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.

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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