Sunday, November 8, 2015
I stopped by City Arts Factory to see the volunteer team effort involved in hanging new shows. There are four galleries as well as the long haII way in which to hang art. That is a whole lot of wall space. In May, when this sketch was done, they were hanging, Mel's Bad Girls Club Art Show. Tamere Parsons was getting all the labels ready for the show. I don't think most artists are aware of the amount of work that goes into hanging each show. One piece that really caught my eye was a black frame that had physical branches breaking up the inner dimensional space by artist Chelle Shannon. Maura Luchesse had one of her sensual recycled magazine mosaic pieces titled "Catch Me If You Can." The price was $8000 which is reassuring since that implies that some people in Orlando are paying a reasonable market rates for art. Laura Williams "Gypsy Mermaid" on the other hand was marked down to the minimum wage, bargain basement price of $300.
On a black and white photo on the wall, a homeless woman holds up a sign that says help please. This is much like the common perception of "the starving artist." Local artists bicker and fight over scraps rather than banding together and empowering each other. A weekend away in NYC reminded me of what a vibrant arts scene can be like. I met 18 like mine artists for a Sketch Crawl in Washington Square Park where we documented a huge police violence awareness rally and then sketched the huge variety of performance artists in the park. In Orlando performance art is outlawed or rather limited to a few blue box locations that are in isolated locations downtown. I've never actually seen an artist use one of the blue box busking stations. Instead, Lake Eola has a speaker system that pipes in Disney white bread music for the swans to listen to. The Creative City Project livened up the streets of Downtown for one night, but then the silence returned.