My first order of business each year during the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is to check out the newbies: The three “emerging” Artists featured in three side-by-side tents along the sidewalk nearest to the train tracks just south of Morse Boulevard. I always enjoy seeing what is offered by the group, talking with them a bit. That is especially so this year!
Two photographers and one painter, each of them is friendly, anxious to talk about his / her work, share a bit of their individual story.
Painter Natalie Schorr presently lives in Louisiana, yet has her own Winter Park story to tell, one which began before being selected as an Emerging Artist for the 60th Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.
Natalie describes her work as “modern, abstract, with lots of texture, lots of depth,” typically stays in a black & white color theme, with little pops of color. I ask what makes her work different from others you will see and her answer is perfect: “Well, it comes from inside of me and it’s funny, because it’s sort of like handwriting. You know, once you see it all together, no one can write exactly the same way as you, no one is going to create Art the same way as you.”
She then references the amazing talent present at this year’s event. “There is amazing talent at this show,” she says. Having noticed she is now living in Louisiana, I’m a tad surprised when she continues, “I bought my first ever piece of Art here 26 years ago. I lived here.”
I ask if she still has it and she immediately responds, “Oh yes, I have every piece of Art I’ve ever collected.”
“When I moved here I had nothing but clothes and a chair,” began collecting Art from Local businesses. “And would come to this show and buy Art. And, yes, I still have every single piece. It is always treasured.”
She originally applied last year, but didn’t get in, calls the experience of being back in Winter Park as a participant in the first Art show from which she purchased her first ever piece of Art “rather insane.”
She concludes by telling me: “You said you LUV Winter Park and I LUV Winter Park. I do. ”
I next spoke with Scott Aranha, a native Bahamian whose photography is dominated by undersea images from his homeland (home SEAS) and the waters around Indonesia.
“I started about 8 years ago in Indonesia,” he says. “I went to Raja Ampat, which is known as the fertile triangle for coral. It’s probably one of the most vibrant places in the world as far as diving is concerned. And then from there I started working back home in The Bahamas and updated my equipment to work better with sharks.” He says this just as I’d begun to stare at an image of a Tiger Shark, swimming upward, mouth open and hungry. 🙂
Soctt is obviously much more comfortable with sharks than I. “The idea of it is to give you sort of a dry dive,” he says of his work, the images all around us here in his tent.
I ask him what makes his photography different from others you may see and I LUV his answer, as it reminds me of documentaries I’ve seen about nature photographers. “I spend a lot of time sitting in small spaces waiting for fish to get in the right position, to take the photo at the right time. It’s a lot of patience, sitting and waiting.”
Does he use any disguises to get the best shot? No. But, he says, “I have wet suits which are supposed to be less visible to sharks, so you can get closer to interact.” He also has equipment to reduce air bubbles, which he says actually make lots of noise and can scare away the fish.
I ask which photo is his favorite and it’s an opportunity to refocus on the intimidating Tiger Shark photo to my left. He describes it as “a fun experience.” (We children of the 70s are obviously a bit different in what we view as fun, vs. scary as hell.)
“Then you’ve got the clown fish, which are, well this one’s almost like a Disney photo,” he says directing me to something oh so much more my own speed.
“Yeah, it’s like Nemo,” I offer enthusiastically, “except with two normal size fins.” “Or, Marlin,” he retorts. Yeah, guess that would take care of the fin issue!
Next I spoke with Emerging Artist and Orlando area photograph Angela Krauss-Coryell
“I got interested in photography in high school, my dad got me into it,” she tells me. “And then I received my bachelor’s degree in photography from UCF.” While she works as a wedding photographer, she says, surrounded by photos taken around Australia & New Zealand, “I will travel whenever I can. Pack a bag and fly wherever. I LUV just seeing the other side of the world. Traveling is one of the most amazing things to me and any chance I get, I’ll fly!”
With a strong affinity for Australia myself, her LUVly images instantly transport me to one of my favorite places on earth “I took a trip Down Under with my second mother from junior high, she takes kids every year,” she says. “But this was an all adult trip. And I went and just fell in LUV with the place.” I well understand her sentiments.
Thoughts back stateside, she says of the festival, “I’ve been coming here since, gosh, sophomore year of high school. Come with my parents, just walking around, admiring all the photographers and dreaming of what it might be like to have my own tent. And now I have one.”
So you’ve always wanted to participate, I ask. “Oh, yes, very much so.”
This is the first show for all three Emerging Artists. Go by, say hi, offer a friendly welcome to Winter Park and check out their wonderful works!
More on these three in the program for the 60th Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.