Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cameo Theater

On March 22nd, I went to the Cameo Theater for a display of garbage as art. The Cameo had been closed for well over a year due to fire code violations so I was curious to see it open it's doors again. UCF architecture student, Jorge Boone, who recently purchased the Cameo, Wes Featherston and James Cornetet of Process Architecture, LLC hosted the art installation.

Two amazing installations created by ten talented UCF architecture students in the alley beside the Cameo. The students were tasked with studying post-consumer waste and developing innovative new techniques for transforming these materials into building systems.

One group re-purposed plastic grocery bags using tribal basket weaving techniques to create a structural 40’x10’ canopy that sores over the Cameo’s courtyard. The bag canopy was tied to a ladder above my head and various window bars and metal stairs. It started raining as I sketched and unfortunately the canopy didn't protect from the rain because of it's open weave.

The other group of students examined the structural nature of paper mache egg cartons to create a pair of 12’x20’ wall panels that will create the only ‘quiet’ zone in the district due to the natural acoustic qualities of the cartons.

Several new designs for the theater were lying on tables inside the Theater. Then both seemed to focus on sprucing up the Theater's facade. The interior was gutted clean. One student was sweeping the dusty floor. A talent agency is still upstairs as well as John Hurst's animation storyboard artist studio.

Hopefully the new owner will resurrect the Cameo since it was one of my favorite venues to sketch. The place was raw and uncluttered making it ideal for large installations and cutting edge experimental shows. Perhaps the Phoenix can rise again from the fire codes ashes.

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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