Cardboard Art Festival, in SoDo through Sunday, is upcycling at its very best


  • photo for Orlando Weekly by Holly Whelden
Just down from Pulse on Orange Avenue, get to SoDo if you want to unpack your weekend at a fascinating popup art gallery in two empty storefronts. For the fourth year, Denna Fillmen and Mark Baratelli have juried a group of artists who make stuff out of cardboard. Showing work ranging from a colorful cardboard enchanted forest to an exquisite cardboard miniature collection, these 23 artists (take a look at all of them here) will open your mind about what that humble brown box could really be.

Baratelli, along with Doug Rhodehamel, Nathan Selikoff, Christine Miga and Banjo Bob, started an underground movement a few years ago, hacking the packing. Fillmen gave us a sneak peek into the box before the final weekend of the festival started. “This year,” she revealed, “we went international, with Romina Pezzia bringing us work from Peru.” Pezzia’s 3-dimensional South American llamas and masks have a fierce joy about them, housed in little cardboard frames.

  • sculpture by Paula Lambert
You have to get to the back to see Ohio artist Paula Lambert’s comical cardboard caricatures, larger than life. A giant Sigmund Freud, complete with a cardboard cigar, perches against the wall. Elsewhere, venture down the Florida Sculpture Guild’s cardboard alley, complete with a skulking cardboard rat ignored by a cardboard cat, or save an endangered cardboard piñata bird from cruel smugglers.

Denna’s surprises include another complete storefront, which hosts a kids' building event on Sunday. She confessed, “A couple of years ago an earnest young boy showed up with a toolcase, ready to build. We didn’t have anything for him to do but look. This inspired a do-it-yourself workshop. And the kids are creating some marvelous sculpture!” For instance: collectible cardboard Pokémon, in case your neighborhood’s a Poké-desert, and a beautiful pair of cardboard butterfly wings that your child can wear for you to snap a photo. This is upcycling at its very best, and worth seeing this hot July weekend.

The Daily City's 4th Annual Cardboard Art Festival
45 w. Crystal Lake St.
Through Sunday, July 31
Admission: $5 adult, $1 kids

Gallery Open For Browsing 
Going to dinner or a date that night? Roll by here beforehand and take a quick walk-thru.  

Improv Performance by SAK Comedy Lab! Free with admission!

Noon - 5pm
Gallery Open For Browsing

5pm - 7pm

7pm- 10pm
Gallery Open For Browsing Admission 

8:30pm Live Musical Performance by SKIP! Free with admission!

Noon - 3pm
Kids Activity Room open hours
Browse and play with your kids and see what's possible to make from simple old cardboard. 

Kids Building Camp! Free with paid admission!
Age range: any age up to adults.
Orlando Fringe staff and volunteers watch over kids as they create whatever they want. Kids can bring their own supplies or use ours. All creativity levels and building expertise levels welcome! Admission and donations collected go to Kids Fringe.

Noon - 5pm
Gallery Open For Browsing


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