'Themers and Dreamers' art exhibition at Orlando's CityArts showcases the creativity of furloughed theme park workers


'The Last Breakfast' by Brian Stuckey - PHOTO COURTESY THE ARTIST
  • Photo courtesy the artist
  • 'The Last Breakfast' by Brian Stuckey
CityArts in Downtown Orlando is opening its newest group exhibition, Themers and Dreamers, this week. The work showcased is from a group of Imagineers and creative staff from Disney and Universal Studios, many of whom have been furloughed or laid off their jobs due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The multimedia collection of pieces, many of which make affectionate and adventurous use of characters from their old day jobs, is both a reminder of the current decimated state of the local tourism industry and a testament to the creativity of these local artists, who keep on honing their craft, despite … everything.

“I was working for Universal for 16 years, working on all the great stuff including Epic Universe. Then many departments got shut down, including mine," says Nick Farrantello, a designer at Universal whose job was recently cut.

"So, I have taken many of the skills that I acquired in designing and making models and props and now I make these intricate fortune-telling devices that turn and move.”
'Are the Gods Against You' by Nick Farrantello - PHOTO COURTESY THE ARTIST
  • Photo courtesy the artist
  • 'Are the Gods Against You' by Nick Farrantello
Themers and Dreamers runs from Nov. 19-Dec. 13 at CityArts. The opening reception is Thursday, Nov. 19, from 5-9 p.m. [Ed. note: Hey that's tomorrow!] You must pre-register for an assigned time of entry.

Attention, collectors: Art from the show will be available to purchase online after Nov. 24.

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