Saturday, March 23, 2019

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

This was the 60th Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. I arrived on the first day to do a quick sketch. I entered by the rose garden and realized that it was the perfect spot to slow down and observe before entering the tight crowded walkways.College girls took selfies in front of the iconic peacock statue. One girl must have shot over 50 photos of herself in her constellation pattern skirt.

The first local artist I saw was Robert Ross but I never did find his tent. There are so many paths set up with wood chips through the park that I suspect I must have missed a few aisles. Someone walking the event was on his cell phone was saying to a friend, " It's 9 to 5 or some mess like that." I always like seeing the quirky work of Ed Myers who integrates hidden digital phones and tablets into his creations to add blinking eyes to some paintings.

There was a hand made book binder that intrigued me. It reminds me that I should create my own sketchbooks if I want to work on paper that I love in the size that suits me. I have never found just the right sketchbook for my work. I make due with what I can find mass produced.

Local artist Mathew Cornell had a booth on Park Avenue. He creates small and incredibly realistic oil paintings. I like that he doesn't crowd his booth with tons of work. He just had a few paintings appropriately spaces like in a gallery. The painting on display were called roadside attractions being from his travels across the country. He is trying to relate what America means to him as an artist.

There was also fashion accessories, photography, mixed media, ceramics, metal, leather, jewelry, digital art, fiber, glass, clay and sculptures. It was a chance to see a wide variety of art as inspiration. Of course it is illegal to sketch on Park Avenue in Winter Park. I hoped that the city ordinance had been rescinded for the duration of the festival. I also knew that Central Park is considered a safe zone, where freedom of expression is permitted.

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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