Monday, November 4, 2019

Jessica Domingo Going Away Party

Jessica Domingo joined the Orange County Regional History Center in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting.She specifically joined the staff to help in cataloguing and preserving all of the memorial items collected from the Dr Phillips Center of the Performing Arts, Lake Eola and Pulse. This was a monumental task  since there were so many memorial items left and and the constant Florida rains, humidity and bugs made preserving the collection a challenge. She spent most of her time at the museum's offsite storage facility which is in a huge warehouse.

When Hurricane Irma hit Orlando in 2017 as a category 2 storm, the warehouse roof was damaged when a rooftop access portal the size of a manhole cover was blown free and the heavy cover ripped holes in the flat roof. Unfortunate some Pulse memorial items were on the floor as they were being triaged for conservation and cataloging. Ceiling panels from the interior ceiling soaked up water leaking from the roof and fell to the floor exploding like wet bombs. Items on the floor got soaked. Pam Schwartz the museum head curator was on the scene shortly after the storm passed and assessed the damage. The staff was quickly called in to help clean up the damage. I was on site to help by making a pile of all the ceiling panels and debris  while leaving the artifacts for the museum staff to recover.

Water caused mold to build up inside the off site facilities walls and dehumidifiers were moved in and all the interior walls had to be replaced while protecting the collection with floor to ceiling plastic tarps. All of that is to say that Jessica's job became all the more important after hurricane Irma. Conservation of memorial items did not include trying to flatten paper documents from water damage. The everyday Florida rains had already soaked and wrinkled any papers left at memorial sites. However mold could not be allowed to spread. Which reminds me I have a small pile of paintings and sketches which were also damaged by hurricane Irma. Water blew its way in through my downtown studio apartment windows soaking a small stack of art I had left near the window. I am sill debating if that work will end up in a landfill since it is damaged with black mold.

Jessica has family out west and her grandmother needed care so she decided she had to leave Orlando. A party was held at Pam Schwartz's home. I sketched briefly between food and games. Whitney Broadaway's child had a game that everyone played, it involved a maze that kept moving making it a challenge for players to collect the items needed to win. I played a round after the sketch was put a side and it was a fun game.

After Hurricane Irma Jessica allowed Pam and myself to come over her place for a shower and a bit to eat.  It is when there is an emergency when true friend step up. Since moving Jessica had had a child herself. It is a shame that really good and talented friends keep getting pulled away from Orlando.

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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