Visual Arts:Special T's

Special T's
Brice Stephens
Through May 21
Mother Falcon Clothing
888 E. Washington St.

The traffic on Orange Avenue was a honking mess last week, presumably because it was Third Thursday, and parking spots were impossible to find near the CityArts Factory nexus. One quick turn took us to the other side of Lake Eola for a kinder, gentler affair: the Brice Stephens opening reception at Mother Falcon Clothing.

Actually, we arrived after fielding the exodus of runners exhausted by the TJ2K Walk and Run fundraiser at Lake Eola Park. (Tom Joyner was one of the celebs on hand to help raise funds for his foundation and the Nap Ford Community School.)

Foot traffic was much lighter in the Thornton Park shopping district, but DJ Diddles and his turntable outside Mother Falcon were doing their job, attracting the curious. As the evening grew, so did the gathering.

Owners Melissa and John Felcman are eager-to-please, down-to-earth types. The couple is building up their business, which offers a spin on the standard customized T-shirt shop. They stock quality tees in popular colors, as well as myriad images and text that can be affixed in 15 minutes or so — or bring your own design. On Third Thursday, a local becomes the featured artist for the month, and tonight was Stephens' turn in the spotlight.

The images Stephens prepared for T-shirt transfer are a collection of his portraits of young women (created by painting on windows "backward," applying the last layers first and so on). These colorful, contemporary women ooze with sultry sadness, introspection and attitude; some feature comfortable nudity. Stephens himself is kind of quiet and lets his work do the talking. Judging by his paintings, though, Stephens knows something about women and their moods.

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