Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Artegon is located where the old Festival Bay Mall used to be, at 5250 International Drive near all the Outlet Malls. The promoters pitched the venue as an exotic artist's market. In the first months, quite a few local artists set up shop in cages to sell their art. Robin Van Arsdol, (RV) took over a large gallery space near the movie theater which was prime retail space. He left as did most other artist's. At a First Thursdays even at The Orlando Museum of art, I asked him why he left Artegon. His response was rather simple, "They lied to me." I left it at than.
The metal cages have been replaced by walls that give the market a more quaint feeling. The cage ceilings remain. In the large open area at the center of Artegon, a sky trail was set up. In the first few months after Artegon opened, a tourist fell to his death from this attraction. I was told that benches were placed around the body to keep people away. Today there is a six foot open topped box that could be used for the same purpose. Four people could lift the four walled box and place it where it was needed. Only the tallest people could peek inside.
The Art of Beer was hell in this large open area. Free samples of beer were dispensed to the long lines of people. John Jacob Williams performed covers with his guitar. The music was just background noise as people waited for their free beer. Mark your calendar, the Art of Beer happens on the Second Tuesday of every month, at 5 p.m. Don't climb up into the rafters after you have had a few.