Created from industrial materials, Russ Bellamy’s powerful sculpture reflects the often overlooked landscape of rural Florida’s agricultural industry.
“Back Roads to Back Homes”
Eric Dusenbery’s compelling photographs document small town and rural Florida life.
“Black Box Projects”
Featuring cutting-edge work by two recent New College alumni.
An open, all-media, member’s-only juried exhibition.
Opening Reception: August 28, 5-7 p.m.
(Sarasota, FL) Art Center Sarasota’s 2013-2014 exhibition season, entitled “Incredible Journey,” concludes with four exhibits, August 28-October 3. “Organic Mechanic: Sculpture of Russ Bellamy,” in Gallery 1, features sculpture by Russ Bellamy that reflects Florida’s agricultural industry; “Back Roads to Back Homes,” in Gallery 2, features gripping works of photojournalism by Eric Dusenbery; “Black Box Projects,” in Gallery 3, features cutting-edge works by two recent New College alumni; and “Coming Home,” in Gallery 4, is an open, all-media, member’s-only exhibition juried by Megan Voeller, an art critic and associate curator of education at USF Contemporary Art Museum, and Susanna Spann, a working artist and instructor. An opening reception for all four exhibits is August 28, 5-7 p.m. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. For more information, call 941-365-2032 or visit www. artsarasota.org.
In “Organic Mechanic: Sculpture of Russ Bellamy,” the artist showcases works created from industrial materials that mimic tools and farm equipment used on rural Florida farms. Many of Bellamy’s powerful sculptures incorporate kinetic components to simulate the movements of these forms. According to the artist, the shapes and patterns in his two-dimensional work suggest aerial views of crops. “This exhibition reflects intuitive mechanics and engineering as they relate to rural farm life,” says Bellamy. “The ability to replace, repair, and combine machines to perform tasks is a skill often overlooked by the benefactors of this lifestyle. My goal is to shed light on the intelligence, creativity and problem-solving skills of those people who provide us with our most basic needs.”
The exhibit, “Back Roads to Back Homes,” comes to Art Center Sarasota via Cinderic Documentaries, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to document Florida’s vanishing cultures and terrain. This exhibit features the photojournalism of Eric Dusenbery, offering intimate portraits of small town and rural life. “Many think of Florida in terms of theme parks and beaches,” says Lisa Berger, Art Center Sarasota’s director. “This exhibition sheds a light on a side of Florida that’s not always in the spotlight.” Dusenbery, who works with a large format camera, says he has “always felt a desire to produce works for documentary use. In my travels through Florida, I find ways of life that are slowly disappearing. I photograph these environments in order preserve their rich texture and spirit, hoping to promote an appreciation for Florida’s rich cultural heritages, traditions and stories.”
The “Black Box Projects” program provides time, space and resources for young, emerging artists to see an ambitious project come to fruition. This cycle’s exhibition features innovative work by recent New College graduates Nathan Wilson and Gabriella Powell. Both artists will draw from their undergraduate work to create a collaborative installation.
Nathan Wilson is a 23-year-old sculptor who explores “scientifically inspired sculpture,” explaining that his undergraduate work concerned the determination of core properties, “with which we conceive the world. I find I can collect volumes of data in the experimental atmosphere a gallery cultivates.” The artist, who uses mainly steel, wood, and cardboard, says that his most recent pieces, “deal with applications of quasi-periodicity and rotational symmetries. I believe these and concepts of spatial growth are inherently enticing to most people.”
Gabriella Powell, also 23, says that her work is a sculptural exploration of everyday materials, natural patterns and otherworldly forms. “I enjoy looking into the overlooked and creating unexpected connections between recognizable materials and patterns that lie somewhere in between the defined and undefined.” The artist uses Q-tips, dryer sheets, spray foam, plastic silverware and other ordinary materials to “create patterns, creatures and environments that encourage a new relationship between the audience and the tools. In doing this, I am repurposing the mundane parts of our everyday lives into fantastical, otherworldly creations.”
“Coming Home” is an all-media, member’s-only juried exhibition. Online submissions can be completed on Art Center Sarasota’s website, www.artsarasota.org/callartists, through August 15. Hand-carried submissions will be accepted at Art Center Sarasota on August 19, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The jurors for this exhibition are Megan Voeller, an art critic and associate curator of education at USF Contemporary Art Museum, and Susanna Spann, a working artist and instructor. For more information about Art Center Sarasota, call 941-365-2032 or visit www.artsarasota.org.
About Art Center Sarasota
Art Center Sarasota was the first arts and cultural institution in Sarasota. It was founded in 1926 as the “Sarasota Art Association” by Marcia Rader, the art supervisor for the Sarasota County schools district. In the early years, the group met monthly and sponsored exhibits in rented facilities. The Association was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1943 and has been in its current location in the Sarasota Bayfront Cultural District since 1949. Art Center Sarasota is now a membership-based organization that offers curated and juried exhibitions, adult and youth education programs, outreach initiatives for underserved youth, and culturally related public programming. Art Center Sarasota’s mission is to inspire individual creative expression, nurture artistic talent and provide the community with accessible and diverse visual art opportunities.
Art Center Sarasota
707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone: 941-365-2032 § Fax: 941-366-0585
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday