Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gods and Monsters the Mercury Collective.

Gods and Monsters (in the Artegon Market Place) and The PAR Group, LLC, presented "The Mercury Collective -- Premier Launch Party" The evening was promoted as an artistic development and networking event, with some of Orlando's best emerging music artists and media creatives. "A New Hip-Hop, Soul, and R&B Renaissance."

I arrived at the start of the event and didn't notice any creatives or Hip-Hop musicians. I sat down and started drawing the guys at the next table playing a role-play board game. Star Wars and Super Hero figurines lined the shelves, and edgy local art hung on the walls. This dark industrial room was a busy and fun to draw. The Artegon Market Place was shut down last month, so this venue no longer exists. All the vendors were told to leave, wondering what had happened.

I had sat in on the early promotions before Artegon opened. It sounded like an amazing opportunity for local artists and crafters to present their wares to tourists on International Drive. I was considering renting a space. The mall that preceded Artegon was always empty, with most stores closed with a color banner covering the storefront to represent what it would look like if people shopped there. The foot traffic didn't increase much when Artegon opened. There were random beer-tasting events that I went to sketch, But Gods and Monsters was always the best draw.

Inside was a gallery where local artists presented their work. The good news is that Gods and Monsters (5421 International Dr,, Orlando, Florida 32819) is still open along with the other larger shops like Bass Pro Shop and the Cinemark Movie Theater. The next event I want to sketch at Gods and Monsters is a Retro Futuristic Electro Swing Party. That starts on Friday, March 10th, at 10:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m. It will be an evening of entertainment and fashion from Ocular Hysteria. Admission is $5 at the door. There will be Go-Go Dancing and grinder performances from DefenzMechanizm throughout the night, Antique beats provided by Joseph Vourteque Ringmaster / MC Director/Producer at ROUGE Electro Swing & Cabaret Chicago/Detroit. Costumes are encouraged, Photo ops and prizes!! There will be vendors and artists.

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

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