede, James and Eva; son Starland
Lynch, Richard and Fanny
McRae, William and Doda
Penzer, Kerry and Elisa; three children, oldest son Edson
Moore, Rocky and Daisy; five children, oldest son William
Nelson, Stephen and Julia; two children, son Edward
Perry, Julius P. and Stella; five children, oldest son Charles; home listed as "contested"
Surrency, Jessie and Grace; four children, oldest son Damott
Slater, Victoria; son Mason
Warron, Wade and Rhina; five children, oldest son Porter

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Spitfire Grill

I went to a dress rehearsal for The Spitfire Grill at Mad Cow Theater. The show is based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff. The music and book are by James Valcq with Fred Alley on lyrics and writing. The wonderful thing about a rehearsal is that the actors have fewer worries since they are not in front of an audience. I  am used to hearing actors exercising their voices with scales and vocal calisthenics. For this run, a loud burp echoes from back stage. The mood was set for a classy Midwestern musical.

A Stage hand was working on the moon made of wooden planks cut into  a circle. He called out to director David Lee to see of it was straight. David asked Pam Schwartz and I if we thought it was straight. I had just drawn the moon and the slats in my sketch were straight, so I shouted back, "Yep perfectly straight." David then called back to the stage hand saying "I just asked a straight couple and they should know." David explained that his lead singer Kari had been the understudy for Evita at the Shakes and she had to take on the lead roll twice in one day with just 45 minutes notice.Actors in the show also doubled as the band performing on banjo

The play opened with Percy Talbot (Kari Ringer) sitting on her suitcase. She had just been released from prison and was hoping to start life over. Based on a page from an old travel book, she ended up in the small town of Gilead, Wisconsin. Kari's singing voice immediately dominated and the song of hope for new beginnings certainly resonated with me. The local sheriff, Joe Sutter (Sean Powell) who was also Percy’s parole officer, found her a job at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill, the only eatery in the struggling town.

It turned out that Pecy wasn't much of a cook and the town gossip Effy (Leesa Castaneda) talked about her behind her back. Shelby Thorp (Brittany Halen) stepped in to also help out at the grill. Her husband, Caleb (Jason Blackwater) a quarry Foreman, however felt a woman's place is in the home. She had to fight for the independence needed to work outside the home.

Hannah (Jac LeDoux) had wanted to sell the Spitfire Grill for years. But with no interested buyers, her two worker bees talk her into raffling it off. Entry fees were $100, and the best essay on why you want the Grill wins. Percy, a feisty parolee, winds up in Wisconsin and lands a job at the Grill. Soon, things start heating up as mail arrives by the wheelbarrow-full.

I loved every gruff Midwestern character and lost soul hoping to find home. They reminded me of the big hearted but callous and cautious people I come across when traveling to Iowa. The Spitfire Grill is an inspiring celebration of fresh starts and positive influence of any one person. It was a fabulous uplifting show and a great way to kick off the holiday season. "Say what you want, say what you will, somethings cooking at the Spitfire grill."

The show runs through December 29, 2019. Tickets are $20 to $42.

Second Saturday Matinee: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 at 2:30 p.m.
Discounted Monday Nights: Monday, Dec. 16 and Monday, Dec. 23, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Ken Carpenter Talk backs: Take place after each regular Thursday and Sunday performance. Talk backs are free to audience members and are open to the public at no extra cost.
Group Discounts: Save 20% off full-price tickets with parties of 10 or more.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, December 6, 2019

Weekend Top 6 Picks for December 7 and 8, 2019

Saturday December 7, 2019
8am to  1pm Free. Parramore Farmers Market. John H Jackson Community Center, 3107, 1002 W Carter St, Orlando, FL 32805. Purchase quality, fresh and healthy food grown in your own neighborhood by local farmers, including Fleet Farming, Growing Orlando, and other community growers.

10am to 4pm Free. Sanford Farmers Market. First and Magnolia Sanford Fl.

8pm to 10pm Free. Shuffleboard. Orlando's Beardall Courts, Beardall Center, 800 Delaney Ave Orlando FL. 1st Saturday of each month. Free fun!

Sunday December 8, 2019
9am to 11am Yoga in the Mennello Museum Sculpture Garden. Yoga in the Mennello Museum Sculpture Garden. Mennello Museum of American Art 900 E Princeton St, Orlando, Florida 32803.  Start your Sunday morning out blissfully with a relaxing lakeside flow. Practice is suitable for beginner to moderate levels and will be led by certified instructors from Full Circle Yoga, Winter Park. Don't forget to bring your own mat and water to practice.
Your practice also includes a complimentary pass to enjoy the museum’s indoor exhibitions at your own leisure during our operating hours. 

Full Circle Yoga Instructor: Sarabeth Jackson

1pm to 4pm Free. Family Day on the Second Sunday. The Mennello Museum of American Art, 900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803. The make-and-take craft table is open from noon-2:30 p.m., and docents are available to give mini-tours of the museum. Then it's open house in the galleries until 4:30 p.m. 

10am to Noon. Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Free comedy show! Come out and laugh, or give it a try yourself. 

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Team Slam at Milk Bar

The Orlando Poetry Team Slam was hosted at The Milk Bar Lounge (2424 E Robinson St, Orlando, Florida 32803.) Joe XO acted as the MC for the evening. Sign up started at 8 pm, and the Slam started at 9 pm.

There were two rounds with 3 minute poems, involving no props or costumes. Round One had 12 teams, with the top five moving on. Round Two had 5 teams, with the best poem winning. The winner received $50 and bragging rights. Solo pieces were not allowed. Every poem had to be a group piece. There had to be 2-3 people per team.

The Featured Poet for the evening was Jay Salazar. Salazar is a spoken word poet out of New Jersey and New York City. He writes about food, addiction, alcohol, and family. When he is not writing he is probably cooking, working out, eating, or binging some netflix show that isn't that good. It was Jay that I decided to sketch behind the microphone. I loved that there was a simple smiley face poster on the far wall that said, "Be a good human." I also loved that the Milk Bar's dog was curled up on stage with the performers.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Mercedez Marisol Flores

 This post discusses the shooting that took place at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. It contains difficult content, so please do not read on if you feel you may be effected. 

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewees. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously. 

On the dining room table were photos of Mercedez. She was 1 year old in one photo, 15 years old in another, and in a third she had graduated high school. A memory box contained dried flowers and a photo of her. The Flores family had gathered to share just a fraction of the memories from Mercedez Marasol Flores's life.

Mercedez loved parties. She was very independent and protective of her friends. Her friends were everything to her. She planned her 16th birthday party herself. She rented a house and that was the first party she planned from scratch. She wanted to become an event planner and was always the life of the party.

For the Superbowl, Mercedez and Amanda Alvear came to the Flores home to cook for everyone. Marisol made a spinach and artichoke dip. It was super cheesy. Amanda brought her nieces. They were all dancing and having fun. That was the last time that the family spent with both of them. It was such a nice day.

Mercedez father, César H Flores, Sr. had a dream where he went to a river with his daughter. He told her not to go in the water because there were alligators. She went into the water anyways. He saw the alligators starting to swim quietly towards her and he snapped awake. He recalled that it was a very bad dream.

Mercedez' mom had been having a few conversations with Mercedez and Amanda, letting them know it wasn't safe anymore to go out every weekend. They had promised her that they would at least calm down and not go out so much. But they loved going to Pulse, it was like home to them.

On June 12, 2016, César Sr. worked a night shift at his job starting at 11:30 at night until 8 in the morning. On the night of the shooting everything he did at work went wrong. He started to sweat profusely, his body shook. He needed a break and he stopped to watch TV for a moment. News about a shooting at the Pulse Nightclub flashed on the screen. He felt sorry for all those people. At 7am his son called him saying his sister had not come home. Her car wasn't in the driveway. Then he remembered that she had gone to a nightclub to celebrate someone's birthday. He immediately went home, then to the hospital with his two sons to get answers. They didn't get answers from anyone. Someone called and said she was on the injured list. The name on that list was someone else's but their hopes had been raised.

That night Nancy Flores had seen some Snapchat posts from Amanda and Mercedez. She saw the whole night unfold with them having fun and having drinks. Mercedez was always so happy with her friends.  Nancy woke up at 7am, and for some reason went back to Amanda's story and it was really scary. She heard gun shots at the end of the video. She thought, Oh my God what happened, and that is when they started getting all the phone calls. While dad and the sons went to the hospital, Nancy tried to comfort mom.

That morning César Flores Jr. had been watching the news and he saw the commotion and it occurred to him that his sister was at Pulse. They called Mercedez multiple times on the phone and also tried getting a hold of Amanda, then they reached out to all her other friends through social media. They knew that some people had gotten out of the club, but at 8:30 in the morning they were not getting any answers. The first thing they wanted to do was go to the police department. Then they drove around the Pulse Nightclub area. They couldn't get close. An officer told them to go to the nearest hospital. That is when they started putting 2 and 2 together. They were then directed over to  headquarters by the Amway. They saw young kids that were injured, bleeding. Others were crying giving their testimonies to the officers. There was chaos. They gave Mercedez name to multiple officers and detectives there, but couldn't get any answers. Then they were told they should go down to the hospital because the injured were there.

They rushed to the hospital and stayed in touch with mom and Nancy. When they got to the hospital they started seeing how huge this was. There were crowds of reporters, and hundreds of people. They were taken to a holding area where the doctors were careful to only give solid information. There, they saw Amanda's family. Amanda's dad was in bad shape. Amanda's mom said, "It could be our girls too." They couldn't get any answers.

They were moved to a hotel somewhere and then the doctors came in. People were enraged that they couldn't get any information. It was the worst feeling. Names were read of a few survivors and people that were critically injured, and they were praying to God to hear Mercedez' name. There were a few times where César Sr thought he heard her name. But it wasn't her. They finished the list and there was a commotion. A high ranking officer got on a chair and shouted, "Please go home and come back tomorrow. We will have some sort of an answer then." That moment is when a chill set in. They had to accept the tragedy for what it was. The three of them just walked towards the car with no hope. At that moment they knew.

Everyone was broken. No one could sleep, just laying in bed. A police officer came to the Flores house and he confirmed that Marisol was no longer with us. All hope was gone. Then they wanted to know about Amanda too. They were together that night. Amanda had lost her brother when he was very young, and now her parents had to face loosing another child. The dream about the river had tried to tell César Sr something. The last time he saw his daughter was about 2 in the afternoon.

Mercedez and Amanda were such close friends and they spent their last moments together. They must have felt such fear, but from that moment they began to watch over both families and they continue to watch over them. Even as we sat at the dining room table, César Jr could still imagine his sister storming into the living room and shouting to mom. The last time we saw her she was rushing into the house because it was a Friday and she needed her nails and her hair done with Amanda. It felt like she was still at work.

César Jr. and his dad went to court to learn what happened that night. The gunman's wife was on trial as an accomplice. They were there every day except the day the shooter's wife was found not guilty. The worst was when they showed the machine gun, it was then easy to see what had happened. The funeral director told them more about what happened to Marisol than the police. She explained how she received the body and the cause of death and injuries. She advised the family not to see her before the preparations, that that is a memory that can not be erased and that it would be better to remember her as she was. After all  those days of not knowing, the family finally got to see her. She had a tattoo of a cross and the entire family was considering getting the same tattoo. Pam Schwartz at The History Center put them in touch with a tattoo artist who had done many Pulse related tattoos, they have since gone as a family to put their memory of Mercedez in permanent ink. The family was given all the personal items of Mercedez. She was buried in Guatemala where her parents plan to retire. She had actively helped bring together fractured branches of the family.

On her birthday, the Flores family went to Pulse for the first time. They saw the support and the love that people had left there and the stories that they shared. There was something for everybody. Going to Pulse was different now and they felt at peace. Mercedez God daughter was wandering around and she found a little Popsicle stick with Mercedez name on it. It gave them so much joy, it changed the mood. They read so many notes and found it very comforting.

Mercedez worked for Target. The family one day found the courage  to go back to Target after she was gone. There was a corporate meeting and everyone wanted to meet them. The co-workers had stories about how they met and how Mercedez helped them out or how she got them the job. Such beautiful team members. They gave her so much love, such as she had given to them all. 

6 Months after the shooting the family walked in the Pride Parade. They felt the mutual respect that Mercedez had for everyone. She helped open so many people's eyes to accept everyone for who they are, to try and make a difference in other people's lives. In the 26 years she was here, she managed to make such an enormous impact.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Trinity Church on Dominie's Bowery

While living in New York City, I did a series of sketches of the 50 oldest churches in the five boroughs. Trinity Church on Broadway at Wall Street in the city was one of the first churches I sketched. It was built between 1839 and 1846.

It is the third church to stand at this location. The church received its charter from England's King William III in 1647. The first church on the site was destroyed by the great fire of 1776 set by British troupes occupying the city during the Revolutionary War. That fire created a furrow of devastation three quarters of a mile long.

The second church rising from the ashes in 1787 had to be torn down due to structural defects in its design. The present building was constructed of New Jersey limestone which became black over time from the city grime. Some people believe the grime helps protect the stonework.

The property around Trinity has Manhattan's oldest grave yard. Here can be found the graves of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and Robert Fulton who created the steamboat.

Researching my family history recently, I found a personal connection to the property on which Trinity Church stands. My 10th great grandmother on my mothers side, Annetje Jans and her husband Roeloff Janssen were married in Amsterdam, Netherlands on in May of 1623. In 1630 they set sail on the ship Verity with three daughters from Texel, Marstadt, Netherlands arriving at New Amsterdam, the Dutch Colony on the tip of what is now Manhattan after 65 sickening days at sea.

The Dutch West India Company colonized the New World beginning in 1624 and the colonies encompassed the present day New York City, parts of Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey.  It was difficult to find people willing to settle in the New World and, to reward them for their sacrifice, they were granted land. Annetje and Roeloff once owned the land that Trinity Church now stands on.

In 1623, Dutch Governor, Walter Van Twiller first granted 62 acres of land to Annetje and her husband Roeloff Janessen in New Amsterdam, which became known as Dominie's Bowery. Roeloff began to build on the property and developed the fields with manure. He died at the tender age of 35 and Anntje then married the second minister of the colony, Reverend Everardus Bogardus in 1638. At the age of 47 he too died, leaving Annetje a widow with 8 children. In 1639, she rented Dominie's Bowery as a tobacco farm. Later another tenant grew corn and pumpkins. The rent collected helped sustain the family in the New World.

The 62 acre tract was again granted by Dutch Governor Petrus Stuyvesant in 1654 to widow Annetje Jans Bogardus. She had to leave New Amsterdam when she found her land was fenced outside the fortifications of the city during the "Indian troubles." A dutch settler had shot an Indian taking a peach from his tree and the ensuing war became known as the Peach War. She moved up the Hudson Valley to Beaverwyck, which would later be called Albany. 

Annetje died one year before the English invaded New Amsterdam and Petrus Stuyvesant surrendered the city to the British in 1664. The city was renamed New York City, after the Duke of York. After her death, the 62 acres of land were passed on to her children. The British invaders allowed the Dutch settlers to maintain all land rights. 

In 1670, some of Anntje's heirs sold the 62 acres to a Colonel Lovelace, then the Colonial Governor of York. He was known as an unscrupulous leader. He later had to surrender the land because of his debts to the Duke of York. The problem is, that not all of the heirs of Annetje agreed to the sale. In 1701, Queen Anne granted the land to Trinity Church Corporation. The authenticity of this "Queen's Grant" was also questioned. For over 50 years the heirs of Annetje battled the church over the land rights. 

There was a concerted movement on the part of certain lawyers to foster among the heirs the conviction that they had been the victims of a great wrong which might, in some way, be righted. No one won the case except the lawyers who charged the heirs top dollar to keep the case alive in perpetuity. A lawyer was still pressing the case in 1914. At that time, there were hundreds if not thousands of heirs of Annetje Bogardus. The court decided that he should no longer be permitted to prosecute such an enterprise under the guise of an attorney-at-law. He was, therefore, disbarred. 

A small sliver of the property was purchased by the City of New York from Trinity Church for $5 in 1705. It once belonged to Annetje Bogardus and became the first public park in New York City. Duane Park is a triangular gem of greenery among the concrete and glass canyons of lower Manhattan and a reminder of greener times.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, December 2, 2019

Forsythe Method

Rebekah Lane hosted a three hour workshop on the Forsythe Method of movement for actors at the Valencia East Campus. In this three hour workshop, the movement improvisation tools developed by choreographer William Forsythe were explored.

Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and then with the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, where he was eventually appointed resident choreographer. In 1984, he became director of Ballet Frankfurt. During the next 20 years he created what would become his signature ballets: Artifact (his first full-length while at Ballet Frankfurt), In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated (made for the Paris Opéra Ballet) and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.

Movements were created by drawing imaginary shapes in the air, and then the dancer or actor would run their limbs through this complicated and invisible three dimensional geometry. As a visual artist I was fascinated by this visual use of space. In my sketch, students snap their fingers at the corners of three dimensional box shapes floating in the space in front of them. Or, hold the form with their open palms.

Though only the dancer might see the shape they were creating, they moved around and through the shape as if it existed. What it boils down to in performance, is the dancer illustrating the presence of these imagined relationships by moving, and in the process discovering new ways of moving.

Movement and character impulses were taken from images and expanded into phrases and full movement scenes. This workshop was appropriate for all movers, dancers and actors included.
Illustrations were used to inspire students in the second half of the class.  They created movements that told the story that the images inspired. Students worked as teams and then individually to tell these stories in movement.

It was amazing to watch these performers expand their idea of how to use their bodies and movements to explore space. It is amazing how the language of creation is so similar across art disciplines. Lines are the basic building blocks of any sketch, and it turns out they are critical in analyzing movement. The workshop was sponsored by Valencia College Theater and Valencia College Student Development.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Clown Nose Workshop

Cheryl Ann Sanders posed the age old question, To clown, or not to clown. Her Clown Nose Workshop at Valencia College East Campus gave actors the tools they needed to express their inner clown. Clown nose can be a great tool for any actor who is processing a scene, character, or any physical choices. Comedy is one of the hardest crafts to master. Why? Because many try too hard. What is funny? There are moments that make us laugh every day, and they usually stem from the most ordinary and simplistic acts. 

Clown nose helped students to identify the most honest moments, and connect directly with the audience, obtain a greater sense of timing, and the open setting gave participants a sense of safety as they embraced the absurdity and vulnerability of life. 

Details and requirements: 
• Participants arrived early and were physically warm to start class on time.
• Long hair needed to be pulled back and secured away from the face.
• Clothing was preferably solid black, well fitting but nonrestrictive.
• Pictures, video, and note taking was both allowed and encouraged, but phones needed to be silent.
• Participants were led through a series of exercises both individually and as small groups.
• Participants were asked to go beyond their comfort zones.
• There was no right and wrong.
• All supplies (red noses) and props (red noses) were provided.

Cheryl Ann Snders is well known for her clown work for Cirque du Soleil. One of her routines involved her simply sweeping he floor and suddenly realize that she is being watched by an audience. The performance is simple and understated but hilarious. Students each took turns adding their twist to this simple concept. I laughed constantly as I drew. Sometimes half the students would sit on the floor with their clown noses off becoming the audience. Improve is in its own right a challenge but improve with the hope of getting a laugh is really challenging.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com