Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Rogers Building Celebration.

I was hired to document a celebration at Avalon Island Gallery for Mr. Ford Kiene, chairman of City Beverages, who just donated the historic Rogers building to the City of Orlando under the condition it be used for the arts for the next 20 years. I worked a bit larger that I usually do in an 18 by 24 inch sketch pad. Earlier in the day I purchased a frame and cut a white mat on which people could share their thoughts and well wishes for Mr. Kiene. At the end of the evening, I framed this sketch in the mat and it was presented to him as thanks.

This celebration was well attended which made the sketch a challenge. When Mayor Buddy Dyer took to the podium, I was faced with a wall of backs. I stood on tip toe to get the sketch of him and Mr. Ford at the microphone. The mayor pointed out that it is rare for the city to receive such a donation. Built in 1886 by Englishman Gordon Rogers and investors, the iconic green tin sided building, which sits at the corner of Magnolia and Pine, will officially be renamed  the Rogers Kiene Building. When Mr. Kiene took to the microphone, he described the painstaking work that went into preserving the 1886 floor boards.

The building is now managed by the Downtown Arts District (DAD) but their management agreement only runs through June 30, 2018. Barbara Hartley, the DAD executive director said that the building will remain a hub for the arts. Patrick Greene, who oversees the gallery, hosts monthly cutting edge music sessions in the venue between the hanging of art shows. This, "Inbetween Series" brings experimental contemporary music to downtown. It is unclear if the venue will keep producing such edgy programs after June. I have sketched so often in this venue over the years, that I could easily compile a retrospective book that documents the arts events held here. Just sketching every day, I have seen far too many arts venues fall to the wayside. Hopefully the building will continue to further our city's efforts to expand our arts and culture scene.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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