Angel Rivera Morales, “Dystopian Paradise I, II, and III”, 2023, Acrylic and oil on canvas
Gilbert Salinas, “As We Speak”, 2022, Mixed media on canvas
Juan Nieves Burgos, “Germinar de patria” and “Mundo sin tiranos”, 2019; Carmen Rojas Gines, “She Warrior-SW3 “Guerrera”-G3″, Steel metal
Valentin Tirado Barreto, “Salcedos Death- La Muerte de Salcedo” and “Rebellion of the slaves- Rebelión”, Acrylic on canvas
Currently at Creative Pinellas is the group exhibition Keepers of Heritage: Hidden Tales / Custodios de la Herencia: Cuentos Ocultos, on view until 10/15/23.
From the Creative Pinellas website-
Keepers of Heritage is an extended collaborative effort whose purpose is to document, present and promote the contributions of artists of Puerto Rican artists in the Caribbean archipelago and abroad.
Its roots go back to 2015 with the presentation of the “La Diaspora” exhibition at the Terrace Gallery in Orlando City Hall. Since then, the collective has expanded and traveled to institutions such as the National Museum for Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Chicago, the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, and the Albin Polasek Museum in Winter Park, Florida.
Over eight years, the collective has documented and presented the work of nearly 30 artists whose artistic practices include a diversity of mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpture, engraving, multimedia, and photography.
Launched in 2006 to support the next wave of contemporary portraiture in the United States, the National Portrait Gallery’s celebrated triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is a major survey of the best American portraiture selected by internationally prominent jurors and curators. Now in its sixth edition, The Outwin: American Portraiture Today presents 42 works selected from over 2,700 entries, that foreground the vibrancy and relevance of portraiture today. In addition to paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures, The Outwin includes video, performance art, and textiles, highlighting the limitless possibilities of contemporary portraiture.
Open to both emerging and established artists, this year’s entrants were encouraged to submit work that moves beyond traditional definitions of portraiture, and to explore a portrait’s ability to engage with the social and political landscape of our time. The variety of media and subjects featured in the exhibition invite audiences of all backgrounds to find relation in the human experience.
Since its inception, finalists for the exhibition have been determined by a panel of jurors including three Portrait Gallery staff members and four external professionals (critics, art historians, artists). The competition is endowed by and named for Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920 – 2005) who, for 19 years, volunteered as a docent at the Portrait Gallery. Her commitment to advancing the art of portraiture is continued through the support of her children.
Below are a selection of works from the show and information about them from the museum.
On walks around her Brooklyn neighborhood during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Alison Elizabeth Taylor encountered the hair groomer Anthony Payne, who,with his workplace shuttered, had taken his scissors, mirror, and chair to the streets. Payne sought to financially support the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, and turned over proceeds from his donation-based haircuts to organizations advocating for social justice.
Taylor’s process, one she developed and named “marquetry hybrid,” incorporates vivid paints, inkjet prints, and the natural grains of over one hundred veneers. Marquetry, with its inlaid combination of woods, can “memorialize,” Taylor notes. She acknowledges the history of the craft, which was favored by Louis XIV (1654-1715) when he was acquiring furniture for Versailles. By giving Payne this “royal treatment,” Taylor aims to pay tribute to him.”I want him to see how much his example meant to me,” she explained.
Kira Nam Greene, “Kyung’s Gift in Pojagi (From the series “Women in Possession of Good Fortune”)”, 2019 Oil, gouache, colored pencil, and acrylic ink on canvas
Kira Nam Greene– Kyung’s Gift in Pojagi (From the series “Women in Possession of Good Fortune”), 2019
In this mixed-media work, by Kira Nam Greene, the artist Kyung Jeon faces us with relaxed self-assurance. She is carefully positioned on her couch as her long black hair falls over her orange and turquoise tunic. In the foreground, a wooden cylinder containing paint brushes reveals her medium of choice. A plate with persimmons, consumed during the harvest festival Chuseok to celebrate good fortune, brims with potential while the rest of the painting pulsates with action.
Greene situates her friend in a fantasy world that echoes Jeon’s artwork and their mutual interest in the traditional Korean fabric quilting technique of pojagi. Two rabbits, representing Jeon’s Chinese zodiac, appear to be concocting a potion. Flowers sprout as kaleidoscopic patterns envelop her. The reference to pojagi, the visible paint drips in the background painting, and the hands of the sitter- left unfinished- invoke the role of tradition, process, and exploration in artmaking.
Stuart Robertson, “Self Portrait of the Artist” from the “Out and Bad” series, 2020, Aluminum, earth, acrylic paint, enamel, paper,metallic bubble wrap, sequins, and gold foil on wood
“In my world, skin is high-tech, amorphous, and armored,” the artist Stuart Robertson observes. “Blackness is percussive, lustrous, flexible, and indestructible.” Self-Portrait of the Artist depicts a fragment of a man- half of his face and his upper torso-shiny and monumental. A black beard delineates his jaw, and a small gold hoop adorns his ear. Although the figure is cropped beyond recognition, the work’s title provides a clue.
Through the alternation of flat and repoussé aluminum sheets, Robertson achieves a hypnotic effect, a poignant tension playing on what he reveals or hides from us viewers. His refusal to depict his entire face or figure challenges the notion of what a portrait should be and blocks the objectification of the Black male body, so often sexualized in visual culture. Simultaneously, Robertson delivers an irrepressible, resplendent image of that body, one inspired by the aesthetics of Jamaica’s dancehall culture.
Vincent Valdez, “People of the Sun (Grandma and Grandpa Santana)”, 2019, Oil on canvas
An elderly couple faces us with the gentle authority that old age provides. People of the Sun (Grandma and Grandpa Santana) is a portrait of Vincent Valdez’s maternal grandparents. “My grandparents spent most of their time outside,” the artist recalled. “Grandpa spent his entire life working under the blazing Texas sun as a carpenter and yard worker, cutting lawns in the wealthy communities of San Antonio right up until he passed away. Grandma was constantly working with her hands–raising kids, washing, sewing clothes, and tending the plants in her yard.”
The Santanas are depicted in a space defined by details the artist remembers: their vintage AM radio, their plants, their homemade clothes. The bedsheet, like the Virgen de Guadalupe’s aura, signals their spiritual role in the family. This portrait connects the pair to the Indigenous and mestizo cultures of the American Southwest, including the Aztec and Maya, who honored the sun.
For more work from the exhibition, please head to page 2.
The Highwaymen are a group of African American artists celebrated for their distinctive paintings of Florida’s natural environment. Working in and around the Fort Pierce area beginning in the 1950s, these self-taught artists depicted the state’s scenic coastline and wild backcountry, often in dazzling combinations of color and tone. Brilliant tropical sunsets, windblown palms, towering sunlit clouds, and blooming poinciana trees are among the many subjects that have become iconic images of Florida in part because of the paintings that the Highwaymen created. In the state’s postwar boom years their paintings found an enthusiastic audience among a growing population of new residents and visitors. Unrecognized by the region’s art establishment of galleries and museums, the Highwaymen by necessity catered directly to their patrons, selling their paintings door-to-door along such thoroughfares as Route 1. It was from this practice that the name “Highwaymen” was later coined.
The popularity of Highwaymen paintings waned in the 1980s as the vision of Florida was reimagined by an ever-increasing population and once-pristine landscapes were lost to development. Then in the mid-1990s a new generation of collectors, with fresh eyes, rediscovered the paintings and began to assemble significant collections. These collectors saw the art of the Highwaymen as an important artistic legacy and together with several writers, scholars, and enthusiasts began the process of establishing the historical context and reevaluation of their work. Books and articles followed, bringing a new level of recognition for the achievements of these artists and, with that, growing popular acclaim. The contribution of the Highwaymen to the cultural life of Florida was formally recognized in 2004 when the group of 26 artists was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen brings together 60 paintings by a core group of the Highwaymen including Al Black, Mary Ann Carroll, Willie Daniels, Johnny Daniels, James Gibson, Alfred Hair, Roy McLendon, Harold Newton, Sam Newton, Willie Reagan, and Livingston Roberts.
Focusing on work produced from the 1950s to the 1980s, the exhibition is an in-depth examination of the group’s initial period of success when their groundbreaking style of fast painting was being developed. Fast painting is a hallmark and essential innovation of the Highwaymen. Facing limitations imposed by the racial prejudice of their time, they had little or no access to formal training or to conventional art markets. To overcome these obstacles, they produced large numbers of works which could be sold at very affordable prices. Some estimates of the group’s overall production during their heyday exceed 200,000 paintings, with certain artists creating dozens of paintings per day. Their creative response to the racism they confronted resulted in an original artistic practice.
“Bryson Funmaker”, 2020, Inkjet print and beadwork
The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is currently showing an impressive collection of work from photographer Tom Jones. The photos, in multiple series, focus on Native American identity, history, cultural appropriation, and the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, of which Jones is a member. The work engages visually while also being informative.
From the museum’s press release for Tom Jones: Here We Stand–
For over twenty years, Tom Jones has created a visual record and exploration of his Ho-Chunk community. Born in North Carolina and raised in Orlando after a short stint in Minneapolis, Jones returned to the Midwest, moving to Wisconsin at age 15. He then made his way to Chicago for graduate school at Columbia College. Jones’s father worked with Kodak and owned a photography lab, helping shape the artist’s understanding of the practical aspects of photography from an early age. During graduate school, Jones began an ongoing photographic essay on the contemporary life of his Ho-Chunk community, beginning first with the elders.
The show comprises over a dozen series, ranging from the documentary to the conceptual. Of his series on Veterans’ memorials at the annual Black River Falls Pow-Wow, Jones says, “I was interested in the way families made very conscious decisions about how they want their loved ones memorialized.” Other series include the emotionally intimate, though larger than life, beaded portraits. “Beading is a metaphor for our ancestors watching over us. I am also referencing an experience I had when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My mother took me to see a Sioux medicine man named Robert Stead. He led the call to the spirits, the women began to sing, and the ancestors appeared as orbs of light. This event inspired the series Strong Unrelenting Spirits.“
Jones’s photographs examine identity and geographic place with an emphasis on the experience of Native American communities. He is interested in how American Indian material culture is portrayed through commodification and popular culture. Much of his work counteracts and corrects decades of misinformation and misrepresentation of American Indians, particularly targeting the field of U.S. history. Jones’s critical assessment of the romanticized representation of Native peoples in photography re-examines historic pictures taken by white photographers. This reassessment questions the assumptions about identity within the American Indian culture by non-natives and natives alike. “While each of Jones’s series is distinctly different, the message remains consistent: the Ho-Chunk are not vanishing or frozen in time,” said Dr. Jane Aspinwall, Senior Curator of Photography. “Jones’s photographs emphasize a solid, generational commitment to family, tribal community, and land. His photographs reclaim appropriated images and set the historical record straight.”
Below are a some selections from a few of the series in the exhibition.
“Trenton and Roger Littlegeorge”, 2011
“Dorothy Crowfeather”, 1999
“Dear America” series
About the Dear America series pictured above-
Using each line from the first two verses of the song, America (“My Country Tis of Thee”) as the title of fourteen of the works in the Dear America series, Jones questions whose history is being propagated here. With dry wit and an unfailing commitment to truth, Jones exposes atrocities like the massive effort by the U.S. government to assimilate Native American children to non-Native culture, the merciless seizing of Native lands, and the mass hanging of thirty-eight Sioux and Ho-Chunk men under President Lincoln in 1862. He also highlights Native American identity in relation to cowboy culture, the thoughtless misappropriation of Native American customs, and the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy on the U. S. Constitution. Jones’s aim is to broaden the “traditional” historical American narrative to be more representative of all people, especially the original inhabitants of this land.
About the Ho-Chunk Veterans Memorials, pictured above-
“I wanted to do this photographic essay to honor our veterans… One in four American Indian males is a United States veteran. Ho-Chunks have fought in every war for the United States except for the War of 1812. The Ho-Chunks did this even though they were not granted the right to vote until 1924, and during the Indian Removal Act, were removed at least seven times from Wisconsin by the United States government. This is the conviction we have as a people… I honor these people who give of themselves freely to protect this land. Traditionally, Ho-Chunks are taught to live their lives for the betterment of others. The veterans have done this.’
From Jones’ “”Native” Commodity” series
About the “Native” Commodity” series-
The Wisconsin Dells, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state, is home to spectacular natural scenery and the largest concentration of waterparks. Located on Ho-Chunk ancestral land, the area is now highly commercialized, with much of its identity resting on the appropriation of Native American stereotypical tropes. In this series, Jones documented this unabashed use of Native American symbols, images, and place names in advertising and popular culture. The sale of “Native American” crafts made in China, the liberal use of names of historically important figures like Black Hawk, and the indiscriminate mix of tribal communities into one conglomerate-tipis from the Plains next to totem poles from the Pacific Northwest next to Pueblo pottery. The Dells serve as a microcosm for how images of Native Americans are reproduced and reframed into a collective memory that is often distorted. Jones wryly noted that none of the Native American objects feature anything specifically attributable to the Ho-Chunk Nation.
Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroonian, b. 1967), “Road to Exile”, 2018. Wooden boat, cloth bundles, glass bottles, and plastic containers
Currently on view at Tampa Museum of Art is Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection. The exhibition highlights art from around the world that focuses on social issues.
From the museum-
“It is enough for the poet to be the bad conscience of his age”, stated Saint-John Perse in his 1960 Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Something similar could be said when artists address the transformations of society. We should not ask for measurable political action when their role is to point out, to render evident, to shake us from indifference. Art may not provide answers, but most of the time it interrogates and proposes uncomfortable issues, almost like rubbing salt in a wound. Artists are seldom celebratory, nor do they usually provide solutions-art’s potency lays in the symbolic efficacy of the actions it proposes more than in the practical effects they entail. Paraphrasing Brazilian poet Ferreira Gullar, “art exists because life is not enough.”
Time for Change is structured around six themes or nuclei: Entangled Histories, Extraction and Flows, Artivism, State Terror, Spatial Politics, and Emancipatory Calls. The sections are organically linked and establish dialogue and correlations among artworks that do not necessarily illustrate an argument nor are they contained by one. Entangled Histories proposes essential questions: how do we remember as a society? Who is forgotten by History, and for what reasons? Extraction and Flows examines displacement of peoples (usually forced), as well as the unequal logic on the territory. Artivism: Art in the Social Sphere focuses on political unrest and public protest on the streets. State Terror signals how protest is countered with repression and violence. The fifth section, Spatial Politics, reflects on modern architecture and its role in creating segregated communities. Lastly, Emancipatory Calls summons to reclaim difference, in the understanding that a more just society can only be built on respect for one’s right to be different.
A comprehensive look at the Jorge M. Pérez Collection reveals a tendency towards art with an interest in social change- art that examines the conflicts and contradictions of contemporary society, art that critically analyzes historical events and reframes them in the present. Many of the 60 works on view, due to their size or complexity have rarely been exhibited and are shown together for the first time in Time for Change.
In 2018, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York hosted Barthélémy Toguo’s first solo exhibition in the United States. While on site at the Parrish he made Road to Exile, a large-scale installation highlighting the plight of refugees, in particular African migrants in search of a better and safer quality of life. The installation features a life-sized wooden boat that rests on glass bottles. A metaphor of the dangerous voyage across the sea, the bottles represent the fragile line between life and death. The boat nearly overflows with bundles wrapped in brightly colored African textiles and serve as stand-ins for the body. In Road to Exile Toguo employs imagery of the boat as a means of escape rather than a vessel for exploration or adventure.
Below are images from the exhibition as well as some information on a few of the works.
Rashid Johnson, “A Place for Black Moses, (2010), bottom right sculpture, and Christopher Myers “How to Name a Famine, a Fire, a Flood”, 2019, left wall piece
Christopher Myers “How to Name a Famine, a Fire, a Flood”, 2019, Applique fabric
From the museum about the above work-
Storytelling anchors Christopher Myers’ artistic practice. Working in a range of media, he mines history and creates art that links the past to the present. Myers’ tapestries, such as How to Name a Famine, a Fire, a Flood draws on the rich tradition of quilt making as a quiet yet radical form of resistance and protest. The stories depicted center on the effects of globalization on individuals and more specifically, communities of color. In How to Name a Famine, a Fire, a Flood, Myers portrays three different natural disasters linked to climate change. With vivid color and patterned fabric, he illustrates the impact and devastation of these catastrophic events in neighborhoods with minority populations.
Carlos Garaicoa “La habitacion de mi negatividad (The Room of My Negativity)”, 2003, 39 ink and pencil drawings on rice paper and toy train installation
Carlos Garaicoa “La habitacion de mi negatividad (The Room of My Negativity)”, 2003 (detail)
Carlos Garaicoa “La habitacion de mi negatividad (The Room of My Negativity)”, 2003 (detail)
About the above work from the museum-
Carlos Garaicoa works in a variety of media, ranging from installation, photography, and video to performance and public interventions. His early work in the 1990s focused on the urban decay of Havana as result of its political climate and economic strife. La habitacion de mi negatividad (The Room of My Negativity), turns Garaicoa’s lens inward. In this installation, comprised of toy trains and drawings of medical instruments, the artist explores his psyche and subconscious. The train’s engine pulls words that represent Garaicoa’s negative thoughts. Each train is connected to thin red thread that acts as a vein or conduit for the negative thoughts to travel. Arrange in a curved form, the train shapes mimic brain waves or the slink of a snake. Garacoia’s drawings of medical tools serve as mechanisms in which the negatively could be excavated from one’s mind.
Esterio Segura, “La historia se muerde la cola (History Bites its Tail)”, 2015, (statue bottom left); Anamaría Devis, “Infinito (Infinite)”, 2018(upper right)
Anamaría Devis, “Infinito (Infinite)”, 2018, Ink on paper
Anamaría Devis, “Infinito (Infinite)”, 2018, Ink on paper (detail)
About this work from the museum-
Anamaría Devis’ large-scale installation Infinito (Infinite) represents the artist’s study of African history in San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia. Escaped slaves founded Palenque and it was the first free town in the Americas during colonial times. While researching this history, Devis discovered that in this region of Colombia, braided hairstyles worn by Africans served as escape maps. Braid patterns reflected safe points in the area’s topography. This silent form of resistance inspired her to look at other bodily topographies like the characteristics of fingerprints, which also had names associated with cartography such as crossing, island, and fork. Devis then began to create drawings that incorporated footprints, braid patterns, and elements of nature. From the drawings she made stamps and each panel of paper that comprises Infinito (Infinite) is rendered from Devis’ various imprints. The result is an abstract representation of the body and landscape visualized through mapping and codes.
Jonathas de Andrade, “A batalha de todo dia de Dona Luzia, de Tejucupapo (The daily battle of Dona Luzia, from Tejucupapo)”, 2022 Images printed on raw falconboard
About this work from the museum-
Jonathas de Andrade collaborated with the Brazilian theater company Teatro Heroínas de Tejucupapo to create a visual reenactment of the historic 1646 Battle of Tejucupapo. For nearly 25 years, between 1630 and 1654, the Dutch occupied the northeast of Brazil including Tejucupapo, a small community in the city of Goiana. During the Battle of Tejucupapo, a brigade of black and indigenous women forced Dutch soldiers to retreat by arming themselves with household and farm objects. The Teatro Heroínas de Teiucupapo commemorates this female-led rebellion each April by restaging the battle with local actors.
Artist Jonathas de Andrade celebrates the power and courage of Tejucupapo’s women with his large-scale photographic installation A batalha do todo dia de Tejucupapo (The Battle of Tejucupapo). The work on this wall, A batalha de todo dia de Dona Luzia, de Tejucupapo (The daily battle of Dona Luzia, from Tejucupapo), presents everyday objects from the home of one of the women participating in Teatro Heroínas de Tejucupapo. This inventory explores the daily struggles, as well as strength, of Brazil’s black and indigenous women that have spanned centuries.
Florida CraftArt (formerly known as Florida Craftsmen) was organized in 1951 by Stetson University art professors Elsa and Louis Freund as a statewide organization celebrating fine craft. As the only statewide nonprofit representing Florida’s fine craft artists, Florida CraftArt is a member-supported organization helping mentor and advance artists. Now headquartered at 5th Street and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, this vibrant organization has been at the center of St. Pete’s artistic renaissance.
The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is delighted to partner with Florida CraftArt to showcase their permanent collection and enduring contribution to Florida’s cultural heritage. The goals of this collection are to recognize the significance of Florida’s fine craft art in our broad artistic landscape, document the rich tradition of craft art statewide and beyond, and to educate and inspire future generations of artists and arts appreciators.
Clearwater Main Library is currently showing Cuba: The Natural Beauty, a selection of photographs by Clyde Butcher. Butcher is famous for his large black and white photos of nature, taken with a large-format 8×10″ or 11×14″ view camera.
About the show from the Clearwater site-
Commissioned by the United Nations to create a portfolio of the mountainous lands of Cuba, Clyde Butcher set out on three week-long expeditions into unfamiliar lands. He explored the island country’s varied geographic regions, from the Sierra Maestra Mountains in Cuba’s eastern Granma province, to the southern coast between Manzananilo and Santiago de Cuba. He ventured to places including Baracoa in the northeast, the southern waterfalls of the Serra de San Juan, and the mogotes of the west in the Piña del Rio region.
While taking photographs for the Conference for the Sustainable Habitat of the Mountains, Clyde thought about being part of an event changing history for the better, and enthusiastically saw an opportunity to make a positive difference. His photography transcends political boundaries, challenging us to work together to protect natural places across the globe.
This exhibition will continue until 10/31/23.
This past Wednesday (8/16) Butcher discussed his work at Clearwater’s Capitol Theater. It was a pleasure to hear him discuss his history, his travels in Cuba, his work, a visit with President Jimmy Carter, and life since his stroke. He will often sit for hours, under an umbrella, just to get his shot. It was a thoughtful, humorous, and often inspiring lecture.
Norbert Gonsalves, “Mood Indigo” and “Mellow Yellow”
“Interrupted Structure #61” by Babette Herschberger, Mixed media collage and acrylic on panel and “Stoneware Cups”
“Maia” and “Hektor” clay works by Craig Wood
Ceramic pieces by Jennifer Rosseter
Above are a few pieces from some of the artists in Salon Gestalt at the Morean Center for Clay in St. Pete, Florida.
From the center about the show-
Salon Gestalt is an annual exhibition of work created by the studio artists working out of the Morean Center for Clay. As the largest clay center in the Southeast United States, we take pride in the diverse collection of work that is created within these walls. Since 2001 our historic train station has brought together innumerable artists who, despite their individuality, find common ground in a shared passion for clay. Our center is a space where artists engage in dialogue, exchange ideas, and challenge one another. There is power in community, and clay has the unique ability to foster a strong sense of camaraderie. In sharing space, these artists support one another and grow together, nurturing both individual artistic practice and collective ambition.
Salon Gestalt is a reinterpretation of the Paris Salon. While the original exhibitions have a history of exclusion and classism, our revision of the Salon rejects the notion that there is hierarchy in the arts. The Morean Center for Clay is a space where the novice and experienced artists can come to create and learn in a communal environment where everyone is accepted as equal. Together these artists form a collection of work that creates something greater than the sum of its parts.
For more about the artists pictured above, head to the websites and Instagram links below.
The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art is organized by the Orlando Museum of Art to bring new recognition to the most progressive artists in the State. Each year OMA’s curatorial team surveys artists working throughout the State before inviting ten to participate. One artist will receive a $20,000 award made possible with the generous support of local philanthropists Gail and Michael Winn. Artists range from emerging to mid-career, often with distinguished records of exhibitions and awards that reflect recognition at national and international levels. In all cases, they are artists who are engaged in exploring significant ideas of art and culture in original and visually exciting ways.