Friday, July 26, 2013

Sanford Art Walk

On every fourth Friday between 6pm and 9pm, there is an Art Walk in Downtown Sanford that features fine and funky art. I went to the June Sanford Art Walk with storm clouds looming. As I walked down 1st Street it began to pour, so I slipped inside the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Galley (211 East 1st Street, Sanford FL). As I was looking around, the woman behind the counter asked if I was Thor. It was Mary K. Shaw. I had sketched her once as part of the Sketchbook Project Library which was set up for a few days at Urban ReThink. I had never met her in person, yet she was a Facebook friend. Since she knew of my sketch a day project, I felt comfortable asking her if I could sketch the gallery to promote the Sanford Art Walk. It was hard to find a spot where I wouldn't be blocking any art. I snuggled up next to a water pipe and got to work.

There are artist's studios all around the outer edge of the gallery. I particularly liked the work of Cherie Dacko. Her " Bent Realism" distorted faces as if using the liquefy filter in Photoshop. Features melted and swirled. She also incorporated fabric that gave the work an added dimension. I got to meet the artist and she used to work in the front studio that had a window to the street. Passers by would actually stop in to complain saying they found her work disturbing. That is a major accomplishment to get such a visceral reaction.  She now has a studio upstairs where she can work in peace. I purchased a bottle of "Cheer Wine" which is actually a local soda that I have never been able to find in a supermarket. I met Joe Waller, who makes "Cheer Wine" in his home state of North Carolina But I never had the chance to taste it. Now I knew what all the fuss was about.

For the Art Walk, two Folk Artists were exhibiting their colorful work in the far corner of my sketch. That evening there was also going to be shuffleboard matches at the Sanford Senior Center with vintage attire encouraged. The shuffleboard is rain or shine, thanks to covered pavilions, so anyone can come out and rattle the sticks and pucks tonight. Free and fun til 9pm. A small French Bulldog named Frankie was the welcome ambassador to the Folk Art. He slobbered on my bag and checked on my progress fairly often. A Day of the Dead mask of Lady Catrina was made by an artist who wears it in October and walks 1st Avenue to promote the gallery. This is the place to be come Halloween. There were $20 magnets by Artist Carl Knickerbocker. I had one of these on my car once but it was stolen. Tin can fish swam through the cavernous gallery and black face iron sculptures stood behind an ancient travel chest.

The theme for the month at the Sanford Welcome Center was,“Art Show About Nothing”, abstractions abounded, they didn’t care what it was, as long as it was NOT SOMETHING. It's a different theme each month. A small card on the counter had a map that showed all nine stops on the Art Walk. Having experienced just one venue, I have every reason to go back. Tonight's Art Walk (Friday July 26, 2013), theme is “Breakable”- a tribute to all things breakable, broken or pieced back together. This is Central Florida’s only monthly juried art show with both a “Best in Show” award chosen by a panel of judges and a “People’s Choice” award chosen by the attendees of the show. Head to downtown Sanford, pick up a map at any gallery, and mingle with the artists as you enjoy live music, food and lots of ART. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

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

1 comment:

MK Shaw said...

So glad your trip to Sanford left you wanting more! Love that sketch with all the faces peeking out at different angles. The themed art shows (Art about Nothing and Breakable) take place across the street at the Sanford Welcome Center. And shuffleboard is slated again tonight, rain or shine thanks to covered pavilions. Thanks for spreading the art love, Thor!