Monday, September 10, 2012

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz (625 North Park Avenue, Winter Park) hosts free musical performances each Sunday from Noon to 3PM. Jack Fannigan invited me inside prior to a performance with a theatrical flourish. Jack used to work for James Gamble III who designed Casa Feliz. The building was slated to be demolished but Winter Park citizens wanted to save the historic building. The entire building was lifted and moved to its new home next to a golf course.

Matt, The Sax Man, Festa and Michelle Mailhot were performing on this sunny Sunday afternoon. I had sketched Matt once before at a First Thursdays event at OMA. As a matter of fact, when he opened his laptop, my sketch of him was being used as his screen saver. Michelle also performs with Toxic Audio, a talented acapella singing group. I know they have performed at the Orlando International Fringe Festival and I've heard plenty of good buzz, but I've never seen them perform. Regardless, Michelle's voice is stellar. She sang Nora Jones' "I don't knew why" with incredible heart.

The evening before, I had sketched at the Red Fox Lounge where the incomparable Mark Wayne and Lorna Lamby used to perform their kitschy and fun musical lounge act. After Mark's death earlier this year, there has been other performers trying to fill those shoes, but there is still a void. Matt and Michelle have that extra magic turning a performance into an all out party. Michelle's daughter dressed in pink, danced in the front row. Every seat was full and the room was alive. As I packed up to leave, I noticed another artist working on a sketch. What a great way to start a Sunday afternoon.

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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