A myriad of art lovers flooded Loch Haven Park in Orlando to bask in the beauty of creative artwork.
The ARTlando event hosted a variety of artists and performers who displayed their work at the 12-hour festival as hundreds gathered to saunter through eye-catching displays of unique artistry.
The festival, benefiting the University of Florida Health Cancer Center - Orlando Health organization, entertained its attendees with a live art competition held by the Sam Flax of Orlando art store. Artists demonstrated their creative techniques through different mediums and the audience selected their favorites by submitting votes throughout the day at each artists' designated space. Performers entertained crowds of all ages by filling the stage with lively theatrical ensembles as well as individual portrayals of interesting characters.
As every piece of art has its own story to tell, so did many of the artists who created the different works.
"Inks are something that I've had a lot of work in," Kaitlin Statz said. "Even when you're little you can just use pens or something like that, so I got really attached."
Statz is an illustrator and fantasy cartographer who enjoys the permanence of her pieces. She works using ink and different types of paper that she hand stains herself using tea or coffee, turning the paper into canvases to display her creativity. At the ARTlando event, Statz was working on a fantasy-themed map of Orlando for the live art competition.
No one at the festival would have expected to see someone using markers attached to a power tool. Mimicking the undulated motion of a tattoo machine, Jason Zalasko connected markers or other artistic tools to a power saw base in order to create a unique art form.
"All of my stuff is just something random, different," Zalasko said.
Pointing to a small book displaying smaller art pieces, Zalasko described how one was even created by just writing on pieces of tape and placing them together to create a collage-like piece. His "Street Art/Post Graffiti style" portrayed how art can encompass different topics and be created in any form to illustrate the distinct thoughts of the artist. His work was informed by his longing to share his ability to be unique.
Food trucks also joined in on the merriment by offering up delicacies for the hungry art-lovers so they could continue perusing the designs.
There was a variety of options available for those visitors with different perspectives that aligned with each artist's own view of the world. From spray paintings to yarn art and even charcoal work, visitors had several options to satisfy their inner artists by purchasing an art piece, with 100 percent of the proceeds going back to the artists.
Some of the visitors admiring the artwork had their special reasons for being at the festival as well.
Maribel Dichiara, Orlando resident, said she appreciates artists who create beautiful work. After being involved in a car accident 14 years ago she almost lost her hands.
After four and a half years of therapy, the rest was up to her, which is when her love of crafting became the force that kept her positive. She continued her own therapy sessions by using her hands to create beautiful displays.
"I'm always praying and I’m always blessing whoever does beautiful things with their hands because it's amazing, " Dichiara said.