Duke Riley: Flights of Fancy

January 13 – March 4, 2017
USF Contemporary Art Museum

USFCAM will present a solo exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley, known for his ambitious and immersive projects that investigate historical and contemporary social issues, often through subversive performative action. Featuring two projects in our gallery spaces, DUKE RILEY: Flights of Fancy explores and celebrates Riley’s history of examining the role and relationships of humans and nature through his interactions and interventions with pigeons in public space and the nautical landscape.

Duke Riley

CAM’s Lee and Victor Leavengood Gallery will feature a re-configuration of Duke Riley’s project, Trading with the Enemy (2013), where Riley bred and trained fifty homing pigeons to fly one-way from Havana to Key West, Florida. Half of the pigeons carried Cuban Cohiba cigars, the other twenty-five carried video cameras documenting the journey across the Florida Straits. The exhibition includes a pigeon loft, the smuggled cigars, and videos filmed by the birds, which Riley refers to as the “smugglers” and the “filmmakers”, as well as research material related to the historic flight training of the pigeons. This project specifically references the US trade embargo on Cuba and contributes to the evolving dialogue and diplomatic relationship between the countries as well as referencing the State of Florida’s history of trade with Cuba and its direct influence on the development of the cigar industry and socio-political landscape of Ybor City and West Tampa.

CAM’s West Gallery will include photographs from Riley’s most recent work and largest project to date, Fly By Night (2016), produced for the New York-based public art organization Creative Time. Expanding on his history of working with pigeons, Riley converted a former naval ship into a floating pigeon loft and trained 2000 pigeons, outfitted with small illuminated LED bands, to fly in orchestrated performances above New York City’s East River. Captured during evening performances over the six-week run of the project, the time-lapse photographs document the flight patterns of the birds, swirling, twirling and swooping as moving constellations in the night sky. Paying homage to the waning culture of pigeon fanciers, Riley’s Fly By Night reimagines the role of the pigeon from a nuisance dweller within the urban landscape to a celebrated and revered messenger, companion and collaborator.

Riley’s work encompasses drawing, printmaking (the artist will be in residency at Graphicstudio to create two prints over the course of 2017), mosaic, sculpture, video and performative interventions. His signature style interweaves historical and contemporary events with elements of fiction and myth to create allegorical histories. His re-imagined narratives, presented in his distinct scrimshaw and maritime aesthetic, comment on a wide range of issues, from the cultural impact of overdevelopment and gentrification of waterfront communities, to contradictions within political ideologies as well as commerce and the role of the artist in society and at war.


January 13, 6pm
USF School of Music Barness Recital Hall (MUS107)
Artist Duke Riley joins curator Sarah Howard for a conversation about his work prior to the opening reception.

January 13, 7-9pm
USF Contemporary Art Museum

January 26, 6-8pm
USF Contemporary Art Museum
Join USFCAM Curator Sarah Howard for a tour of Duke Riley: Flights of Fancy.

February 2, 6-8pm
USF Contemporary Art Museum
Come learn about the fascinating world of pigeons with world-class pigeon fancier and “Legend of the Sport” Erio Alvarez from Tampa’s own Alvarez Lofts. Alvarez will discuss the breeding and racing of pigeons and the history of the sport in the Tampa Bay region.

February 17, 7-9pm
USF Contemporary Art Museum
This two-hour concert will feature the students and faculty of USF’s Composition and Electronic Music Studio performing original compositions inspired by the artworks in CAM’s exhibition Duke Riley: Flights of Fancy.

February 23, 6-8pm
USF Contemporary Art Museum
Learn more about Fly By Night, artist Duke Riley’s public artwork of unprecedented scale and beauty produced by Creative Time, a NY-based public art agency that works with artists to contribute to the dialogues, debates and dreams of our times. Creative Time’s Director of Public Projects Jean Cooney will share insights to the unique challenges presented from her experiences with temporary projects in public space.

*American Sign Language Interpreters will be available at these events.


USFCAM Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, Sat 1-4pm.
Closed Sunday and University holidays (January 16)
Admission to the Museum is free; however a USF parking permit ($5.00 daily) or pay-per-space parking is required. Please visit our website cam.usf.edu for parking, directions, or more information on events associated with the exhibitions. Groups and organizations interested in tours should contact USFCAM to schedule at least two weeks in advance. Call (813) 974-4133 for additional information.

Duke Riley: Flights of Fancy is supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Board of County Commissioners, and by the USFCAM Art for Community Engagement (ACE) Fund Patrons. The USF Contemporary Art Museum is recognized by the State of Florida as a major cultural institution and receives funding through the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The USF Contemporary Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave. CAM101, Tampa, FL 33620

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Evening of Excellence Student Art Program Juried Art Show

January 14 – January 15, 2012
A showcase of outstanding works of fine art created by students representing public high schools throughout Sarasota County being shown at Ringling College of Art + Design

January 14 & January 15 (12:00pm – 4:00pm)
Ringling College of Art and Design

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County launches the 17th annual Evening of Excellence with its Juried Art Show this month. A robust student art competition and perennial favorite on the social calendar, Evening of Excellence showcases outstanding works of fine art created by students representing public high schools throughout Sarasota County.

More than 330 exceptional student works – paintings, photographs, sculpture and more – will be on display at the Ringling College of Art and Design at its Roskamp Exhibition Hall. Select works in the exhibit will be available for purchase by sealed bid. The exhibit is free and open to the public on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Free campus parking is available on either side of the Selby Gallery, one-half block east of 2700 N. Tamiami Trail on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Sarasota.

Elise Swain w Solitude - Best of Show

Each year, high school art instructors submit their students’ finest original art for consideration at the Juried Art Show. A distinguished panel of art professionals reviews the entries and selects twenty-five original pieces as the Best of the Best. The top twenty-five will be announced at a special reception sponsored by U.S. Trust on Wednesday, January 18, at Ringling College’s Roskamp Exhibition Hall.

The winning student artists donate their artwork to the Education Foundation. The art is lavishly framed by local galleries and framers, who donate their materials and services. Then each piece is put up for auction at a gala dinner next month. In return, students receive recognition for their talent and generosity and well as monetary awards. Private donors are invited to present Student Art Awards of $500 or more named for themselves or to honor loved ones.

Logan Mitchell w Neon Fish

Evening of Excellence is an innovative art program as well as an established fundraiser, grossing over $250,000 per year. Proceeds benefit the 41,000 students in Sarasota County’s public schools through the work of the Education Foundation. The event combines an elegant dinner with a spirited auction showcasing the talents of the Best of the Best high school artists. This year’s theme is See the Ordinary. Create the Extraordinary., taking inspiration from the student whose award-winning work was adapted for the gala invitation.

Meg Mahoney and Chris Cremer co-chair this year’s event committee. The annual dinner and student art auction will be held on February 24, 2012 at Michael’s on East. Festivities begin at with a cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. Sponsor tables are available at $2,500 and up. Premium patron pairs, including two seats and a named art award, start at $1,000. Individual tickets are $200, $250 for patrons. To request an invitation or for more information, call 941-927-0965 or see the Education Foundation’s web site at EdFoundation.net.