Episode 114 – Tory Freeman

Join us in discovering the story of Tory Freeman, a magnificent tattoo and visual artist.



DIVINITY by Patricia Cavazos
Osceola Arts
Photo by Jose Rodriguez Marmol

On Saturday, March 5th, Osceola Arts hosted the Opening Reception of ‘Divinity’ by local visual artist Patricia Cavazos, welcoming guests from all around Central Florida.

Patricia is originally from Monterrey, Mexico. She has been living in the U.S. since the year 2000. Her career as a visual artist has represented the colors of her country and the mythologic world of the Aztecs.

Since she was a child, Patricia felt a passion for the world of visual arts. She is responsible for sharing the stories behind Mexico in the abstract world. Wonderful stories are told through the use of colors and textiles.

This time, Patricia wanted to pay homage to the Aztecs and the importance of the Gods in the creation of the world.

Guests enjoying DIVINITY at Osceola Arts during the Opening Reception on March 5th, 2022.
Photo by Jose Rodriguez Marmol

“I feel happy to see my exhibition here in Osceola Arts come to life. It is a result of working with love and passion. I have waited 2 years for this moment. Unfortunately, COVID-19 made us postpone the exhibition. Now, it is the perfect time to show guests the story behind the Aztecs, the creation of the world, and the Gods behind it,” said Patricia.

‘Divinity’ is an exquisite and elegant exhibition full of vibrant colors, textiles, and Patricia’s famous trees of life.

“I have always felt passionate about mythology. This exhibition is a result of my passion to tell the stories of my beloved Mexico and the importance of the Gods in our story,” said Patricia.

Tláloc’s Sun – Mixed Media 3D Installation by Patricia Cavazos
Photo by Jose Rodriguez Marmol

For Betania Acosta, “all the art pieces that are part of this exhibition are beautiful. The story behind all the artwork is amazing. I learned new things about the Aztec world. Information I did not have before I came to see this exhibition.”

“The pieces shown in this exhibition were inspired by books about the Aztec culture and their mythology. The impact that this magnificent culture has on me. This is my depiction of that world,” said Cavazos.

Artist Patricia Cavazos (center) and guests during DIVINITY’s Opening Reception.
Photo by Jose Rodriguez Marmol

Visiting this exhibition will bring you to a colorful world of Mexican history.

‘Divinity works by Patricia Cavazos‘ will be on display through April 1st in the Studio Gallery at Osceola Arts

For more information visit


Episode 108: Ken Austin

Watercolor Master Ken Austin, joined us to discuss the highlights of his career, and his pathway in arts for the past 60 years.



Artistic Spot – Special Edition: Will Benton

In today’s world, there is a significant amount of people that are constantly striving to do what they feel most passionate about. Visual artists are among those people. 

Orange County, Florida is one of the most important travel destinations for local, and international tourists. The theme park industry put Central Florida on the map and in the bucket list for people around the world after the opening of The Walt Disney World Resort on October 1, 1971, with their first theme park in the area, The Magic Kingdom.

The Walt Disney World Resort has grown in the past 50 years, as well as other companies decided to create more options for visitors and locals. Universal Orlando Resort and Sea World Parks and Entertainment are other options for those who visit the County. 

The theme park industry in Orange County, has made Central Florida have talented people that have dedicated their professional lives to entertain others as well as being able to bring entertainment for audiences worldwide. Visual arts play an important role in the world of storytelling.

The world of Visual Arts is a fantastic way of telling stories with the use of colors and paintbrushes. Orange County in Florida offers the world of Visual Arts and its artists a variety of events where they can showcase their artwork. 

The County’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Office led by its Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Terry Olson has an Advisory Council. The Council is in charge of recommending the office of Tourism and Tax Revenue where to spend their budget that the county has for the arts and culture. At the same time, the Council has different committees that oversee promoting new ideas. One of these committees is the Sustainability Committee which mission is “to pursue and implement the long-term sustainability and resiliency of the arts community, and its place in the natural, built and human environment of Orange County,” said Theo Webster, Chair of the Sustainability Committee and Member of the Advisory Council

Orange County, Florida – Arts Cultural Affairs Advisory Council

“One of our goals is to increase tourist awareness by promoting art and cultural offerings to hospitality industry and transit providers. We are also working on creating a unified, centralized marketing campaign for arts organizations,” said Theo.

While Orange County, Florida and the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs make great efforts to ensure that the community has access to new opportunities, visual artists around the County share their experiences.

For local artist JJ Gonzalez Acosta “Orange County has done a great job offering us the opportunities to showcase our talents. Activities such as Fusion Fest, and platforms such as City Arts Gallery, offer great opportunities to have our art out there. However, being an artist requires not only time and dedication, but also requires money for materials and the constant expectations to have our art sold. We must rely on having full time jobs to make our ends meet. Unfortunately, art itself does not pay our bills.”

Ilia Torres and JJ Gonzalez Acosta during the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at the Orange County Administration Building

The County does offer grant opportunities for the arts and culture. United Arts of Central Florida is a Non-profit Organization in charge of reviewing and approving applications from local non-profit organizations. Their main goal is to distribute the money the County has to the organizations who qualify. However, these grants are only accessible by those who have a Non-Profit Organization.

For some artists, registering a non-profit not only takes time, but it also requires a certain level of knowledge of the process that most of them do not know. For some, this information is new, and they did not even know that the County does offer opportunities and resources. “I did not know that there were those options. I would love to have more information. I will certainly investigate more information on it. It is always good to feel that we are supported as a community by the local government,” said Sarahy Boraure local artist.

Sarahy Boraure at the Opening of the ‘Arte Mundial’ Gallery in Orlando, FL

The arts and the entertainment industry was the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Orlando Performing Arts Relief Fund, or ‘GOPAR’ was organized in 2020 to provide relief grants to individual arts workers of Central Florida affected by the pandemic.

“To date GOPAR has raised over $100,000 and assisted artists and arts workers covering mortgages, car payments, and medical bills, and perhaps just as critical, providing hope, reassurance and needed connectivity in the midst of debilitating isolation,” said RK Kelley, entertainment business executive, an advocate and board member in the community.

“We have an enormously talented arts community here in Central Florida and statewide. With stabilization and insightful support, we can help these artists and arts workers reach their potential, retain these talents in Orlando, and continue to enrich all our lives,” said RK.

Three reasons to support local visual artists

Orange County, Florida, is constantly growing. The growth provides opportunities to our talented community.  COVID-19 cases significantly decreased. The County’s state of emergency expires this November. More activities are coming back to life. Fusion Fest, Art in the Chambers, and other important calls to artists are being sent to a database of approximately 2500 local visual artists. Allowing them to showcase their artwork to a bigger audience.

For Byron Walker, Director of Facilities at the Polasek Museum, “the county does a great job offering us visual artists opportunities to showcase our artwork. The opportunities are out there. Part of our job as visual artists is to apply, apply, and apply. It is our responsibility to put our name out there.” 

It seems that the most difficult part for a visual artist is treating their talent, and the passion for storytelling, colors, and paintbrushes as a business.

Local Visual Artist and Director of Facilities of the Polasek Museum Byron Walker in Studio 153 at the Faith Arts Village Orlando

For visual artist Cheri Riechers, “I studied art in college. Art Festivals were not a thing. I decided to go into the computer industry. There came a time when I made some hand-painted fabrics, that lead to murals, and one day a local art dealer in Orange County said she wanted to see my artwork. I went to a gallery on Park Ave. in Winter Park and brought all my artwork with me. They loved it. They sold everything within two weeks. That was my first art lesson. I stayed with them for 18 years. I started painting in Café Tu Tu Tango on International Drive. The experience was amazing. I was invited out to Disney’s Festival of the Arts. After having a consulting company, I learned to treat my art as a business. It is a passion. It is storytelling but, it is a business.”

Local Visual Artist Cheri Riechers in her Studio at the Faith Arts Village Orlando.
Artistic Spot – Episode 106: Cheri Riechers

During the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Mexican visual artist and architect Patricia Cavazos said, “the most important thing for me is knowing all the talents of my fellow artists. I am happy that the city does these types of events. More than the economic part, it is just a platform to let my art be shown in different places, knowing me. It’s more like being supporting each other and showing the people around. For me is more to show that the Hispanic culture and what we have to offer. The economy part of it is good but is more about showing what we have and who we are.”

Local Visual Artist from Mexico, Patricia Cavazos, posing with her textile work and ‘Tree of Life’ at the Casselberry Art House

Visual arts can become a main source of income. Opportunities are out there. Visual Artists are encouraged to continue telling colorful stories while taking advantage of the outstanding job that Orange County, Florida is doing through the Arts and Cultural Affairs office to provide platforms to showcase art and stories.

For more information on the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs office visit:


Hispanic Heritage Month Events in Orange County, Florida as a Platform for Local Visual Artists

“Esperanza – A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” Terminal A at The Orlando International Airport

The Hispanic Heritage Committee of Greater Orange County, Florida celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with different art exhibitions in the County.

The art exhibitions around the City of Orlando feature 42 local visual artists representing nine different countries that call Central Florida their home. The artists have a platform that showcases their artwork in permanent exhibitions at the Orange County Administration BuildingThe Orlando International Airport, and Univision Orlando during the local morning show “Despierta Orlando.”

In 2020, the celebration was virtual. Artists submitted their artwork in a call to artists, after being selected, they sent virtual videos explaining their artwork, and how they celebrated their heritage. Each week, a different artist was featured on social media. They received a signed certificate from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

This year, the art exhibition has been named “Esperanza – A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” artists representing ArgentinaColombiaCubaEl SalvadorMexicoPuerto RicoUnited States, and Venezuela have their paintings on the third floor of the Terminal A of the Orlando International Airport since September 01st. The exhibit will run until October 28th.

Featured artwork at The Orlando International Airport

After almost two years of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, this represents an opportunity for the artists that were selected to showcase their artwork.

Having their art pieces in public areas and exhibitions allow them the opportunity to have audiences fall in love with their art and receive offers, or maybe purchase one of their art pieces.  

Artists tell stories through paintings and colors, and although art is subjective, it is their way of telling stories and sharing them with their audience. Selling is their goal.

Although selling is a hard task, artists in Central Florida must rely on other full-time jobs to make a living. Having these platforms help them to have other sources of income and get paid for what they feel passionate about.

Assistant to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Vice-Chair for the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Greater Orange County, Florida, Ilia Torres, Esq is very happy with the event outcome this year and feels proud of the talented artists that call Central Florida their home.

Ilia Torres, Esq during her visit to “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope” at the Orlando International Airport

“Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 – October 15, is an occasion not only to celebrate the history and contributions Hispanic Americans have made to the U.S., but also the perfect holiday celebration to promote our cultural richness and diversity. The Hispanic Heritage Committee is proud to be able to highlight the Hispanic culture by showcasing local visual artists from around Central Florida,” said Ilia Torres.

For more information on the events taking place to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage Month in Orange County, Florida, visit the Orange County Press Room.


The effects of the COVID-19 Delta Variant in Visual Arts in Central Florida

The arts and the entertainment industries were among the most damaged by the pandemic. Visual artists have been significantly affected since 2020.

For 18 months, COVID-19 has canceled events and art shows around Central Florida. Due to the Delta variant, events have been postponed to 2022, and some other shows canceled indefinitely. 

On a Special Edition of Artistic Spot, we discussed the effects of the Delta variant with the Facilities Director of the Polasek Museum, artist, and sculptor Byron Walker.

Jose Rodriguez Marmol and Byron Walker on the set of Artistic Spot

Byron has been the Facilities Director in the Museum for the past ten years. As a non-profit organization, the Polasek Museum has also been affected by COVID-19. Despite having access to funding, the survival of the museum depends on visitors and art lovers. With this new Delta variant, the use of masks, social distancing, small groups around the Museum, and the sculpture garden is mandatory.

Byron Walker sitting on his chair made of Hose in the Sculpture Garden at The Polasek Museum. Image retrieved from:
Byron Walker chair made from recycled garden hose. Byron Walker Studio at FAVO.
New works by Byron Walker

“We had to shut down like many other businesses. We have been slow since we reopened. We still have some safety protocols,” said Walker.

For Byron, “we have to do what CDC says, and what is advisable by our Board, and try to be as safe as possible. Although we have seen a decrease in visitors. Currently we have a pretty good show with Jack Hill and Edson Campos, we had to cancel other shows that collided with that show. We are still open Tuesdays through Saturdays.”

As an artist, and as a sculptor, Byron can tell the story from two different perspectives. “It has hurt me. It’s a life experience. I missed the opportunity to show and sell and have people. It’s the life we live right now. It kind of opened up the opportunity to focus on work, consolidate materials, and create pieces.”

For the local visual artist, JJ Gonzalez Acosta, the pandemic has been challenging. “The pandemic has affected people around the world. The economy has been damaged. I strongly believe that as humans, we are constantly reinventing ourselves,” said Gonzalez Acosta.

“I have always been used to teaching groups. Teaching in-person classes, however, the pandemic forced me to go digital. Technology has been an important resource. I have been able to teach online classes to people all around the state. I have been able to have an income and not lose the income that I used to have before the pandemic started,” said JJ.

For JJ, “I am grateful to teach online. I still hold small in-person classes. I require my students to wear their masks, and I teach them in groups of three.”

JJ is also part of the outreach teaching staff at Central Florida Community Arts. CFC Arts has offered virtual classes around the state to libraries, groups, and companies. “I am so grateful to be part of CFC Arts. I am part of a big family that has demonstrated that despite COVID-19, we can still bring online art classes to those who love art,” said JJ.

JJ Gonzalez Acosta from CFC Arts teaching an Online Class for Bank of America

For JJ, taking care of ourselves during these times is our responsibility. “We must take care of ourselves, and those around us. We are all in this together.” The world of visual arts can be appreciated online, and in person.

For more information on the current exhibitions, upcoming shows, and the COVID-19 safety protocols at the Polasek Museum visit:


Episode 98: Crystal Dombrosky

New York native and Best of Orlando’s Best Visual Artist 2021 Nominee: Crystal Dombrosky shared her powerful story in Episode 98 of Artistic Spot.


Orange County Announces new grants for the Arts while celebrating ‘Earth Day’ LIVE from the Atrium Gallery.

by Jose Rodriguez Marmol

Orange County, Florida has been supporting local artists that live, or have lived in the County for years. During the month of April 2021, the County has released some information on grants for upcoming art-related projects through United Arts of Central Florida, a non-profit organization in charge of administering several funding programs on behalf of Orange County.

The County has been in charge of organizing and partially funding a free exhibition called: “The Art in the Chambers”. This particular exhibit showcases fine art pieces of current and former residents of Orange County. 

‘Earth Day’ was the perfect excuse for the County to celebrate the arts and what it seems to be the road back to normal after the COVID-19 backlashes.

It was not until April 21st, 2021, that the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs of Orange County, Florida, submitted a ‘Call to Artists’ to celebrate ‘Earth Day’ with an art exhibit that will run until May 28th.

The virtual reception will welcome local artists at the Orange County Administration Center, Atrium Gallery located at 201 S. Rosalind Ave. Orlando, FL 32801, for the first time since COVID-19 forced all government offices to shut down and post-pone most of their events scheduled for 2020, a big step towards going back to normal.

This art exhibit will be allowing local artists the opportunity to showcase their art and sell it during the time of the exhibit.

JJ Gonzalez Acosta is a Venezuelan and a local Orlando artist that was selected as one of the talented artists for this art exhibit with two beautiful and colorful art pieces that pay homage to mother earth.

“I am thrilled to be part of this Earth Day celebration. It makes me happy to see the County’s support to all the wonderful local artists around here. It is also exciting to be at the Atrium Gallery, have that face-to-face interaction, and experience that we are finally getting back to normal after a very hard 2020 for all due to COVID-19,” said Gonzalez Acosta.

‘Earth Day’ Art in the Atrium will run until Friday, May 28th. The Virtual Opening was broadcasted live from all Orange County’s social media platforms on Wednesday, May 12th at 1:00 pm with the participation and physical presence of 8 of the 13 local artists that were selected for this art exhibit by the County.

The live broadcast was hosted by Mr. Terry Olson, Director of the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs of Orange County.