Ringling Underground: October 2, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Ringling Museum of Art

Ringling Underground featuring artists in the courtyard are Kelly Boehmer, Jennifer Lauren Smith, Janett Pulido, and Brian Joseph.

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Ringling Museum of Art

Ringling Underground captivates audiences with contemporary music and art of Sarasota’s up-and-coming Millennials, engaging the community with both the prodigious art of the Ringling museum and the innovativeness of local artists.

“The October Ringling Underground features four contemporary artists who work in both two- and three-dimensional mediums. Artists Kelly Boehmer, Jennifer Lauren Smith, Janett Pulido, and Brian Joseph exhibit art which visually recreates both apocryphal stories and axioms alike. Using mediums such as soft sculpture and videography, the artists create uniquely universal visions that look both to the past and to the future.”
– Natalya Swanson, Ringling Underground Artist Liaison

“Ringling Underground uses music and visual art to engage a younger audience who represent the next generation of Museum members and patrons.”
– Steven High, Executive Director of The Ringing.


Kelly Boehmer
Kelly Boehmer

“The sculptures have a childlike appearance that is both pitiful and fantastical. Seductive colors and sensual textures are juxtaposed with repulsive and gory elements such as guts, puke, and piss. Kitsch components are incorporated with sincerity and are used to celebrate excess and chaos. All of my pieces are sewn by hand with an aggressive, unrefined stitch. I reuse my materials by cutting up my old sculptures to make new work.”
– Kelly Boehmer, 2014

Kelly Boehmer creates hand-sewn soft sculpture installations. She has exhibited and performed her work nationally and internationally including shows in Baltimore, Dallas, Miami, New York City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Juan, and Sarajevo, Bosnia. She teaches at Florida State University, Chipola College, Tallahassee Community College, and Lemoyne Center for the Visual Arts. Kelly is a member of the performance art group, Glitter Chariot. She received her BFA in Studio Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA in Studio Art at the University of South Florida.


Jennifer Lauren Smith
Jennifer Lauren Smith

“I stage visual manifestations of sound.

I often install my work in unexpected circumstances as a way of perpetuating the notion that art can have a profound impact when encountered by chance, mirroring the magic and intensity of the gestalts we experience in nature and the everyday world. My background in sculpture has instilled a tendency to handle my videos and performance works as objects; I plan all aspects of the visual and spatial experience from the perspective of the viewer’s physicality.”
– Jennifer Lauren Smith, 2014

Jennifer Lauren Smith (b. 1979, Portland, ME) is a visual artist working in sculpture and lens-based mediums. Her work explores visual manifestations of sound, often by utilizing cinematic frameworks to stage performances and time-based installations.

Smith received her BA from Reed College in Portland, OR and her MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She has received numerous awards including a Vikki Katen Memorial Fellowship, a Wynn Newhouse Grant, a John Ringling Towers Grant, and a Toby Devan Lewis Award. She has shown her work in galleries and film festivals in the US and abroad including Dorsch Gallery (Miami, FL), Pierogi Boiler (Brooklyn, NY), Reynolds Gallery (Richmond, VA), The Façade Film Festival (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, (Marl, Germany) and the Crown Heights Film Festival (Brooklyn, NY), and has participated in residencies at Seven Below Arts Initiative (Burlington, VT), Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts (Nebraska City, NE), The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Englewood, FL), and Binghamton University’s Department of Cinema (Vestal, NY). She is currently a Fellow in the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Program in Brooklyn, NY.



Janett Pulido
Janett Pulido

“My work relate to those ideas and create realities that split in order to symbolize the way we struggle when being in limbo both mentally and physically. I Juxtapose construction components like wood and metal with paint including, but not limited to resin, wire, paper, and canvas to create environments that imitate these multiple realities that are driven unto the surface. By manipulating materials to play a different role from what was initially intended, I push them  outside of their common physical attributes and create playful environments that bring up questions as to the duality of things and how combined elements create a whole new set of facts.”
– Janett Pulido, 2014

Janett Pulido Zizumbo is a Mexican-American fine artist whose artwork revolves around the notion of perception and how visual perception skews the mind of the viewer. She explores religious and scientific concepts that play a part in the perception of the in between. She uses concepts like purgatory in her everyday life, where she feels in constant limbo and grinds to make decisions at every moment.

She often employs unconventional materials when painting, that range from plaster, resin, wire, paper to styrofoam and wood. Her practice has been described as an “exploration of physicality” in her experimentations with different textures and planes that often re-evaluate and expand the limits and boundaries of painting.

Pulido has received numerous awards and grants. She has received Las Damas Fellowship and the Josephina Ferran Scholarship for Latina women artists and has received several travel grants for her research in Islamic theology and Art in Istanbul, Turkey.

Pulido was born in Chicago, IL. She received her BFA and BS at Illinois State University and is currently receiving her MFA at the University of South Florida. She is currently teaching at the University of South Florida and is a studio assistant for Robert Stackhouse and Carol Mickett. She resides in Tampa, FL.


Brian Joseph
Brian Joseph

“I am inspired heavily by the patterns in Middle Eastern architecture, textiles and rugs. I try to use my paint like making a zen garden by being present in every step. This body of work is made out of oil paint or egg emulsion paint mounted on gessoed masonite board. I  use glazes to achieve lighting, texture and color. Drawing has been a big part of my creative process so I use it for laying out the main composition. This particular body of work is not so much for commercial intent. I created it as an act of self improvement to increase focus, patience and overall technique.”
– Brian Joseph, 2014

Brian Joseph was born in the Philippines in 1987 and relocated to America as a baby. He was always creative growing up, with interests in drawing and arts-and-crafts. His family of fellow creators supported him in his creative pursuits, but his artistic journey was mostly self taught with many influences. Joseph has always had a love for the surreal and people who “beat to a different drum.” During elementary school he was obsessed with M.C. Escher, and in middle school Dali and Picasso haunted his imagination. In high school, he found himself immersed in the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, Albrecht Durer, and Alex Gray. Joseph’s artistic career began as he started designing album art for local bands and national acts. He was fascinated by fantastic realists, such as Mati Klarwein, Ernst Fuchs, and Robert Venosa, who greatly influenced his favorite album designs.

Joseph is continually researching art history and finds himself immersed with new techniques, philosophies, and approaches. His interests lie in playing musical instruments, and, although he has worked in other two-dimensional mediums for years, he did not begin painting in oil until 2013, at which time he started and “hasn’t looked back.”

The evening’s bands include: ALEXANDER & THE GRAPES, PERMANENT MAKEUP, and DIEALPS!

Visit the Ringling Underground Facebook Event page for more information.

The Goods: Weekend News (01.20.12)

Sarasota Visual Art’s round up of information, upcoming exhibitions, and events. Kevin Dean, Henk Pander, Jennifer Lauren Smith, SCF Fine Art Gallery, Art Center, Clyde Butcher, Sishir Bommakanti, Vladsilav Yeliseyev, Venice Art Center

Featured Content

Featured Gallery: SCF Fine Art Gallery
Sarasota Visual Art interviews Curator, and Gallery Manager, Joe Loccisano. “My dream exhibition, therefore, would effectively eliminate the perceived barriers between “artist” and “non-artist”
SCF Art Gallery

Featured Artist: Jennifer Lauren Smith
I’m drawn to the metaphorical potential of landscapes. Probing for implied sound or rhythmic amplitude in a scene, I imagine ways of enlivening the landscape with drama, creating a feeling.
Jennifer Lauren Smith

Kevin Dean on Henk Pander
Director and curator of Selby Gallery, Kevin Dean, discusses the background to the gallery’s current exhibited artist and work.
Kevin Dean discusses Henk Pander


January 20 – Venice Art Center presents an exhibit of thirteen Russian and US artists that met in the town of Velikiy Novgorod, Russia for a cultural exchange.

Vladislav Yeliseyev: Images of a European Journey
January 20 – On view are acrylic paintings featuring charming views of Sarasota, in a neo-impressionistic style. Also shown are more than twenty views of European scenes done in watercolors.
Vladislav Yeliseyev: Images of a European Journey

FRIENDS + MONSTERS: Works by Sishir Bommakanti
January 21st, 2012 – Clothesline Gallery presents the works of Sishir Bommakanti, another installment in a series of solo exhibitions by Ringling College students.
Works by Sishir Bommakanti

Clyde Butcher @ Longboat Key Center for the Arts
Clyde Butcher’s photographs explore his personal relationship with the environment. For more than 40 years, he has been preserving on black and white film the untouched areas of the landscape.
Clyde Butcher

Artists Who Made Sarasota Famous & The Story of the Sarasota Art Association
Recognizing over 40 artists who established Art Center Sarasota as a dynamic and vital community art center, and chronicling the Art Association’s formative years through photography and unique memorabilia.
The Story of the Sarasota Art Association

Sarasota Visual Art

Featured Artist: Jennifer Lauren Smith

I’m drawn to the metaphorical potential of landscapes. Probing for implied sound or rhythmic amplitude in a scene, I imagine ways of enlivening the landscape with drama, creating a feeling.

Woodwind & Kite, (2010)

What does it mean to you to be an artist living and working in Sarasota, FL?

I just moved back here after a 17 year hiatus—I grew up in Sarasota and had the privilege of going to the old Pine View which was a city block of portable buildings clustered around a couple four-square courts on Bahia Vista. I’m sure this is still the case at the new campus, but the kids there then were astonishingly creative and interesting. Everyone was so badass. Being involved in some branch of the arts and being clever and precocious were expectations, nothing really unique. The school, along with the Ringling empire ever-present in the background, has made Sarasota symbolize something more rigorous to me that than the beachy vacation destination or retirement zone it looks like upon first glance, although I’m sure I’d feel differently if I were a recent arrival. But as a result of spending my childhood here, Sarasota has been more of a muse to me through distance and nostalgia than an actual studio location.

Digital video with live clarinet
15min 22 sec (excerpt)

I’m hoping to change that now, though—to really get into it here, utilize the resources and take advantage of the way the visual and physical material here hits my consciousness. Florida is full of these amazing gestalts—the water, the sun, the swamp, the heat, the flora. These things are so gorgeous or fascinating but also so…stylized that they don’t seem like part of the reality we are supposed to suffer. I have a tendency in my work to balance soaring romanticism with an exuberant dose of kitsch, much like Florida seems to do by being its natural self: a pink and purple paradise filled with predators, swinging moss, and rock n roll. I’m really looking forward to going out shooting (video) and trooping around now that I’ve finally gotten organized.

Salvo, (2010)

How did you arrive at the structure of your work?

My work doesn’t have a certain structure. I use several overlapping strategies to get my work to occur such as pairing video with live performance, creating photo-essays, collaborating on sound recordings or live music, making sculptures… I’m interested in physical perception as a material, both in the making of the work and in the process of viewing the finished work. I dedicate myself to teasing out what I hope to be an authentic piece from the raw experience of a place, an action/ event, or a story or memory. I set myself up to projects that require a bit of learning, a bit of risk of failure. These are vulnerable states that carry through to the finished work. I guess a lot of my work is a bit emotional. They all have a little bit of sadness.

My breakthrough piece in graduate school was going to the Outer Banks for the winter and doing nearly nothing but driving through snowstorms on the beach in a 4×4. It was there that I realized that it wasn’t something that I could make work “about” but that being there was the work. I had to get the audience there to know it, to experience the immensity—not bring back a relic to show in a little white gallery. It was a real revelation at a time when I was trying to make formal sculpture.

What role does history play in your work?

I often develop projects based on places or events that I find interesting, like the project in the OBX I just mentioned. Researching the historical underpinnings of the subjects I choose to pursue is a key part of my early process. My studio is sort of a clean, library-like anomaly in comparison to a lot of other sculptors. I always start by reading and by sending emails to specialists and generally making an ass out of myself by traversing different fields, wondering if so-and-so can help my realize some vision. But, I try to leave the research behind quickly—I’m much more interested in imagination and getting something to evolve a result of the research. When there are significant historical facts associated with my subject matter or actions, I attempt to acknowledge and do away with them so I can get beneath the “obvious layer” into something more my own. So for me, history is something to absorb and get beyond. My job has to do with creating encounters and sensations.

Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?

I’ve never once been comfortable with a work, or even an idea. I think part of what keeps me excited to be an artist is that each of my projects have at various points scared the shit out of me, albeit emerge naturally out of my thinking. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m making art, or how I get away with doing these eccentric things in the field like flying kites or dancing tango rather than tinkering in the studio with raw materials. When I do mess around in the studio, I feel like I am wimping out of something more real. So it goes back and forth between two kinds of discomfort. Someday I hope to show my studio objects, which I call “The Catalog of Ships” after the much-despised book II of the Iliad, that no one ever reads.

Jennifer Lauren Smith
Jennifer Lauren Smith

What aspects of contemporary art would you change, if you could?

Maybe if we had a culture that supported the arts more, we wouldn’t have to talk so loud and for so long to be taken seriously, and we could listen more. It so tiresome to constantly contrast each other’s accomplishments and plans and invitations for things. If we could be less competitive we could actually have a conversation. I find that when traveling abroad people listen so much better than we do here, and my theory is that the arts are taken more seriously there, art doesn’t need to prove itself because its just part of the good fabric of life.

I also wish young artists would write more critical discourse, or that there was more of a forum for art writing from young artists. I’d really like to know how artists themselves apply critical discourse to some of the work I see in galleries or fairs—a lot of things placed on shelves or leaning against the wall or carefully arranged in a montage or tableau with a stack of books on the side. I want to understand that stuff from a more critical standpoint than an aesthetic one.

Live performance March 24, 2011 in the Fan. Richmond, VA

Thanks to Jason Dehlin for allowing us to use his home.

One of the most complicated aspects of being an art maker is the “Life Work” balance: making important decisions on when to start and when to stop and where to separate things. Do you have any advice for other artists, based on your own methodology, on how to balance a life’s work?

I read a quote somewhere that I often remember when I am struggling to arrange my time: when a fan called out a request during a live concert Neil Young replied, “its all one song.”

One of the ways I manage the dichotomy of work and the rest of it is to try and make everything matter—all the things I do. Travel, writing, swimming on my masters team, reading books—its all towards something involved in an art-making lifestyle. This sounds very moony and self-help I realize, but I get very disappointed in myself when I am not in the midst of some project happening. I have to remind myself that the process of living and the process of working can be part of the same rhythm of productivity.

My heroes are artists who take on projects outside the confines of their studios, so that the projects require a huge dismantling of ones schedule or personal affairs. When working in the field you get to be 100% there, and its both exciting and terrifying—there is all this time pressure to get something to happen but yet it often seems like something natural and authentic is better able to emerge when dealing with elements of chance. You can’t force something because you have no control. You have to faith and concentration and patience and conviction. So I just work and read and travel and write and swim until I get to back to those moments again.

Between Heats, (2010)


Jennifer Lauren Smith was born in Portland, Maine in 1979 and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon where she earned her Bachelor of Art degree in 2002. After graduation Jennifer moved to New York City where she spent several years working as a mural painter and cater waiter, and later, operated a bed & breakfast in Chinatown. Jennifer earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA in 2011.

Carova Beach, (2010)