Sunday, April 30, 2017

49 crosses.


After the horrific massacre at Pulse Nightclub, 49 crosses were placed at Lake Beauty of the Orlando Regional Medical Center where victims were taken in the moments after the shooting. The medical center is just a few blocks north of Pulse on Orange Avenue. Never has an emergency room been so close to the scene of a mass murder. Despite the best efforts of the ER doctors working under triage conditions, 49 lives were lost. The rifle used had only one purpose which is to take human life with brutal force. These 49 crosses became a place of pilgrimage for a community trying to find reason behind an insane and pointless act of hate and violence. Other countries look at America's love affair with gun violence with shock and amazement.

An Illinois man,  Greg Zanis, 65, traveled more than 1,000 miles from his home in Illinois to Orlando, Florida, in the wake of the massacre.  His pickup drove to Orlando with the 49 handmade crosses, one for each of the victims that died. Zanis also brought markers so that people could write messages on the crosses. Every surface is covered in writing.

The crosses are now stored at the Orlando Regional History Center off site facility. The warehouse is home to the museum's vast historical collection which are not currently on exhibit in the downtown museum. I was sworn to secrecy about the off site location and the route was purposefully convoluted with a myriad of pretzel turns and back road circles.  Upon entering the facility, Frank Weber, the County Photographer, shouted out, "No food or drink!" as he pointed to a sign with the same message. Museum staff gathered in the break room to finish their Starbucks coffees. My coffee had a taste of caramel. I'm beginning to understand the allure of living off of coffee alone. Frank had an admirably inappropriate sense of humor that helped lighten the atmosphere. To enter the warehouse we had to walk across a sticky mat which removed any dirt or insect eggs from the soles of our feet.

The conserved crosses were each stored in grey archival boxes, specially made for them with clear fronts so the crosses can be seen. The memorial items left at each cross are stored in separate boxes right above the corresponding crosses, which were stacked several shelves high. Colorful items collected from memorials and vigils were stacked everywhere. Over five thousand items are still being preserved, and catalogued. It is a Herculean and thankless task being executed with love by the History Center staff.  The crosses will be on display in June as part of the one year vigil to honor victims, their families, survivors, and first responders. It seems like only yesterday when this horrific event shocked and saddened Orlando. The wounds are still very visible if you look.

Staff removed crosses from their boxes and stood them clustered near Frank, who shot a three quarter view of each cross, front and back. Large industrial flashes created clean shots which will be used for an online database of the collection. After each cross was photographed, it was moved near the loading dock, so they will be ready to go on public display in June. These wooden crosses are heavy and lifting 49 of them tests muscles. I found it odd that a historic rifle storage cabinet was right beside Frank as he shot the photos. Staff and Frank wore blue conservator's gloves to be sure not to get body oils onto the painted surfaces of the crosses. These gloves ripped at times and had to be replaced. The warehouse was reminiscent of the final scene in Indiana Jones when the arc of the covenant was stored away. However, in Orlando the memories of those lost to senseless violence is being kept alive. The hope is that we as a community can grow stronger.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Painting demo: A Plein Air Picnic.


Painter, Harold Frontz gave a painting demo titled, "A Plein Air Picnic". I had high hopes of seeing a beautiful woman with a white parasol feeding grapes to her fashionable partner while a stocky lap dog sniffs in the grass. It was a gorgeous day at the Albin Polasek Museum, (633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789). The museum is on three acres overlooking Lake Osceola. I walked down to the water's edge to watch the water lilies as they bobbed on the water's surface. Rachael Frisby the museum curator wandered from artist to artist to check on their progress.

Inside, plein air paintings that were still wet leaned against the walls waiting to be hung. The paintings were freshly created by artists who were part of the Winter Park Paint Out happening April 23rd to the 29th. Free painting demos were available all week long. For me, it was a great opportunity to learn from other artists.

Harold Frontz was actually painting a still life that he set up on a white linen tablecloth. A red apple sat next to a bro me bowl holding some ferns, along with some yellow flowers described them, "happy grapes." He rubbed a warm ground onto the board and quickly roughed in a light drawing using a #2 bright brush and slightly darker pigment. a larger brush and showed it to the audience. "This is the secret of impressionistic painting" announced. He could use the flat edge for large brush strokes and then turn the brush to get a thinner stroke. He uses a Masterson sealed palette which is like Tupperware. He lined the bottom with brown paper and set a sheet of glass on top of that. I immediately want to adopt that idea.

Harold uses a separate brush for every color. He organized his wet brushes on the palette lid. He uses lots of paper towels. He adopted the practice from portraiture of placing the light side of the face against a dark background and placing the dark side of the face against a light background. Transparent darks we applied to his canvas first. Harold blocked in his painting he stressed the importance of using the brush strokes, define direction, shape, and form.

Harold stopped and sat in the front row. He gave an overview of the points he had covered in the demonstration. The funniest thing he said, was that he is soft spoken, because at home, he can't get a word in edgewise.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for April 29th and 30th.

Saturday April 29, 2017 
7pm to 10pm $125 7th Annual Science of Wine. Orlando Science Center (777 E. Princeton St. Orlando, FL 32803.) Uncork your inner sommelier and scientist at one of Orlando's most unique wine and food events. Science of Wine, presented by Southern Glazer's Wines and Spirits, allows you to experience the science behind the taste and body of your favorite wines. Dine on hand-selected pairings provided by some of Orlando's best restaurants. Ready your mind and palate for a night of wining, dining and learning.
The Science of Wine raises critical funds to provide operating support for educational programs and opportunities for science learners of all ages to experience the fun and discovery of Orlando Science Center.
Sample more than 150 wines from the world's major regions and dishes from more than 20 Orlando-area culinary partners
Learn how to taste like a pro with Julie Pepi at Science of Wine Idol (Less than 20 seats remaining!) Become an expert on perfect pairing at the Swine and Sons Provisions cooking demo- Limited seating available
Learn to create healthy, wine-inspired desserts with Kristine Thomas
Participate in live entertainment like creating a wine-themed canvas painting and cigar rolling
Bid in our silent auction to support the mission of Orlando Science Center--to inspire science learning for life

7pm to 9pm $7 per class. Dance Orlando Festival 2017. ME Theatre (Marshall Ellis Theatre) 1300 La Quinta Drive #3, Orlando, Florida 32809. A festival to showcase the versatility of dance as an art form ORLANDO, Fla.
The ME Dance company will present its 2nd I Dance Orlando Festival, Orlando’s first arts festival to solely explore the art of dance to its richest extent. Registration for the dance festival has opened for all local and regional dance schools and companies interested in participating.
The event will take place April 29 and 30, 2017 at the state-of-the-art ME Theatre, which is specially equipped for dance performances of all kinds. I Dance Orlando Festival was introduced to bring together the local community of dancers,choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative manner that will allow them to perform new works and also inspire and educate the public through dance.
The festival aspires to create an environment for students and artists to cultivate their talent and artistry to its fullest potential, all while strengthening public appreciation and support for this unique and vast art form.
“The I Dance Orlando Festival is designed to offer a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere aimed at cultivating a creative exchange of ideas,” says Marshall Ellis, founder and artistic director of ME Dance and concept designer for the festival. “The festival will encourage artists to explore new grounds, offer a creative outlet, and also provide both local artists and the public the opportunity to experience dance in a new way.”Throughout the festival, the ME Dance School will host open, drop-in classes (no registration needed) for the general public for the deeply discounted price of only $7 per class.

7pm to 10pm SAFE Words Slam FINALS! Henao Contemporary Center 5601 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, Florida 32810. This event will determine a team of 4 poets that will represent Orlando at the 2017 National Poetry Slam in Denver, CO.

Sunday April 30, 2017.
Noon to 1pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola near red gazibo.

Noon to 3pm Donation. Music at the Casa. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Harpist Catherine Way.

10pm to midnight Free but get a coffee.  Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee & Tea, 12078 Collegiate Way, Orlando, FL, United States. Every Sunday.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Science Center Talk about OSIRUS-Rex.


At Live from Orlando, It's Science Night Live! Out of this World Space Edition! at the Orlando Science Center, (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803), Dr. Campins spoke about OSIRIS-REx, is an exploratory spacecraft which will intersect with asteroid Bennu to collect surface dust to be returned to Earth for analysis. He showed slides of the spacecraft's sterile construction. The craft has been in it's Outbound Cruise Phase since Sept. 8, 2016. Bennu is about 600 feet in diameter which means it rotates slow enough so that surface dust should be still intact..

It Completed Earth-Trojan Asteroid Search around the L4 Earth-sun Lagrange Point on Feb. 20, 2017.  Although no new Earth Trojans were discovered, the spacecraft’s camera operated flawlessly and demonstrated that it could image objects two magnitudes dimmer than originally expected.
Completed six-month instrument calibrations in March 2017.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Live from Orlando, It's Science Night Live! Out of this World Space Edition!


At Live from Orlando, It's Science Night Live! Out of this World Space Edition, held at at Orlando Science Center, (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803.) Dr. Campins spoke to guests at Science on a Sphere (the floating orb on Level 4) for about an hour before his official presentation talking about the OSIRUs-REx mission one-on-one with people. This mission sending a satellite to intercept an  asteroid approaching to Earth. When the craft gets close enough an arm will extend and and slap the  asteroid will raise particles which will then be Earth. The composition should give hints about the earliest history the solar system.

Dr. Campins instrumental in bringing the project to reality. target asteroid is named Bennu which is a B-type asteroid with a 500 meter diameter. It completes an orbit around the Sun every 1.2 years and every 6 years comes very close to Earth. These close encounters give Bennu a high probability of impacting Earth in the late 22nd century. Bennu’s size, primitive composition, and potentially hazardous orbit make it one of the most fascinating and accessible Near-Earth Objects and the ideal OSIRIS-REx target asteroid.

A tall woman made hand shadow puppets on the globe as people asked questions mission.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Pamela Schwartz.


I first met Pamela Schwartz, The Orange County Regional History Center Chief Curator three months after the horrific Pulse Nightclub shooting that took 49 lives. I had contacted artist, and History Center Collections manager Whitney Broadaway, about sketching interviews with survivors, family of victims and first responders. It just so happened that Pamela was beginning interviews, so the collaboration made perfect sense. Pamela is an artist herself, so she understood what I do.

Pamela had been working as the History Center museum curator for just four months when the Pulse shooting happened. As politicians and first responders scrambled for a course of action, Pam was making plans on how the History Center could play a role in preserving the history that was unfolding. Multiple memorials were appearing with people leaving flowers candles and personal mementos. Rather than have all these items end up in a landfill, Pamela spearheaded an effort to collect, preserve and catalogue all of the thousands of items in the museum archives.

The collections work happened under grueling conditions in the height of the Florida summer heat. It was thankless work since not everyone understood or appreciated what the museum staff was doing. To date over five thousand items are still being preserved and catalogued. In this sketch Pamela is working late at night cataloguing the 49 crosses that were left at Lake Beauty next to the Orlando Regional Medical Center where people were treated after the shooting. After being collected, each cross was placed in a specially made archival box with a clear front. All of the memorial items left at each cross would fit in another box that slips behind the cross inside the box, keeping everything together. Preservation of the crosses was a challenge since they weren't built to last. Pamela took photos of each cross when they were at the hospital, showing them the first day and then sequentially with memorial items added over time. A large online database was created where memorial items can be seen. The crosses were supposed to go on public display 6 months after the shooting but Hurricane Mathew shut down those plans and canceled the Pride Parade. With one year fast approaching this June, the crosses are once again being considered as a symbolic centerpiece to honor each of the victims.

On Pam's desk are several EMS and fire department rainbow patches which were custom made to honor the senseless loss of life. It is just one example of the many small gestures that people continue to make in order to deal in some way with the tragedy. Such items are often sent straight to the museum since only the memorial at Pulse remains. Lake Eola and the memorial at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts have since been collected and are now being preserved.

On this night the subject for the interview didn't show up, so I sketched Pam at work. She entertained me with stories about her family in the midwest. She has been working in museums since she was 14,  so she was immediately up to the challenge when the Pulse Tragedy occurred. Interviews are still being conducted and likely will continue for years to come. Not everyone is ready to talk about that night. Just locating people is a challenge. Some wounds may never heal. I feel fortunate to be using my art to help document this story.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Orlando Traveling Mural Meeting.


The Orlando Traveling Mural meeting was held on the second floor at Sam Flax. Colleen Ardaman moderated. I arrived a bit late and the meeting was well underway. Several news stations were there along with survivors, and family of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Some of the painting s of victims were hung on the wall behind a panel of people involved in the project. The fact that this mural will help memorialize the people lost was stresses by Mayra, the mother of Amanda Alvear who was tragically shot that evening of June 12. Colleen mistook the portrait above Mayra's head for Amanda, but it was Amanda's best friend Mercedes who also died that night. Amanda may have been able to escape that evening but she went back for her friend according to Amanda's brother.

Much of the meeting was an opportunity to express the good will surrounding the project. People directly affected by the tragedy will be adding hand prints to the panels to allow everyone to contribute as a community. Coleen handed out sea shells to everyone in the room. She explained that the shell was a reminder of the living being that once inhabited it. The mural would act as a similar reminder.

The survivors sat in front of me at the meeting. A female newscaster crawled close to them so she could hear their names. I write the names down and hope to meet each someday. India Cedeno, a Pulse shooting survivor, said she also survived 9/11 in NYC. She began to recount how she and her son had escaped the club that night. As she spoke, she got choked up. Christopher Hanson another shooting survivor comforted her. As she recovered she explained that she was overwhelmed by the love in the room. I still don't know if art can heal, the talk rings shallow to me, but it is bringing people together which in itself opens doors and breaks down isolating barriers.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Swampy, The World's Largest Gator.

I spotted Swampy, the Worlds Largest Gator on a road trip heading West on 50 towards the space coast. I was driving out to sketch a rocket launch, so  I couldn't stop. After the launch, I had to stop and sketch Swampy. Swampy acts as the gateway to Jungle Adventures, A Real Florida Animal Park, (26205 E Colonial Dr, Christmas, FL 32709). The gator's 200 foot length guarantees the world record status. 

Jungle Adventure is home of rare Florida Panthers, Black Bears, Wolves, White-Tailed Deer, Tropical Birds, Reptiles, Mammals, and other critters. You enter this timeless old Florida Hidden Treasure into a lost world that time forgot. You can see, hear, smell (ewww) and feel, old, authentic Florida. Unfortunately the park was closed by the time I got back around sunset. I couldn't swell anything from the parking lot.

The park offers a gator jamboree feeding, and a cruise aboard the Serene Passage on Green Gator River, deep inside a natural Florida habitat teeming with alligators, flocks of birds and authentic old Florida replica, Spanish Fort Mees. Guests can cruise among 200 gators and survive.

Admission for Adults ages 12 to 59 is $23.95.
Seniors aged 60 and older cost $20.95
Children 3-11 cost $16.95
Children under 3 are free.








Saturday, April 22, 2017

West Art District faces a white wash by the city of Orlando.


The West Art District is located 1011 West Central Avenue near Westmoreland. Walking here was an adventure from downtown Orlando. Several blocks of Central are closed off due to construction of the new Orlando City Soccer Stadium. Fencing closed the street but the sidewalk remained open. The Homeless coalition had cardboard boxes and bundles possessions blocking part of the sidewalk. The sight of the colorful murals brightened the otherwise dingy neighborhood.

In May, the City of Orlando will be holding a public hearings to address code violations for this group of buildings known as The West Art District. According to city code, a building can not have murals on the front of the building. These buildings have all four walls covered in murals. A neighbor of West Art District put in the complaint. Harrison Rai, the manager of the property fears that the city wants to whitewash the front of the buildings. With the Orlando City Soccer Stadium gentrifying the neighborhood more people might have a chance to see the murals. In Miami's Wynwood District, every building is covered with murals created by artists from around the world. During Art Basel, an international artists exhibition, new art is added to the walls each year.

Several years ago I was asked to design a mural for the front of the Fringe offices. Money was raised to fund the project but before work began, the building was torn down to make room for a sky rise condo. Had I actually completed the mural, it might have faced a city whitewashing because of the ordinance.

In 2015, the City created a new, streamlined process to approve artistic murals and allow for this creative expression to expand in the City. Below is an overview of our current mural policy process. Any mural not meeting these requirements may still be allowed but would require a sign permit.

Location in the City: The artistic mural must be located in a non-residential area that is designated as an activity center or mixed-use corridor inside a Main Street or Market Street that isn’t a historic district or be adjacent to a LYMMO or SunRail station.

Location on the Building: The artistic mural must be on either the sides or rear of the building.

Height of the Mural: The artistic mural can only take up a certain percentage of the wall depending on the height. No mural can be more than 60 feet tall.

Commercial Message and Text: The artistic mural can have a sponsor (text or logo) but can not take up more than 5% of the mural. Any non-commercial text, separate from the sponsorship, can also not take up more than 5% of the mural

Maintenance Standards: Prior to painting, the area must be properly cleaned and primed. If the mural is defaced, peels, fades or is not maintained it will need to be repaired or painted over within 30 days.

Approval Process: Artistic murals require a joint application of the property owner and artist to the City. The application includes the concept for the mural, size and location. The application must be submitted in advance of the mural being installed. Murals inside the Downtown area will also require approval by Appearance Review Board staff. 

With so many rules regulations and reviews, artistic expression seems boxed in, much to the standards of the Orwellian 1984 society.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for April 22 and 23.

Saturday April 22, 2017
1:30pm to 4pm Free. Protest of St. Augustine's Anti-Artist Laws. Plaza de la Constitucion and on St. George Street. PleinAir artists from around the nation will converge on St. Augustine in protest of St. Augustine’s Anti-Artist Laws, and Historic City News local reporters will be there.
Currently PleinAir artists in St. Augustine are subject to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for “illegally” PleinAir painting or drawing in the City’s downtown parks and sidewalks. PleinAir painting is defined as painting in the open air or painting outdoors.
In support of St. Augustine’s PleinAir artists’ First Amendment rights to Freedom of Expression in public spaces, PleinAir artists will “illegally” paint and/or draw throughout the City’s “prohibited” parks and sidewalks.
In defiance of the City’s Anti-Artist laws, PleinAir artists will set up their easels in the Plaza de la Constitucion and on St. George Street starting at 1:30 p.m., in individual acts of civil disobedience. The “Paint In” will last approximately two-and-a-half hours.
Artists who do not wish to be arrested plan to set up a small easel and a blank canvas, symbolic of their support for the local artists, and in protest of the City’s restrictions on their First Amendment rights to paint and draw in public spaces. The city has laws that ban “painting,” “drawing,” “displaying,” and/or “selling” art in public spaces, but none against setting up an easel with a blank canvas. Laws against “intentionally” blocking or impeding pedestrian traffic still apply.
All of the artists who plan to paint or draw recognize that they are subject to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if they “illegally” create art in the City’s “prohibited” public spaces, and are making provisions to make bail.
Starting at 1:00 p.m. we will begin meeting with people in the Plaza near the former “Slave Market” to answer any last-minute questions and hand out extra 8.5″x11″ signs.

6pm to 9pm $120 for members, $150 for non-members. Participation Dinner Affair. Art and History Center, Germaine Marvel Building 231 W. Packwood Avenue Maitland, FL 32751. One of Central Florida’s most intriguing fundraising events, Participation is a feast for your senses. Local artists transform dining tables into works of art, and guests enjoy dinner with the artist at these unique creations. The evening includes live performances and demonstrations, a silent art auction, elegant dining and more.
 2017 Artists: Bob Barnett, Victor Bokas, Whitney Broadway, Stephanie Cafcules, Nathalie Chikhi, Anthony Deal, Danielle DeGuglimo, Marla E, Jeri Eisenberg, Lauren Gilmore, Derek Gores, Dan Hess, Matt Larson, Rebecca Sexton Larson, Faren LeJeune, Richard Munster, Suzanne Oberholtzer, Danny Powell, Kelly Maier Rex, Rebecca Rose, Elizabeth St. Hilaire and Trent Tomengo.

8pm to 10pm $5. The First Annual Tribute To Morgan Steele. Will's Pub 1042 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803. A Tribute to local artist, writer, eco-activist, and Legend Morgan Steele.
Featuring:
Dirt McCoy and Friends with:
Sabrina Ambra
Mandaddy
Erik Grincewicz
And Mick McIuan
Franchise
Love Destruction
Eugene Snowden
And Jim O'Rourke
Local Artists and Exhibits

Sunday April 23, 2017
10am to noon. Free. Painting Demo Light on water Michelle Held. Lake Lily Drive, Lake Lily Dr, Maitland, FL 32751. Part of the week long Winter Park Paint Out hosted by the Polasek Museum.

1pm to 3pm $40 Yoga Sketching Workshop. The Art of Fitness, 5154 Dr Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819.
Thomas Thorspecken (Thor) will offer instruction on how to draw the human form by sketching a Yoga Master in action. The class will cover the importance of finding a quick gesture before focusing on detail. Poses will be short to start 1 minute to 2 minutes) and get progressively longer as students loosen up. 10 minutes for the longest pose. We will focus on loose line work that stresses keeping the figure from being vertical or stiff. Get a drawing workout while drawing a yoga workout.
Art Of Fitness is a personal training and yoga studio in Dr. Phillips. The studio features an upscale design focused on inspiring clients to look and feel like a work of art. Golf fitness, meditation, tai chi, nutrition, personal training, yoga and yoga with pet therapy is all part of the atmosphere at this creative studio.
Elite Animation’s mission is to provide the highest quality education with top industry experts in the Art of Animation to students around the world from ages 8 and up (and Adults). We strive to offer a unique, engaging and innovative animation programs, bringing real life experiences to the classroom and providing students with the tools to maximize their marketability and increase their opportunities for college placement and advancement in various industries, not just Entertainment.


9pm to 11:55pm Free but get a coffee. Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL.  Free comedy, or give it a try yourself.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pulse Stairway Mural.

Michael Pilato and Yoriy Karbash have been working on a large multi panel Pulse Mural in a second floor walk up studio above Anthony's Pizza on the corner of Mills Avenue and Colonial Drive. The mural will be on display at Pulse at 2am on June 12 and then Lake Eola near the band shell later that day.

Artist Susan Gromala Crary volunteered to help home schooled Kids paint the mural leading up the steps. The kids small sketches on the first day of possible ideas, and Susan all those ideas to build a cohesive concept. Strips blue painter's marked the upper reaches of the mural. Using ochre paint, Susan sketched in the biggest elements of the mural which consisted of flowers with heart shaped pedals. There were to be 49 shaped pedals in all. stood at the base of the staircase count and view The overall design. Once some students arrived, Susan assigned one the important task of double checking her numbers.

A single desk clipped to a board acted as the of illumination, along with the open door. Some pedestrians saw Susan staring up the staircase, and they had to look for themselves. I was impressed with how fast the design took shape. Once all the kids started adding color, the process really accelerated.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Homeschoolers learn about the Inspiration Project.


Michael Pilato came to Orlando shortly after the horrific shooting that killed 49 people who were celebrating life. Michael is a muralist and his murals colorfully show family of victims, survivors and first responders who were affected by the tragedy. This coming June 12th will mark one year since that fatal night. The mural panels are nearing completion and a second mural for UCF is about to begin.

The home schoolers visited The studio which is above Anthony's Pizza on the corner of Colonial Drive and Mills Avenue. The students lead by Susan Gromala Crary, were about to paint murals up the stairways to the studio. Michael showed samples of past murals to inspire the students and then they gathered in a group and sketched out possible concepts to the stairway. Hearts were a recurring theme and also many words of hope. The students text often and words are their primary means of expressing their feelings. Susan took the sketches ant thoughts back to her studio and helped tie them all together into a cohesive whole. The day was good for collaboration and seeing how individuals can come together and creative something that any one of them might not have conceived. It was inspiring to see Susan interact with the kids and they all pulled together to create something unexpected.

Susan has an opening coming up April 29th called  Pedestrian: Moments in Blue at The Gatlin Creative, 4940 Orange Ave S, Orlando, Florida 32806. Music Preformance by: Old School Misfits.


The show is a study of the artistic experience that can not be mass produced. The series celebrates the moments when an artist is in their element. The paintings are a tribute to the passion and creative drive of the artist that some might consider pedestrian; or art happenings that sometimes may be discarded or overlooked as art. Ms. Gromala journeyed throughout the central Florida region to paint live at each art event with usually two hours to capture moments as it occurred. The process of live painting creates the sketchy loose and energetic feel which allows the viewer to be a part of each event through Susan’s perspective of the artist. Her preference to utilize the color blue is a symbolic nod to the "blue collar" element. It also stems from her passion for monochromatic imagery and the color of Prussian Blue. A highlight of Susan’s style is the manner in which she celebrates each drip and errant brush stroke that can occur in a live painting. These marks are purposefully included as part of each piece to enable a connection to the action and energy present during the happening as it was being captured on canvas. Therefore, creating a painting style emoting a sense of honest reaction to each of these unique artist moment

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Central Florida Fingerstyle Guitar Circle


I used to live in Winter Park. The city used to mail out a community bulletin along with the water bill. In that bulletin I found the Winter Park Guitar Circle which meets at the Winter Park Public Library, (460 E New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789). I arrived pretty early to a room with a circle of chairs. Gradually, musicians arrived, and I placed them in the sketch as they sat down. The seats directly in front of me eventually did fill up, but I left the seats empty for the sake of opening up the staging.

Each guitarist in turn would perform and if the mood was right others would join in. One performer had a harmonica while another had a small head microphone since he felt his voice didn't carry. Others joked that he might electrocute himself as he got ready to perform. The folk songs and music was relaxing and heart felt. It was a great free concert. There were varying levels of talent and experience but anyone who came and performed found a supportive and safe place to play. Similar song circles sprout up all around Central Florida and they are always a great sketch opportunity.

The Central Florida Fingerstyle Guitar Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 P.M. til 8:30 P.M. in the community room of the Winter Park Public Library. It is open to the public and free. Any person interested in acoustic fingerstyle guitar is welcome and please do come if you wish to listen and bring any friends with you. This is always recommended to all levels of players because you will be exposed to many styles and levels of skills. Bring your guitar if you wish. The circle is very casual. We sit in a circle and share one at a time.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monthly Artist Critique


I always enjoy going to the Monthly Artist Critique at The Barefoot Spa (801 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Florida 32803). Artists get a chance to share their work in front of an audience of their peers. It is a chance to learn about other artists work and a chance to find out how the work was created and the artists goals in creating the piece.

It doesn't matter what kind of art you do, artists include oil painters, paper makers, glass artists, found object sculptors, video artists, watercolor painters, ceramicists, artists who draw and collage, jewelry artists, print makers, etc. It also doesn't matter how much experience you have. Some artists have never shown and others are nationally recognized competition winners. The point is to get people from many different styles, backgrounds, and experience levels together to talk about everyone's work!

The discussions have included pricing, finding materials, technique, framing, exhibition opportunities, and, yes, traditional critique. We are trying to mix different artists and get them talking about art! Everyone's art is shown individually, and talked about for about 10 minutes. The idea is not only to get other people to talk about your art, but to spend the evening talking about everyone's art!

The critique is about showing brand new art, the newest art that you have. And if more than one piece is shown, it should be part of a series. Or if they aren't part of a series, make sure that you are prepared to talk about the art as a group.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

49 Globes.


The City of Winter Park responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting but hanging 49 globes in Central Park around the Albin Polasek, "Emily Fountain." These illuminated globes usually are hunk up and down Park Avenue during the Christmas holidays. This mini memorial garnered plenty of attention. During the course of doing this sketch people kept dropping at the fountain to take cell phone photos. Every color of the rainbow was used. It was a small visual hint of hope in the face of tragedy. Despite the cities over controlling and unconstitutional ordinances that limit free speech, they do know how to honor and cherish the memory of lives lost.

When walking home from a quick sketch competition in Central Park, I saw a chalk outline of a human body on the sidewalk. On October 15, 2016  Roger Thomé Trindade a Brazilian transfer student at a Winter Park school was beaten to death by 3 youths. One of the three bragged about delivering the fatal knockout punch.  Two of the youths, Simon Hall, 15, and Jesse Sutherland, 15, were released on bail in February 2017 pending the trial. They were under house arrest. Authorities say Simon Hall threw the first punch and spit on Roger when he was down. The State attorney did report that Jaggar Guorda, 14, one of the three youths accused in the homicide, will receive his sentence on June 12, 2017. Gourda is accused of initiating the sequence of events that lead to the attack by spraying teens with spunk spray. He is also accused of threatening a middle school girl, saying if she mentioned the fight, she would pay. As of April 6th, 2017 there still was no sentencing in the trial of the three youths.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Quick Draw Competition


Artists in the competition had only two hours to complete their work. During this time, all registered participants set up their supplies and painted or drew in downtown Winter Park. Blank canvases were be stamped the morning of the event to ensure that all paintings are created during the limited time frame.

I decided to sketch Renee Lammers who painted the Albin Polasek "Emily Fountain". Prior to the whistle announcing the start of the competition, she did a thumbnail drawing in a small tin which just held tiny sheets of paper and a pencil. She saw me starting to sketch and came over. She was concerned that I was sketching Emily's butt. She suggested I come over to her bench which had a better view of Emily and her harp in profile. the second the whistle sounded she stood and used the thumbnail sketch to block in her painting. A Winter Park resident looked over Renee's shoulder watching every brush stroke. I almost sketched the resident and then thought better of it.

I walked the park counting the artists and watching their progress. About 19 artists competed with most remaining in Central Park. Several artists ventured to the farmers market which is usually illegal to paint. Another artist ventured as far as Casa Feliz. The air horn used to start and stop the competition was eco-friendly being just a soda bottle with 80 pounds of air pressure.

After the paintings were completed, they were displayed on the artists’ easels in Central Park for an Art Stroll from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The public voted for their favorite piece to win the People’s Choice Award. Prizes were awarded in the following categories: First Prize - $250 went to Mike Pintar; Second Prize - $150 went to Matthew Cornell; Third Prize - $75 went to Arielle Study; People’s Choice - $100, sponsored by the City of Winter Park went to John Nadeau.

 The Earth Day Quick Draw Competition is a lead-up event to the Albin Polasek Museum’s signature annual event, the Winter Park Paint Out plein air festival. The 9th Annual Winter Park Paint out will be held from April 23 to 29, 2017, with an entire week of free programming and events. Visit winterparkpaintout.org for more information and a schedule of events.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for April 15th and 16th.

Saturday April 15, 2017
9am to 1pm. Free. Trump Tax March/Protest Orlando. Lake Eola Park, Downtown Orlando, Florida Orlando, Florida 32801. "During the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to release his returns. However, White House senior adviser Kelly Anne Conway said on Sunday that he no longer planned to do so because “people don’t care.”
That inspired the calls for a protest on April 15, which would normally be tax day, but because it falls on a Saturday ― and since Emancipation Day follows ― taxes will actually be due on April 18 this year."
Gather to spread love and prove that Orlando does not tolerate hate!
Donate so we can afford permits, and police presence/road barricades/etc to make sure this is a safe event!

2pm to 3:30pm Free. From the Queen of Plastics to the King of Rock. Orlando Public Library, 101 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801. Join us at the Orlando Public Library to hear Bob Kealing discuss his fascinating book projects. Kealing’s research and writing has inspired Orlando’s Jack Kerouac Project, restored the legacy of Tupperware pioneer Brownie Wise, and revealed pioneering country rocker Gram Parsons’ Winter Haven roots. Now, in Kealing’s new book, Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida, he uncovers the Sunshine State’s crucial role in Elvis Presley’s life and musical career. Join us for a fascinating first-hand look at how a skilled and dedicated journalist discovered little-known but important stories from Central Florida’s pop-culture past.
Bob Kealing is an Edward R. Murrow and four-time Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist at WESH-TV who is also a historian of Florida’s popular culture. He has appeared on national programs such as Dateline NBC, the Today Show, and CBS This Morning and published articles in magazines and newspapers across the country.

8pm to Midnight. Free. Bungalower Bazaar powered by Cooper's Craft. 514 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803.  Bungalower and Cooper's Craft have joined forces to bring you a night filled with Orlando's best makers, in a new event space in Ivanhoe Village, run by our friends at FACTUR.
Sip on fancy cocktails, shop for local wares, and eat too many tamales at this fun event.

Sunday April 16, 2017 (Easter Sunday)
10am to 4pm Free. Lake Eola Farmers Market. South East corner of Lake Eola, Lake Eola Park, East Washington Street, Orlando, FL.

Noon to 1pm. Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, East Washington Street, Orlando, FL. Near Red Pagoda.

7pm to 9pm Free. Orlando Director's Forum. Valencia College East Campus 701 N Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida 32825. A group of Orlando's most stylistically diverse stage directors will participate in a free and open forum at Valencia College's East Campus. This event will be a great opportunity to hear unique perspectives on inspiration, casting, rehearsal process, trouble-shooting, and overall creative process of directing. Seth Kubersky will host a moderated discussion followed by a Q and A with attendees.
Featuring (in alphabetical order)
Rob Winn Anderson: Consulting Artistic Director - Garden Theatre
Mike Carr: Artistic Director - SAK Comedy Lab
John DiDonna: Program Chair of Theater - Valencia College, Director/Creator - Phantasmagoria
Pam Harbaugh: Director - Theater on the Edge
Beth Marshall: Producing Artistic Director/Theatre Artist - Beth Marshall Presents
Eric Pinder: Director In Residence - Opera Orlando
Donald Rupe: Director of Theatre - Central Florida Community Arts
Jeremy Seghers: Independent Producer and Director

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hearts at the Science Center


After the horrible loss of life at Pulse, the Orlando Science Center started a community art project in which guests created origami hearts in each of the colors of the rainbow. These hearts were then assembled an hung on strings. There had to be thousands of hearts. The plan was to hang all these hearts in the glass encased walkway between the garage and the Science Center. The strings of hearts were arranged and hung from pvc which was then hung in the walkway rafters. The final result was a spectacular rainbow of hearts leading to the Science Center entrance.

On this day museum staff were taping hearts to strings on their lunch break. Many hands made for small work with plenty of socializing. Clearly this break room is also used for birthday celebrations. I believe it is one of the science classrooms.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

First Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art.


Every first Thursday of each month the Associates of the Orlando Museum of Art host “Orlando’s original art party” from 6-9 pm. The event gives patrons an opportunity to discover local artists, listen to live music and mingle with an eclectic mix of people. There are cash bars serving wine, beer, soft drinks and water, and café offerings from area restaurants.

 On this evening, a beautiful 19 year old ballerina was posing for s sculptor and several sketch artists. s8nce I carry my own chair, I sat down and joined in. I arrived as the model was resting. Bernie Martin beside me was putting finishing touches on a spontaneous watercolor. Bob Hague was seated across from me using a camera tripod as an easel. It is a compact solution that I would like to emulate.

The sculptor, Steve Pi specializes in nude dancers. You can always see his work on the bar at White Wolf Cafe  (1829 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

La Maschera Goes Parisian Ooh La La!


La Maschera was presented by Goose Island: Madame Rose, Sofie, Matilda and Pere Jacques. Guests enjoyed a journey back to Paris in the 1890s, when impressionist artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created his most famous works of art. How could I resist the temptation to sketch in the Abbey, turned into the Moulin Rouge, the birthplace of the modern Can-Can dance? The Montmartre neighborhood is the symbol of creativity, pleasure, beauty, and celebration.

People dressed up for an evening of live entertainment, dancing, a silent auction, gourmet food, beer and wine. Proceeds from this event benefited the Downtown Arts District. I wanted to play the part of Toulouse, but I'm just too tall. My only option to dress a bit French was to wear a striped shirt. During the course of the evening, however, I found out that the stripes were in the wrong direction. French stripes are horizontal, but mine were vertical.

I sketched the band and the lovers seated together. Rather than do a third sketch, I sat with friends and sipped a glass of wine. The dance floor was full. Maxine Earhart was a hurricane of social activity and I was swept up and seated strategically. The evening's laughter cemented the start of a new friendship. The promise of a complimentary bottle of wine and dinner was interrupted by Hurricane Matthew, which blew apart my social plans by shutting down Orlando, yet creating a common bond in the face of danger. Lawn furniture was secured and every imaginable lawn missile was placed in the garage. We were told not to sleep, so the TV announced the storm's progress while we watched the animated swirling storm maps. I finally went to bed the next morning knowing the worst of the winds had passed. There was no damage, but returning life to normal would take time.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Panera Bread by Lake Eola.


I'm starting a series of paintings of Lake Eola. The plan is to do consecutively larger oil painting to break away from the watercolor I do every day. Panera Bread at Lake Eola (227 N Eola Dr, Orlando, FL 32801) has become a place where I like to eat and relax before or after painting. There are alwa5s people hanging out and working on their computers which makes them captive models. I am also working on a book about sketching on cafes, so there will be many more sketches and articles about Orlando's best Cafes here on Analog Artist Digital World.

I have also discovered that the Saturday Lake Eola farmer's market is a vibrant place to sketch. There was a health and fitness fair last week and the huge grass lawn in front of Panera was filled with people doing yoga. There were three groups, the beginners, intermediate and then the advanced students who were paired up and doing calisthenic poses. (the person would lie on the mat and 6se their legs to elevate their partner. The partners pelvic bone would be supported and when they leaned forward they would look like they were flying. Really ambitious students did hand stands with their shoulders supported by their partners feet. There was a spotter on hand in each case to be sure no one got hurt. I'm not that ambitious, but I do want to catch the gestures. 

Panera bread will be closing at the Lake Eola location this year. Panera wants to have drive throughs at their restaurants and this lovely 1920s building doesn't have that option. There is construction going on to improve the roofing but that probably doesn't have anything to do with the move.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bone Fish


Bone Fish (7830 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819) was a regular hang out when I lived in Metro West. They have very tasty Manhattans and other cocktails. S9me dr7njs come with a glow stick as a stir stick. I would order a drink just to experience the glow. The dinner menu is also good. I almost always order a saucy shrimp dish. 

I did this sketch while waiting for a friend. I seldom post unfinished sketches, but there are rare occasions where I run out of time. A sketch is by definition incomplete, I need to keep reminding myself of that. Pictured is the waiting area outside the restaurant front door. Palm trees and evening breezes keep guests comfortable if they don't want to muscle up to the bar.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

FAVO post modern roadside ceremony.

FAVO is a former roadside motel that is now being uses in part as artist studios. Once a month on Friday the studios are opened to the public for an art stroll.

In August, one of the studios was opened up as a performance space. The audience sat on church pews lined up on the right wall. A synthetic green grass carpet was on the floor. A plastic or fiberglass basin stool table like on the grass. Chunks of road asphalt were strewn in the basin. Many of the chunks has the road's yellow center-line on them. Clumps of grass grew between the chunks of asphalt. The scene was illuminated by a large telephone pole street lamp.

Two young women wearing white and black evening gowns and lace head shawls performed a long elaborate chant. If there were words uttered they must have been in Greek. At times they knelt in the grass and bowed their heads.

From a small card in motel room window I discovered that the ceremony had something to do with the motels beginnings as an example of roadside modernism. Originally built as the Davis Park Motel in 1957, it is an example of Googie style architecture. Googie was the name of a coffee shop in Los Angeles designed by John Lautner. These designs have an element of cartoon futurism, as in the Jetsons mixed with mid century modernism.

Frankly I didn't understand what the ceremony was about, but perhaps that was the point.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for April 8th and 9th.

Saturday April 8, 2017
 3:45pm to 8pm. $8 in advance,  $10 at the door. Double Header! Orlando Roller Derby vs. Savannah Derby Devils.
Game 1 - Orlando Ozone Slayers vs Savannah Derby Devils
Game 2 - Orlando Sun Blockers vs Savannah Hostess City Hellions
Doors open at 3:45pm, first whistle is at 4:00pm.
We will have a 50/50 raffle, bring some cash! The money collected will be benefiting High School High Tech, a program that exposes children with disabilities to careers in the STEM fields.
We will also have NEW MERCHANDISE! We have some shirts, tanks and koozies with our brand new logo!
Seating is provided at this venue.
After party will be directly after the game, at Ollie's Public House in College Park.
Ollie's Public House
3400 Edgewater Dr,
Orlando, FL 32804

4pm to 6pm Free. Young Voices. JB Callaman Center 102 North Parramore Ave Orlando Fl. Teen Open Mic Every second Saturday of the Month.

10:30pm to midnight Free but get food and drink.  Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL. Hot blooded flamenco dancers to live acoustic guitar.

Sunday April 9, 2017 
10am to 3pm $35 Registration Fee: Register online Earth Day Quick Draw Competition Sponsored by the Polasek Museum. The Quick Draw Competition is part of The City of Winter Park’s Earth Day Celebration and sponsored by The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. We invite you to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 9; from 11am- 3pm, by capturing her finest outdoor scenes in Central Park along Park Ave. The Quick Draw Competition is a plein air, or outdoor painting competition and is open to anyone who wishes to participate, amateurs and professionals, ages 16 and up. This is a fast and fun event to watch and participate in!
If you would like to paint in the Quick Draw, follow the registration process. Artists have only TWO hours to complete their work. During this short time, all registered Quick Draw participants will set up their supplies and paint or draw en plein air in downtown Winter Park. Blank canvas will be stamped the morning of at the Albin Polasek Museum’s check-in booth located along the north side of Central Park, parallel with the train tracks, to ensure that all paintings were created within the limited timeframe. After the paintings are completed they will be displayed on the artist’s easels along the park’s north boundary for a public “Art Stroll.” During the “Art Stroll” from 12:30-2:30 pm the public will be encouraged to vote for their favorite and help us choose a “People’s Choice Award.” At 2:30 pm the artwork will be judged, and awards will be given out at the Main Stage. Works will NOT be for sale and must be removed at 3:00 pm. Everything about the Quick Draw is quick...so don’t miss out!!!
• Prizes will be awarded for the following categories:
1st Prize - $250
2nd Prize - $150
3rd Prize - $75
People’s Choice - $100 – Sponsored by the City of Winter Park
• In addition, every participant will receive a City of Winter Park Earth Day tee-shirt at morning check-in.
• $35 Registration Fee: Register online at http://polasek.org/quickdraw/
• Limited registration spots available so sign up today! Cut off for registration is April 8th at 5:00 pm.
Quick Draw Schedule:
9:00 am – 10:00 am: Mandatory artist check-in and canvas stamping at Albin Polasek Museum’s booth (near north train tracks in Central Park)
10:00 am – START horn will sound. Artists have until 12:00 Noon to paint within the Park Ave/ Central Park district, within walking distance
12:00 Noon – END horn will sound
12:00 Noon – 12:30 - Artists return to the registration area and drop off their finished work
12:30-2:30 pm – “Art Stroll” and “People’s Choice Award” voting
2:30 pm – Judging (Closed to public)
2:45 pm – Award presentation, located on the East Stage near Garfield Ave
3:00 – Artists pickup their painting and easel

Noon to 5pm. Free. Fresh Squeezed. Morean Arts Center 719 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Performance art you can drink with a straw!
As part of the six-artist exhibition “Fresh Squeezed: Emerging Artists in Florida” at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, award-winning performance artist Brian Feldman will be presenting a juicy new project of the same name; his first in Tampa Bay.
“Fresh Squeezed” will be the longest performance art piece in Pinellas County history, as well as of Brian’s career, at 140 hours over 23 days.
During each weekend of the exhibition, Brian Feldman will be in the gallery window meticulously making and serving 100% fresh squeezed Florida orange juice in compostable cups for gallerygoers to enjoy, and all for the price of a drawing.
Draw him a picture of an orange for a small!
A picture of a glass of orange juice gets you a medium!
Or you can draw Brian making your orange juice and receive a large!
Oranges provided by Maxwell Groves est. 1935.
Colored pencils, crayons, markers, watercolor paint sets and card stock paper will all be provided.
The gallery walls surrounding Brian are envisioned to be filled with over a thousand drawings by the end of the exhibition.
The performance will be live streamed in its entirety at periscope.tv/BrianFeldman.
“Fresh Squeezed” references [1] both parts of the exhibition’s name (literally “Fresh Squeezed,” and “Emerging” [newly created, i.e. orange juice]); [2] the once-proud citrus industry in Pinellas County, 90 years removed from its heyday*; [3] Brian’s lifelong love of fresh squeezed Florida orange juice (that you can chew!), thanks to his grandfather’s daily act of making it for him as a child; and [4] his career-long exploration of durational and participatory performance art.

2pm to 4pm. Free. Indie Lens Pop-Up screening of National Bird.Winter Park Public Library 460 E New England Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32789.  NATIONAL BIRD follows whistleblowers who, despite possible consequences, are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. The film gives rare insight through the eyes of both survivors and veterans who suffer from PTSD while plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Runway to Haiti


REBUILD globally hosted a night of beauty and impact at the annual fundraising event, "Runway to Haiti: The Night Fashion Meets Impact!" The runway show featured local influencers, community members, and big ambassadors. The show inspired next season's best trends.

Patrons enjoyed a Deux Mains Designs runway show, music, a silent auction, and more as funds were raised for life changing education and job training programs in Haiti. With the world class pop-up boutique patrons could make an instant update to your wardrobe and impact the world with the latest styles.

Julie Colombino awarded Jim Hobart the first Orlando Global Citizen Award for his photo journalistic work documenting REBUILD globally's impact in Haiti. Over 100 students have been taught and 85 jobs created that will help families build a life outside displacement camps. Locals are trained to create shoes that are created from recycled car tires.

Julie Antoine is smart and focused. She crossed the border into the Dominican Republic and adapted quickly to Dominican culture. She made a good living selling wares on the streets. One day, she was pulled off the street by Dominican police. Since her physical appearance was Haitian, she was forcibly deported without even being able to get her children. In the displacement camp, she had no idea how to adjust to the abject poverty. She jumped at the opportunity to craft sandals for REBUILD globally. She made her way out of the displacement camp in 3 months. Mose people remain in displacement camps for 17 years.

The goal of the Runway to Haiti fundraiser was to raise $50,000. People raised their hands to donate $1000 each.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Runway to Haiti dressing room.


Runway to Haiti was a fashion show gala that raised money for Rebuild Globally. In 2010 there was a devastating earthquake in Haiti. Death toll estimates are between 100,000 and 160,000. It was a horrific blow to an already impoverished country. Julie Colombino decided to immediately go to Haiti to help in any way she could. She didn't have a plan to start. Her efforts lead to the founding of Rebuild Globally which empowers people by giving them jobs creating sandals and shoes. The soles of the sandals are fabricated from old tires. Apparently the first pairs were not so comfortable but now they rival designer brands. The organization has also offered education to over a hundred students which further empowers people who rise from the displacement camps.

Julie is getting her makeup done in this sketch. The room was a constant blur of activity as models had their makeup done. It seemed like there wouldn't be enough time before the event doors opened. The goal for the evening was to raise $50,000 dollars. Everyone needed to look their best.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Performance art you can drink with a straw!

Fresh Squeezed at the Morean Arts Center (719 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701),  featured the work of six emerging artists picked from a pool of almost 80 applicants. Award-winning performance artist Brian Feldman is presenting a juicy new project of the same name; his first in Tampa Bay.

Fresh Squeezed” will be the longest performance art piece in Pinellas County history, as well as of Brian’s career, at 140 hours over 23 days. During each weekend of the exhibition, Brian Feldman will be in the gallery window meticulously making and serving 100% fresh squeezed Florida orange juice in compostable cups for gallery goers to enjoy, and all for the price of a drawing.

Draw him a picture of an orange for a small!
A picture of a glass of orange juice gets you a medium!
Or you can draw Brian making your orange juice and receive a large!

Colored pencils, crayons, markers, watercolor paint sets and card stock paper will all be provided.

Of course I had to make the several hour drive to earn a large orange juice. Unfortunately this sketch was done in my sketchbook and thus didn't qualify. Therefor I did a second much simpler sketch to get a tall sip of juice. As a bonus, Brian's family was there. Brian's dad did a rather nice drawing of Brian with an orange slice behind his head much like a halo, although I doubt that was his angelic intention. I was surprised when he threw it in the garbage rather than cash it in for a cup of juice. After the Feldman's left, I confiscated the sketch from the trash and decided to cash it in myself. It was a simple case of recycling and re-purposing the art. I filled out the questionnaire on the back of the sketch in Ed's name. Brian was concerned that I was turning in stolen art. After any war, art mysteriously makes its way into museum collections. My confiscated submission only earned me 1/4 cup of juice. Crime barely pays.

A reporter asked Brian for an interview. His first question was, "Do you live in Saint Petersburg?" "Well, No." Brian explained, "I'm from Orlando." The interviewer stopped him, He just needed to talk to locals. He had no interest in Brian's award winning career. Brian smiled and then laughed. The interviewer turned to Brian's family and we all laughed since no one in the room at the time was from Saint Petersburg.

People walking by would often stop to peek in and see what was happening. Some of them would stop in for a free juice. The room was packed all day with children, both young and old, sketching their hearts out. Brian made the event fun and interactive by learning everyone's name as he explained the performance. People shared stories as they created. This was a shared community experience. The entire performance is being streamed live on Periscope TV.

Oranges are being provided by Maxwell Groves est. 1935. The wall behind me had empty orange boxes stacked high. Brian was getting close to squeezing his 700th cup of juice. If you want to get a delicious cup of orange juice, get out to Fresh Squeezed. On Thursday April 6th, Brian will be giving a fresh squeezed gallery talk starting at 7pm. Fresh Squeezed, the exhibition runs through April 30th.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ka Malinalli in Blue Box 14.

Ka Malinalli performed in Blue Box 14 which is on the corner of East Central Boulevard and South Garland Avenue with the I-4 looming nearby. There are 27 Blue Boxes painted on the sidewalks of downtown Orlando. They are the only places where begging, or busking is allowed. Street performers have been  told that they must use the blue boxes. Very few people know where the boxes are, and the boxes are located in areas with very little foot traffic. It is a Machiavellian concept to box in artists. I am documenting each box by having Orlando's most talented performers utilize each box while I sketch.

It was a windy day. Very windy. Kay braced herself and sang facing the wind. At times she was blown backwards and had to lean in to stand up straight. My baseball cap blew off my head, and I chased it before it landed in a puddle. Two gentlemen caught it just in time and gave it to me. The cap to my water bottle also blew away and landed in the puddle.I left it there until the sketch was completed.

Ka sang lyrical Spanish songs she wrote herself. The wind blew her voice away. Even being just a few feet away, I couldn't hear her clearly. Her skirt fluttered like a flag. A few cars honked their approval, but I'm certain that no one heard the performance. The two guys who helped retrieve my hat were the only people who walked by. Simply put, this is not an ideal place for a performer to showcase their talents. Of course there were no tips for her wonderful performance. When each song was complete, I would clap and make a gentle sound in my throat like the roar of a huge audience. That roar couldn't be heard over the wind. Ka bowed to the imagined throngs.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

F.C. Belt in Blue Box 16.

There are 27 blue boxes painted on the sidewalks of downtown Orlando. These are the only places where panhandling or busking is allowed. Some performers have been told that they must use the blue boxes, thus being a performer equals being a beggar in the City Beautiful. According to this statute, I could be considered a performer. To test these blue boxes, I am sketching 27 separate performances in each of the blue boxes. The performers should be legally protected, but I might be breaking the law by sketching as the audience. Being outside the box in Orlando could have repercussions.

F. C. Belt performed acoustic guitar in the blue box right next to the Orlando Library's downtown branch, and across the street from the Orlando Regional History Center. He arrived right on time, set up his chair, music stand, a tiny foot stool and opened his guitar case. The case remained open in case anyone wanted to add tips.

It was a lyrical concert, unexpected for the few people who frequent the park across the street. On man was transfixed. He asked detailed questions about the guitar which is quite rare from what I overheard. The man stood and listened for the longest time. Then he moved to the planter retaining wall and sat for the entirety of the performance. I was seated in a tiny grass median that separated a bus lane from the main road. Luckily a bus never roared by. It was perfect day for a pop up concert and the gentle music added culture to the otherwise drab bus stop in the intersection, and the park across the street.

A large group of school children were laughing and playing in the park after getting out of the History Center where they must have been on a field trip. The children didn't notice the music, they were too busily screaming and laughing. Belts guitar case never collected a bill. This corner of the city is surprisingly unoccupied on a work day. Everyone is in their offices removed from the clutter on the streets.

I probably sketched for an hour and a half which is longer that most musical solo sets. F. C. Belt went back to the beginning of his play set towards the end of the performance. I must say, that if such classical performances were a regular occurrence in Orlando the city would be a much more civilized place to live.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mardi Gras at The Orlando Museum of Art


From 6-9 pm on the first Thursday of each month, Central Florida has an opportunity to discover local artists, listen to live music and mingle with an eclectic mix of people. There are cash bars serving wine, beer, soft drinks and water, and café offerings from area restaurants. The event is hosted by the Associates of the Orlando Museum of Art (2416 N. Mills Ave Orlando, Florida). The museum refers to the event as “Orlando’s original art party”.

The February First Thursday's theme was Mardi Gras. I arrived rather late and settled on sketching the band before they broke down for the night. High-spirited guests were dancing to the music. There was a drag show in the front gallery, but when I walked in they were walking out. I seemed to be one step behind every performance that night. There were plenty of golden masks and opulent dresses. I just didn't manage to capture any in the one quick sketch I did. Maxine of Maxine's on Shine offered some gumbo at the end of the night and it was absolutely delicious. It had just enough kick.The taste brought back vivid memories of the crowded Bourbon Street in New Orleans in which you need to learn how to navigate the flow of the crowd not through annoyance and avoidance, but by accepting the weaving and constant contact. It's glorious when you are in the moment.