Sunday, February 13, 2011

United Arts Grant Panel

The Enzian Theater hosted the United Arts Grant Applications panel meeting for the 2011 Professional Development Grants. 29 Artists and 10 Arts Administrators were to be awarded a total of $33,579. Individual artists could be awarded up to $1000 towards their professional development. The meeting was open to the public.Artists applying for grants were each given a minute to give a brief update on their project and then panelists could ask questions soften adjusting their scores based on the artists response. I didn't pay close attention to how the scoring was done. I know there was a total of 20 points available and different criteria were considered, like feasibility, assurance that the grant will encourage the artist to grow and assurance that the project will promote and strengthen the Orlando artist community. Attending the meeting was a great way to find out what artistic projects are being produced. I also had the added incentive that I applied for a grant this year.

After the morning session was over and my first sketch was done, I had lunch with performance artist Brian Feldman. He told me all about the 11 different performances he is planning for the Orlando Fringe Festival this year. I tried to figure out how to document so many performances by sketching. Sketching while walking is a new skill set I might have to develop.

The Visual Arts part of the meeting began with a slide show of all the artwork that had been submitted. I cringed when I saw some of my sketches blow up on the large move screen. I had selected sketches at random. A sketch of a haunted house made me think, " Why did I send that sketch? Does it say anything about Orlando culture?" There was some amazing work and I hope to catch up with some of the artists during the year. Katherine Mathisen had wonderful ceramic busts of Shamans, Gregorii had bright self illuminated fractal art that was stunning. When R V. got up and started showing a stack of his Pinocchio paintings, he expressed that he always felt like he was behind, never ahead. He runs a gallery that has an international graffiti festival each year. I have to get there this year to draw. Anyway, I learned more about the Orlando Arts scene in an hour than I did over the past year.

Here are sample comments and questions about my grant application.
Quality and Integrity: One of a kind project!
Benefit: The applicant’s contribution to the community has already been outstanding. This can only increase the value of our city.
Quality and Integrity: This makes me feel or think of the artist as the “Norman Rockwell” of our time. Have you identified the venue? When may we expect to see this gallery open?
Quality and Integrity: The best!
Feasibility: No doubt is feasible since you have already been working on this project.
Benefit: Sharing your work is a benefit in itself.
Feasibility: I'm interested in knowing at which venue(s) these will be exhibited.

I thought I would be nervous when it came time for me to discuss me project. Anytime I discuss AADW however I become animated, fueled by the fact that I believe that what I am doing has valve to the Orlando community. I got to tell the panel about a new project called LifeSketch where I team up with local authors who conduct interviews while I sketch. Many Artists in the room were checking the tally sheets to be sure that they had the required score. When I sat down, Rick Jones, I an abstract painter, informed me that I had a perfect score. I had managed to navigate the daunting process and have fun the whole time. Very soon Analog Artist Digital World will be funded in part, thanks to a grant from United Arts. When the meeting was over, I was giddy. I called Terry and we went out for a fabulous Mediterranean dinner.

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

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