“Summertime … and the ARTS are easy …”

by Josh Garrick / May 24, 2010 / 0 comments

“Summertime … and the ARTS are easy …”
By Josh Garrick 


Sanford “Art Walk”
Only the most “artistic” communities have their own day each month to set up an “Art Walk,” and Sanford, Florida certainly qualifies.  On Friday, May 28 from 6 pm to 9 pm, the growing list of art galleries in beautiful downtown Sanford will celebrate the kick-off of “Sanford Art Walk”, the summertime-along-the-river-replacement for Sanford’s Fourth Fridays Art Walk. The downtown Sanford galleries know how to party, and they will welcome guests with art, food and activities. Visit Art Affair Gallery, Jeanine Taylor Art Gallery, Gallery on First, Riverhouse Pottery Art Gallery, and Little Fish Huge Pond for an exuberant mix of art and artists.  Several of my favorite artists are scheduled for Little Fish Huge Pond, including Hannah Miller, Justyn Lynn, Louise Bova, Kayla Prommersberger, Nyahzul, Patrick Robles and PJ Buchanan, an eclectic group of Artists all working on the fringe of darkness. For more information, contact Mo Wisdom at mo[at]littlefish-hugepond.com or visit jtfolkart.com

Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Plaza
Long before they were tapped as “ambassadors” of the re-birth of New Orleans after the hurricane, the jazzmen who make up PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND traveled the world spreading and perpetuating the art form of New Orleans Jazz. From legendary performances at Carnegie Hall, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, their music embodies all that is joyful and timeless about the spirit of that great city.  Named for Preservation Hall, their home is located in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter. The building housed a tavern during the war of 1812, a photo studio and an art gallery, and the Hall’s exterior has been untouched over history. To this day, Preservation Hall has no air conditioning, or other accoutrements to welcome its guests.  What it DOES HAVE is one of the last pure music experiences left on earth. The PHJB began touring in 1963 and the founding artists continue to pass on the lessons of their music to a younger generation who now follow in their footsteps.  This one-night-only performance will take place on June 1st at 8 pm at our own legendary Plaza Theatre at 425 North Bumby in Downtown Orlando.  Call 407.228.1220 or visit theplazatheatre.com

Printmaking Celebrated at OMA’s 1st Thursday
The centuries old art form of printmaking (which includes the fine art techniques of etching, woodcut, and screen printing), will be showcased at the Orlando Museum of Art's (OMA's) 1st Thursday event, "Printmakers Unite!"  On June 3rd from 6 pm to 9 pm, the OMA will present works by several of Central Florida's printmakers including works by André Smith, founder of ‘The Research Studio,’ (now the Maitland Art Center).  The event will include a printmaking demonstration by artist/curator Richard Colvin. Admission to 1st Thursdays is $10 and includes access to the OMA's featured exhibitions Transcending Vision:  American Impressionism 1870 - 1940 Works from the Bank of America Collection and Clyde Butcher:  Big Cypress Swamp and the Western Everglades.  Call 407 896 4231 x260, or visit www.OMArt.org


Printmaking at OMA

Andre Smith, Ponte Vecchio, etching on paper from the collection of the Maitland Art Center


The Mad Cow to ‘Rock the Cradle’
The Cradle Will Rock, a musical created in 1936 during the Great Depression, is an extraordinary chapter in the history of American theatre. Originally directed by Orson Welles, the production was shut down due to "budget cuts" within the government-sponsored Federal Theatre Project. It was widely believed, however, that it was closed because of accusations that it was pro-communist. In the spirit of the freedom of expression, Welles, producer John Houseman, and author Mark Blitzstein rented a larger theatre and a piano, and sang, played, and read the entire musical to an audience of people invited off the street to attend for free. Orson Welles encouraged cast members to say their lines from the audience, thus exercising their right of free speech. The success of the production led Welles and Houseman to create the Mercury Theatre. The revolutionary musical was the first American musical written from a working class perspective. This production of  The Cradle Will Rock is directed by Mad Cow Theatre Artistic Director Alan Bruun with musical direction by Robin Jensen. Appropriately, the musical will run through July 4th at Mad Cow Theatre, 105 South Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Orlando. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com

Iconic Sights of Old Orlando
The Orange County Regional History Center in Downtown Orlando is offering its summer visitors a “tour of familiar sights around the city” in an exhibit called Orlando Landmarks: Photo Transfers by Barbara Ery. On display through August 8, fine art photographer Barbara Ery’s collection of photos highlights landmark buildings including the Plaza Theatre and the Kress Building, and iconic signs at Johnson’s Diner, McNamara Pontiac, and the Merita Bread bakery. Ery crafts original photo transfers using the Polaroid Transfer Process, developing images on watercolor paper. For this exhibit, she produced the one-of-a-kind photo transfers of familiar Orlando landmarks using a camera, enlarger, slide printer, and Polaroid film to create a nostalgic effect reminiscent of browsing through an heirloom photo album. The Orange County Regional History Center is housed in the magnificently restored 1927 courthouse at 65 E. Central Boulevard in downtown Orlando. Call (407) 836-8500 or visit www.thehistorycenter.org


Barbara Ery - Landmarks


Polasek Museum Presents a “Two-for-One”
The oh-so-beautiful and always inventive Polasek Museum is running a pair of exhibits through June 30. 
The first -- An Attraction to Abstraction: The Fluid Life of Bruce Gregory presents a series of 1950s paintings by American artist Bruce Gregory. Gregory “liberated colors into broad areas, achieving dimensional contrasts of shape, color and form.” Gregory (1917-2002) is best known as the artist who painted Fernand Léger’s two abstract murals in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations.
The second exhibit takes a look at the final years of 667 Osceola Avenue, the tract of land adjacent to the museum’s east property line. Since 1873, the site has been owned by several of Winter Park’s ‘historical residents,’ only to become known as the ‘hippie house.’ The Hippie House Revisited shows paintings and photographs from the final years of the house, prior to the lot being purchased by the Museum in 2000. The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens is located at 633 Osceola Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407-647-6294 or visit www.polasek.org



Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators