Sneak Peek of Duane Michals: The Portraitist

Meryl Streep, 1975. Gelatin silver print with hand applied text.

Meryl Streep, 1975. Gelatin silver print with hand applied text.

Yves Saint Laurent, 1983. Gelatin silver print with hand applied text.

Yves Saint Laurent, 1983. Gelatin silver print with hand applied text.

Andy Warhol and his Mother Julia Warhola, 1958. Gelatin silver print with hand applied text.

Andy Warhol and his Mother Julia Warhola, 1958. Gelatin silver print with hand applied text.

I visited the Snap! Orlando space and their latest exhibition of Duane Michals: The Portraitist. If you haven’t yet visited Snap! it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss. The current show was curated by Linda Benedict-Jones, former Curator of Photography at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and current Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University teaching the History of Photography. This collection is the first comprehensive overview of unique portraits by this influential photographer.

Michals describes himself as “self-taught” and worked for many years as a commercial photographer for Esquire, Mademoiselle, and Vogue. His style differed from that of his counterparts in that he did not shoot photos in a studio, but rather on location with the subject.

Michals photographed numerous artists and public figures, from Grace Coddington to Yayoi Kusama, Rene Magritte, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Burt Reynolds, and the original cast of Saturday Night Live just to name a few. The list goes on and on. They are all shown together in this stellar exhibition.

Michals used two unique innovations in his photographic work. First by implementing a storytelling approach and sequencing photos to take the viewer through a narrative, and second he incorporated writing on or near the photograph to provide additional context that isn’t always conveyed in the photo at the moment.

The photos are displayed in groups of artists, writers, photographers, actors, directors, fashion, self-portraits, and intimate stories. You only have until April 6th to visit this exhibition before it travels to New York.
CLICK HERE for hours and directions.

My kind of photography has really kind of been a wolf in the hen house.
— Duane Michals

Visions and Images: Duane Michals, 1981
Interviewer: Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive in the Duke University Libraries: https://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/dsva/

Watch the Townie Tourist sneak peek of Snap! Orlando below.

Junior Nyong'o IS Hamlet at Orlando Shakes

Would you rather…
A. Go to jail for something you didn’t do.
B. Commit a crime, get away with it, and have to live with the constant fear of getting caught

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First off, big big thanks to Orlando Shakes for the behind the scenes peek at the prop shop and an invite to the dress rehearsal for Hamlet.

Now, the words to describe how riveting this performance is. I don’t think I can do it justice. The madness, humor, murder, leaping, swordplay, tenderness, and gnashing of teeth is almost too much. Three hours of following each character through one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays was enough to keep me up for hours afterward thinking about light and movement and color and story.

It’s so well done. The theatre has been transformed to bring the audience into the set. The rotating stage is set in Denmark with greys and blues and light that streams from above and below. Played in the round, every bit of the stage is used and shared with viewers from every angle. Balconies, stairs, wings. The action comes from all over and the scenes are played so very very well.

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Y’all, Junior Nyong’o IS Hamlet. Horatio’s loyalty is exact. Polonius is perfect as a terminally bumbling father. Ophelia nearly steals the whole thing with her madness and gives new meaning to the words “hair sticks.” Gertrude is sat squarely in the middle of her ignorance. And… I may have fallen in love with evil uncle/brother/king Claudius. (#CheekbonesForDays)

Do not miss:
Hamlet’s passionate acrobatics in madness.
Opehlia’s mad rant.
Claudius’ prayer.
Gertrude’s awakening.
Final swordfight.

The show opens February 6th and runs through March 24th, 2019 in the Margeson Theatre at Orlando Shakes.

go. Go! GO!!!! Find tickets HERE.

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“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

ROCOCOLAB by the De La Torre Brothers

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My first experience with blown glass was at the Renaissance Fair. The men (always men) would pull a molten glowing glob of orange out of a fire and turn it into a thing. Moving the hot glass around using metal hammers and pinchers and various tools. Sweat beading up on brows as we kids waited to see what shape would appear. (I don’t want to ruin the mystery for you, but it was almost always a rose or vase.)

My latest experience with blown glass is at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Einar and Jamex de la Torre, collaborating artists and brothers, have their first solo museum exhibition in Florida. You have to check this show out. And because CFAM is a teaching museum, there’s plenty to think about. While at California State University, the brothers started sculpting in hot glass and fell in love with its “intrinsic spontaneity.” Now they bring drawings and ideas to their workshop but essentially allow the mood and the moment to direct the outcome.

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The brothers have created lenticular pieces. Lenticular printing is a technology in which lenses are used to produce printed images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles. I used to have lenticular bookmarks with jumping unicorns and kittens in baskets of flowers. I loved how their heads and legs moved or their eyes followed me as I flipped the bookmark back and forth.

The lenticulars that the brothers have created are completely different, addressing transnational identity and immigration incorporating Aztec iconography and themes of European art along with pop culture. I know that sounds super heavy, but I think one of the comments on the video was that the show reminded someone of The Simpsons. So do what you will with that comment and go see the show.

Watch this unique live interview at the opening of the CFAM show with Einar and Jamex de la Torre:

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Monday closed
Tuesday 10 a.m - 7 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m - 4 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday Noon - 5 p.m.

Phone: 407-646-2526
1000 Holt Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789

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Because I love lenticular kittens!!

Because I love lenticular kittens!!

Meet the Maker: Anayansi Jones

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Amanda Jones is also known by her artist name Anayansi. An Orlando artist and ceramicist from Clearwater, and a graduate of UCF, Orlando is now where she calls home. This month she is curating her first exhibition at Mills Gallery. The show is called TREPIDATION and features artists Peterson Guerrier, PJ Svejda, Jason Littlefield, Ivelisse Perez, Scott White, and Evan Rosato. The opening is from 6-9PM and you may feel feelings if you decide to go. That’s what art does. And these locals are good at making us feel.

What time of day do you like to start working on your art?

I like to start working in the morning, around 9:30 or 10:00. I like working first thing in the morning because otherwise I might get caught up doing something that’s not related to creating and making art. I tend to be intense and focus when I work, however, I do take 5-10-minute breaks to keep my quality up. 

Do you want to be liked or respected?

I think generally everyone wants to be respected as an artist, but not everyone wants their work to be liked. Personally, I want to be respected, however, not everyone has to like me or my artwork. To me there is a huge difference between like and respect. I know the actual definition of respect is different from the way I use the word. To me respect is when you understand another person’s boundaries and you take each individual for who they are and what they create; however, under no circumstances do you have to like them or their work. Ideally, you can walk into a gallery and say, “I don’t like this work” but still respect it enough to recognize its value as art.

What does your support system look like?

I have a husband who supports me all the way. I go to a studio ceramic studio called Porch Pottery that has an open studio membership. All the artists there are very friendly and supportive. I also have 2 dogs and 3 cats that all stare at me when I’m doing work. Does that count as support? (Townie Tourist says YES!)

What would your key artist advice be?

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your work. Try different materials, different subjects, or objects that might not be consider art. AND don’t be afraid to fail or get rejected. 

What do you find the most difficult part of your work?

The most difficult part of my job is being my own boss. It’s both a blessing and a curse. As an artist you’re not just creating but your marketing yourself, managing your website, photographing your work, and going to exhibitions to represent yourself. It can feel very overwhelming and to me, if I fail at any of these tasks, the only person I have to blame is myself. But I remind myself that these things take time and experience is so valuable, so I try not to be too hard on myself. I’m bound to fail and I have been rejected many times. But this is part of the job. I just have to keep pushing forward.

Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could take back?

It’s not really a mistake but I lacked self-confidence when I was at UCF and I didn’t apply myself the way I know I could have.

Describe your typical Florida uniform. What do you wear when you want to feel like yourself?

Yoga pants with paint or clay all over them with comfy shoes and a shirt. I love to be comfortable.

How does Orlando inspire you?

Orlando is full of wonderful and friendly artists that inspire me to keep pushing myself. I love how friendly the art community is here and how many of the artists I’ve met are doing amazing things like murals, solo exhibitions, and just all-around impressive work.

What do you miss most about home when you travel?

I’m originally from Clearwater, Florida by Tampa. I miss the being really close to the beach and having that sea breeze. I miss driving over the Courtney Campbell Causeway and seeing the bay on either side. But when I leave Orlando, I miss my friends and the food. 

Describe your ideal food day in Orlando.

Easy! Beefy King for lunch and Asian food for dinner like Domu, Izziban, or Thai House. Any of those three! So good, I highly recommend all those places.

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Get in touch with Anayansi:

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Schlumberger Jewels Bedazzle

I gave myself an early Christmas present of seeing the Jean Schlumberger show at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida. I got to experience one of the Gulf Coast’s best museums, was able to stand inches away from Guerrilla Girls, Monet, and Kara Walker and a wander through a divine little sculpture garden after tucking into yummy butter toast and a cup of hearty tomato basil bisque. There’s so much more to this museum than I ever imagined.

Here’s why you need to go to the St. Pete Museum of Fine Arts before March 31, 2019.

The Cafe. Do NOT skip going to the cafe. It’s probably one of the best kept brunch secrets in the entire city. A lovely menu with seasonal favorites and generous portions. Excellent coffee. Fantastic view of the water. Sit on the veranda if it’s nice. If not, the seats by the windows are fantastic people watching.

Super cool that you can buy a ticket online and have a year to use it. Buy one for friends. Grab a couple for visiting parents. I love that low pressure purchase.

GUERRILLA GIRLS

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Dreamy lounge area in case it all just gets to be too much. I imagine slinking into this lounge wearing a silk dress and furs and needing someone to provide smelling salts. It’s stepping into the feeling of Tiffany & Company in New York City. It’s like sitting in a velvet lined box. People were silent or whispering. The jewels demanded it. The Schlumberger show is only on until March 31, 2019.

It may seem like you have a bit of time to check it out, but we both know you’ll put it off. Don’t. You’ll regret it.

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Bunny Mellon must have had one heck of a jewelry vault. The woman knew how to inspire. Her friendship with Jean “Johnny” Schlumberger produced jewelry that is so much more than jewelry, it’s the story of the natural world told through precious stones and metal. Her all time favorite piece was the Pisces brooch with red enamel. Look at those little golden fish lips!

I’ve always been fascinated by haute couture of the 50s and 60s. The fashion houses that were inspired by brilliant muses like Slim Keith and defined or destroyed by Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland. They, along with other women like philanthropist Bunny Mellon had style. The kind of unique style that would stop conversations when they entered a room. Not narcissistic, but incredibly vain. And they all wore Schlumberger jewelry. Jackie Kennedy is famous for wearing his enamel bangle bracelets. Slim Keith had a cross made of gold and amethysts.

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Inches away from DV’s favorite piece. Dianna Vreeland, former editor-in-chief of Vogue, had a piece commissioned by Schlumberger in 1941 and it stayed on her bedside table until she died. The ‘Trophée de Vaillance’ brooch is out of the Tiffany archives and on display. And it is magnificent. It seems to glow from within. Like a military trophy, the platinum and gold breast plate and tunic is set with diamonds.  Behind that is an oval shield encrusted with faceted amethysts and rubies, with a blue and gold enamel border. Blue and grey enamel longbow, arrows, spear, pike and axe project from behind the shield, while a ruby-set star pommel projects from within the armor.

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KARA WALKER

Oh how I love her. The use of shadow and light and images of past placed on past. Brilliant.

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Then head outside and walk along the water, or grab an ice cream cone and stroll along the avenue. Looking for a posh place to stay after being inspired by those Mellon jewels? Visit the Vinoy Renaissance Resort just a block or two away. It’s pink! And pure luxury.

Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete

C255 Beach Dr NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 896-2667

MUSEUM HOURS

Monday–Saturday: 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am–8:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm–5:00 pm

CAFE HOURS

Tuesday–Sunday: 11:00 am–3:00 pm

Email: info@mfastpete.org
Tickets: HERE

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Meet the Maker: Hillary LaMountain

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Hillary LaMountain is an illustrator based in Orlando. “My work is bright, colorful, filled with sass, and a little morbid, but in like, a cute way. Growing up, I was always obsessed with horror and all things strange, so I love incorporating those themes into my brand. More recently, I’ve been working toward opening an online shop and I’ve been having so much fun creating products for it. I’m so grateful to be able to create every day, because it’s something that I genuinely enjoy and love doing.”

What time of day do you like to start working on your art/design?

I’m one of those crazy morning people. I wake up between 5-6am so that I can have time to think about my day ahead. Maybe drink a coffee, scroll through various social media accounts, taking in the memes. And then I like to get started right away while I have the energy. 

Do you want to be liked or respected?

I mean if someone doesn’t like me, then they don’t like me — I couldn’t possibly please everyone. But yeah I’d like to be respected; and I just think that comes from being a genuine, reliable non-asshole human.

What does your support system look like?

My support system looks like my mom, my 2 cats, the Great British Baking Show and bubble baths. 

What would your key entrepreneur/artist advice be?

Self-care, and I can’t stress that enough. As someone who has burnt themselves out from working many times, taking time to invest in yourself is not only important, but necessary. So, devote some time in your day to doing something you like, even if it’s small! And sometimes, you can even use it as an incentive to get work done. Somehow, knowing you’ve got a Netflix-binge or a bubble bath (or both if you’re really living your best life) waiting for when you finish work makes it a little more enjoyable.

What do you find the most difficult part of your work/art?

I’m actually just getting out of an art block right now so this question is kinda perfect; my biggest struggle with my art is myself. I’m an over-thinker and I’m constantly questioning everything that I’m doing — so much so, that every so often, I begin to hate everything I make. So, I go back to the drawing board (pun always intended) and sketch until I like what I see. And sometimes that takes a few days, and sometimes it takes a few months. 

Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could take back?

Gahhh so many.

If you could fix one thing about your solopreneurship today, what would it be?

Time management. I’m a master-procrastinator so I wish that I would’ve just taught myself better habits early on so that they weren’t so hard to stick with nowadays. 

Describe your ideal food day in Orlando.

Okay so prepare yourself for an extremely thought-out answer; and I’m going to start by waking up and going straight to White Wolf for breakfast. Then since it’s early, I’m gonna to run to P is for Pie to get some handheld pecan pies for dessert when I get home later. Then for lunch, I always love a classic burger and fries with a twist — so for that, I’m going to Toasted. And for dinner, I’m sooo going to Sushi Lola’s because Lava Dips are what dreams are truly made of. Throw in stopping by Skyebird for a lavender lemonade and I could die happy (and full).   

How does Orlando inspire your work?

Orlando is such a weird and fun place to live and the one thing that I love the most, is how time and time again, I’ve seen this community come together and do amazing things. Orlando inspires me to work hard and create meaningful work, so that maybe I too can make Orlando a lil more awesome. 

What do you miss most about home when you travel?

My bed!

Timucua Arts is an Orlando Gem

Timucua Arts Foundation is a home. A real home where people live. It’s also an event space for musicians and music performances that is unlike any other. A three story space that has every instrument imaginable and which has featured international musicians, Grammy award winners, and countless others. This tour of the space with founder Benoit Glazer is something you have to see to believe. Watch it below.

The mission says it all:

This, we believe:

Art and music belong to everyone.

Art and music are the highest manifestation of our humanity.

Art and music should be enjoyed in the most intimate venue: the living room.

Every community is better when art and music are performed and nurtured within it.

The mission of the Timucua Arts Foundation is to present and inspire great music and art in Central Florida through performance and education.

This FAQ page will answer all your questions.

Timucua White House

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Event Space Address:
2000 South Summerlin
Orlando, FL
32806

Meet the Maker: Reina Castellanos

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My name is Reina and I am a Venezuelan illustrator living in Orlando. My work is influenced by my culture and experiences as an immigrant—seeking balance between absurdity and moments of quiet contemplation within the organized chaos of layered color and pattern. Currently I am exploring different applications of my illustrations on small, personal wares like coin pouches and embroideries. 

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1. What did you want to be when you were a child and why?

Performer. Artist. Philosopher. Homemaker. Comedian. Architect. Writer. Hacker. Singer. Astronaut. Poet. I am convinced to have grown into an amalgamation of all those things. Little Reina would be proud!

2. What is your favorite thing about your workspace?

My studio window faces the next door neighbor’s backyard and sometimes I am able to hear their band practice. In a weird way it has become very comforting listening to them while drawing or designing. When I notice they are rehearsing, I turn off any kind of distraction I may have around me and continue working alongside them into the evening.

3. What is a scent that defines your childhood and why?

The scent I remember most vividly from my childhood is jasmine. We had a huge shrub at the entrance of our house and, when it was blooming, you could smell it all around the neighborhood. 

4. Name a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night?

Prematurely telling myself why and how something will fail before taking a risk. No matter how hard I’ve worked to trust my intuition and respect my process, I still catch myself doing it regularly. I think it is the creative professional equivalent of the falling teeth nightmare.

5. What is your personal or professional motto?

DO. THE. THING.

6. What is something you tell yourself to build yourself up when you face adversity or criticism?

Tough love tends to get through me better than being kind to myself (I know, yikes!), so I imagine Kara Thrace from Battlestar Galactica sizing me up and saying, “Girl, you’ve been through worse!” It usually works and the negativity can roll off my back pretty easily with such a badass—albeit, fictional—person on my side.

7. Current fave junk food, restaurant, or treat?

I see an iced tea latte, I drink an iced tea latte. No exceptions.

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Contact Reina Castellanos

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