Every First Friday Art Walk is unique, with different artists, musicians and performers, but this event, organized by the City of Ocala Cultural Arts Office, never disappoints. The bonus this month? Cooler temperatures that made strolling Ocala’s downtown even more enjoyable. Families, some accompanied by their adorable dogs, enjoyed an evening of art, music and hands-on fun.
“It brings our artists and business owners together and out in the community,” says Lianna Tatman, the City of Ocala’s cultural arts coordinator. “I love the variety—Ocala has such talented artists, and not only in visual arts. There are great musical performances and intermission performances too.”
At the gazebo on the downtown square, a crowd gathered to listen to the sweet folky harmonies of Caly and Megan Music, two local women who perform acoustic covers of everything from classic country and classic rock to modern country and even a little Lizzo.
Also entertaining on the square were the tiniest baton twirlers from Florida Twirling Academy decked out in their Halloween costumes.
In front of Cyrus Rugs on Broadway Street, local artist Mel Fiorentino was live painting her tribute piece to Stan Lee.
“I wanted to incorporate a lot of the classic comics behind him along with his famous pose,” Fiorentino says. The Lee painting is just the latest in a long line of celebrity portraits she’s brought to life with her colorful style and immersive insight. Fiorentino was also displaying her brilliantly hued, intricately detailed Joker painting. “It’s something I felt compelled to paint,” she reveals. “I really wanted to use oil paints to do justice to the character that Joaquin Phoenix portrayed.”
As usual, Marion Cultural Alliance opened a spectacular new exhibit at the Brick City Center for the Arts. On display through November 30th is Natural Wonders & Celestial Impressions, a solo exhibit featuring pine needle artist Carol Pardell. Her unique twist on Native American pine needle baskets incorporates many other textures.
“I now create and experiment with different elements to create interesting pieces,” Pardell explains, adding that her works include metal, glass, stone, coral and beads.
Don’t miss the next First Friday Art Walk on December 6th. For more information, visit https://www.ocalafl.org/government/city-departments/recreation-parks/cultural-arts/first-friday-artwalk or follow Ocala Cultural Arts on Facebook for the latest updates.