[By Thor in Orlando FL]
The Accidental Historian Exhibit will be on display the the Orange County Regional History Center (65 East Central Boulevard Orlando FL) from September 21, 2019 to January 21, 2020. I went in to sketch during the install of the exhibit. I was intrigued with the fact the eight years of my sketchbooks were stacked like the Tower of Terror inside a glass museum case. The staff tried to just stack the books but it swayed uncontrollably and they had to come up with a plan B. A clear plastic spine was created that supports the high column of books but even with that solution, the tower slumps forward just a bit like an old man reaching for a cane. On top of the tower one sketchbook is open to a sketch of a giant inflatable alligator that was once in front of the History Center thanks to Heather Henson. A laser level stood sentry like a War of the Worlds armored attack vehicle. It stood on spindly legs staring at the sketchbook tower perhaps judging how fragile it looked.
In this exhibition, created at the
History Center, you get to learn how individuals who are absorbed in documenting
the world of today accidentally become some of Central Florida’s finest
historians for the future. You can also catch a glimpse into some of the museums
collections that were created for the now – more than 100 years ago.
The Accidental Historian features both historic and
contemporary work and collections, including drawings by the renowned
artist and teacher Ralph Bagley and Orlando Urban Sketchers , poetry by
Orlando’s inaugural poet laureate Susan Lilley, audiovisual work by food
blogger Ricky Ly, historic images by photographer T.P. Robinson, and of course a some Orlando sketches by myself.
Visitors to the exhibit can create 19th-century “tweets” and step
into a larger-than-life, Instagrammable photo station that features one of my downtown Orlando sketches in the same location as a 1920s photo of the same spot. The exhibit is fully bilingual, presented in both English
and Spanish. Related programs range from preservation workshops to
poetry readings and a historical food-based demonstration.
In my sketch, I focused on the huge open sketchbook in the corner of the room where Orlando Urban Sketchers work was displayed. I am proud that these artists who work together to explore Central Florida with their sketchbooks are now seeing their work exhibited in a museum. Their vision is unique in a time when people tend to shoot homogenized selfies with thoughtless abandon. These artists take the time to truly see the world around them.