Friday, November 23, 2012

THE ART OF SATURDAY: Art Scavenger Hunt, Itty Bitty Blazar, Kris Starry & Invi and F.AT. Village Art Walk

Early December may be all about Miami Basel-ness, but the Saturday after Thanksgiving belongs to downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Put your sneakers on so you can run as fast as your legs will carry you to find all the art that will be hidden during Art Scavenger Hunt ... and to run from one show to another. Saturday is also F.A.T. Village Art Walk, The Kris Starry and INVI Collab Party at Green Room and Itty Bitty Blazar Gala at The Bubble in Fort Lauderdale.

Hard Work 2 by Steve Sticht
2012 Art Scavenger Hunt 

2012 Art Scavenger Hunt is what locals know as that special Saturday-after-Thanksgiving tradition, whereby Steve Sticht, of local Blue Bike Project fame, makes loads of art works (see above) and rounds up many of his artist friends to do the same. They meet in Fort Lauderdale (this year, outside Laser Wolf, a neighborhood bar that serves craft beers, wine and sake) and hide their works in bushes, trees, on fences, under rocks, down back alleys, wherever they can find within the designated surrounding area.

The public is invited to come and find the art (a two-work limit for each finder, please) and then  return to the point of origin to meet the artists, who will be on hand to sign the works before the finders take them home.

Chief art hunt founder, hider and mapmaker Steve Sticht
Arrive promptly by 8 p.m. with your flashlight, wear good running shoes, get your map (they'll be distributed at start time) and run as fast as your legs will carry you to look for art by local artists who contribute works for the event.

This year's growing roster of artists includes Sticht, Francesco Lo Castro, Katya Neptune, Terribly Odd, Jill Weisberg, Richard Aguillon, Mondo Arroyo, CM Brennan, Jason Cabello, Colin Christian, Sas Christian, Lowell Donofrio/Jinx Remover, Drea Sylvester (Dreaone Art), Adam Forero, Gwen Gersich, Keegan Hitchcock, Chuck Loose, Iron Forge Press, Jacqui May, N! Satterfield, Todd Nolan, Jasper Cash, Dunn Nolan, Moxie Nox, Oleander & Mint, HR, Andrew Sticht, Tahmis, Richard Vergez, Roy Walkes, Brandon Webb, Morgan Whitworth and Matt Zacharias. A work by Purvis Young will also be hidden.

Don't even try to be snitching hidden art before the maps go out, or taking more than two works of art (that's the limit and hoarding is off limits.

Friends of the hunt will be wandering the streets and violators if caught, will be photographed and exposed online. Remember, no one likes a loser who cheats and tries to ruin one of Fort Lauderdale's best (and free) Thanksgiving weekend traditions.

Now that you know all that, remember that art can be anywhere. Leave no stone unturned, but do be careful. Last year, Sticht encountered a guy with a cut arm and bloodied shirt. "Some girls wanted a piece that was high on a pole and he climbed up a chain link fence and caught himself on it – but he was so happy to get it for them and was showing off his little wound."

Then, the bloodied hunter apparently made his way back to Laser Wolf to meet the artists, most of whom are on hand to sign the works. You have to look for them, though, and may have to ask around a bit, as they're not always all in one place.

"It's not like we have a section with just the artists sitting there," Sticht says. "It never gets that organized. It's just mayhem after the maps go out."

Art Scavenger Hunt starts at 8 p.m. Nov. 24 at Laser Wolf, 901 Progresso Drive, #101, Fort Lauderdale. Call Steve at 954-249-8484, visit or read Arterpillar's Sun-Sentinel story on the hunt.

Pocket of Lollipops @ The Bubble (Image courtesy of Pocket of Lollipops)
Itty Bitty Blazar Gala

Itty Bitty Blazar Gala Part IV will feature vintage items, performances, accessories, body painters, art and  a fashion show and "musical experience" titled Fashion Through the Ages. Artists include Janette Valentine, Todd Nolan, Kelcie McQuaid, Jen Locane, Sean Murdock, Jonathan Dvoretz, Valyn Calhoun and others.

The event, featuring music by Pocket of Lollipops, The Waves, Whiskey River Baptism, Dooms De Pop and Mask Era, runs 7 p.m. to midnight Nov. 24 at The Bubble, 810 N.E. Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-562-3804 or visit

justin "Invi" Vilonna (pictures) will exhibit with photographer Kris Starry in a show of collaborations and individual works (Image courtesy of the artist)
Green Room: Models, Burlesque Dancers and Zombies 

Kris Starry's photo of Serena Magnetta
Kris Starry & INVI Collab Party will feature collaborative works by Kris Starry, who does themed photo sessions with local artists, burlesque dancers and other models, many of them tattooed and body-painted, and Justin  INVI Vilonna who draws and paint zombies and monsters. The artists, both of whom were recently featured in WeMerge Magazine, will show their collaborations (a blend of both artist's work) and each will show works of their own as well. See the slide show above for a little preview.

This is Starry and INVI's second annual collab show. The first, titled Super Fab Co-Lab Party was held last October at Kevro's Art Bar in Delray Beach. Their Green Room show is a little bigger.

The timing is good for Vilonna, who has been drawing since high school, and became a full-time artist five months ago. Prior to that, he worked at a bank and spent his lunch breaks nuking his Lean Cuisine and eating it really fast so he could draw.

"If I wasn't done my lunch within the half hour my boss would yell at me so I'd try to get [one drawing] done and I started posting them," he recalls. "It was funny because I'd go to events and people were like 'Oh you're the lunchtime guy ... That's kind of your big 'F You' to the establishment,' and I'm like, 'Oh OK, I just wanna draw without someone yelling at me."

Now, he's doing his art full-time. "I'm not Benjamin Buttons," he says. "I'm not getting any younger so I might as well try this while I have the time, and thank God my wife is in full support of me."

"'97," one of his collaborations in the show, reflects his feelings about that. Named for the Alkaline Trio song, it depicts a goofy-looking zombie-like guy with a pin-up girl in the background (reflecting him and his wife) and the song lyrics "I don't deserve this" written around the zombie's head.

While the song lyrics are about a breakup, and not deserving a thorn "the size of a Cadillac," Vilonna's work is about not deserving something so good. "I know a lot of people are struggling and want to pursue their dreams,  and I'm really blessed," he says. "I honestly never thought I would see the day I was doing this."

The exhibition will open with a party that includes fire dancers, a performance by Killmama, burlesque by The Reckless Dames, and DJ sets by Andie Sweetswirl. The four-hour bash starts at 10 p.m. Nov. 24 and the work will remain on exhibit through Dec. 1 at Green Room, 109 S.W. Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission to the opening is $5, and the first 30 guests will receive a free print, made especially for this event. Call 954-449-1030 or visit

Jane Tracy's solo exhibition will be on display at Project Fine Art during F.A.T. Village Art Walk (Image courtesy of Project Fine Art)
F.A.T. Village Art Walk

F.A.T. Village Art Walk will feature: Circus Basura, which offers a circus-like atmosphere and a 10 p.m. fashion show;  artist Jane Tracy's solo exhibition at Project Fine Art; Small Works, Large Concepts, a five-artist exhibition at World and Eye; the Flagler Community Garden debut at Tandem Gallery; an interactive tree-trimming event and exhibit by Leah Brown and Peter Symons at Socially Engaged Gallery, GPK Crew's 20th anniversary exhibition at Rolling Stock Gallery; new work from the Kentuck Festival at Samsara Folk Art Gallery; Nocturnes II at The Projects North and many other open galleries and studios.

F.A.T. Village Art Walk, which takes place just west of Andrews Avenue between Northwest Fourth Avenue and Northwest Sixth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, runs 7-11 p.m. Saturday. For more details, visit

For info on more South Florida art news and events, visit

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