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.

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