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Walk On By

At exactly 8:30 a.m. today, art happened. You might have missed it.



We wrote this before it happened. You're probably reading it after it happened. But when the sun rose on Wednesday, Sept. 5, dawn broke over almost a hundred works of art, installed on street corners and sidewalks, and at exactly 8:30 a.m., choirs and rock groups and dancers erupted into performances of (or set to) the same song, as if spontaneously.

Spontaneous it wasn't.

Artist and arts administrator Pat Greene has long dreamed of creating a contemporary art museum with no fixed location; Walk On By is the first step toward that vision. Clustered mostly along Mills Avenue, but sprawling outward throughout what some now call the Orlando Design District, paintings and music and sculptures and dance and conceptual art installations popped up with no warning. Some of the pieces existed only between 8:30 and 8:33, the time it takes to play one rendition of the 1963 song "Walk On By." Some will remain in situ until they erode or decay. A website (, YouTube channel and custom Google map bristling with drop pins will document the project, giving viewers the chance to see pieces they missed or explaining why, when you drove to work Wednesday, you passed a queenly woman on a throne accepting "garbage donations" or a choir of middle-schoolers in front of an arts magnet school belting out a Bacharach and David classic popular in their grandparents' day.

And by the way, why "Walk On By"? It's purely a coincidence that songwriter Hal David died last week; this project has been in the works for months. But it's nice to think he and Burt Bacharach might appreciate their much-recorded song (first made famous by Dionne Warwick), a song about the defiance of the invisible and heartbroken, being co-opted by a bunch of contemporary artists, throwing their work in front of you, just daring you to walk on by.