Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Steam Machine, a Steampunk Event.

The Orlando Museum of  Art hosts a monthly exhibit for local artists on the first Thursday of every month. They rang in the new year with a Steampunk themed evening. Intricate steampunk sculptures and costumes dominated the 1st Thursday gallery that is to the left of the rotunda as you enter the museum. Outside the entrance, a series of blank panels were set up so that patrons could use the supplied spray paint cans to get their graffiti on. Actors from Phantasmagoria dressed in Victorian black and blood-red costumes circulated in the crowd, building the excitement with their turn- of-the century British accents.

 The most exciting performance of the evening came when the Phantasmagoria troupe took over the least populated end of the 1st Thursday gallery. John DiDonna stood on the circus-like, steampunk-themed barrel and shouted to gain patrons' attention. He would make any sideshow hawker proud. The crowning act was a woman who could swallow a sword. Members of the audience crowded close and John asked several to test the blade to verify its authenticity and sharpness. She swallowed the sword with ease. A second time she swallowed the sword and bent forward at the waist to take a bow. A woman was picked from the audience to extricate the sword. John shouted that the sword was resting on the actress's heart. The woman gingerly removed the sword, uncertain and then delighted like a child when she held the heavy blade. She ran back into the audience wide-eyed and beaming.

I chatted with Logan Anderson and tried to convince him to create a poem written on the sidewalk inside one of Orlando's 27 blue busking boxes. He explained that there is a paint that is invisible when dry and can only be seen when the pavement gets wet with rain. I told him to do it for the Blue Box Initiative and put out a tip jar as he worked. "The streets are paved with gold!" I shouted. Of course I've never made a dime sketching, but I don't put out a tip jar. He told me that for Art in Odd Places, an artist used gold leaf to fill cracks in the sidewalks in a certain spot downtown. The gold leaf has since washed away, but all the drains downtown send water to Lake Eola. It stands to reason that there must be gold in the lake basin. It is time to get those gold pans out and step into the lake to find that mother lode.

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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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