Friday, July 5, 2013

Mysterious Muses

On Tuesday June 4th, at 7pm Frank Holt, the  Director of the Mennello Museum of American Art, (900 E Princeton St Orlando FL) conducted an intimate tour of Mysterious Muses: A Selection of Southern Folk Art, and the companion exhibit, Southern Folk Art Masters. This was a chance to hear Holt speak about the pieces in both exhibits that he's drawn from the permanent collection.

Perhaps 20 to 30 art loving patrons gathered to hear Frank's insights. They moved throughout the galleries and I decided to catch Frank in the main entry to the museum as he spoke about this large totem covered in words and crows. Apparently there was a myth among southern blacks that crows would spy on the white community and report back. I was reminded of the not very politically correct crows in Dumbo. I liked the crows angular forms blocked out in wood. Their long yellow beaks made them resemble Toucans. This column is actually covered with words but I ran out of time and only wrote the one line. The upside down copy at the top said something like, "I wrote this upside down because it was easier." A thunderbird is a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples' history and culture. It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength. It's name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind. A large crow at the top of this totem stands in as the thunderbird. Artists in the show include, Alyne Harris, Brian Dowdall, Sybil Gibson, Kurt Zimmerman, Ronald Lockett, Jesse Aaron, Benjamin Perkins and Gary Yost. The exhibit will remain up through August 9th.

In the back room of the museum was an exhibit called "Crackers in the Glade" with sketches by Rob Storter.  These simple pen and ink with watercolor drawing really resonated with me. Here was an artist doing exactly what I love to do, documenting his life and times with line and tone. These sketches were done to preserve the artists' memory of a side of Florida that is now long gone. Storter was a humble fisherman, but he has an eye for detail and his sketches help bring the past to life. Things he is intimately familiar with like fish and boats jump off the page with bold and confident line work. This exhibit is well worth a visit and I know I'll be going back. I left an umbrella in the museum as a subconscious reminder that I must return.

Weekend Top 6 Picks
Saturday July 6th 2013 
10am to 5pm FREE: Bank of America Museums on US! Orange County Regional History Center (65 E. Central Blvd. Orlando FL 32801.) BA’s Gift to you this weekend, free admission for Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholders. Present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch Credit or Debit Card and a valid photo ID and the cardholder receives free admission!
INFO (407)836-7010

1pm to 4pm $2 Donation: Summertime Music Series, The Ladyz and the Boyz. Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, (19239 US Hwy 27 Clermont FL 34715.) Ladyz and the Boyz is a tribute to American music starring two dynamic sisters from Rochester, NY on vocals and keyboards. The Howard Sister's, Kaimi, Quin, and Casey's soulful voices give the band spirit that has audiences giving standing ovations at every performance. Lead male vocals and guitar of Louie Velez, drummer George Mitchell, and Band leader, bassist Paul Lovizio.

8pm to Midnight FREE: Dark Arts Art Show. The Falcon (819 E Washington Street Orlando FL 32801.) Art featuring witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolf's & anything that goes bump in the night!

Sunday July 7th 2013
Noon to 2pm Order lunch: Broadway Brunch at Hamburger Mary's! (110 West Church Street Orlando, FL 32801.) Show tunes and a juicy burger.

6pm to 8pm FREE: SHUT YOUR FACE! Poetry Slam by Curtis Meyer! La Casa De La Paellas (10414 E Colonial Dr Orl FL 32817.) The only current ongoing slam in Orlando officially certified by Poetry Slam Incorporated, IE. Send a team to Nats as well as poets to The Individual World Poetry Slam and Women of The World Poetry Slam! $50 to the winner! If you’ve never seen or been in a slam before, it’s definitely worth checking out!

7:30pm to 9:30pm  FREE: Concert! 3 world premieres by Richard Drexler, Keith Lay & Ralph Hays!!! The White House (2000 South Summerlin Orlando FL 32806.) This fine clarinet quartet is going to Assisi next week to perform at the International Clarinet Association's conference. New music by three living composers, two of whom will be in attendance (one from NYC). The Ralph Hays piece is entitled Divertimento, and can be described as a neoclassical multi movement work that is quite charming. With sometimes surprising harmonic twists. The Keith Lay pieces are entitled, Even and Sawtooth, and will challenge the audience to rethink what they know about tempo and rhythm. The Richard Drexler piece is entitled Five South American Dances and will transport the listener to very different parts of the world without the jet lag. Donations welcome (to help pay for their trip). Kevin Strang, Keith Koons, Jessica Hall, Jennifer Royals
Don’t forget to bring food & wine to share!

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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