Attendees of the March Ringling Underground will encounter three contemporary artists: Emily Elliott, Dustin Juengel, and Zach Gilliland. Artist Liaison Natalya Swanson spoke to each of them about their artwork and process:
“I am constantly tinkering in the studio, trying new things, making new forms, honing my skills and dreaming up the impossible. When I have an idea, I try it. Not all approaches work, but I attempt everything and eventually the dots begin to connect. The key, for me, is to simply be working. As Picasso said, “inspiration exists but it has to find you working”.
I search for the simple and the organic as a jumping off point. Then I find the subtle complexities that give the piece depth. Once a project begins to take shape I send it to the moon and back, building it up and ripping it back apart. This process is extremely important for me to filter out unnecessary information.
My work appears simple at first glance, but upon further inspection questions begin to arise. Thats where, I feel, the magic lies. My ultimate goal is to pull the viewer in from a distance, keep them looking up close and then leave them wondering when they turn away.”
“Painting offers a space to engage with different interests and negotiate experiences. I am not aware of an overarching agenda for my paintings, it’s too complex, I think it’s more of a search.
My recent works include grisaille oil paintings based on photographs. The limited palette allows me to focus on other aspects of technique, for example: modeling of form, economy of paint handling, and scale. The effects of light and the surrounding environment become more apparent on the gray surfaces, creating tension between the illusion of the depiction and the painting as an object in a specific location. I want the viewer to be able to enter into the painting and simultaneously become self-aware of standing in a place looking at this thing.”
“My work is an exploration of emotional and psychological responses to human interaction and the desire for intimacy. I use the body as a metaphorical
battleground where the struggles of the mind take on a physical form. The figures are infected and transformed in reaction to their trauma. Each bump, scar, or mutation represents the fractured sense of self, torn between the desire to connect and need to protect oneself. I am interested in complicating those instincts, creating a dynamic energy between the push and pull of the psyche. This piece captures the moment before separation, where there is no clear victim or perpetrator. Instead they are both at once for and against each other.”
Ringling Underground featuring artists in the courtyard are Liz Gibson, Craig Hanson, Jacqueline Flavio, Samantha Robinson, and Shawn Pettersen.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Ringling Museum of Art
8:00pm – 11:00pm
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.
“In the third installment of this season’s Ringling Underground held on November 6, visitors will engage with contemporary art by artists Liz Gibson, Craig Hanson, Jacqueline Flavio, Samantha Robinson, and Shawn Pettersen. Each will exhibit brightly colored installations that relate to the artist’s connection with their immediate environments, whether it be nature, their studio, or an imaginary social landscape.”
-Natalya Swanson, Artist Liaison, 2014
THIS MONTH’S FEATURING ARTISTS:
“As a native Florida resident, I synthesize pop culture, domesticity and a penchant for multiples into physical critiques of America and her citizens as cultural texts. My process is largely research-based, as I consult both formally recorded History and community storytelling alike. Materials are often sourced from garage sales deep within suburbia, craigslist and eBay, bringing into play an overt sense of uneasy familiarity – pervasive in contrast to the feeling of safety associated with nostalgia. Ideas about multiplicity blanket my body of work, alluding to the sinister nature of consumerism and the meditative quality of repetitive object-making.” –Samantha Robinson, 2014
Samantha Robinson will soon be graduating with her BFA in Studio Art, concentrating in Sculpture, with a minor in American Studies. During her time at the University of South Florida, she has exhibited both nationally (coast to coast) and internationally (with Saatchi Gallery’s SAATCHI SCREEN project). Her full body of work can be viewed at www.samrob.com, and she invites Ringling Underground attendees to follow along on Instagram (@s4mrob) as the installation of her newest work takes place.
“Deformity, adversity, and empowerment- these are the themes of my work. Having been born with seven fingers total, (five fingers on my left-hand and two fingers on my right-hand) as an artist, I have chosen to take this unique personal experience and transform it into a shared experience with my audiences.” -Liz Gibson, 2014
Liz Gibson has been an artist for thirteen years. She works in painting, sculpture, video, installation, performance and storytelling. Her art has been presented and exhibited in galleries and museums including an evening of solo performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville in 2011. Gibson was selected to receive one of eight Individual Artist Fellowships from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs for 2014. She also received a grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida for 2013, and she recently received a 2014 Spark Grant sponsored by Florida Blue through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. She received her MFA in Performance Art from Florida State University in 2011. She is based in Jacksonville, Florida with her partner Jeff Whipple at MetaCusp Studios. Liz teaches at the University of North Florida and with VSA Arts for Special Education in Duval and Leon County Public Schools.
“Perceptive sensitivity is necessary to recognize and acknowledge the subtleties in an experience. In subtleties is where poetry lives. It is where our need to be human is reinforced. Our bodies provide a holistic sensory experience, senses perceive in symphony and our mind understands our perception through knowledge gained over time from all of the senses. Working in my studio with the same sensitivity, with all senses in tune, a focused holistic understanding, I orchestrate materials with gravity, friction, and movement. My work is a fossil or remnant of materials interacting with each other through the filter of my action.” -Craig Hanson, 2014
Craig Hanson (b. 1987 Monterey, California) is the recipient of numerous academic awards and scholarships including the Jose Puig Award, the James Bradford Scholarship, and the Carolyn M Wilson Scholarship. He received his BFA at Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied Sculpture and Extended Media at the #1 ranked program among public and private universities. Upon graduating he worked as a studio assistant for various artists in Richmond, Virginia. Craig is currently a graduate student at the University of South Florida studying for his MFA in Studio Art. He is the recipient of a University Graduate Fellowship at USF where he teaches an intermediate sculpture course. He will be graduating in May 2016.
“Exploiting the use of foregrounded elements within a painted space reveals how the human mind recalls nature as a collection of things, of objects; representing the wild as an overwhelming oasis of raw material. It is not wrong or right, but merely an observation. As lookers we objectify that of which is being looked upon with reverence and wonder. With pure intentions I want to understand my own attachment to the wild, to my artificial idea of the natural. Within this exploration I aspire to visualize what Edward Abbey writes is “a sense of form, enough to let thought and feeling range from here to the end of the world and back; the discovery of something intimate – though impossible to name – in the remote.” -Jacqueline Flavio, 2014
Jacqueline Flavio is an emerging contemporary artist living and working in Tampa, Florida. She recently received her BFA in painting from the University of South Florida and plans to pursue her MFA in the near future. Jacqueline’s work is comprised of large paintings inspired by her method of collage. Her process begins by developing a composition with collaged imagery and drawings on a much smaller scale which are then transferred onto canvas and transformed through color and the materiality of the paint medium. The subject matter reveals her apparent love for the natural world but also serves as a commentary on the painted image itself. By dissecting and manipulating space, objectifying the very idea of ‘natural things’, viewers are asked to question the meaning of natural as it is translated into something seemingly artificial; relying on color to sustain life.
“Much of my work deliberately eschews references to other contemporary visual modes such as the internet, mass advertising, and fashion. I take their omnipresence as a given at this point and choose to skirt the discussion of their intentions and social ramifications. I prefer to present an alternative versed in a more remote tense; something prodding at the romantic, tragic, antiquated, and occasionally silly. I mingle references to natural disasters, geological history, biblical stories, and American biography and myth in order to pose a very specific sense of loss and longing. In doing so I hope to suggest the relationship between that epic yet detached historical loss and a confusing, personal, contemporary displacement.” -Shawn Pettersen, 2014
Shawn Pettersen received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Montclair State University in 2005, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ringling College in 2003. His work is primarily based in sculpture and drawing, and often surrounds themes of displacement, memory, and being lost. Shawn has worked as a graphic designer, creative director, adjunct professor, jeweler, and artist’s assistant for several prominent artists in New York. His work has been shown regionally and nationally. Shawn is currently the Fine Arts Technician at Ringling College of Art & Design.