Tuesday, September 30, 2014
On Friday, September 26, The Downtown Arts District held it's 10th annual fundraiser, La Maschera Goes Motown, presented by Bud Light Platinum at The Abbey (100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL). La Maschera was a festive celebration of the arts featuring live entertainment by Motown In Motion and the I-4 Band, tasty cuisine, refreshing cocktails, and fun. Last year’s theme was Mardi Gras and the year prior was the Roaring 20’s. Guests were encouraged to dress in themed attire and the best dressed won a prize. Tickets for La Maschera Goes Motown, presented by “Bud Light Platinum” were $50 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Downtown Arts District.
When I arrived, The Abbey wasn't yet crowded, so it was easy for me to find a seat close to the stage and sketch. The I-4 Band was on stage exuding energy. Although the two singers were dancing up a storm, no one was on the dance floor. Their set was over before my sketch was done. Luckily the same band members returned to the stage to back up Motown in Motion. The MC shouted into the mic, asking all the men in the room if they wanted to see some very sexy ladies. There was a muffled response and the MC joked that there must be too many husbands in the crowd. I sketched the band as Pointer Sisters started to sing "Stop in the Name of Love." At first, I didn't know if I should take them seriously. It's sort of the feeling I get when I see a Marylin Monroe or Elvis Impersonator. I figure it is all look and no substance but they proved me wrong because everyone took to the dance floor to move to the beat. Ray Charles came in to perform a solo and the dance floor got crowded. An all male singing group then took to the stage and the ladies in the house started hooting and hollering.
The dance floor got so crowded that I started to get bumped. Each time the singers returned to the stage, they were in new outfits. That would certainly be challenging to sketch. A dear friend, Michael Mcleod was celebrating his birthday that night, so with the sketch done, I drove to the party only a few miles away. At that party I learned all about Artegon from the executive vice president Steven A. Sless. 60 million dollars has been invested to renovate the largely deserted Festival Bay Mall on International Drive across from the Outlet Malls. Artegon is modeled after Pikes Market in Seattle which has local artists and craftsmen renting booths for $6 a day that are part studio space and retail. It is a fascinating idea and I plan to get to an open house soon to learn more.