Monday, September 25, 2017

The Ultimate Art Project

Tamera J. Rogers made me aware of The Ultimate Art Project which was slated to happen days after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. This program was planned for the Square in Downtown Tavares, America's Sea Plane City. It was an opportunity to catch artists in their moments of creative glory. There were to be actors, painters and singers and potters and poets and jewelers and dancers, sculptors, and weavers and crafters, musicians and magicians and libations and food.

I decided to make the event one of the locations for the 10 Urban Sketching Workshops I have been offering. This was the 5th workshop. Progressing from small stories to medium stories and ultimately big stories.  Pam Schwartz and I took the one hour drive to sketch the Ultimate Art Project. The sun was setting as we approached the town square. The event was easy to find because of all the white events tents.

The grassy area was about the size of half a football field surrounded by wrought iron fences. The first tend we saw had kids doing four inch square paintings. In a corner of the field was Karaoke which dominated sound scene. Mixed in was a pan flutist, in the center of the field. One lady stood listening and then chatted with him. I decided he wasn't a sketch option since she was keeping him from performing. A van was painted black like a chalkboard and people could do chalk drawings on the vehicle. This is a pretty awesome idea and I wouldn't mind setting up mu Prius as a chalk board. There was the option to take a selfie in “paintings” of the Mona Lisa, The Scream, American Gothic, and Girl with a Pearl Earring but we never got around to taking those selfies.

I stopped when I heard this father (James Whitehead) and daughter team singing in the artists tent. They referred to themselves as Southern Roots. She had an amazing voice. They were strictly acoustic so their music had to blend in with the karaoke and Pan pipes across the way. Dad explained to me that his daughter really had to stress her voice to be heard. He was afraid she might not perform her best at next weeks church service. The set abruptly ended when the free movie screening began of Woody Allen's
Midnight in Paris.

Conversations among the artists were mostly about the recent hurricane. The Tavares marina was destroyed by Irma and all the boats piled up by the high winds. Sections of the park were cordoned off due to hurricane damage. The Ultimate Art Project was a chance for the community to get out after the hurricane and have a relaxing evening on the town green.

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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