Friday, October 12, 2012

Adjunct Professors Show @ University of Tampa.

It is that time of the year again. Colleges and Universities are showing the work of their staff, giving  students and other visitors a preview of their work. The University of Tampa show was of the adjunct professors' work. They teach on a part-time basis, usually with no assurance of future courses and do not receive benefits such as life, health, disability insurances or institutional contributions toward retirement. With economic trends being what they are, an increasing proportion of  adjunct professors are teaching courses as they are far less expensive than the alternative. Thus their influence upon the students is on the increase.

Leslie Elsasser, "Fecundity"

Leslie Elsasser brings a cross-cultural perspective to her work. The work depicted on the left, "Fecundity", is part of the Manifest Destiny series, done with glitter and metallic paint on paper. Note how the space is flat, collapsed by the artist. The iconology is also in superposition. One can see influences from the artist's time in India. These are quasi-abstract, relatively small-sized works, the kind that encourage an intimate experience. Elsasser was the recipient of  a Fulbright, has shown extensively in the area and has been reviewed here before.

"Twenty-nine years", by Julie Kristmundsdottir is a personal, conceptual painting done with enamel on paper. There are twenty-nine jars depicted in three rows, perhaps representing the years in the title. The jars look a little like urns or canopic jars. This is a hardcore conceptual vehicle, with no concessions to the decorative.

Elena Cifuentes graduated with her BFA from UT, went on to get an MFA from USF, and is now teaching at UT. On the left is a photo of "Vase, Pearls and Computer Chair", by Ms. Cifuentes. She uses the "Symbol Drawing" method, which enables people to learn to draw "as easily as they write their name".  There appears to be a bit of Barbara Kruger in "Vases...".

Natural forms found in Florida inform Kathleen "Kaki" King's ceramics work. On the left is her "Fishtail Palm Plate", a lyrically beautiful piece rich with organic forms carved into the clay and detailed underlying texture. Ms. King has been teaching at UT for over a decade.

 Jono Vaughn draws with colored pencils, and his subject is his hair/the back of his head. "The Back of My Head, 7/18/12-7/20/12" is the largest work of his I've seen to date. It is also the most graphic, with the cacophony of stripes cascading down. The sensuousness of his work and awarenes of detail stand out. 

There are more than thirty works in this exhibit. Congratulations to all, to Gallery Director Dorothy Cowden and UT for a good show. The gallery is located on campus at the R. K. Bailey Art Studios at 310 N. Blvd. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission.Through Oct 27th.

For more information, contact Dorothy Cowden, gallery director, at (813) 253-6217 or

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