Thursday, August 30, 2012


I have three sketches on exhibit this month at City Arts Factory (29 South Orange Avenue). They are part of an exhibit called Granted which is showcasing the work of artists who received grants from United Arts. Between 2009 and 2011, 86 talented artists with a broad range of creative disciplines including visual arts, film, literature and performing arts, received grants ranging from $1,000-$2,500 for artistic projects or training. A total of $97,400 in grants was awarded during the three-year period in Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. I applied for a $1,000 grant which paid for most of my sketchbooks and pens last year. I've never hung my work in City Arts Factory before because they have a hanging fee. I've never seen the point in paying to have my work seen. The good news was that there was no hanging fee for the Granted exhibit. I still had to go to Michael's to find $8 frames. The show runs through September 15th.

I went to the opening and was immediately drawn to a back gallery that was filled with huge balloons and beach balls. Banks Helfrich had filled the room to promote his upcoming independent feature film called 7 Lives of Chance. There was no one inside so I immediately pushed my way in and found a spot to perch and sketch. Slowly small groups of people were brave enough to push inside. The film's soundtrack was playing from some speakers on top of a large roll top desk. Benoit Glazer had composed the soundtrack which had a distinctive French, light, breezy and fun air.

A large circular oak table had a pile of balloons that were waiting to be blown up. One guy worked his way under the largest balloon to pose for a photo as Atlas. Immediately after the photo, the balloon popped loudly causing everyone to jump and scream. He apologized profusely to me and I had to explain that I wasn't in charge.  Periodically as people explored a balloon would pop causing my line or a splash of color to jump. As I left a girl was busy stomping on the smaller balloons with her high heals. Every balloon's destiny, large or small, was to eventually be popped.

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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