Fantasy, Fashion & Fun in the Fired Arts-Review of Saturday, January 16

By Louise Irvine

A twinkling of fairy lights on the Lladró chandelier harmonized with original music written and performed by Dave Rosenthal to launch a day of Fantasy, Fashion & Fun at WMODA. The event program ran smoothly over three sessions to comply with CDC protocols and our special guests kept their sparkle throughout the day with three engaging programs.

We were delighted to welcome our new Dania Beach commissioner, Joyce Davis, with two of her Pearl Girlz: Jodi Tanner, the Chair of Broward County Cultural Council Chair; and Evan Snow, the mastermind behind Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week and the 1000 Mermaids Project, to this inaugural event.

The Falls of Fairy Glen

Guests were enchanted as the tiny lights gradually created a waterfall effect on the Niagara chandelier and hundreds of porcelain fairies seemed to dance in time to Dave’s synchronized composition entitled The Falls of Fairy Glen. Dave’s music conjures up images of a Celtic twilight with shimmering waterfalls and crystal-clear fairy pools as can be seen on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The waterfall of Lladró fairies obviously cast a spell on Dave and inspired his mesmerizing performance in the Fantastique exhibit. Read more about Dave Rosenthal

Lladro Lights Up WMODA

The Lladró chandelier was originally installed on the first floor of the Gallery of Amazing Things as the centerpiece of their 2012 exhibit presented by Arron Rimpley and Gregg Whittecar for the Whitley Collection. Arthur Wiener, the founder of WMODA, was an avid customer at that debut show and acquired many of the major Lladró pieces that can be seen around the museum.  When Marc Aptakin of Mad Studios purchased the Gallery last year, he initiated discussions with Sara Casa at Lladró to make a dream come true for WMODA. Sara became our fairy godmother and facilitated this spectacular gift with the Lladró management team. Read more about the Niagara chandelier by Lladro

The Mermaid’s Top

The magic continued with the arrival of Rhanu Mershark to the delight of audiences of all ages. She was modeling a wearable glass top created especially for her by Chelsea Rousso. Chelsea is well known at the WMODA workshops as our talented teacher of kiln-formed fused glass. Her career as a New York fashion designer has combined with her love of glass art to create some spectacular glass costumes which are on display in our Carnival & Cabaret exhibit. Following our Mermaid Tale event at Halloween, Chelsea decided to make a glass top inspired by the starry skin patterns of Rhanu’s whale shark tail. The stunning glass creation made its debut at the event and is now on display on a mannequin at WMODA. See Making the Mermaid’s Top.

The Monkey and the Shark

Rhanu told us the story of The Monkey and the Shark, an old African folktale that combined our interest in Ardmore ceramic art from South Africa and ocean conservation, particularly the importance of sharks which are Rhanu’s specialty. In her career as a marine biologist, our “mershark” supermodel is better known as Alexandra Barth, and she entertained audiences of all ages with tales of her shark tagging and sharkskin research. Rhanu’s activities for kids, featuring the mischievous monkeys in A Safari for the Soul exhibit, can be enjoyed during future family visits to WMODA. Read more about The Monkey and the Shark.

Thank you to all our guests who posted photos of the event on social media, some of which are featured here. We are grateful to Lloyd Goradesky, who covered the event on Facebook Live, and Dylan Beese from Mad Studios, who was our videographer during the event. His virtual experience is coming soon.

Listen to Louise Irvine talking about the event with Ellen Jaffe, the host of Community Focus on Easy 93.1.