Ars Musae: An Open Studio Summer Residency and Exhibition
July 16th – September 7th, 2017
“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and time again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.”
–Homer, The Odyssey
And with this, my journey came to be. A journey filled with research, long working nights, and little rest. My Muses have helped me redefine the epic poem. In my story, it is the women, not the men, who are triumphant; it is a tale of mighty men, being brought to their knees by powerful women. Utilizing their feminine gifts, from the Lotus Eaters, to the Sirens, to Calypso and Circe, they defeat mighty warriors without lifting a finger. Rather than strength of arms, it is power of will that defines the capability of these women; therefore embracing femininity rather than trying to adopt masculine brutality. This is not a work meant to elevate women above men, but show that women posses a power that men do not, one that can match the strength of men without the need for violence; the power of will and whiles.
Inspired by the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, this body of work focuses on the women’s perspective, both those that helped Odysseus on his journey, and those that hindered him. The essence of triumph, of conquering the mountains in one’s own life. My journey, and the journey of all women. A psychological body of work meant to embrace our uniqueness and beauty.
I aim to inspire all women, especially my little girls and their long journey through life.
Marzia Ransom was born and raised in Italy, in a small town near Venice, but spent most her adult life in United States. She earned her first degree in Italy in Graphic Design and Photography. Once in the States, Ransom received a BFA in Studio Art, from the University of West Florida and an MFA in Painting and Photography from MassArt Boston. She currently resides and works in Pensacola, FL with her family.
Please check out some behind the scenes videos of Marzia in the studio:
- Ars Musae: The Making of the Odyssey Frieze (Episode One)
- Ars Musae: The Making of the Odyssey Frieze, Penelope’s Tapestry, and Athena (Episode Two)
SynThesis: BFA Group Exit Show Fall 2016
Exhibition: November 17th – December 11th, 2016
Featuring art by Patti Gillepsie, Lexie Reames, Emily Teets, and Chance Wallis
The Art Gallery (TAG) at the University of West Florida (UWF), presents “SynThesis, a Group BFA Exit Exhibition,” of work by graduating Bachelor of Fine Art students Patti Gillespie, Lexie Reames, Emily Teets, and Chance Wallis. Their work incorporates a variety of media including drawing, painting, ceramics, and sculpture.
Synthesis was featured on the University of West Florida Center for Research and Economic Opportunity’s website:
The 50th Anniversary Alumni Invitational
Exhibition: October 6 – November 10
Artist Talk by Haley Lauw: November 10 | 5pm
Haley Lauw graduated from the BFA program at UWF in 2012 and currently lives and works in Tallahassee, Florida. She is an adjunct professor of Printmaking-and-sometimes-Sculpture at Florida State University, Executive Co-Director of 621 Gallery, a nonprofit arts space, and, admittedly, a romantic sap. She has served as the faculty advisor for the FSU Print Club and was recently a summer resident artist at The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, New York.
Haley has been pulling prints for over a decade and utilizes traditional and contemporary printmaking processes in combination with object arrangements to tell sentimental stories. She rebuilds found-and-collected objects by dissecting details into separate layers and matching colors with obsessive attention to detail. In her (very limited) free time, she: plays with things in her industrial-park-warehouse-studio, practices guitar, and reads too many books at one time.
The Irish Experience
Featuring art by students Jasmine Bennett, Jaime Diffee, Jasmine Holmes, Lyani La Santa, Olivia O’Hern, Morgan Walker, and professor Nicholas Croghan.
Exhibition: September 9 – October 1
The Irish Experience Program gave me the opportunity to explore a beautiful and old country full of history. I was met with amazing hospitality and an eagerness to help, not only from everyone I met across Ireland, but also people that were part of the program. I wasn’t expecting to see works of art done by my favorite artists, get valuable life advice from professional working artists, push past personal limitations, and experience unbelievable moments I would never have had the chance to get otherwise.
My artwork included in the Irish Experience Exhibition deals with isolation and the insignificance one can feel in a new place when surrounded by overwhelming beauty. The work also reflects the serenity that accompanies isolation, the meditative peace when you become part of the environment, anonymity, and the acceptance of events that need to unfold. In the work on display, I primarily focused on drawing, printmaking, painting, and sculpture. In my process I use traditional materials and methods.
While on our travels of the Emerald Isle, I was captivated by its rich history. Listening to the citizens tell us tales dating back hundreds of years and hearing such charismatic ballads of lore filled my mind with fantastic images. I decided to expand on this and base my works on prominent figures in Celtic mythos. Choosing the figures came easily, as many of them have had their stories told in many forms of media within the States. Using watercolors my attempt was to recreate textures that were experienced, such as the many cliff sides, emerald waters, and beautiful plant life corresponding to each story. Visiting Ireland and experiencing its proud people, has done nothing besides light the strongest fire within me. Having the most dedication that I have ever felt, returning to such a beautiful country will surely come very soon.
Lyani La Santa
Having the opportunity to travel and experience Ireland, I wanted to focus on ‘the moment’ of all the places we visited, how best to capture those moments. My process began with first taking the time to appreciate what I was seeing and then trying to find a way to translate my surroundings into something tangible and yet still foreign. The Emerald Isle has such a diverse and rich landscape of coastlines, mountains, and architecture, and trying to capture every place in either watercolor or photography. This body of work consists of these moments of reflection, how I personally saw my current world around me, and how could best capture each moment quickly and make them my own. http://lasanta-ireland.blogspot.com
The idea behind this body of work was finding the beauty in the ordinary and immortalizing it. I am interested in the average person or animal living lives of contentment. For the work in this exhibition, I chose figures that stood out in the moment. While abroad I found new mediums and rediscovered old loves that had been lost in the rush of life. Ireland gave me the chance to slow down and appreciate things anew.
The Irish Experience was unbelievable and life changing. I never imagined I would have the opportunity to visit such an amazing country. Ireland, with its breathtaking landscape filled with rolling green hills and sublime cliff sides, also mesmerized me with its incredible history and culture. The people we met and the places we visited were filled with such a sense of life and wonder that I had never before experienced. I grew not only as an artist as I advanced my skills and learned from multiple inspiring artists in the town of Carlow, but I also grew as a person as I developed new relationships and discovered new things about myself
Each and every moment in time genuinely leaves a mark on a person’s life which affects their personality, psyche, and being. Every event is carved into a person’s particular timeline. In this body of work, my goal was to depict every moment that impacted me on this journey. I hope to evoke the same feelings in others that I experienced when the moment was taking place. Everyone has an incredibly unique history filled with their own noteworthy moments encompassing their feelings and emotions. I aim for the viewer to connect with each piece on their own personal level as well and cause their own memories to resurface.
Thank you to UWF and the amazing professors who accompanied us on this trip, and Carlow College and its amazing faculty. Special thank you to Howard Reddy, Patrick, Sister Mary, Catherine Ryan, Jacinta Crowley-Long, David King, John Markowitz and Nick Croghan. Thank you to my friends and family who have always been my biggest support. Also, a big thank you to those who made this trip a memory I’ll always cherish: the Theatre and Music groups, and, of course, Team Art.
Summer Artist in Residence
July 27 – August 31
Josh Green, a UWF Alumnus, has been invited to return for this residency to lead several anatomical figure-drawing workshops during the month of August. Since graduating he has spent the last two years studying drawing and painting at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. Workshops will be held every Wednesday night in August from 6pm-9pm. Seating is limited and is open to the public by reservation only.
To register for a workshop, or for additional questions about the workshops and summer residency hours, please email Gallery Director Nick Croghan at firstname.lastname@example.org. or contact us by phone at 850.474.2696.
The completed exhibition, with works from the residency and his time in Italy, opens to the public on August 16. A closing reception will take place on Thursday, August 25, from 5-7 p.m. at TAG located on the UWF Pensacola Campus in The Center for Fine and Performing Arts, Building 82. All events are free and open to the public.
All workshops will be held at UWF in the CFPA, building 82 room 242
Wednesday August 3: Torso Anatomy Workshop 6-9pm
Wednesday August 10: Anatomy of the Legs Workshop 6-9pm
Wednesday August 17: Head and Shoulder Girdle Anatomy Workshop 6-9pm
Wednesday August 24: Anatomy of the Arms Workshop 6-9pm
Participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies.
Charcoal and newsprint will be provided.
Exhibition Closing Reception August 25, 5-7pm
A Public Lecture and Workshop on Art, Science and Technology Hybrids
Co-Investigators Thomas Asmuth (Department of Art) and Sara Gevurtz (Virginia Commonwealth University) will present a talk on their UWF Florida Research Fellowship funded project, Turbidity Paintings, a collaboration between artists and environmental scientists at UWF and VCU. The project uses submersible remote operated vehicles to collect images and data. This information is used to inform art installations and create datasets. The talk will be held in the CFPA, room 206 at 5pm.
Low-Cost Photometry Sensors – an Art, Science, and Technology Workshop
As part of their UWF Florida Research Fellowship funded project, Turbidity Paintings, Thomas Asmuth (Department of Art) and Sara Gevurtz (Virginia Commonwealth University) will lead a workshop on constructing inexpensive art-science research tools. This is a hands-on exercise to build a low-cost photometry sensor for water quality testing. Limited seats, fee: $20. The workshop will be held in building 82 room 264 on 3/11/16 at 1pm.
Barbara Larson, Professor on Modern Art History at the University of West Florida, has recently been named Editor of Ashgate Publishing’s new Blog Series: Science and the Arts since 1750.
Please click on the link below to read Barbara Larson’s new blog on science and art for Ashgate. On the blog, Larson discusses the binary, western division of the arts and sciences, including the STEM vs. STEAM debate, as well as other battles and collaborations between the fields.
The series Science and the Arts since 1750 will include both edited volumes and monographs that explore the arts—painting and sculpture, drama, dance, architecture, design, photography, and popular culture materials–as they intersect with emergent scientific theories, agendas, and technologies, from any geographical area after 1750.
Manifestations of the Torso: Open Studio Summer Residency
July 7th – September 3rd, 2015
Dale Castellucci is a classically trained artist whose work deals with the exploration and mediation of the world around her. Her work explores a variety of mediums in an attempt to reflect aspects of experience and the nature of subjectivity. She currently teaches Painting, Drawing, Sculpture and Design at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. In addition to painting and drawing, her processes include bronze casting and mold making. She received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She has worked in multiple foundries and assisted sculpture and foundry classes. She has sought inspiration from her travels abroad in parts of Europe, Scandinavia, Greece, and Turkey.
Please visit the artist’s website at:
Nina Kawar: Liminal
Pain and suffering are a reoccurring part of the human condition. Life’s adversities and challenges are both a physical and psychological process of infliction and renewal that is temporary, and with time comes healing. In a liminal space between initial pain and restoration, the body, mind, and spirit experience multiple stages of healing.
As human beings, we are constantly changing and evolving within the self and often such changes stem from these difficult transitions. It is through memory that we create self-continuity and how we construct our personal identities. Once finding renewal and stability in this psychological space, this experience does not cease to exist, but remains as a reminder of who we once were and our capabilities to endure.
In my work I am examining the transitions that occur within the space of healing and how damage and repair generates contemplation and personal growth. My installation references both the visceral and psychological stages within healing through the use of material, form, color and process. The abstracted forms made of fibers, clay slip and wax further reference bone, skin and tissues both fragmented and repaired. The spatial environment evokes the literal and metaphorical notion of restoration through a visual, olfactory and physical experience. By looking up, navigating the space, and engaging in its details, the conditions embody personal reflection of life passages and the hope for transcendence. Through this installation I have set in motion the possibility of catharsis for those who engage my work fully.
Nina will be giving an artist lecture at UWF in building 82, room 206 at 5pm Thursday January 15. For more information please visit her website at:
Above all, I am a painter. No matter what medium I use, I approach the image-making process in a painterly fashion. There is an underlying fascination with multiplying objects or images within my work. I have a dear connection with self-portraiture and consider my work to be the ultimate clone of myself. Furthermore, to produce what never existed, prior to my hand forging it into existence, is satisfying to my soul. Essentially, generating and materializing my ideas allows me to feel like I truly exist; My art reveals another essence of me that does not live in the human form. I actualize, therefore I am.
Jack Stenner synthesizes culture, hardware and software to create conceptual work taking forms such as networked installation and experimental cinema. He is Associate Professor of Art + Technology at the University of Florida. His work investigates our sociocultural conceptions of “reality” by looking at forms and means with which ideology is embedded, particularly how meaning is manipulated and transcoded in “place.” To this end, his work explores hybrid subjectivity and the “grammatization” of human action. Using electronic media, he encourages us to reconsider what we think we know about our world and imagine an alternative utopia.
Dale Daniel Leys
In all my work in drawing, I am interested in the interrelation of events as a means of describing time.
I am attracted to the use of simple visual structures through which I can form a sense of environment.
My drawings are particularly influenced by the fields of science, philosophy and psychology, as well as travel experiences and my immediate surroundings. Growing up near the Wisconsin coast of Lake Michigan I had many occasions to observe and collect the varying natural specimens that would wash up on shore.
For the past 30 years I have been living and teaching drawing at Murray State University in the river country of western Kentucky and Tennessee, in close proximity to the Land Between the Lakes shoreline where I observe and collect those offerings.
When I draw I come closer to understanding not only the subject matter and space presented, but also what that object/space experience represents metaphorically and psychologically. In my drawings I am interested in experiencing the object and the space as one in the same.
Jason Pinckard was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida were he currently lives and works. He recently received his BFA degree at the University of West Florida. He was the recipient of the 2014 BFA Studio award, 2013 Blue Morning Scholarship, 2013 TAGGED People’s Choice Award, and the Painting Award at the University of West Florida.
My current body of work concerns my confrontation of the photographic image. Using digital manipulation and painting combined with photographic processes and materials, I create pieces that defy traditional classification. I am conscious of the illusory versus the real and the literal versus the abstract in order to create works that oscillate between clarity and ambiguity. The overarching concept of memory drives the selection of subject, resource material, and technical execution. By fragmenting, layering, painting over, and manipulating imagery, I evoke contemplation of time, loss, and universal versus personal memory.
Sara Gevurtz is currently teaching digital art classes at the University of West Florida. She graduated from the CADRE Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University where she received a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media. She received her undergraduate degree in Evolution, Behavior and Ecology Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2008. During her time at UC San Diego, she also minored in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts and well as Studio Art with an emphasis in drawing and painting. Her artwork explores the junction between art and science. Her current work has been focusing on ecological and environmental issues. Gevurtz has shown work to a wide variety of audiences, including showing to scientists at the Climate, Ecosystems and Resources in Eastern California Symposium held in Bishop, California in 2008, as well as participating in a collaborative projects that were shown at the Zero1 Biennial in 2010 and 2012, and ISEA 2011. Gevurtz has worked with international recognized artists such as Miguel Palma and Beatriz da Costa.
Gevurtz has been drawing practically since she could hold a pencil. Art skipped a generation, as neither of her parents are artists, but her grandmother is. Her grandmother is also the one who told her, “Sara, don’t be an artist.” Therefore, Gevurtz ended up studying biology in lovely San Diego. There were worse places to spend four years. Being an artist seemed too hard to resist, and she ended up quickly thereafter in San Jose for graduate school. Though now she has a really entertaining time trying to explain to people what exactly she does.
My work explores the intersection of art and science. Having studied biology, with a focus on ecology and evolution, I seek through my work to bring my background and research skills into the realm of art. As an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego, I was interested in topics involving ecology that related to our environment and how we would preserve our environment going forward. Reflecting this interest, my artwork has explored various different topics ranging from biodiversity to endangered species. It thereby demonstrates the ramifications of science, investigating and communicating the implications of scientific principles or data through the language of art.
The means by which I bridge the gap between art and science vary. The traditional methods of conveying scientific data, such as charts and graphs, influence my work. The multimedia projects that I produce reflect this influence. I use a variety of media, choosing the most appropriate to best reflect the underlying concept. Working in an interdisciplinary manner across different content and media, my goal is to bridge art and science, thereby creating a dialogue between the two fields. I believe that art and science can benefit from such an exchange. Even though one could argue that science is more rationally structured than art, they are really not so different. They both question the world and how things work. Though they are similar, I believe art can provide a more open-ended means of exploration.
VAL “Exploring Science and Art”
Sara Gevurtz is an interdisciplinary artistic working at the intersection of art and science. Her background in biology, specifically focusing on environmental and ecological issues, plays a key role in her artwork. Her work tries to bring awareness, understanding and curiosity about different issues in ecology or science today. She will be focusing on two projects, or series, where she tries to bring awareness to endangered species and where she explores what it means to use algae as an artistic medium or concept.
Joy Holland is currently visiting professor in the Department of Art of UWF. She is an interdisciplinary practitioner in design, art and architecture. Public projects include work with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, the Los Angeles Metro Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Pero, Milan, in Italy, and Scottsdale Public Art, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Private projects include architecture commissions for buildings by Ray Kappe and Whitney Sanders in Los Angeles. Holland is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright grant to Milan, Italy. She has delivered public lectures and presentations about her work at universities in both North America and Europe, as well as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Cultural Association of Pero, Milan, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. Holland graduated summa cum laude from Temple University, Tyler School of Art with a B.F.A. in sculpture and from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with an M.F.A. in art.
A major interest in my current work is defining art in the public realm through creative place-making, including public events that contribute to a city’s creative, cultural, and economic vitality. An example is Spring Pavilion (Lounge), which inaugurated during Milan Design Week in Pero, Milan, in 2012. Pero is a post-industrial city undergoing urban redevelopment, addressing contemporary issues of immigration, environmental sustainability, and economic transition to the service sector. As one of many diverse initiatives in urban revitalization in Northern Italy, the Public Design Festival of Milan Design Week presents short-term projects as what I call “gestures” to propose new solutions for thriving and living in 21st century urban space. With this in mind, I developed Spring Pavilion (Lounge) as a flexible, modular structure that can be assembled in any number of ways to create a vivid, unique public space that facilitates human interaction and participation. I created this project in collaboration with the City of Pero and community members through the Cultural Association of Pero, with the goal of increasing the city’s vibrancy and economic and social well-being. The City of Pero took ownership of Spring Pavilion (Lounge) and now manages the installation and de-installation of the project for public events throughout the year. It has been installed in the grass lawn of Park “Via Figino/Via Giovanni XXIII” for a concert, inside the new Pero Elementary School, and on the asphalt of the “Via Sempione”, the main boulevard of the city.
Scottsdale Public Art (SPA) in Arizona recognized the value and potential of the Spring Pavilion (Lounge) from Pero, Milan. Consequently, SPA commissioned Spring/Autumn Pavilion: Desert Series, which I created for the Canal Convergence events, Water + Art + Light (Fall 2013) and Spring Equinox (Spring 2014). The project was installed at the Solari Bridge and Plaza, along the Arizona Canal during the 4-day event, which included musical performances and nighttime mixers/parties. With Spring/Autumn Pavilion: Desert Series, the same spirit remains: to create an improvised, flexible space for human interaction and engagement, something to be used and enjoyed by city residents during public events for years to come. The structure can be built as multi-leveled clusters and/or singles, the latter of which people can move as needed, similar to furniture.
Thomas Asmuth is an artist and holds an appointment of Assistant Professor at the University of West Florida where he teaches courses in mechatronics, physical computing, and experimental media at the UWF Department of Art. Asmuth utilizes science and technology as a method and media to explore culture, aesthetics, social practices, and performance. Asmuth is an alumnus of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media at San José State (MFA 2008) and holds a BFA in Painting (2000) from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Artist Fun Fact: Asmuth’s eclectic personal history is a blueprint of the wide-ranging practices in his portfolio. While a physics student at Purdue University in the late 80’s, Asmuth “discovered” a deep interest in art which in turn was the impetus for travels throughout the western United States. From 1989 to 2009 Asmuth resided in the Sierras, Chico CA, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland OR, Humboldt County CA, and Oakland. Over this 20 year chapter he also engaged a series of careers including work in sales, a baker, a student of religion, history, and sociology as well as painting and art, the remodel of a 1923 Craftsman Bungalow, and more.
Asmuth has a fanatic zeal for defying labels and complicating disciplines as a method. In 2003, Asmuth was encouraged by a physicist friend to reincorporate scientific and technological media into his art. That year he built a series of meditative chambers that included home-made particle physics instruments which unveiled subatomic processes like cosmic rays, Muon decays and Alpha particles for the viewer. The subjects of Asmuth’s current research include autonomous robotics, portraits and imaging of the ‘Space Race’, invisible spectra, aesthetics of voxels, and wearable computing.
Asmuth’s works and collaborations have been exhibited in the United States and internationally including Brick City Gallery (Missouri State University), 319 Scholes (NYC), turbulence.org (sic), the 17th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2011, Istanbul), the Laguna Art Museum (CA), 2006 Zer01 Biennial (2006, 2008, & 2012 San José, CA), Salisbury University (MD), and the Francis Tang Teaching Museum (Saratoga Springs, NY).
Richard Rodriguez is a BFA candidate at UWF. Last year, Richard’s piece untitled won honorable mention during the TAGGED student exhibition at UWF. Richard currently has an exhibition “Beyond the Frame” on display in downtown Pensacola at Artel. His photography won Artel’s Best of Show award from the “Time” exhibit and is being featured in the Awards Alcove until October 4th.
Artist Fun Fact: I have way too many old cameras. I worked at a flour mill in Los Angeles during the summers. My first experience with a 35mm camera was at the beach in Hawaii. I was 4 years old, and my dad was stationed at Wheeler Army Air Base. The lens from that camera is one of my prized possessions.
We are taught that the print is the ultimate goal in photography: that the material is just a way to get there. With the understanding that a negative is just that, the opposite of the image we would like to see. The question that I am trying to answer is what is the medium of photography? Is it that print? Is it the content? Is it the realistic representation?
I believe my answer is none of those. To me, now, the medium of photography is the light sensitive material itself. The lens is the tool we use to burn the image into this medium. That burn forever stays on the film. There is a particularly interesting process that can be described in linking that negative to the physical world. Basically, light touches the subjects, reflects off of them, and is directed through the lens. This light is captured on the sensitive surface, and if it is film, physically alters, and adds energy to the emulsion. So, in that medium of photography, film photography, the image has captured the light that once touched the subject.
I believe my consciousness to these ideas helps to direct my photography. My work is about exploring the medium, as a material. It is about that relationship to the physical world, and the physicality of the film.
Lyda Toy is an accomplished artist whose focus is painting and print. Her work experience includes Artist in Residence at the 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, FL, Gallery Assistant for Gadsden Arts Inc., and art instructor at a variety of institutes. She currently holds the Faculty Associate of Art position at UWF. This Fall she will be teaching drawing one, painting one, and printmaking. Her most recent works are being displayed in The Art Gallery, TAG, in building 82 on UWF’s main campus. The exhibition Impressions features watercolor paintings she did during her recent trip to the Virgin Islands. The exhibition also features Fred Meyers’ most recent pastel paintings. Impressions will be on display from July 19-August 3 in The Art Gallery. TAG will be hosting an opening reception for the artists on July 19th from 4-7 in building 82 at the gallery.
Artist Fun Fact: Lyda plays guitar, banjo, and the recorder for fun!
After recieving my MFA in studio arts at the Florida State University, School of Visual Arts and Dance, I went on to experience many areas in art services in addition to teaching college art courses since 1997. I taught at Florida State University in Tallahassee for four years and have been teaching at the University of West Florida since 2002. For two years, I was artist in residence at the 621 Gallery, a non-profit community gallery, in Tallahassee, Florida. I have worked as a gallery assistant and as a master printer for four years for professor emeritus William Walmsley. I have had numerous collaborations with other artists and writers. My work is in many private and corporate collections in the United States. In April 2010, I won a purchase award from the Art in State Buildings program sponsored by the University of Florida. The seven-panel oil painting is in the permanent collection of the University of Florida in Gainesville and is on view at the new health center on the university’s campus. My work is represented by Art House 5, Kathy Gibson, art consultant from Tampa, Florida.