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It was the best of times

In some cases, it was also the worst of times. A look back at the year in local theater and art

Photo: , License: N/A, Created: 2010:02:09 19:37:18

Putting on a Good Show: Orlando Shakespeare Theater staged a stellar performance of All’s Well That Ends Well in early 2010.

A few major shows of national stature that inspired the artist in all of us to express our visions to the fullest passed through town as well this year: Works by Edward Gorey were on display during Halloween at the Orlando Museum of Art, and a unique show of works by Jasper Johns and Robert Motherwell was on display in the fall as part of the Poetic Works as Metaphor show that just recently closed at the Cornell.

Though the gallery world grew smaller in 2010, the quality of the artwork on display in the city seems to be improving. We can’t say for certain why that is, but there’s no denying the fact that in prosperous times, artists experiment less, choosing instead to try to replicate their successes. Freed from the tyranny of the market, though, they often blossom. With the new venues that opened in 2010 in SoDo, we dare to hope that competition for patrons will develop into a friendly art-world rivalry – the kind that brings creative tension to the scene and perhaps more outlier artists drawn by that energy.

If our recent crop of political leaders stay true to form, the official clampdown on culture should begin anytime now, and that could foment an underground movement. Things could start getting interesting. It’s worth keeping an eye on the art scene to see what blossoms here in 2011.

–Richard Reep

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