Art and History Museum’s Maitland Art Center
One of Central Florida’s most intriguing and popular fundraising events, the A&H’s participation is an innovative sensory experience; one where artists turn tables into installations and guests dine with the selected artist. Guests learn from the artist and create their own works of art in an evening of elegant dining, performances and art, all in the beautiful setting of the A&H’s Maitland Art Center campus.
It’s been a while since I have been able to “participate.” I have been asked, but I’ve either had family obligations or have been out of town teaching. I emphasized to the folks at Maitland Art Center that I really wanted to be part of this event, and not to give up on me. This year they asked me early and I put them on my schedule! Yippee, I was so excited about being there that I didn’t even ask how things had changed since a few years ago, or exactly what I was agreeing to.
And then the fun began.
The curator Becky Larson explained to me that I had to decorate my table. “Like with place cards?” I asked her, thinking I could put some collaged name tags on there and be sitting pretty. “Like with a centerpiece” was her response. Just how elaborate of a centerpiece are we talking about? Let me show you some pictures. gulp.
What have I gotten myself into?
These are not centerpieces, these are sculptures, people!
In addition to being a sculptor, you also have to look the part, as a participating artist. Now you and I both know I can put together an outfit that compliments my art in the blink of an eye, or a twitch of my nose. (for those of you who remember I Dream of Jeannie) Did I just admit out loud that I am that old? (Jeannie ran from 1965 to 1970, has it been that long?)
ANYWAY… I’ve been mulling over photos of artists and tables from previous events and they are looking like they have SO MUCH fun! I still want in, sculpture anxiety or not.
I feel compelled to support the MAC because in 2010 I had my first local solo exhibition there, they had the faith and trust in me to fill their gallery space with work that would draw a crowd. They also had the faith and trust in me to schedule a collage workshop in conjunction with the show. Exquisite Harmony and the workshop were a huge success and helped to give my art great exposure.
I have been working on some dimensional collages as of late, thanks to my husband and his mad woodworking skills. Doug has been building me raised up and topped out boxes for my work that has taken it to a new level. “We can do this” was his immediate reaction to my freak out over the centerpiece. Most people would freak out over being the center of attention at a table for 10. Most people would freak out over what they would say to 10 people who paid a lot of money to sit and eat dinner with them. Most people with Bell’s Palsy would freak out over EATING in front of 10 people they don’t know. (Ok THAT did cross my mind) But me, I am freaking out over the art aspect. Ironic.
Doug’s gears immediately started spinning. He has ideas, LOTS of ideas. He quickly made rough sketches and said “You’ve always wanted to do THAT, right?” (I’m keeping the plan a secret. After all, I AM trying to create a sense of wonder and urgency for you to purchase a ticket!) Thank goodness I have Doug to remind me to take baby steps, be encouraging, AND cut the wood. Lord know’s I’d lose a finger. HOW would I function less one, or even MORE, fingers?
Each participating artist donates a piece of work to raise even more funds for the Art Center through an auction. My donation piece is complete (above) can be seen in progress on my Facebook page, I painted it in some interesting public spaces.
In the next few weeks (the event is March 29th) I’ll be working on my sculpture and filling my table. I’m not sure what we will be eating, but we will be doing a lot of talking about the centerpiece and my outfit, that I can assure you. If you want in at my table, you will have to act fast because the folks at the Art Center are anticipating a stampede of people coming my way.
For real, that’s what they told me.
Learn more about the Participation Dinner Affair
Contact Devin Dominguez for more information and check the A&H’s website for their list of participating artists and more information in the weeks to come. Tell them I sent you, this is a great cause for a wonderful Art Center.