Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

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Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

I have known our Florida Arts Editor, Josh Garrick, for over a dozen years (since we started this site!). Through this time, he's consistently shared the best of the arts in the Orlando, Florida area, tirelessly promoted the arts...and become a good friend. I've watched his honors grow over these years, from groundbreaking exhibits to awards galore, including being the first American in history to exhibit at Greece’s famed National Archaeological Museum of Art. I was so pleased to find out about his participating in a new, creative pop-up exhibition (one word: GO!).

This extraordinary artist, ever-humble, my friend, Josh Garrick...in his own words. 

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick
 

Dr. J: First, I suppose congratulations are in order for your up-coming “Pop-Up Exhibition.” That said, WHAT IS a “Pop-Up Exhibition?” 

JG: That’s actually a “fun” question, because a “Pop-Up” exhibit can be different things to different Artists. It usually has something to do with an Artist’s exhibit that did NOT have a great deal of advance planning -- ranging from a ‘gallery space’ which has suddenly become available, all the way to an Artist who has been blessed with some kind of special ‘inspiration’ resulting in a large creative output (which in the Artist’s mind) needs to be seen. In this case, BOTH are, happily, true for me. 

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick
Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

Dr. J: That gives me an easy segue into my next two questions. Tell us about the “suddenly available gallery space.” 

JG: And I love the answer to that one. I am BLESSED with two amazing curators. One is here in Florida, and the other is in Europe. As an Artist, I can count on them to include my art work in almost any exhibit in which my art “works” with their theme. My Florida Curator, Brad Biggs, is the Founder and Director of “Art for All Spaces,” the name of which pretty much describes Brad’s thinking. Brad doesn’t like seeing bare walls anywhere, and while most of his group shows are in traditional Art spaces, he’s known for finding corporate offices or any kind of space where he can be sure that the Art he places will be safe. 

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick
Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

Dr. J: But how did this gallery space “suddenly become available?”

JG: There is so much love and caring that has brought this about. Fast forward to another “blessed” idea, and we come to FAVO, where my exhibit will open on Friday (July 5 from 5 pm to 9 pm). FAVO – “Faith Arts Village Orlando” – is itself a brilliant idea. The Presbyterian Church in Orlando, at the corner of Colonial and Highland, shares a parking lot with an abandoned motel. The Church has taken over the old motel, and under the foresighted direction of Will Benton, has created “FAVO” as a unique destination for Orlando’s Arts community. 

Will Benton–and Artists and Volunteers–have turned the empty motel rooms into Artist studios, one of which is now a ‘Gallery’ for Art for All Spaces. Put it all together, and this Friday, I’ll be joining more than 30 Artists as we show our art-work and sell direct to the public at very affordable prices. Those once-abandoned motel rooms, in a great location in Downtown Orlando, are now Artists’ studios. I’m both proud and happy that on July 5, I’ll join those 30-plus Artists as we show our work at FAVO. 

FAVO. From https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48151648772_9dd9c07ed1.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48173671637_141f177b14.jpg

Dr. J: Josh – do you care to talk about the other ways in which you feel “blessed?” 

JG: I certainly do. There are times when I want to shout it from the roof-tops – “I’m still alive!!!” On November 14, 2018, surgeons almost “lost me” twice on the operating table. I’ve been fighting prostate cancer for 15 years, and for 14 of those years I showed no symptoms. Suddenly, before going to Europe last summer, I found myself walking with difficulty – even with a cane. 

While in Europe, I didn’t think much about my ‘infirmity,’ as my time there included the death and funeral of the Father of one of my best Friends. We even called him my “Father in Greece.” 

When I returned to Florida in September, my test results were so bad that one of the nurses shared with me that they had never seen anyone – with numbers that bad – who was still walking. I ended up in the hospital for 5 weeks, and in that time I went through 4 surgeries under 12 attending physicians. Even after having the “end of life discussion” with 3 of the doctors, I was refusing chemo – for good reason – the side effects can be awful. But finally there was one doctor whose amazing care really had an effect on me. He spent time with me; he gave me reading materials; and as much as I had promised myself I would never “do chemo,” he made me realize how far the cancer had progressed. He even had his office team work to find me 3 different foundations to pay for the ‘experimental’ chemo meds which I’m still taking. The great news is – my new results show that the meds have literally STOPPED the growth of the cancer in my body. And yes, I do suffer from side-effects, but my body is even beginning to deal with them. 

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick
Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick
Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

Dr. J: What an inspiring story. I’m guessing you just answered the question related to what ‘inspired’ your new body of work. 

JG: Yes, indeed. Perhaps the worst is the way chemo saps your energy, so I can only work from home, which takes us back to Brad Biggs and what an incredible friend (and curator) he is. He and volunteers are committed to doing all the lifting and carrying involved in the delivery and set-up of my work. And we’ve come up with a (surprise) way to handle hanging the works. 

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

Dr. J: That explains WHY this exhibit is so special for you … 

JG: … and then some. It was my friends – and a lot of prayer-circles – that got me through an extended hospital stay that you never believe will happen to you. Friday evening will be the first I’ve seen some of my friends in over a year, and I am so grateful to those friends and especially the over 100 doctors and nurses who got me to this place where I can show my Art again -- I’m highly emotional to begin with and then this …. 

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

Dr. J: Is there anyone else you wish to thank at this time?

JG: There are so many, but I will always be grateful to a special ‘Buddy’ – the Mayor of Orlando – Buddy Dyer. Hizzoner named me Orlando’s Ambassador to the country of Greece – just before I went into the hospital. Without knowing it, Mayor Dyer gave me a very special reason to live at a time when I needed it most. Not only am I thanking, but I am dedicating this exhibit to the Doctor I described in the previous question. We all have to go sometime, but I dedicate this exhibit to the Doctor who has added years to my life. I thank God for sending him to me – Dr. Carlos Acevedo, M.D. 

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick
Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick

Should you find yourself in the Orlando area this Friday, July 5 from 5 pm to 9 pm, Josh will be exhibiting at FAVO on Highland Ave. just off Colonial Drive next to Park Lake Presbyterian Church. Josh will be there and would love to have you stop by and say hello. Call 407.522.3906 or visit faithartsvillage.com

Wandering Educators’ Florida Editor and Extraordinary Artist to Show His Artwork– A Free-Ranging Interview with Josh Garrick
 

 

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