Exploding Sailboats; Recollecting a Year in Solitude, an Exhibition of Prints Merging Traditional and New Media Processes by Samantha Burns
March 24 – April 21, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, March 24 (6:30-8:30PM)
New College of Florida- Isermann Gallery
Samantha Burns is proud to present her latest body of works in the exhibit, Insula Insula, at the Isermann Gallery from March 24 – April 21, 2017 in Sarasota, FL. The exhibit, sponsored by the New College of Florida’s Division of Humanities, will include a collection of monoprints by Burns, developed using traditional and new media applications within printmaking. Opening Reception is Friday, March 24, 2017 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm where the artist will be present to discuss the development of this exhibition, as well as her experiences as the New College of Florida’s 2015-16 Visiting Artist.
A small departure from the time-based installations Burns typically fabricates, these pieces discuss themes rooted in her creative practice such as memory, experience, and recovery. The artworks featured in this exhibit were created by enhancing traditional, relief-printing techniques through the use of a laser cutter to cut out and etch images on paper. The three series, consisting of fifty pieces, are interconnected through their use of fragmented imagery, themes, and materials. In one series, Florida sceneries are subtly etched onto the paper accompanied by pieces of vibrant chine-collé prints providing the viewer a glance at what could have been.
This exhibition was made possible through the collaboration of the New College of Florida and Florida State University College of Fine Arts, to award a recent MFA graduate and emerging artist a position to teach printmaking at NCF. As recipient of this award, Burns (FSU, MFA’14) created and taught various printmaking courses at New College while developing the bodies of work being exhibited from March 24 through April 21st.
The Isermann Gallery is part of the New College of Florida’s Caples Campus in the Fine Arts Buildings. It is located at 5315 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34234.
March 30, 2017 (6-9PM)
3080 N Washington Blvd, Unit #40, Sarasota, FL
BETWEEN HERE & THERE is a collaborative solo exhibition of Sophia Schultz and Ava Zelkowitz, two undergraduate students at New College of Florida. This mixed media installation explores attempts to highlight and dissolve the underlying systems of social understanding of space. This will be an immersive installation piece that, upon entrance, invokes feelings of disorientation and detachment from materiality. We seek to construct a space of dualities, of illusion, of spontaneous reality.
Interview conducted with showing artist, Nathan Wilson. Taylor Robenalt and Tyler Staggs also on view during the night’s event.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Ringling Museum of Art
8:00pm – 11:00pm
Ringling Museum starts 2015 with fourt mixed media artists: Nathan Wilson, Taylor Robenalt, Corbett Fogue, and Tyler Staggs. The event’s artist liaison, Natalya Swanson, conducted an interview with Mr. Wilson. More information on the event can be found following the interview below.
Nathan Wilson specialized in the field of mathematically inspired art at New College of Florida.
Conceptually, where does your artistic process begin?
Once I have completed my research on a body of data which promotes my imaginative and technical growth I begin to understand the variables and mechanics of that given system. I do not take credit for the discovery of natural forms and thus, I think my artistic process begins when I start augmenting the “perfect” forms that I have been researching. Without the knowledge of any descriptive geometric vocabulary most human beings can identify abnormalities in an object with rotational symmetries. Therefore, another part of my artistic process involves the disguise and vanishing of certain intended abnormalities through the manipulation of perspective. For many of my pieces there are special axes of perspective which yield symmetric two-dimensional projections. Experimentation with the expression of 2D projections through alterations to 3D structure and vice-versa is a large component of my process.
What initially influenced your decision to incorporate musical elements into your sculptures? In what way has this evolved?
I developed my idea for a multi directional speaker system after a collegiate study project, which focused on optics. I drew connections between the energy mediums of sound and light, which both manifest in wave fronts. If the physical orientation of lenses effects the dispersion or concentration of light sources, so should the physical orientation of loudspeakers effect the dispersion or concentration of sound in a room. To create a symmetric wavefront I designed my speaker cabinets using polyhedral geometry. “The Decagon”, one of my speaker projects, exhibits elements of sound focusing and sound dispersion by combining two polyhedral structures into a single volume. Through my studies I have worked to minimize the volume needed to house the maximum number of loudspeakers on a polyhedron with spherical curvature. Geodesic augmentation of the icosahedron provides the perfect framework to push the parameters of my sound devices.
What influence does architecture have on your artwork?
I believe that a door is closed in the imagination of a human being that only has exposure to cubic structures. I grew up in NYC and I can testify to the fact that after a while I just stopped looking up. Instead I found fulfillment in Central Park and at public museums. I was especially fascinated by the natural structures exhibited in the gems and minerals exhibition at the Museum of Natural History. Fast forward 15 years and I was writing a thesis regarding the applications of crystalline structure on the Arts and Sciences. Applications of periodic and quasi-periodic crystal structures are certainly present throughout Islamic architecture and design. The manipulation of perspective in the construction and decoration of these structures illustrates a clear mathematical understanding of tessellation in two and three dimensions. I am also inspired by the inventions and architectural contributions of R. Buckminster Fuller. Fullers’ applications of geodesics and tensegrity to housing and transportation are amongst many innovations concocted by this one individual over 40 years ago. I believe that technology has progressed to the point where we may be ready to implement some of Fullers revolutionary ideas. I also believe that there are still many undiscovered applications for the Sciences and Arts in architecture and technology.
Geometry is a strong element in your work. Can you discuss the relationship between mathematics and art?
I began studying geometry because I thought it would be a structured way to develop my physical vocabulary. Through my study of physics I have come to understand elements about the structure of solid matter and have come to respect the classical philosophies of shape. The catalogue of regular uniform polyhedra lists the symmetric the ways that 2D shapes can orient themselves about a single point to form a volume. My study of the crystalline atomic bonds in solid matter, which approximate polyhedral tessellation, has changed the way I view composition at all scales. Each form expresses unique characteristics such as surface area, volume, and dihedral angle, which I use to inform my decisions during the composition of my pieces. There are an infinite number of ways to subdivide a space and mathematicians have documented an impressive number of them. Mathematics helps me to break down large, complex forms into constituent pieces which I can handle easier. The more pieces I can break an idea into the greater level of detail I can articulate when I rebuild it. For me, mathematics is the language of form.
Has living and working in Sarasota influenced your artistic intent?
I am very grateful for the help I have received form my friends in the local arts community. I have them to thank most for the continued progression and evolution of my career in Sarasota. Through stage design I am hoping to work with local musical and theatrical acts. My work last December with Fuzion Dance Company was an incredible opportunity to push the functional parameters of my structures. The Ringling Underground presents a similar opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary possibilities of performing artists working with visual artists. I believe that collaborative projects, which source artists from multiple disciplines, yield the most dynamic results.
September 14 – October 14,2012
C. Emerson Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL
It has been said that the average person lies between 1-5 times a day. Motivated by malice or kindness, whether to survive, protect, hurt, or seduce, we negotiate our relationships through varying degrees of honesty. In light of the many assumptions correlating truth and art, there are those who have come to embrace the flaws, contradictions, and absurdities that upset the façade of our constructed environment. When in 1923 Pablo Picasso proclaimed, “Art is a lie that makes us realize truth” he anticipated a later cultural shift.
Responding in different ways to this condition, Caui Lofgren and Kim Anderson employ painting and drawing to reflect on the elusiveness of truth. Taking his cue from mass media, Lofgren assembles new fictions appropriated from the coercively seductive icons of popular culture. Vaguely familiar, Lofgren’s images recall Rorschach’s tests, and appear to slip between multiple biomorphic forms. Photography, once revered as concrete evidence, can now more than ever be easily manipulated or altered. By collecting and reinterpreting found amateur photographs Anderson’s work unravels the minutia dividing what is actual and imaginary in the most seemingly treasured and personal of images.
KIM ANDERSON – Born in San Francisco and raised in Honolulu, Kim Anderson is an artist and educator currently residing in Bradenton, FL. She is an Associate Professor of Art at New College of Florida where she has taught painting and drawing since 2004. Collecting and translating found photographs into paintings and drawings reflects her concern for the influence of photography on our behaviors, conventions, and memories. Her work has been exhibited in cities including Atlanta, Miami, New York, and Sarasota, and has been featured in New American Paintings, Studio Visit Magazine, and the Drawing Center Viewing Program. She is a recent recipient of the Sarasota Arts Council John Ringling Individual Artist Grant and has appeared on WEDU’s A Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins. She holds an M.F.A. from University of Florida and B.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts.
CAUI LOFGREN – Born in Eugene, Oregon and raised in Minneapolis and Northern California, Caui Lofgren received his MFA and BFA from the University of Florida. He is currently the chair of the art program at the IMG Pendleton School in Bradenton, FL and has taught as an adjunct faculty at New College of Florida in Sarasota, FL. His work finds patterns in accumulation where meaning is evoked through hybridization and mutation. A synthesis of the natural and the artificial, symmetrical patterns convey underlying subversive drives, summoning mythical beasts, and eliciting collective obsessions. His work has been exhibited in the Brevard Art Museum, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Art Center Sarasota, and galleries in Miami and Sarasota. His drawings have been featured in the last two yearly publications of Manifest International Drawing Annual (6&7), an international juried survey of contemporary drawing.
Kymia Nawabi will be in Sarasota to speak at New College of Florida. She was gracious enough to provide us with an interview. We are lucky to have such great talent come to our beautiful community, and we are very happy to share this awesome conversation with our readers.
Nawabi, a first-generation Iranian-American artist, earned her MFA from the University of Florida in 2006 and BFA from East Carolina University in 2003. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious residencies and awards including The Keyholder Residency with The Lower East Side Printshop (2012), winner of Bravo’s reality TV series Work of Art: The Next Great Artist (2011), New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Grant and Fellowship in drawing (2009), two-time Swing Space recipient with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2009, 2007), Nominee and Fellowship with the Aljira Emerge 10 Program (2008), The Canal Chapter Residency (2007) and The Women’s Studio Workshop Fellowship and Residency (2007).
At first, I kind of had no choice in the matter, to be honest. My sister called me and said I had to fill the paperwork out and just try. I thought she was out of her mind! Whenever you apply to anything you always assume there are thousands of other people out there trying to get the same thing you are. I always wonder what the odds are of even getting a chance.
However, once I was told I made it on as a contestant for the show I knew I truly wanted to be on Work of Art. It would be an adventure in my life and more importantly a challenge for my art. As scary, torturous and exciting as an adventure can be sometimes, it still is the most fruitful and exhilarating thing you can do for your soul.
sVA: How has life been in the studio since the end of the show?
I would call it more of an office now than a studio; I am on the computer all day.
There are a ton of emails to reply to daily, interviews to answer and I have also been applying to residencies and grants. As with any job, there is an administrative part to being an artist. I do have project plans for my new works that I feel very eager to be able to get started on, of course.
sVA: Have you been able to try some new materials you could not of previously afford or get a new studio with your prize money?
I am very excited about working with casts taken from my full body. I would like to seriously go into large-scale sculpture. This is a very pricey process and I need to make sure I have the right timing and space to begin it all.
I was just recently awarded the Keyholder residency with The Lower East Side Printshop in NYC where I plan on working on medium to large-scale collagraphs. It has been years since I have been able to revisit this process, as I cannot afford a printing press. I plan on splurging on beautiful, giant sheets of paper and printmaking inks for sure!
sVA: What is your creative process?
Mentally, the process is the same: I take an issue or event that is meaningful to me, investigate it through introspection, reading, writing and conversation, create a mythology containing a world of characters and environments that symbolize the issue metaphorically, and lastly, experiment with color, texture, line, scale… to further push the conceptual framework for the piece(s). The biggest shift I have recently made to my work has been to pair down the elements and palette, which has had a positive effect on the affect of my work. As a multi-disciplinary artist, I work cyclically with drawing, painting and sculpture processes.
sVA: Have you kept up with Bob and Barbara? If so, how are they?
My boyfriend and I have definitely visited Bob and Barbara at their amazing shop back in Cold Spring, NY. They are such amazing people who we fully intend on visiting again this summer sometime soon.
sVA: How would you describe your artistic point of view? What do you hope to communicate through your work?
By observing the essences, behaviors, and appearances of others and myself, I study the peculiarities of individuals, their relationships to one another and their environments. From this stock of my own wonders concerning our world and its inhabitants, my works portray personifications of our human abject experiences, which embody abnormal physical and psychological states. These abnormalities of existence manifest from the interplay of ourselves in our ordinary capacity, versus the occurrences of our daily internal fantasy lives. Fantasy, referring to our mind, soul and body’s intangible, yet real and deep felt phantom world, not sensed by others. These internal phantoms range from our darkest desires and fears, to our uncertainties of time, the fragility of life and what lies beyond this existence. I am fascinated with the mental forms that are conjured up from what we experience within pondering universal phenomena.
Each of my characters and landscapes, as well as their operations, is the representation of these flights of fancies we have as well as the emotional reactions and bodily sensations that occur from having them. It is not where you are or what you are physically doing in the real world that I am interested in, rather where real life places you in your mind’s landscape, who you are and what you are doing there. This is what I am interested in recreating.
Through my allegory of human behavior the viewer is given another realm of reality through my perceptions of what is irrefutable that is often felt but not seen in what we consider the “real world.” Thus, through the lens of my own experiences, obsessions and observations, I direct the viewers’ visions to the complex, deep-level, make-up of who we are, and make us dwell on what we are- the abject human.
On my most recent works:
With a growing curiosity for spirituality, my most recent works of mixed media drawings and sculpture showcase the beginnings of my research on Alchemy, Greek and Egyptian mythology as well as religions from around the world. I have adopted gods, mythological creatures and burial ceremonies from different cultures as a part of my own belief system.
With these new insights, I have invented a mythology of characters, landscapes and metaphors that symbolize death, the afterlife, rebirth, spirits and souls. Ideas such as the philosopher’s stone, a substance that allows base metal to be turned into gold, and the Ouroboros symbolizing eternal rebirth, for example, all materialize within my allegorical works. In these poignant drawings with life-size characters, I present the viewer with moments of enlightened, transcendental states of our existence, and perhaps what happens to us as we pass on.
sVA: Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?
For myself – never. For the viewer, there used to be. During graduate school I received such wonderful constructive criticism on my work that made me see and make things differently, for the better. For quite some time, I was making a ton of self-portraiture with imagery that was difficult for my viewer to enter. For example, the expression on my face in the drawing would be painful to look at, or the sadness portrayed in my painting would become overwhelming. It was brought to my attention by Professor Richard Heipp that it was, “too much of Kymia in anguish.” He challenged me to speak of the same experiences but with imagery that could leave the works more open-ended and open period for the viewer. This unleashed a whole new way of making art for me. As soon as I removed my portrait, as well as the obvious “one-liners,” my work opened up to a totally new mythology of characters and panoramas that described my life experiences infinitely better. The works became less about a self-portrait and more about the world I lived in, which others found a relationship to in the most spectacularly interesting way.
sVA: What is next on your agenda?
My agenda is plain but not simple: to make work. I cannot wait to get into the studio!