Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Visiting Figment & Epcot's Festival of The Arts!

Epcot almost always has a festival going on these days, and last week they started their second annual Festival of the Arts - aka, the "Figment Love Fest" I blogged about last year. John and I headed out on Monday to check it out, and I gotta say, the front entry display is A++ would photograph again:



Same Figment topiary from last year, different place - and I love all the giant watercolor rainbows around him.

 Although John thought the rainbows looked like their paint was peeling. :D

More rainbows in these fantastic Mickey and Minnie window displays:


Retro 80s goodness! Makes me wish they offered plush in these outfits. (They don't... do they?)

On the far side of the Fountain the living statues are back, this time with two revamped designs. You might remember I had a hard time figuring out the themes last year, but this time they've been labeled: Seas, Motion, and Energy.




As we were turning away I watched the Motion statue hop down from his stage and exchange his wheel for a young girl's plush Stitch. They took a photo together, and then she startled him with a hug:



SO CUTE.

I think they had this last year, too: a giant paint-by-number mural that you could help paint for free. You could only fill in 6 squares per person, but check this out: it looked like this when we walked in around 1pm:
 And it was essentially finished when we passed again around 5:
Wow! So now I'm wondering: do they replace this with a blank one every day? They must, right?

The Figment scavenger hunt is back, and this time they've upped the price to about $8 - but that's because the prize went from a magnet to your choice of glittery Figment pin:

Woot woot! Here are all four options you can choose from:


 I think I made the right choice. C'mon, his paint is "Figment Pigment!"

The hunt itself hasn't changed much, which was a little disappointing; almost all the same paintings/pictures, with those same fantastic Figment frames:


Another fun thing to look for around the Showcase are the custom character paintings at each meet & greet. I showed you a few last year, like Snow White's here by her wishing well in Germany:


... but last year I missed the best one: Belle's!
Her dad made this awesome (self-drawing?) easel for it - definitely the most elaborate painting display, and super steampunky fun.

Don't miss the Odyssey Center, either, where there are two walk-through displays of Disney attraction posters from all around the world, both old and new:

 


The Festival also has special food, because EVERY Epcot festival has to have food. (NOT complaining. Gimmie.) These new offerings are visually stunning to fit the art theme, but all that careful gourmet plating equals a heftier price tag, with most prices averaging around $7-$10 for just a few bites each, even on the desserts. So... we skipped almost all of it.

We did try the sous vide chicken from the Pop Eats booth, though, because I couldn't resist trying "beet foam," and it looked and sounded tasty. We got to watch the plating first, which was fun:


And here's the finished product:

The official description is "Sous Vide Poulet Rouge Chicken Roulade with Apples and Sage."

Unfortunately it tasted kind of awful. Not the beet foam - that part was DELISH, like a sweet beety marshmallow - but the sauce. I was convinced it was peanut butter mixed with blue cheese, but upon re-reading the description I've learned it's actually a "warm brie fondue"?! Whaaa? Plus the chicken itself was quite bland, and I was surprised to find out later there were apples in it; couldn't taste those at all. So that was a big ol' NOPE for me.

The best thing we ate that day happily isn't exclusive to the Art Fest, though it is new: Canadian Beer Cheese Poutine! AWWWW YEAH. We inhaled ours before I thought to take a picture, so here's one from Disney Food Blog:

 
Go follow DFB on Instagram, btw; fantastic content & reviews - one of my favorites - and they cover all the Festival foods pretty extensively on their website. (Though their positive review of the chicken is getting some SERIOUS side eye from this corner.) 

Speaking of DFB, they tipped me off to these FANTASTIC steampunk pieces at the Festival - though sadly I couldn't find them on Monday, since they rotate some of the work and artists:

 pics by Disney Food Blog

Anyway, how cool are those frames? WANT. Fingers crossed they're back at some point so I can gawk in person.

Which brings me to the main attraction: the actual art!

You guys know I'm all about geek art, and this festival DELIVERS. There are booths and tents all around the showcase filled with paintings and prints, often with the artists themselves hanging around to chat.


Karin Arruda blew me away with her gorgeous papercut shadowboxes:


(You can see my pom-pom Mickey ears in the reflection. Ha!)

The vast majority is Disney art - yay! - but there are also a few non-Disney things: some photography, marbled silk scarves, etc.

Several of the artists Disney brought in are people I've been following for years, so it's a real thrill to see some of these folks crossing over from conventions! I bet you guys will even recognize a few.

John warned me not to turn this post into an art roundup, but you guys, while I'm seeing lots of coverage of the food online, there's very little about the amazing artists the festival is bringing in. So  I'm going to show off some of my favorites, and I'll link you up to the online shops of as many of the artists as I can. (I don't have a few names, so help me out in the comments!)


I've featured Will's papercuttings on Epbot before, and his designs never fail to blow me away.


That furry yak creature reminds me of Appa from Avatar. So cute!


Missed this artist's name - help?




Here come a few more I don't have names for:
As a former Jungle Cruise skipper, I APPROVE.

So many great colors!

  That almost cubist-style Stitch is blowing my mind.

John Coulter 

His work is also available as paintings and prints, but I love this Maleficent shirt! 

Also by John Coulter. 

I've been following Caley on Instagram for ages, and this is her first Festival appearance! So excited for her! 

Then there's the ultimate Epcot tribute:


Dreamfinder! Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit! And the Horizons robot! And, and...!!

Jerrod's another artist I've been following for years, and it's been wonderful watching him get "Disney famous." He designed the squee-worthy "Kingdom of Cute" line of blind box toys and merch, along with so much else, plus he's just a really nice guy.

And finally, not Festival related, but let's pause to celebrate the fact that the Japanese "Ufufy" plushes have reached Orlando! If you don't know what those are, then BEHOLD:


They're essentially Disney characters turned into plush eggs, but in a cuter/larger way than Tsum Tsums, Also, they're scented. I don't get the scented part, and confession: the "apple blossom" smell is yucky to me, so I'm trying to figure out how to de-smellify my new Donald, ha. I think I'll stick him in a bag with some baking soda - unless you guys have a better suggestion?

 
DYING OF TEH CUTE.  Seriously, Donald's the best one.

K gang, I think that does it for the Festival of the Arts! I know I didn't cover everything, like the seminars and photo ops and concerts, but I hope you enjoyed, and maybe find some new artists to follow! Oh, and locals, be sure to tell me if I should try any more of the food - I need to know if any of the desserts taste as good as they look!


8 comments:

  1. Do you know if those Disney vintage posters are available for sale anywhere? Because I think I need one.

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  2. Does the Pooh plush smell like honey?

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing all the arty goodness for those of us far from Orlando! You definitely picked the right Figgie pin. :)

    -Zippy

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  4. Going to be there the last weekend of the Festival. Can't WAIT!!!!!!

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  5. I ordered the Labyrinth silhouette from Will Pigg for a Christmas gift! How totally awesome to see him featured here....although I suppose he is local there? The depth of artistic talent is incredible in his work!!!

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  6. Ummm... I 1000% need that Maleficent shirt. She is my favorite Disney character and so hard to find. Sadly the online store is st out. ��

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  7. Perfect choice with the Figment pin. The best one, by far. As for Donald, sunshine might help too. Ozone helps remove all sorts of smells.

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  8. They might not sell plush Mickey and Minnie in those "futuristic" EPCOT Center outfits anymore... but they DID in the '80s! I have a "silver rainbow Mickey" somewhere in my parents' attic (probably in a box with the plus Figment I got about the same time).

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