Monday, March 16, 2015

A Fringe mural dies.


Last year Scottie Campbell contacted me about doing a mural on the facade of the Fringe offices. The building had been painted black which made it a heat magnet. I had done a sketch of Orlando for a mural that was later painted by drunk patrons of a Downtown Orlando Arts event. Needless to say, that painting didn't turn out as expected. It hung in the lobby of the hotel for a while and then disappeared. I decided to resurrect that sketch for the Fringe facade.

My plan was to paint the wall white and reproduce the sketch with only the sky as a painted element. That assured that the mural would be as bright as possible reflecting away any heat. The problem was that the Fringe had no budget for the mural. United Arts of Central Florida has a crowd sourced fundraising page called Power2Give which is similar to Kickstarter. The advantage of Power2Give is that funds go to the arts organization even if 100% of the funds are not raised. The disadvantage is that United Arts takes 12% of the funds. A page was set up to raise $5000 for the mural's creation. I set up a progress chart that showed the funds raised. At the end of the campaign only half the funds had been raised. Then came the nail in the coffin, a developer plans to demolish the Fringe offices, the Thursty Topher and several other buildings to make room for a high rise condo.

George Fringe Wallace, executive director of the Fringe, asked me to hold off on reporting the condo debacle until the deal was public knowledge. About a year from now, all the warehouses along Alden Road will be demolished to make way for a mixed-use development with 585 apartments and buildings as tall as nine stories. Developers said that they want to honor the area's roots by incorporating art studios, performance space and an industrial feel into its design. Artists in the area however doubt they will find a home in the new development plan.  I am not sure yet where the Fringe offices will relocate after they make way for the wrecking ball.  I'm thankful work never started on the mural because it would be hard to see my work destroyed. Murals are only as permanent as the walls they are painted on. Hopefully the several thousand dollars raised will be used by the Fringe to continue bringing cutting edge and sometimes weird theater to Orlando. At least the Fringe building has been painted white which means a cooler summer as the Fringe searches for a new home. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the mural. My proposed mural depicting sky rises will be replaced by  actual highrises.

1 comment:

Lauren Siegel said...

"Developers said that they want to honor the area's roots by incorporating art studios, performance space and an industrial feel into its design."

Or they could "honor" the area by leaving it as the haven for artists it already is and doing their "development" elsewhere.