On October 17th, art fans from all over Ocala converged on the Appleton Museum for the 12th annual Applaud The Arts event and fundraiser. The 2019 iteration was reimagined, created to be a unique and elegant cocktail soirée staged in the Appleton’s courtyard. Guests were treated to a variety of immersive activities, a pop-up theatre, and much more. The evening also included a paint-by-numbers experience for guests, a DJ who kept the crowd entertained with some great music, as well as a selection of exceptional food and libations. If that wasn’t enough, the event also featured the announcement of the 2019-2020 MCA Cultural Grants and Arts Awards.
I was lucky enough to not only attend the event but also be a part of the festivities. The event is a unique showcase of art in our community, and this year was a little different. As part of the Applaud The Arts showcase, I was tattooed by Dave Sedano of Cobra Classic Tattoo. I’ve wanted to get tattooed at the Appleton for a long time. To me, there was something appealing about bringing an often overlooked and ancient art form into such a prominent location and event for the arts.
The 12th Annual Applaud The Arts!
Being born and raised in Marion County, the Appleton Museum of Art has been a staple, a beacon of our community, and the heart of the art community here. Being a fan of tattoos, it only made sense to bring the two together. I approached Patricia Tomlinson and the rest of the staff at the Appleton about my idea, my reasoning, and more. The plan was to reimagine a piece of the Appleton’s permanent collection and permanently display it on my body. After taking a tour of the incredible exhibits on display, the kimono was the one that I kept coming back to. Mr. Sedano is one of the best tattoo artists in town, and we worked together to pick a way to honor the kimono, choosing an apt location for the tattoo and more. Dave designed a stunning geisha wearing a kimono very much like the one that was (and will be) on display at the museum. She was first brought to life with a line drawing before being applied to my lower leg during the show.
A Showcase of Art!
Getting a tattoo customarily a private affair. For many of my tattoos, it’s been myself and the artist alone in a small room that is loaded with interesting elements to keep your mind occupied. There is always a music component that helps take the focus off of the actual tattoo. However, getting tattooed at the Appleton was a different experience; and, it’s safe to say it was a different experience for everyone involved.
Getting a tattoo is not a new experience for me, however, getting a tattoo outdoors and at an art museum was anything but ordinary. It was great to see the reactions of folks who haven’t seen a tattoo being applied. It was even better to answer questions about the process, the pain, and the reasoning behind it. I wanted to bring this incredibly technical artwork to the eyes of those who might not experience it otherwise. It’s intimate, in-depth, and impressive. Dave Sedano makes it look easy, as he put together a remarkable display of his artistic abilities. Being a piece of living art was an interesting experience, to say the least. It felt great to answer questions while removing some fear and stigma in the process. This was all about breaking down barriers and bringing something different, fun, and a bit daring to our art community!
The event was presented by the Marion cultural alliance, RBOI, and Urology Institute of Central Florida. The Appleton Museum of Art were gracious hosts! Thank you to everyone involved from Patricia Tomlinson and the incredible staff at the Appleton, Lisa Midgett, Jaye Baillie, and the rest of the remarkable folks at the MCA. The event was nothing short of incredible. The food, the art, the performance, the drinks, the music, and most importantly, the people; all made this the best Applaud the Arts yet! Let’s be honest, who isn’t looking forward to the 13th iteration?
Photos via Dave Miller for The Culture Curators