Showing posts with label Orlando Museum of Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orlando Museum of Art. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

First Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art.

First Thursdays, at the Orlando Museum of Art is held as the name implies, is held on the First Thursday of every month. Each month has a new theme. In November, the theme was animals. David Ramiss had a wonder metal sculpture of a wasp enclosed in a plexiglass case. A beautiful model was showing off a day sculptor in progress, still on the armature. I think the sculptor wanted to work on it during the event, but he was bombarded with so many questions, that he never had time to touch the clay.

The hissing cat was unique. Someone demonstrated that if you put your fringe in the cat's butt, it would make a noise. I explained this unique feature to several friends who stopped to talk, but they didn't believe me. No one activated the cat for the rest of the evening. Wine flowed and the room got more and more packed. Brad Micheal Biggs gave me a quartz crystal he had mined himself. Jeff had forgot he his cell phone and he needed to borrow mine. I guess the crystal was a fair trade.

The next First Thursday is titled,
VIII September 1, 2016 8th annual event for the UCF College of Arts and Humanities Alumni Chapter. This Knight of Art will feature artwork designed exclusively by UCF alumni, faculty and staff in a variety of media.

Presented by the Associates of the Orlando Museum of Art| which is a volunteer support group committed to expanding Museum membership and encouraging the appreciation of the visual arts. From 6-9 pm on the first Thursday of each month, Central Florida has an opportunity to discover local artists, listen to live music and mingle with an eclectic mix of people. There are cash bars serving wine, beer, soft drinks and water, and café offerings from area restaurants.

Admission to 1st Thursdays is $10 for visitors. Admission includes access to the Museum's featured exhibition. Parking is free at Orlando Loch Haven Park and overflow parking is available at the Orlando Science Center's parking garage for $5 per vehicle.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Trojan Rabbit.

Jeff Ferree created this life sized Trojan Rabbit. He works in the scene shop at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, so he's good at building stuff. He based his design on the Trojan Bunny in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Bunny popped up all around town, to promote the Orlando Shakespeare production of Spamalot. First Thursday

This sketch was done at Earth Day which also happened to fall on the Same day as the World Wide Sketch Crawl. I put out an invitation on Facebook to host the Orlando Crawl and about 5 or 6 artists showed up during the course of the day. As we sketched the rabbit, most of the crawlers Sat on the retaining wall to my right. I sat leaning back against a palm tree, and right next to me was a water bowl for dogs Which was used quite often by parched over heated dogs. The smoothie truck was quite popular among the humans who also wanted to cool down. I believe it was The Art Reach people who started blowing bubbles that floated in to the scene.

Jeff used the rabbit to attract peoples attention and then inform them about Spamalot. As I did this sketch,  I realized that there was nothing inside. I later contacted Jeff, and suggested that the bunny could be a good art gallery. When the bunny was moved outside the Shakespeare theater during the International Fringe Festival, Jeff allowed me to mount a show of Fringe related sketches inside. After Earth Day someone actually stole the bunnies tail. Who would steal a bunny tail? It makes for an odd useless trophy. Jeff let me use a scene shop drill which made it easy for me to mount the frames to the walls using brackets which made it near impossible to take a frame off the wall much like paintings in hotel rooms. The bunny was retired after its last appearance outside the Orlando Museum of Art for an animal themed First Thursday, which is a bit of a meat market for singles with some art. Once again I mounted prints inside. I don't think many people ventured inside.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Art of Medicine Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art.

Local physician Cindy LaRoe, wife to First GREEN Bank’s CEO, Ken LaRoe, was an avid cyclist until she crashed hard at a race. She recalled the day in some detail in a video presented at the Art of Medicine Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art, (2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL) on October 15th.  It was getting near the end of the ride when she let a group of young cyclists pass her. They swerved and crossed each others paths in ways that aren't allowed in a professional race. They got tangled together and went down hard right in front of Cindy. That is the last thing she remembered. Sadly, she suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her unable to work as a physician, which prompted her to focus on her passion for art. 

Ken recalled trying to find a good physician who could treat Cindy. The first physicians they faced were more interested in biking than in diagnosing Cindy's symptoms. The misdiagnosis and delay lead to Cindy's condition not getting treatment in time for a full recovery.  The accident encouraged Cindy to bring awareness to the brain injury community in Central Florida. The Art of Medicine Gala on October 15th benefited the Brain Injury Association of Florida which supports thousands of people who have found relief through the organization. 

Cindy's artwork was bright, bold and realistic with detail stripped a way. A large painting of Lance Armstrong tied in well with the theme of the evening. All of the artwork on display in the front gallery of the museum was by practicing physicians practicing physicians. It makes sense that physicians would have a taken for art.

I sketched the Jazz Fusion band performing in the museum's lobby. I recognized the saxophone player. The tall table I worked at turned out to also be right in front of the stage where Cindy and Ken spoke. Actually Cindy had no desire to speak in front of a crowd, but her quiet presence and her art inspired many to give to the cause. When the auction kicked off, I took that time to look at the art in the then empty gallery. Her work does stand out. He large canvases inspired me to want to work larger. Funds raised at the Gala will help the Brain Injury Association of Florida raise the $250,000 goal needed by June of 2016.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Late With Lance at Fringe.

Late With Lance starring Lance Jonathan, was in the Brown Venue inside the Orlando Museum of Art. A poster in the museum showcased the new, hip marketing campaign the museum has started. Over a photo of the museum was written "Orlando Museum O Art". Was this a typo, had they forgotten the "f" in "of"? Perhaps it is just more hip now to leave out letters like f because o texting. Lance equated the bronze venue to a broom closet. His program which everyone got, had his acting resume on one side. He figured someone in the audience must be a talent scout. He had been the head o Big Bird in a National Tour o Sesame Street Live on Ice. He was Nana, the dog in Peter Pan and a Snow Baby in Ice Capades. His skills include, blending into a crowd, crying and or laughing on cue and talking fast.

The last was definitely true, because he was a whirlwind from the moment he got on stage. He pulled a "Late with Lance" banner out o a bucket and used the lid as a blinking marquee.  He pulled a woman out o the audience to act as his co-host for a talk show. The second she spoke, he interrupted her to point out that her sole purpose was to laugh. He pulled another woman out o the audience and asked her intimate questions that required plenty o thought. When she answered, he would prod for more information, saying "And... please go on." When asked what her most uncomfortable experience in life had been, she replied "Right now." David Horgan, one o DEM Guys who sees as many shows as humanly possible, held up well under interrogation. His years of watching theater lead him to catch Lance as he made a remark that was a segway to a musical number.

The auburn hair made Lance look rather young. From my front row seat however I could see that his side burns didn't match the hair. Lance let us know that he had asked quite a few stars to come to Orlando to be interviewed on his show. He would periodically check with his tech guy to see if anyone had called. The audience would console him in these moments o disappointment. When he isn't performing exotic Fringe shows, Lance helps his dad and his boyfriend doing a dinner theater show on a cruise ship. A call finally did come, from his dad, and Lance quickly stripped to get into a hula skirt along with a coconut bikini. The wig came off along with his shirt and his young energetic facade crumbled. This was a fun hour of high energy performance. The streamers and banner went back into the bucket.  This was a fun, high energy hour of theater and I admire anyone who can maintain that level of energy for an hour.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Seen up close, butterflies become monsters.

When it began to rain during Artlando, I ran inside the Orlando Museum of Art for cover. A crowd of people had the same idea. Inside the museum, local art galleries had exhibits. Jai Gallery was set up in the lobby. I was curious about a large hyper real photograph of a butterfly. Artist and architect James Cornetet was taking microscopic photos of a butterfly. The digital camera was set up on a metal framework which allowed James to move the camera in tiny increments. To get the final high resolution image he shoots hundreds of photos horizontally, vertically and in depth. The camera has a very shallow depth of field which means the tip of an antenna might be in focus but the butterfly head might be out of focus. James had an exhibit titled "High Fidelity" of his monstrous insects at Jai Gallery. Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon was also on hand to let people know about Jai Gallery. One of Josh Garrick's black and white photos of a sculpted Greek god's head was also on display.  Josh's photos went on exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Greece. He was the first American artist to ever have his work displayed there.

Snap! Orlando teamed up with The Falcon and The Gallery at Avalon Island for a special installation at Artlando. The exhibit featured the art of Szymon Brodziak Photography, Aurora Crowley and an interactive digital installation 'Beautiful Chaos' by Nathan Selikoff. The exhibit was in the rotunda of OMA, as well as the galleries located to the left of the museum's entrance. Once I was done with my sketch, I ran outside to my tent to make sure none of the cards on display had gotten wet. Everything was dry, but I was shocked to see that the tip jar which was half full of dollar bills earlier in the day, was now empty. I was furious. Who would stoop so low to steal money from a tip jar? Later that day I found out that my wife Terry had removed the money, "for safe keening." The tip jar earned me enough money to pay for the food truck feast I enjoyed later that day.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Inaugural Artlando was held in Lock Haven Park.

ALL DAY. ALL ART. I was offered a vendors tent at the inaugural Artlando event held September 27 in Lock Haven Park. My plan was to only sell $2 cards in a card rack and leave a tip jar so people could pay on the honor system. That left me free to roam the event and the day became a sketch marathon. All vendors had to arrive early in the morning to set up. You had to unload at a spot next to the Repertory Theater's parking lot and then immediately drive off site to park. Each artist was assigned a specific area of Lock Haven's lawn which was marked by a number. Soon there was a tent city. Clouds loomed ominous and gray all day.

A giant inflatable bird was in front of the Orlando Museum of Art. It was based on a painting by Lamar Peterson whose work was on exhibit inside. The brown statues, which were part of an installation titled "Horizons",  by noted Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir (pronounced Stay-nun Thorens daughter), were often used by people who imitated the poses for photo opportunities. That installation is on exhibit through 2015. 

Carolyn Moor, with her daughter Mackensey and a friend from out of town stopped to say hello. Carl Gauze jumped in on the conversation and he pointed out that the inflatable bird had a bullet hole in its chest.  I inspected the inflated art up close and sure enough there was a puncture wound.  I imagined a pickup truck squealing around the parking lot at night with a drunk local using his rifle to take shots at any art he could find. Then again the hole might just be there to control the flow of air. Caroline waited in front of the museum for Mackenzie to return from the main stage. On the main stage there were live performance by Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Shakes, Central Florida Community Arts, Orlando Fringe, Phantasmagoria and many more.

As I was finishing this sketch, it began to rain. I ran inside the museum for cover.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Orlando Museum of Art

On September 8th, I went to the Orlando Museum of Art (2416 North Mills Ave Orlando, Fl) to see Tall Tales and Huge Hearts: Raúl Colón a show of Children's book illustrations.  Raúl Colón,is a popular award-winning artist who has illustrated more than 30 books for children. Colón created the art for a number of acclaimed picture books, including Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart by Pat Mora, which won the prestigious Pura Belpré Medal; My Mama Had A Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray; and José! Born to Dance: The Story of José Limon by Susanna Reich, winner of the Tomas Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award. Raul's illustrations are, tightly rendered using watercolor and colored pencils. He then rakes the image giving each image a swirling surreal feel. The artwork was hung low on the wall so kids could see his work at eye level. Arranged chronologically, it was interesting to see his style evolve from early watercolors to the much tighter later work. Mark your Calendar! This show in on view through November 3rd. During the first weekend of every month Bank of America and Merrill Lynch card holders receive free gallery admission. Otherwise, admission for adults is $8.

Also on display was the Contemporary American Graphics Collection which includes more than 150 original, signed and numbered lithographs, etchings, silk-screen prints and woodcuts by America’s foremost artists. It is one of the most comprehensive 20th-century contemporary print collections in Florida. The works vary from realism to abstraction, reflecting a variety of techniques and styles that emerged from the revolution in fine art printing that has occurred in the last 55 years. Artists represented in this collection include Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Bryan Hunt, Lesley Dill, Katherine Bowling, and many other American masters. One piece that particularly impressed me was a huge portrait of Leslie done by Chuck Close using just his finger prints.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


June's Third Thursday at the Orlando Museum of Art was organized by Anna McCambridge-Thomas. The theme for all the art that evening was "Collaboration." When I arrived, I quickly took a look at all the art on display but Genevieve Bernard of Voci Dance had informed me of her unique collaboration. The dance piece her dance company, Voci Dance, was going to perform involved a collaboration with Asatta Wilson of Vixen Fitness. Asatta is a rather talented and fit pole dancer. During previous rehearsals, Genevieve explained to Asatta what dance moves she wanted. Though the dance terminology was different the art forms and moves were similar. As Asatta explained, she does the same moves just with some sensual flair to please the costumers.

I sat in and sketched the rehearsal for the dance titled, "Autobiography", before patrons got to the museum. A Platinum Stages pole stood at stage right. Dancers approached the pole and interacted with it as a symbolic obstacle. Sarah Lockhard delivered a monologue in which she kept falling into a hole repeatedly. It wasn't her fault even as she kept to the path and fell again. After repeated tries she finally realized she should walk another route.

Towards the end of the dance performance Asatta took to the pole doing a gymnastic and graceful routine that defied gravity. I got a second chance to work on the sketch as the theater filled with patrons. Having seen the rehearsal, I knew what dancers I wanted to complete the composition. From slow motion walks to graceful twirls, one gesture flowed through the dance company. The pole was no longer an obstacle but something to be conquered.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz (625 North Park Avenue, Winter Park) hosts free musical performances each Sunday from Noon to 3PM. Jack Fannigan invited me inside prior to a performance with a theatrical flourish. Jack used to work for James Gamble III who designed Casa Feliz. The building was slated to be demolished but Winter Park citizens wanted to save the historic building. The entire building was lifted and moved to its new home next to a golf course.

Matt, The Sax Man, Festa and Michelle Mailhot were performing on this sunny Sunday afternoon. I had sketched Matt once before at a First Thursdays event at OMA. As a matter of fact, when he opened his laptop, my sketch of him was being used as his screen saver. Michelle also performs with Toxic Audio, a talented acapella singing group. I know they have performed at the Orlando International Fringe Festival and I've heard plenty of good buzz, but I've never seen them perform. Regardless, Michelle's voice is stellar. She sang Nora Jones' "I don't knew why" with incredible heart.

The evening before, I had sketched at the Red Fox Lounge where the incomparable Mark Wayne and Lorna Lamby used to perform their kitschy and fun musical lounge act. After Mark's death earlier this year, there has been other performers trying to fill those shoes, but there is still a void. Matt and Michelle have that extra magic turning a performance into an all out party. Michelle's daughter dressed in pink, danced in the front row. Every seat was full and the room was alive. As I packed up to leave, I noticed another artist working on a sketch. What a great way to start a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

RV’S Going Away Studio Art & Yard Sale!

Robin Van Arsdol, (RV), was preparing to leave Orlando. His Orlando Studio, Realm 54, (54 W. Illiana Street Orlando, FL) was open to the public and anything was for sale to help him make the move to Miami. I met RV only once before when we were both applying to United Arts for Artist Development Grants at the same time. RV has been a working artist in Orlando for the past 40 years. He has had studios in several places in town and his studio hosted an International Graffiti Conference once a year. The studio I visited was a large industrial warehouse accessed by a large garage door. There was a pile of bibles for sale as well as a sporty red Corvette covered with his art. Wendy Wallenberg and Brian Minnich showed up to show RV some of the photos they had shot and to get a release signed.

RV graduated from Georgetown College in 1972. In 1973 he began his masters at NYC.  He was very active in the NYC graffiti scene and in the 70's he worked with some of the city's most active and prestigious artists. His family lived in Orlando since 1972 and in 1977 he moved here. He always bounced back to NYC whenever he could, spending six months in NYC and six months in Orlando. RV's work has been in 70 exhibitions in European city's in Italy and Paris France.

In 1983 RV became obsessed, creating public graffiti art inspired by the following biblical passage, "Woe unto them that are with child and suck in those days." The passage reminded him of Hiroshima.  Any prenatal baby is instantly affected by any radiation. He began clandestinely to cover building with images that suggested radioactivity. Large pink tulips resembled mushroom clouds. Gun boats and airplanes covered exterior walls. He was a man on a mission. His art defied the lie that war is a necessary evil. Thinking back to my student years in NYC, I do think that I saw some of his work on a parking lot wall. When I mentioned Keith Haring, RV rummaged in his studio and showed me two of Keith's subway chalk drawings. RV's work covered sections of the Berlin Wall.

In Italy in 2004 RV began painting his Pinocchio Screaming Man series. In some images the screaming man is seen in front of mushroom clouds. He is still creating work at a break neck pace, functioning on just four hours of sleep. RV was a director of the Orlando Museum of Art's Associates Program from 1979-1986. Miami should be a great fit for RV. There an entire neighborhood is covered in graffiti. It is a shame that Orlando's arts scene isn't vibrant enough to hold onto him.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Francophile: All Things French

First Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art is Orlando's original art party. From 6 - 9 pm on the first Thursday of each month, OMA showcases a new theme with works by local artists, live music, cash bars serving wine, beer and soft drinks, and café offerings from area restaurants. June's theme was organized by Anna McCambridge-Thomas who set the stage for all things french. Artists captured what they love about the French or France itself from food, film, wine, literature, perfume, music, art and architecture, fashion, the people to the personality of the country.

When I arrived, Anna welcomed me warmly and showed me around as people were setting up. In the back gallery, Maitre Parfumeur Christian Louis was setting up. He had been flown in from France and didn't know any English. A beautiful French woman acted as interpreter. In the theater, Emotions Dance was going to perform Four Seasons, Poet Logan Anderson was going to read and models from Le Salon Zizou strutted lavish fashion.

I settled into the front gallery where artists displayed paintings with a French Theme. Artist Bernard Martin set up a small easel. He had a pink dress with him as well and I heard he might have a gorgeous model.  The model never showed, so he had to work from a photo. He was working on a loose spontaneous watercolor. I stood behind him for sometime admiring his lush and highly used pallet. Behind him were his loose impressionistic oil paintings. One was titled Moulin Rouge, another, Cabaret and The Vase. They all featured nude or semi nude women in bold impasto against a dark background.

The sculptor was Steve Piscitelli. The two sculptures he was working on were close to being finished. This made sense since so many people stopped to talk to him which meant he didn't hare time to concentrate. He added red slippers to the ballet dancer and the red clay acted as blood and intestines for the sculpture of a Bull, much to the delight of a young boy. In the middle of the room there was a crown mounted under Plexiglas made of pearls, a large coin and gems. It was titled, The Princess Kameryn Renee Parker.  Later I saw a young girl walking around wearing the crown. She must have been the artist's niece or daughter.

Tonight, July 5th, First Thursdays will feature work from OMA members. Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members and includes access to the OMA's featured exhibitions. Parking is free at Orlando Loch Haven Park and overflow parking is available at the Orlando Science Center's parking garage for $5 per vehicle.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Thursdays

Teachers and students from Full Sail had an exhibit at the Orlando Museum of Art for First Thursdays. I wasn't aware of the call for entries since I haven't looked at my Full Sail e-mail account for over five years. I'm pretty sure there are over 5,000 unread e-mails that I would have to catch up on. Snap an annual photography festival also had a photography exhibit in one of the back galleries. Admission to the museum for First Thursdays is $10. I had a Snap press pass so I figured I could use that to get in. I also put my Full Sail teachers lanyard in my pocket figuring I could claim I was an exhibiting artist if the Snap press pass failed. Every month I approach the museum to be turned away at the front door. I'm like a raptor always testing the gates. I recognized many of the faces of the volunteers.

This time I showed my press pass and said I was there to report on the snap exhibit. The volunteer looked for my name on the list. My name wasn't there. She told me she would have to consult with someone. I stepped aside as others filed inside.  I assume the woman that greeted me was a public relations person for Snap. She put a wrist band on me and I went in. I sighed with relief, now I could get to work. I wandered through the Full Sail show fairly quickly. The most impressive work was a large Trope-L'oeil by Shawn Rinehart, of bottles, tools, a pulley and assorted hardware. The three foot high image was created in the computer. It was beyond photo real. A sexy female pirate Marquette also caught my eye. Tom Buzbee had a large painting of abstract spirals that was intriguing. They seemed to be a visual commentary on order and chaos. Hugo Giraud had a nice drawing with ink wash that I liked.

There was no one else in the back gallery looking at the Snap photography exhibit. They must have been crowding around the food and drink stations.  The photos were all rather large in format. A black and white shot of the streets of India stood out. There was also a series of photos of people in trailer parks. Wendy Wallenberg let me know she had a piece on display. On display in the main gallery was an exhibit called, "Reflections paintings of Florida, 1865-1965".  There were plenty of juicy oil paintings that left me wanting to push paint around on a canvas. A painting called, Moonlight on the Ocklawaha by Charles Christian Eisele was dark and mysterious.

The band I decided to sketch was called, The Cornucopia Jazz Project. Matt Festa was on sax, Jeremy Birdsall was on the keys and Orlando Sanchez was playing the bongos. The music was lively and I had fun sketching to the beat. Chere Force and Rory stopped by to ask why I didn't have a piece in the show. I really don't have a good excuse.

Friday, March 2, 2012


"Topographies" a series of sculptures by Barbara Sorenson are on exhibit in front of the Orlando Museum of Art. These bright primary colored resin and metal creations will be on exhibit through April Fool's Day. On March 18th, "Art and Dance: A Pas de Deux" a piece inspired by Sorenson's Work will be performed in this court yard. The piece will feature Orlando Ballet Dancers choreographed by Robert Hill and Eric Yow.

On exhibit inside the museum is "Made in Florida" featuring three exhibitions and a gallery display. Work in the exhibit features artists who were inspired by the sunshine state. Florida's unique landscape and culture has inspired artists from all ages. The eclectic permanent collection features work of such acclaimed artists as John Singer Sargent, Cecilia Beaux and Robert Rauchenburg.

I found myself in front of the Museum at dusk with an hour to spare since I planned to attend a piano recital across the parking lot at 7pm at the Margison Theater in the Shakes. This recital, which was part of ArtsFest, was to feature Hyung-Min Suh, the third place winner of the second Florida International Piano Competition. There weren't many cars in the parking lot. At 7pm I walked into the empty theater. The building was deserted. I checked out the intricate set that was built for "Romeo and Juliet". The set was gorgeous with a root-like structure holding up an isolated platform as well as the infamous balcony. Now, I really want to see, and sketch the play. This was the second time an ArtsFest event I planned to sketch was MIA. This year's Fest must be in some disarray after United Arts lost Margot Knight and Cory Warren. An unexpected disadvantage of drawing on a tablet at night is that big beetle and tiny gnats were attracted to the screen's light.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Thursdays OMA

I went to First Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art partly on business and partly pleasure. My first stop was the gift shop where I wanted to place the 2012 Calendars. I met with the shop manager, MaryAnn Keane, who loved the calenders and wanted a dozen for the shop. The woman behind the register said she would have to buy one herself. That was easy. I want to get to other shops but just haven't had the time.

The theme of this First Thursday was sculpture. I had read that an artist was going to be carving a large cake. I searched for him but didn't see any cake. I considered sketching in the room full of sculptures but the room was packed. I would have been confronted with many backs. Instead, I wandered back towards the music. France Neil was singing a sultry rendition of "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones. I love Nora's sad, sweet longing music. I melted away to the sad lyrics. France has been singing at Disney since 2001 in "The Lion King." I was tempted to mention my involvement working as an intern on the film but thought better of it. I still get goosebumps anytime I watch the opening sequence, feeling part pride and part joy to have played a small part. Several band members gave me their cards. Mike Bloomer was on the cello and David Capp was on the saxophone. David seemed to be in charge of the band, letting me know that they could add or subtract players depending on the gig.

A young woman and her mom introduced themselves to me. She follows the blog and told me to keep up the good work. I never did see a cake sculptor, but I had to go and find my way to a dance rehearsal across town.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blank Canvas at OMA

On the first Thursday of every month the Orlando Museum of Art opens it's front gallery for local artists. It is an evening of art, food, drink and entertainment. This evening featured ten artists who would begin with a blank canvas offering patrons a chance to see their creative process. Walking the room, there were several painters, a print maker, jewelry maker and a sculptor working in the center of the room with a model. The model was all legs in a bikini. I circled around the sculptor and his model several times but I couldn't find a place to plant myself so I moved on.

The print maker was using leaves and other natural found objects to begin her multi layered prints. A painter blocking in a traditional portrait didn't appeal to me. A young woman strummed her guitar. I finally settled myself next to a jewelry maker to sketch this group of artists working on three large space themed canvases. The closest canvas depicted a satellite circling Earth. The painter let a little boy put down some bold strokes of blue on the painting. The planets on the central painting began as faintly fogged in orbs on a dark canvas. As I sketched the planets were painted in thick impasto.

Denise Lebenstein a friend from college days was in town and she leaned against the wall behind me. I hadn't seen her in 20 plus years. I interrupted the sketch to give her a hug. I told he I'd seek her out when I was finished with the sketch. She checked out the museum with her friend Patti while I worked. Joe Rosier took a break from selling drink tickets and he shook my hand. Laughing, he wanted to know why I wasn't sketching the beautiful model in the middle of the room. A puppeteer from Pinocchio's Marionette Theater introduced herself. She said she saw me sketching a performance of Aladdin's Magic Lamp. I don't remember ever sketching that show. As she spoke, I kept wracking my brain, confused.

As I finished up, Denise stopped back to check on my progress. I put away my sketchbook and ventured out into the rain with her and Patti to get some Vietnamese food at Viet Garden. We had fun recollecting memories about our times in art school in NYC. It's odd how selective memories can be. She remembered that we once went to a Broadway show on New Year's eve. Watching the play we could hear the crowds gathering in Times Square. The play over, we ventured out into the massive crowd. We tore up our programs and used them as confetti at midnight when the ball dropped. I had totally forgotten about that night. Neither of us could recall the play.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

United Arts Annual Meeting

The United Arts Annual Meeting was held at the Orlando Museum of Art. I arrived a little early and tried to enter the auditorium but it was locked. The front gallery was set up for a buffet lunch and there was a podium. I started sketching in there until someone let me know that the meeting was in the main auditorium as I first suspected. On the stage were canvases on easels and painters supplies. Ironically most of the supplies were for house painter's rather than fine artists. I know very few artists who use a roller to paint with. No wonder it is hard for Central Floridians to pay market value for art. They just want the walls covered.

Cory Warren showed slides from a new M.D. Anderson Cancer Center artist in residence program that he helped spearhead.Funded in part by the Livestrong foundation this program brings working artists into the hospital to help cancer patients express themselves through art. Patricia Charpentier is helping patients write their life stories and Andrea Canny is helping patients create art. Art can inspire, enlighten and be a comfort when faced with so many overwhelming issues of mortality.

Elaine Hinsdales campaign report was funny, light hearted and to the point. Her first slide of Eduard Munch's "Scream" showed the challenge of raising several million dollars. "Dogs Playing Poker" showed the committee dealing with the hand they had been dwelt. The end result was that they met their goal raising over two million dollars and raising o.8% more than last year.

Several $5000 awards were handed out. One went to the Enzian Theater. They plan to use the money to purchase a new screen for the free outdoor screenings they do on the sloped lawn beside the theater. The second award went to Dario Moore who is the choreographer for "Slave Stories", and he teaches children the importance of expressing themselves through dance. This was the second time in two weeks that I had watched him accept awards.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lousy T-shirt

The theme for an art exhibit at Orlando Museum of Art's 1st Thursdays event was "Fashionista." In the beginning of 2010 Brian Feldman had met with 10 Orlando artists to discuss collaborations in his "Swan Boat Talks." This project with Johannah O'Donnell was the first project to be realized from those talks. Johannah and Brian had created 20 T-Shirts that read, Lousy T-shirt using a simple silk screen press. This was the first time that either of them had done silk screen printing so the printing was a bit spotty in places.

People could get a Lousy T-Shirt if they traded in the shirt they were wearing. I went into the men's room, changed into one of my paint rag T-shirts and traded that for the fashionable black Lousy T-Shirt. I didn't step behind gallery wall to do the exchange. As I removed my shirt Brian said, "Hey everybody, this is your opportunity to see Thor half naked!" Once I had on my brand spanking new T-shirt, I found a spot to sit and started sketching. Brian and Johannah were constantly posing for pictures. By the end of the evening, every Lousy T-Shirt had been given away and the rack was full of a wide variety of shirts and tops.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Orlando Home Grown Show

As part of the week long Snap Photography celebration, there was to be an exhibit of photography from Orlando locals at the Orlando Museum of Art as part of First Thursdays. Johannah O'Donnel was there and I was told she helped organize the exhibit. On exhibit in the front gallery were paintings which all revolved around an urban theme. I made my way back towards the sound of music. I bumped into Joe Rosier who was promoting his one man storytelling show in the up coming Fringe festival. I am trying to arrange to sketch Joe since he has so much character.

In the central room of the museum with the giant blue blown glass sculpture by Dale Chilhuly a simple two man band was warming up. Adriaan Mol was playing guitar in his laid back fashion. The bands name was, Please Respect our Decadence. There was a nice tall cocktail table right in front of the stage so I started to sketch. I always get nervous sketching in museums now and I kept tracking the museum guards movements as I worked.

Jared Silvia said hello and he let me know where the photography exhibit was. When I finished sketching I went to the back gallery where the photo exhibit was hung. Jared let me know where his wife Silvia's piece was hung. She was near her photo talking with friends. I jokingly asked her to stop crowding the art so I could get a look. It was a stark almost black and white photo of a woman in a flowing white dress lying in a stream. I couldn't see the woman's face. It looked to me like a murder scene. I talked to Jared about it and he said I was wrong. It was a more romantic and symbolic image with personal significance. I mentioned Dustin Hoffman floating in the pool in a scene from "The Graduate." I hit much closer to the mark with that visual analogy.

Snap was like a week long shot of adrenalin. This dynamic, inspiring event shook me to the core making me realize the importance creative media can have to affect positive change. The city of Orlando really needs events like this to challenge, provoke and inspire creative change.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Cris Phillips-George, the marketing director for Snap, invited me to a media roll out for this year's Snap events. Jeremy Seghers introduced me to Cris as soon as I arrived at Urban ReThink. Cris introduced us all to the five day event called Snap! Snap is a celebration showcasing the work of local, national and international photographers. Starting today, there will be over a dozen exhibits, artist appearances, workshops, lectures and parties. The theme this year is "Perception & Reality." Tonight Snap's kick off event is a larger than life projection of photos and 3-D animation onto the Kress building (130 S. Orange Ave.) There will be four hourly shows between 8 and 11pm. Admission is free. Cris showed a sample animation to the group and the effect is stunning. The first screening will be hosted by Mayor Buddy Dyer.

On May 5th a "Homegrown" photography exhibit will open at The Orlando Museum of Art (2416 N. Mills) from 6-9pm coinciding with 1st Thursdays. The theme is "Perception & Reality."

May 6th is the official Snap Opening Night gala and Exhibition honoring the 2011 international artists. This huge 25,000 square foot exhibition space is in the GAI Building (618 South Street) at 7pm. Tickets are needed.

May 7th is Fashion Night with two art inspired fashion shows. There will be guest speakers and lectures at UCF and CEM (500 West Livingston Street) from noon to 5pm. Tickets are needed.

May 8th is Mothers Day with a youth art reception at the GIA Building from noon to 5pm. (Ticket) There are also photography workshops at Orange Studio (121 North Mills Avenue from 10am to 6pm. (Ticket)

Cris showed us samples of some of the photographers work being exhibited. One photographer, Dan Eldon, was known for creating journals of his work. He traveled to Somalia photographing the famine and human rights violations happening there. The idea hits home to my love of the sketchbook journals I use for the blog. I can't wait to see his work. He used his art as an activist to spearhead change in the world and unfortunately he was killed at a very young age in Somalia.

There is an online Instant Snapification competition that invites anyone from around the globe to submit digital images taken with their cell phone. Approved images are posted online almost instantly. So whip out those cells and start snapping! Snap is a huge celebration of creativity. It promises something for everyone. I will sketch as much as possible, but get out and experience it for yourself. Feed your eyes and fan the flames of your creativity!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Gandi

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gender in Art

I went to meet Terry at the Orlando Museum of Art for a discussion about the new exhibit at the museum which focuses on Gender in Art. There was a wonderful spread with Salmon, spinach dip , crackers, chips and deserts. A fairly large crowd filled the central atrium with the blue Chihuly chandelier. As I was eating I noticed that another crowd had gathered in the central gallery. No food was allowed inside so I gulped down my soda and crackers and dashed inside. A woman was giving a talk and she moved people around the room explaining the art. There was a Warhol print of Marilyn Monroe and some paintings of women throughout the ages. There was a long line of women's slips suspended from the ceiling presumably to hint at a woman's closet being a work of art. A small fabric doll from china had bright gold beads and pins sewn on one side and the other side had black beads in an intricate pattern. This was supposed to indicate how women are perceived and then how they are actually treated.

I sat opposite this wedding dress created by LesleyDillin. The dress is made from acrylic and thread on a mannequin. In 1994 this dress was worn by a model who read the Emily Dickenson poem, "The Soul has Bandaged Moments." The poem is written all over the dress in bold black paint. As the model read, she ripped the dress off, shredding it to pieces. Lesley later sewed the pieces back together with black thread.

The Soul has Bandaged moments -
When too appalled to stir -
She feels some ghastly Fright come up
And stop to look at her -

Salute her - with long fingers -
Caress her freezing hair -
Sip, Goblin, from the very lips
The Lover - hovered - o'er -
Unworthy, that a thought so mean
Accost a Theme - so - fair -

The soul has moments of Escape -
When bursting all the doors -
She dances like a Bomb, abroad,
And swings upon the Hours,

As do the Bee - delirious borne -
Long Dungeoned from his Rose -
Touch Liberty - then know no more,
But Noon, and Paradise -

The Soul's retaken moments -
When, Felon led along,
With shackles on the plumed feet,
And staples, in the Song,

The Horror welcomes her, again,
These, are not brayed of Tongue -

- Emily Dickenson