Out and About in Orlando: The Sam Flax Wall Project

This Saturday, I’ll be coming out of hiding to attend and experience the Sam Flax Wall Project.

When asked about her social life, the late, great New York hostess, philanthropist and author (with impeccable taste) Nan Kempner wryly replied, “Honey, I would go to the opening of an envelope.” Don’t you love that?? True artistry in her quips, I’m sure you would agree.

Well, unlike Mrs. Kempner, I prefer my days to be much more sequestered, but I’ll be coming out of hiding to attend and experience the Sam Flax Wall Project this Saturday (February 9, 10am until 5 o’clock).

Sam Flax is an Orlando institution. One can purchase paints of every kind and color, glorious books so tantalizing it makes my head spin, canvases, papers and stationary rich in detail and beauty. There’s even a furniture and lighting section I could use to decorate an entire house (it’s gloriously modern!). I’ve been a customer at Sam Flax since coming here to live 19 years ago, when I moved to Orlando from New York. When my daughter was younger, instead of asking to go to Toys “R” Us or a pet store, she wanted to go to Sam Flax just to walk the aisles! I buy from Sam Flax for my current work at Kinship, and I go to Sam Flax on days when I need a big creative jolt.

I am looking forward to seeing what this event is all about, and meeting the artists who will be creating new murals on the walls of the Sam Flax building. Artists include Chaya AV (@chayaav_), Boy Kong (@boykong), Andrew Spear (@spearlife), SKIP (@seeskip), Swamburger (@swamburger), Chris McAlister (@mcalisterart), Ric One (@ric.one), Willie Soto (@wie1927), Jamie Meagher (@petalandbone), Christian Stanley (@cstanleycreative), and Steven Teller (@steventellerarts). It will be thrilling to watch these artists paint and see what the artistry becomes.

While I’m not planning on staying all day (I have a benefit to attend Saturday night... so much for the sequestered life), I am really excited about hearing the live music, eating from one or more of the food trucks, looking around in the store at the myriad of products for sale and on sale, and doing my favorite activity: people watching. And boy do I sure hope it is a beautiful and sunny Orlando day.

As the envelope to a great day is opened, I’m hoping to see people of all kinds – even society hosts and hostesses – enjoying themselves, learning a new thing or two, and being a part of our ever expressive and evolving Central Florida community.   

All images from @samflaxorlando.

Lionel Smith-McGehee

In addition to his work with Kinship, Lionel Smith-McGehee is a husband and father, a gardener, and lives in a restored mid-century home in Maitland, Florida.

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