Friday, September 7, 2012
The Corridor Project's first show, titled "Walk on By" was spearheaded by Patrick Greene, the events coordinator at Urban ReThink. Over night almost 100 art installations popped up all over Orlando. The largest concentration of artwork appeared along Mills Avenue in the Mills 50 District. I knew that artists were out between 4AM and 7AM installing their work but I wasn't sure where the pieces were being installed. I set my alarm for 5AM but swatted it off and fell back to sleep. The next day I decided to sketch this sculpture installation by Bethany Mikell outside Wills Pub (1042 N Mills Ave, Orlando). Painted silver, this modern looking couple is covered in metallic nuts and bolts. The piece exudes fashion with a chic industrial flair. Even the chains holding the couple to the site have an industrial fell.
Walk on By functions as a temporary, clandestine art museum with no fixed location. The works are site specific using empty storefronts and public spaces. In the past, Orlando has promoted public art in the form of decorated fiberglass Gibson Guitars and lizards. These juvenile displays limit artist expression, forcing the work to be decorative. Even the decorated Mills 50 power boxes seem to lack any bold artistic vision. When public art is needed, as in the case of banners to hide the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts construction site, children's art is used. If you have ever gotten a ticket in Orlando then you have been blessed to see the children's art decorating tiles outside the parking ticket payment office. Walk on By has finally allowed local and international artists the ability to openly express themselves in an urban public setting. Finally the art is meant for a mature, enlightened, adult audience. It isn't watered down for a Disney, white bread, homogenous, world view. This seems like a bold first step towards a city that can take spontaneous chances.
The art isn't just for high society gallery gawkers. It is for anyone walking or driving by. Keep your eyes open and be prepared to be surprised. Some art performances happened only at 8:30AM on September 5th while other art pieces will remain on site until they decay. So turn off the cell phone and TV and get out to Walk on By. This gallery has no walls.