Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HCC Ybor Fine Art Faculty Exhibition 2011

 The Visual Arts Faculty of Hillsborough Community College (HCC)'s exhibit at their Gallery is a good show to see because it gives a snapshot of the faculty's current work and interests, thus a glimpse of the bigger picture at the college. On the left, a wide view of the gallery space. Its director is Carolyn Kossar.

The exhibit included works by Jeanne Cameron, Catherine Thompson, Suzanne Camp Crosby, Linda Galgani, Thomas Judge, Katherine Moyse, Tracy Midulla Reller, Jim Sims, and Christopher Weeks.

Christopher Weeks, "Apostle Excerpt #43"

Christopher Week's work shown here is an integrated social and personal narrative in graphic novel form. It deals with contemporary events and partly fictionalized/hyped reactions to them. The influences of comic books and the graphic novel. In this cultural milieu, this format feels very natural and accessible.  Christopher is a Graphic Design/Digital Art/Photography Instructor.

Christopher Weeks, "Kitty Danger Flies"

From his "Women Who Fly" series, the photograph on the right, "Kitty Danger Flies". An action and drama packed moment from a Roller Derby.  Sex, femininity and violence. The Pop culture theme continues through this image. There was another picture from this series shown which was more introspective, wherein one of the girls cools off in front of a large fan. There the action is past, but still implicit. [Link].

Suzanne Camp Crosby, "Deuces Wild"

Suzanne Camp Crosby is a photography instructor who has led a long and rich career as an educator and artist. In the pictures shown here figures are reduced to black cut-outs. In this image, there's a light-hearted, whimsical, perhaps mildly satirical, elegant formal strategy here between the 2 & 3 dimensionality of the figures, the wall and the playing card suite symbols on the door, the floor and the hemispheric awning over it. Why the black cut-outs? What is the effect of removing the figures from the scene?  In this case signifiers of fashion (clothes, hair, hat on the cowboy figure) bandanna and gestures are left, and thanks to the lack of specificity in the figures become more pronounced, assuming a larger significance than they normally would. Following the principle that Nature (and mind) abhors a vacuum, this leaves room for the viewer to project figures from his own memory (or himself) into the voids . 
Suzanne Camp Crosby, "Wishing Well"

These remind me of something like what Kara Walker is doing [Link] with huge conceptual differences, primarily the geomantic contextualization of the cut-outs, then the fashions, and somewhat more generic aspects of the figures themselves.

A link to Suzanne's site: [Link].

Linda Galgani, "Fletcher Avenue, Tampa Florida"

Linda Galgani's photograph depicted on the left, is subdivided into many frames, starting with the telephone pole. The crane installing (or removing) it provides a further sectioning of the space as does the roofline of the building to the rear. Note how it flattens the illusion of space, and how the horizontal space is proportioned between that section below the horizontal pole to the ground, pole to rooftop of building, and from the roof line to the top of the frame. This is something that photographers like Lee Friedlander deeply explored and became fluent in back in the 70's. The uncanny similarity between the man on the crane and the large sculpture of the man holding the wrench and the 2nd man to the lower right adds a lot to the picture. [Link]

Tracy Midulla Reller, "First Glean"

Tracy Midulla Reller is a Design Foundation/Printmaking instructor. This work is in acrylic on a cedar panel. We see the cut-out figures of a wolf and that of a deer at 90 degrees to the former, the two touching at the rump. Predator and prey, diametrically opposed, yet connected. I am seeing these cut-out things in landscapes as well. In a recent show at Florida Craftsmen there was an artist who used wood laminates for this.

Ms. Reller's site: [Link]

Jeanne Cameron, "Monarchs"

Ms. Cameron's "Monarchs" is a very geometric (though intricately simultaneously symmetrical with well-executed somewhat spontaneous asymmetrical breaks) graphic rendition of a natural theme, the monarch butterfly. It has the same contemplative quality of a mandala (or old TV pattern!). The geometry serves to contrast with and make the three butterflies in the center look particularly organic and alive.  [Link]

Katherine Moyse & George Byers, "Cabinet Collaboration"

Thomas Judge Ceramics

Jim Sims, video installation

Jim Sims had a video installation of what was basically a short horror movie, complete with all the signifiers that denote the genre, played in a somewhat conscious, self-referential way.

Catherine Thompson, "Gun Control".

Seeing this small, life-size, emotionally moving sculpture was like running across an old friend. It was at the Morean Arts Center a few months ago. It is one of those works that functions at many levels formally, philosophically -- and politically.

Congratulations to the Faculty at HCC Ybor, Carolyn Kossar, and HCC for an exhibit reminding us of the powerhouse artists that teach there.

--- Luis

HCC Ybor, 2112 N. 15th St. Ybor City. Gallery Hours, Monday through Thursday 10 AM to 4 PM. Reception and meet the artists on Thursday, August 25th, 5:00 - 8:00 PM. Through Sept 8.

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