Opening Reception with the Artists: Saturday, February 8th @ 6-9pm
Exhibition on View: February 8 – March 7, 2020
Gallery Hours: M-F 10-6, Sat 10-5
(St. Petersburg, Florida) — The Leslie Curran Gallery presents ADRIFT, featuring artwork by Benjamin Dimmitt, LeeAnna Repass, and Jan Richardson. The exhibition opens to the public on the evening of February 8th with a reception for the artists and remains on view through March 7th, 2020.
ADRIFT is a symbiosis of drawing, photography, and ceramics by three artists whose ideations on nature result in artworks that are subtle, elegant, and thought-provoking.
When faced with the vastness of LEEANNA REPASS’s waterscapes, one has an overwhelming experience of euphoria and awe at the near perfection of her renderings. BENJAMIN DIMMITT captures landscapes where water and land merge, exposing the beautiful intermingling of both growth and decay. Utilizing signs, symbols, and traditional patterns, JAN RICHARDSON derives inspiration from non-western cultures in forming her ship-like vessels.
This fusion of three distinct bodies of work within the gallery allows for a multi-dimensional experience on the subject of water and our complex relationship with it, creating an atmosphere of quiet contemplation where viewers are encouraged to examine the interconnectedness of culture, nature, and time. _____________________________
BENJAMIN DIMMITT has been photographing his native Florida since the early 1970’s. He seeks out landscapes where water and land merge and is attracted to scenes of animated and layered growth. His most recent project is an exploration of the impact of climate change on a remote spring-fed estuary that is succumbing to saltwater intrusion.
The landscape and flora here in Florida were imprinted on Dimmitt at an early age. The landscape of his youth had abundant undeveloped areas that he took for granted and that have since vanished. It is now the third most populous state with 1,000 people a day moving here. The remaining primitive places have been put at risk by rising sea levels, increasingly powerful storms and nearly unfettered development. He seeks out lush and fecund landscapes where land merges with water to photograph as this is the essential Florida for him. Dimmitt is most attracted to scenes of animated and layered growth that exhibit the urge for survival and the persistence of life. As global warming pushes seas further into estuaries and tidal zones, many miles of Florida’s the Big Bend coast have succumbed to saltwater intrusion. What was once lush, verdant semi-tropical forest is now a ruined landscape. This is the subject of Dimmitt’s latest project, An Unflinching Look, which focuses on the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. His intention in bearing witness to this ecosystem loss is to portray the damaged wetlands with respect, nuance and beauty.
LEEANNA REPASS examines life’s psychological and physical fluctuations and the relentlessness of time through pastel on paper drawings of water surfaces. These ideas are the motivation for developing her remarkable large-scale and highly-detailed images, resulting in a kind of representationalism that reaches toward a sublime abstraction.
Rendering water in a state of halted momentum for her is also about an ache for stillness. In depicting the surfaces, derived from such brief yet intricate moments in time, she emphasizes the urgency of both reverence for consciousness, and the futile urge to adhere to passing moments.
The distinctive hand built stoneware of JAN RICHARDSON, from the Ancient Warrior Vessels series, references shipbuilding of early cultures. The artist derives inspiration from Native American, Aboriginal, Islamic, African, and Asian art history, particularly in the surprising interrelationships of these distant cultures.
The incised linear embellishments of her surfaces are inspired by her study of signs, symbols, and traditional patterns found in boats and architecture around the world and throughout civilization. The interaction of her various oxides, slips, washes, and atmospheric firings (anagama and soda) produce complex color tonalities and evoke the patina of an unearthed artifact.
In her newest forms, described as Intergalactic Vessels, the surface embellishments still contain the ornamentation of ancient earth cultures, yet they appear designed for movement through space rather than water. _____________________________
BENJAMIN DIMMITT BIO
Benjamin Dimmitt was born and raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, followed by studies at the International Center of Photography in NYC, Santa Fe Photographic Workshop, NM, Santa Reparata Graphic Arts Centre in Florence, Italy, and City & Guilds of London Art School. Benjamin’s photographs have been exhibited in numerous museums and art centers around the world, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC, NY, Southeast Museum of
Photography, Daytona Beach, FL, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa, FL, and the Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO. His work is included in multiple collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and Eckerd
Dimmitt moved to New York City after college and taught for over a decade at the International Center of Photography. He now lives and works in Asheville, NC and teaches workshops throughout the Southeast, returning to the Gulf Coast of Florida regularly to photograph the ever-changing landscape.
LEEANNA REPASS BIO
LeeAnna Repass lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of the Atlanta College of Art, and has an exhibition list that features a decade of solo shows and inclusion in museum exhibitions across the Southeast. She also specializes in acrobatic movement, with forays into archaic needlework, and the slow resurrection of an antique house.
JAN RICHARDSON BIO
Jan Richardson has been working with clay since 1960. During that time, she has participated in more than 1000 juried art festivals and exhibitions, been the recipient of multiple awards. She continues to serve as an advocate and leader in her field, including roles as presenter, instructor, board member, and active participant in dozens of groups, including the Historic Kenwood Artist Enclave.
She moved to St. Petersburg in 2014 and has maintained an active studio at the Morean Center for Clay, where she teaches courses in ceramics as well as the Safety Harbor Art & Music Center. _____________________________
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