Sunday, February 17, 2019

Boris and Marla E Talk Art Shit

Boris Douglas Garbe and Marla E Artist held an informal talk at The Nook on Robinson, (2432 E Robinson St, Orlando, FL 32803). Boris's dog Lump slept on the chair behind the hosts. Boris runs the Art Gallery at Mills Park (1650 Mills Ave N, Orlando, FL 32803). He used to gather artists to paint live at the Timucua White House as bands played as well, but he stepped down from that position. Marla E is a staple of the Orlando arts scene creating large textural paintings. She explained that she used to be a faux finish and mural artist and she discovered that she loved painting on very textured surfaces.

Boris is learning as he goes running the gallery. He feels that galleries cater to the same audience over and over. He realized that young people don't go to galleries and he is trying to reverse that trend. Of course he discovered that when he does get a younger crowd, they don't spend money. He is passionate about artists that use their art as a platform for change. He also has decided he will exhibit men and women equally. He has gotten some flack for this from women artists who want to just be considered artists, not as a underprivileged demographic that needs charity.

Boris and Marla have teamed up to produce a series of radio broadcasts about the Arts scene in Orlando. They have also just produced their first podcast called "Kiss my Art" which is frankly a fantastic title. Orlando has grown up enough to develop a bit of an edge.

What was most heart warming about their talk was when they talked about their lives. Marla was married to the love of her life, but he died young, leaving her heart broken. She turned to her art and it lifted her from the brink. She started inviting people to visit her studio and over time her art blossomed. Boris's mom was in the audience which added a personal touch to his life revelations.

There were several trivia questions where people in the bar could win free art prints. Anyone who had posed nude for an artist was invited to collect the prize. The room was silent. I have painted myself nude but I thought that would be bending the rules. Finally a woman went up and described posing nude on a beautiful beach for a friends photo.

Overall this was a fun chance to learn a little more about what makes the Orlando Art scene tick. The Nook has some lovely small painting hanging on the walls right now. None of the paintings are framed square. The images fit in trapezoids and diamond shapes.

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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