There have been huge efforts in Orlando to place art in the consciousness of the larger community. I think of the painted guitars adorning downtown street corners, of Doug Rhodehamel's paper mushrooms, and of Mills 50's decorative power boxes. These exhibitions, though, interesting as they are, have not classically merited an outpouring of sustained community interest. Perhaps this is because these works have been environmentally self-aware. That is, these public works have been designed to exist in their environments.
What the Corridor Project's Walk On By show presents is a wholly different approach to public art. Works will be thrust into the public sphere without pretense, without context. Anchored to no specific location, art will be distributed throughout the familiar and densely populated neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Walk On By presents a coordinated series of chance encounters with art; by scattering visual, aural, interactive and unclassifiable works into public spaces like so many art insurgents, the show puts the work directly in the path of people who may not otherwise have sought it out.
Walk On By is not specifically geared for the already conscious "art types" of this city, although they will certainly appreciate it. The greater statement of this event-wrapped-in-a-movement is addressed, instead, to the random passer-by. This show shoves art out of the doors of galleries, museums and other secluded fine-art grottoes. In doing so it yells, "Look at this, Orlando! Here is the culture you have been waiting for. Here is your permission to accept your place in the assemblage of intellectual, refined, enlightened Southern cities." Perhaps Orlando is finally prepared for such an ascent.
Writer, photographer and Rollins College alum Jared Silvia has published work in locally produced publications Annalemma, Fragmentation + Other Stories and 15 Views of Orlando. In the "Outro" essay for 15 Views, he pointed out that in Orlando, you can invent your own art scene, or just about anything else, if you have the time.