It’s going to be the closest thing to a local star-studded gala, an Oscar night, a Country Music Awards evening, this Friday at the Apalachicola Ice Company.
That’s because a dozen of the county’s most beloved local musicians will each be performing, all drawn together by the appreciative paintbrush of an artist, to honor in portraiute the contributions he hears being made week after week.
“Basically, it’s a visual artist showing my appreciation for the performing arts,” said Larry Boecker. “These are people who I’d sit in the Ice Company and listen to and be entertained.
“All of them I call friends,” he said.
A computer software engineer by trade, and a painter and sculpture by love, Boecker moved here from Texas six years ago with his wife, Pamela Sullivan, a step into paradise he took after a long and varied career that included a stint as a combat medic in Vietnam.
A glance at his website www.lwboecker.com, or a visit to his Sea Grape Gallery at 252 Water Street, just down the street from the Ice Company, reveals the substance of Boecker’s work.
“My artwork attempts to reconcile my physical surroundings with new perspectives, fascinations, curiosities, and daydreams occupying my mind,” he writes. “My paintings aim to measure the distance between where my mind wanders and the material objects that inspire my dreams.
“Equally important to these works are the little things - the mundane and relatable artifacts of our daily lives - and the more mysterious notions of life. Painting is about creating randomness, and also hints that the minutiae all around us are capable of communicating much larger ideas,” Boecker writes.
“I have heard this creative flow of energy referred to as the ‘golden thread’ or being ‘in the zone,’” he wrote. “It may just be a gesture, the way the light is falling, or it may be an intense gaze into someone’s eyes. Whatever the subject or medium may be, it is the golden thread between the artist and a subject that makes the ordinary become extraordinary.”
Boecker’s 12 extraordinary works, all oil on canvas, most of them 20-inch by 20-inch, began about a year ago. He worked from photographs, or even from memory, to generate images of these performers in action.
“This was the basis, as a token of my appreciation, that I would paint a few portraits. A few became more and finally after over a years’ worth of work, 12 in all have been created,” he said. “Now the time has come for me to pay this appreciation forward.”
Boecker is giving away the paintings to each of the respective artists, but he has one condition, that they all most perform at this Friday, May 3’s Artist to Artists Appreciation Event, slated to start at about 4 p.m., when the first performer takes the stage.
“In one afternoon/evening we all get to enjoy 12 great performances from our friends, great libations, and earn the ability to say we were at the first AIC Artist to Artist Appreciation Event,” he wrote.
The Ice Company’s house engineer, Mark Rodgers, said he plans to record the evening, and produce a compilation CD.
As usual, there’s no cover charge for the event.
After it’s over, each of the artists will have the choice whether to allow the Ice Company to hang their works, and most if not all are expected to do that, at least for a while.