Saturday, January 22, 2011

what a happy busy day!

I woke up earlier than I had planned, thanks to 4 kitties staring into my face and breathing on me. You know you have been thoroughly stared at when you open your eyes to 4 sets of eyes, ranging from pure gold to pale green, focussed on your face.

They were mainly bored and ready for words and action so I got up and started talking and moving. They do talk back, but it is along the lines of "prrrup? RRRRRRiii? mraa. MEEEEEEya."

My goal was to get to an art fair at a historic building in my little town. This part of Florida is relatively new compared to my home area, nothing in the state is really old except for St. Augustine.

Anyway, this lovely old building just off main street had been falling apart until the Historical Society got interested in it. It was built in 1912 and is the property and meeting place of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, who were still meeting there even when the building really should have been condemned. Only members could have unescorted access to the building, so, the Historical Society members joined so they could have access to the building to rennovate and voila.

Upstairs is the meeting area for the IOOF and there is more to talk about there than I will mention here.

My favorite was a set of wall murals that had been done through the WPA during the Depression when the government actually made jobs. They hired a trained artist (JW Zelm) to paint the walls of the Odd Fellows meeting area with scenes of NW Florida themed with Biblical material. Yah, I know!

Apparantly it offended the artist as well. The huge mural that was supposed to deal with the Burning Bush had a smoky little pile the size of a dime in a distant corner.

I will get some pics of those murals since they were lovely and still in danger of destruction.The art fair was my main focus today. So much of the work shown was of situational art. People have a craving for beauty and will make it from whatever is at hand, like the sweet potato vine plant my mom put in her first rooming house window. She had a small sweet potato, put toothpicks in it to suspend it in a cup of water and let it root and develop leaves. A little beauty in a dreary window.

There were a lot of handcrafts; wooden utensils, jewelry, wind-chimes made from found objects and key art. This fascinated me. The cultural anthropologist in me always locks in on folk art, the southern country girl in me thinks about the people who found beauty in these objects.


  1. Did you ever get photos of the murals? I think the same artist did some work in my town and would love to compare!

  2. Did you ever get photos of the murals? I think the same artist did some work in my town and would love to compare!


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