Thursday, September 13, 2012

Artists Process

As part of the Corridor Project's first show, Walk on By, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, a UCF art instructor, sat in a thrown outside Urban ReThink starting at 6pm on September 5th accepting trash offerings. That evening artists gathered at ReThink to talk about their art and process.

Wanda was dressed in a tight red corset and had a huge wig of purple hair which was woven and balled up. Red and white jewels glistened in her hair. From the moment I entered, I knew I wanted to get close to her to sketch. Wanda's regal performance piece had previously been done at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

She began her discussion by asking the audience what they felt her performance was about. I hadn't seen her performance, so I kept quiet. Her question rang forth like a challenge. The room was dead silent. A little boy started shrieking and complaining in the corner. With a regal flair Wanda raised her hand and shouted out "Excuse me!" The mom ushered her son out the door. Wanda explained that people often dump their shit on the people closest to them. She said her performance art was about intimacy. In one performance piece she invited people to lie in bed with her. In the quiet moments, some people cried.

Jessica Earley who yarn bombed the front of Urban Rethink discussed her art. She is soft spoken and began her talk by warning us of her shyness. As she discussed her art, she was never at a loss for words. She gazed at the far wall of the room as she spoke. Her thoughts and passions rang true. The projector wouldn't work but Dina Mack helped her get it running. Jessica showed us some of her more controversial paintings that she had done. One painting she did was actually censored by a costumer in a local restaurant. Her paintings often visualize woman's issues. Some show a woman's longings to someday have a child. A painting showing a nude woman and child couldn't be hung. The woman had some knitting covering her lap and a single strand of yarn lead to a baby who had on a knit cap and diapers. Black crows then flew up from the child's head towards a flaming blue cell. Jessica has been painting for the past three years and her work is astonishingly intimate and sincere. A common thread through the evenings discussions was that artists love to experiment and explore different mediums. Jessica wants to continue performance art, music, dance, installations and visual art. Self expression can come in many forms.

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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