Around & about

Recaps and links to news and events in and around the local art scene.

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Ocala’s newest public art project: ‘Knit bomb’

At Webb Field, a collection of yarn, plastic cups, pom-poms and other materials

When the ties that bind a community are made of yarn, plastic cups, pom-poms and other materials, the result is a unique — and evolving — art collaboration between professional artists and citizens.

David D’Alessandris, a full-time artist and Ocala resident since 2006, crocheted panels and applied them to a tree near the fence. During the June 22 concert, he began to knit-bomb a second tree and invited kids to apply pom-poms to the knitted bands around the tree.

“It was a thrill watching the kids gather up the pom-poms and adhere them to the tree. In essence, they were creating another pattern and another work of art. The interaction of the kids, adults, art lovers alike created something different and exciting and absolutely fresh for Ocala,” D’Alessandris said.


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A creative outlet for those with early stage dementia

At Memories in the Making, ‘Life is making art.’

On a blistering Thursday afternoon, hours before a summer storm toppled trees, a small group gathered in a blissfully air-conditioned room at Marion Senior Services.

Three art students and their instructor, David D’Alessandris, dipped into watercolors. Two painted serene scenes in cool coolers, images of places beyond their current environment — a shade forest with a bench, a smiling parrot.

D’Alessandris, a well-known local artist and MCA member, challenges his students and makes them do things again. He compliments color selection, form and improvements. He keeps them engaged with discussion and laughter.

“He has great patience with them,” Sally Kirk said, “and patience is the name of the game here.”

Soon after she said this, one student turned in a picture and suggested that was the end of the class. “Oh no, no, no,” D’Alessandris said, handing the student another blank page. “Life is making art.”



A little party never hurt nobody

The Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA) turned back the hands of time with its speakeasy event. Guys, dolls, gangsters and molls spent a night to remember bringing back the Roarin’ ‘20s. Nearly 125 Ocalans looked glamorous and dapper as they entered through a darkened alley complete with “gangsters” checking passwords.

Flapper-attired dancers from the Performing Arts Center (PAC) performed a jazzy dance number for admiring onlookers. That was just the impetus needed for the crowd to start to move to the tunes of vintage songstress Miranda Madison. In between sets, MCA board member David D’Alessandris, aka “Dizzy Dave and His Dancing Fingers,” entertained by playing era favorites on the piano. A glitter encrusted bottle of champagne, complements of Stella’s Modern Pantry, was presented to the best-dressed couple. The event came to a close with a “raid” with illuminating blue police lights.

Funds raised benefitted MCA’s initiatives to support art and artists. Event chairperson and MCA Chair-Elect Lisa Seiffer said, “We are so excited about the reception of this event. It is a reflection of the passion and hard work of the committee that brought this event to life.”