Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Immerse by the Creative City Project 2

Five blocks of Orange Avenue were closed off downtown allowing five stages to be set up, which would allow over 1,000 performers to showcase their talents in downtown Orlando. One stage was in the park in front of the History Center, the Red Bull Stage was at Pine Street in front of what used to be City Arts Factory, the UCF Stage was on Church Street, EA sponsored a stage down by Jackson Street,  and the Massey Services stage was between Pine Street and Church Street on Orange Avenue, where I stopped to sketch.

Rollins Choir and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra were on stage when I started this sketch, but at that time I was focusing on people in the foreground. Being Present took to the stage and I decided to place them in my sketch. The female singer on guitar took center stage and she was surrounded by percussion, a bass player and a dance company who improvised to her performance. Being Present was followed by All the Light You Cannot See and then The Orlando Ballet.

The artists who had come out to my ODD event (Orlando Drink and Draw) stood on a cement planter so we could see over the now standing and shoulder to shoulder crowd. The Orlando Ballet performed dances with a hip urban edge which perfectly fit in with the vibe of the night. Dancers were paired off with men and women partners and by the end of the choreography boys were dancing with boys and women were dancing with women. When they walked off the dance floor hand in hand the crowd whooped its approval. It reminded me of the "Keep Dancing" movement that swept Orlando after the Pulse Nightclub massacre.

After the Ballet left the stage the crowd dissipated and we decided to informally share our work for the evening and then disband ourselves. Perhaps a few years ago I would have stayed until 11pm to finish another sketch but I was all sketched out. I just needed to get home to crash. With so much to see and do, Immerse can be overwhelming, but in a good way.

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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