Schüss Parkhaus 15

by Ivan Riascos

This is not a review of an exhibition space but an overview of its striking impact on the Orlando art scene. Parkhaus 15 will be closing its physical space in Orlando this coming weekend. Sandra Zanetti and her staff of volunteers re-purposed a single car garage in an apartment complex, converting it into a vortex of creativity to see and experience something scarce in the city of Orlando, exemplary and fresh art. To top it off, they started this during the height of COVID. Sandra has stated that Parkhaus 15 was born out of frustration with the lack of alternative spaces for artists in Central Florida.

Sandra curated local and national artists, creating contemporary conversations lacking in Central Florida. Contemporary art should be more than just visual gratification, the mastery of the medium, or catering to the dollar. Art should spark uncomfortable conversations, educate you on different views and cultures, make you question your place in the neighborhood and the universe. It should expose you to beauty, question your reality, and demonstrate the complexity of this world from an LGBTQ perspective, a minority perspective, a gender perspective, a disability perspective, a religious perspective… throw the kitchen sink into the mix! Parkhaus has accomplished more in a year than the Orlando Museum of Art or City Arts has in their history because of their apparent fear to take risks or fail.

This Thursday and Friday will be the last opportunity to step into the physical space of what remains of the original Parkhaus 15. Sandra plans to create a VR app so the gallery can continue to exist and be viewable with Oculus VR headsets. I wish her a fond farewell as we lose another creative mover and shaker in the Orlando area.