Thursday, July 5, 2012

Francophile: All Things French

First Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art is Orlando's original art party. From 6 - 9 pm on the first Thursday of each month, OMA showcases a new theme with works by local artists, live music, cash bars serving wine, beer and soft drinks, and café offerings from area restaurants. June's theme was organized by Anna McCambridge-Thomas who set the stage for all things french. Artists captured what they love about the French or France itself from food, film, wine, literature, perfume, music, art and architecture, fashion, the people to the personality of the country.

When I arrived, Anna welcomed me warmly and showed me around as people were setting up. In the back gallery, Maitre Parfumeur Christian Louis was setting up. He had been flown in from France and didn't know any English. A beautiful French woman acted as interpreter. In the theater, Emotions Dance was going to perform Four Seasons, Poet Logan Anderson was going to read and models from Le Salon Zizou strutted lavish fashion.

I settled into the front gallery where artists displayed paintings with a French Theme. Artist Bernard Martin set up a small easel. He had a pink dress with him as well and I heard he might have a gorgeous model.  The model never showed, so he had to work from a photo. He was working on a loose spontaneous watercolor. I stood behind him for sometime admiring his lush and highly used pallet. Behind him were his loose impressionistic oil paintings. One was titled Moulin Rouge, another, Cabaret and The Vase. They all featured nude or semi nude women in bold impasto against a dark background.

The sculptor was Steve Piscitelli. The two sculptures he was working on were close to being finished. This made sense since so many people stopped to talk to him which meant he didn't hare time to concentrate. He added red slippers to the ballet dancer and the red clay acted as blood and intestines for the sculpture of a Bull, much to the delight of a young boy. In the middle of the room there was a crown mounted under Plexiglas made of pearls, a large coin and gems. It was titled, The Princess Kameryn Renee Parker.  Later I saw a young girl walking around wearing the crown. She must have been the artist's niece or daughter.

Tonight, July 5th, First Thursdays will feature work from OMA members. Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members and includes access to the OMA's featured exhibitions. Parking is free at Orlando Loch Haven Park and overflow parking is available at the Orlando Science Center's parking garage for $5 per vehicle.

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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