A Place Gallery & Studios
649 N. Mills Ave., facebook.com/aplacegallery
The art scene has been especially active in the past 12 months, with galleries closing and opening (usually there's more of the former). Upstairs in a creaky old building at the crossroads of Mills 50, A Place Gallery – the public wing of the Time Waste Management art collective – hosts exciting young and emerging artists. You might see projection mapping or dust collecting, experience a performance meditating on someone's grandmother through the medium of her old fur coat or hear African-American artists discussing the black experience. It's all about the ideas, and unlike many galleries that program a year or more in advance, A Place is deliberately of-the-moment. Original ideas aren't in short supply these days, but venues that air them to the public are. Check it out.
Last March, the Art & History Museums – Maitland's monthlong Art 31 project brought works by a number of internationally acclaimed artists (including Dale Chihuly, Lorrie Fredette and Paige Smith) to the Orlando area. However, nothing topped Jason Hackenwerth's biological balloon sculpture costumes for sheer grin-inducing WTF-ness. You can say they were abstract forms or alien fish; we could only see giant walking naughty bits, and we loved them for it.
The on-ramps are better prospects than the off-ramps, as if merging depends on purging. Outside the I-4 Ultimate construction fences, there's a no-man's-land of heaved purses, flung coolers, thrown books, car parts, children's toys ... the Orlampa Corridor's forgotten detritus, a fascinating linear treasure trove that's constantly changing. You'll need both a driver and a spotter, but the driver needs a fighter pilot's nerves and reaction time. Turn sharp eyes toward any area where they've stopped mowing, and look for piles. At the west side of Kaley, for example, we recently found brass engine parts and a rusty aqua chaise lounge. At Princeton's little westbound on-ramp: an Encyclopedia Britannica – that rare Volume XII – and a dog dish. All fodder for the muse.
1. Blue Star
2. Patrick Greene
3. Denna Beena
1. Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, orlandofringe.org
2. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org
3. Artlando, artlando.com
1. Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk, thorntonparkdistrict.com
2. Sanford Alive After 5, facebook.com/aliveafter5
3. 1st Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art, omart.org
1. VarieTease, thevenueorlando.com
2. Corsets & Cuties, corsetsandcuties.com
3. Rock Hard Revue, rockhardrevue.com
1. SAK Comedy Lab, 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-0001, sakcomedylab.com
2. Improv Orlando, 9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, theimprovorlando.com
3. The Tumbleweed Comedy Tour, tomanddan.com