Friday, September 30, 2011

Ivanhoe Village Art Stroll

Angela Abrusci the executive director of Ivanhoe Village, has helped turn the neighborhood into a vibrant artists hub. On the first Friday of every month artists gather as the sun sets and they set up display tents to showcase their art. The September gathering took place on Orange Avenue between New Hampshire and Princeton. I arrived after spending the day working on the Mennello Museum mural. I was sweaty and tired but the air cooled as the sun sank to the horizon. This was the first sketch I did outside in a long time. I realized I had left my artist stool at the museum, so I leaned against a real estate sign and stood to do the sketch.

The Washburn Imports antique shop had old furniture on the sidewalk. Artist's tents quickly sprang up and artists relaxed in lawn chairs waiting for people to stroll by. A girl waited on the corner for a friend. The girlfriend arrived with two hula hoops. A small folk group set up speakers and began to sing. The hula hoopers shook their hips to the music. This Art Stroll is a great relaxed place to go on a date night.

Angela stopped over to say hello. A mechanical voice announced how much time pedestrians had to cross the street. It counted down, five, four, three, two, one. She beat the mechanical countdown by one second. She told me all about Ivanhoe village. I've been to events that Angela attended and helped organize but I haven't had much time to talk to her since I am always sketching and she was working. It was nice having the time to talk. My sketch was complete.

Angela volunteered to help with the painting of the Mennello Museum mural over the weekend. She had posed for the mural, adding some Hollywood glamor. She brought along music and it was great to paint to disco beat. Several children showed up to paint that day as well, and Angela helped me keep them on track. She is a gifted artist as well and once I explained my working methods, she applied them with confidence. Over the course of the day I got to learn so much about her. She is a true advocate of the arts and active in charitable work. Orlando and Ivanhoe Village are lucky to have her.

Tonight there is a Mayhem Street Party on Virginia 2 Blocks west of Mills Avenue starting around 6pm to 10pm this event happens every 5th Friday. Be the first to catch a sneak peak of Orlando’s most talented performing artists and their upcoming shows. Be inspired, awed and amazed by a myriad of local performers: dancers, singers, musicians, actors, and other talented wonders. Enjoy the carnival atmosphere while exploring Virginia Drive’s array of shopping and dining. It’s a ballet, a play, a concert, a party, and it’s all on Virginia! Food, activities and amusement for all ages. Admission is FREE.

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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