Last Friday’s Culture & Cocktails event, hosted at the Maitland Art Center, featured poetry readings by local writers and artwork by Andrew Spear.
Andrew Grant is a UCF communications graduate from 2005, who has his own style of art. Grant said he liked the concept of Spear's art in that it presented a different look at the conclusions humans jump to when decimation takes over.
"When people see the turban [in one of the art pieces], they have preconceived notions of war and violence, but all the different colors of the cassettes [in place of a belt of bullets] represent the different nations brought together by music," Grant said. "Music brings people together."
And apparently the same goes for disco balls, a recurring theme throughout Spear's work.
"There has to be a disco ball if there's going to be an Andrew show," attendee Debbie Shemanski said.
A disco ball hung from the ceiling in the center of the room while others were being blasted from bazookas in black and white.
Some of the patterns in Spear’s work look like they come straight out of the 60s, while his use of texture throughout locks of hair hold more details.
"The hair is an extension of the wavelengths in music,” Spear said. “There's a certain rhythm and flow to it.”
Spear draws primarily with his left hand and colors with his right, a method his father taught him, which adds a natural distortion to his artwork. Spear sometimes starts out by sketching with "blind contours” which is basically letting your hand run the length of the page without looking down to see what happens next.
While the figures featured in his paintings may not be anatomically correct, their expressions seem true to life. The looks in their eyes present blank stares, contempt, defiance and boredom.
Alternate realities of today's pop icons Michael Jackson, Bettie Page, Mick Jagger, Prince, and what looks like Olivia Wilde are contained in one large print titled "Poison Ivy."
Clean lines made dark with Bic pens formed textures that ebb and flow in the motion of the waves of emotion that pour from the eyes of those portraits.
The John Gallagher Band played outside lending some audio stimulation to the gallery, and the fingertips of DJ Nigel playing indoors moved some to dance in the courtyard.
Curtis X Myer, a UCF alumnus from the creative writing program, brought a sample of his feelings about Swing music and recited it all by heart in a poetry jam that occurred adjacent to the Germaine building where Spear’s work was portrayed. Myer interspersed beat-boxing with iambic pentameter as if it was written upon his soul and he had to let everyone in the crowd know.
Author Christi Shannon Kline read from her debut book "No Child More Perfect & Other Poems" and Arnold Breman read aloud an excerpt from his book of short stories called “Laugher in the Wings.”
Groups of all shapes and backgrounds came together for the affair. Just as the development of a culture starts with its foundation, the progress of its people continues to change.
Another UCF alumna and wife to Spear’s business partner Brain Dempsey, Angela Kendall-Dempsey, helped lay the sod down on Greek Row during construction. Kendall-Dempsey said that Spear knows so many different people it's a wonder to see them all together for a night. Dempsey was busy devouring a turkey and cheese crepe while his wife spoke of the marketing talents of Spear.
"He has this business acumen," Kendall-Dempsey said. "It's like the perfect marriage between fine art and commercial art."
Spear remains humbly devoted to his art and can still sell his product with a logical frame of mind.
For more information about Spear check out his website: Spear Life.
For more information about events happening at the Maitland Art and History Museum visit their website: Art & History Museums Maitland.