From cottages to sunsets, there’s no doubt that the Caribbean is synonymous with bright, bold and uplifting colors. It’s the kind of palette that will strike you when you visit Cuban-American artist Lilian Garcia-Roig’s solo exhibition “Hyphenated Nature” at [email protected]Campus C Ybor City.
Part of the first generation to immigrate from Cuba, Garcia-Roig uses landscape painting – mostly on location or outdoors – as a way to connect with the natural places of his new homeland.
“Hecho con Cuba: Tribute to Vinales”, a large painting with ten square panels, is one of the first paintings you will see upon entering the gallery. Drawing inspiration from his Bauhaus-centric art education, in particular Josef Alber’s Tribute to the Square series, the artist has created his own homage, but one that combines his fascination with the relative nature of color with elements of its cultural roots.
“Instead of just thinking about color theory, I chose the colors for this room based on the homes of the people who live there. Many homes in the Caribbean are brightly colored, and for several reasons. The first is that ‘they love these colors, but a lot of people color them as much as possible because they know house colors fade over time and paint can be hard to get,’ says Garcia-Roig.
In addition to these colored squares, the artist uses Cuban soil to paint the landscapes around these houses. In this way, she literally superimposes Cuban soil on a modernist grid, fusing formal and personal artistic histories.
“I see myself using the landscape (perceptually and conceptually) as a metaphor for displacement, or the desire to connect to a place. This is how I try to fit myself into the canon of Cuban painting since I was never allowed to be part of this culture and history on many levels,” said the 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and Director of the studio art department at FSU.
On February 17, the gallery will hold an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. for the exhibition, where Garcia-Roig will talk about his work and process. Since the artist lives in Tallahassee, where there aren’t as many Latinos, she especially wants to encourage the Cuban community to come out so they can make connections and have conversations about their experiences.
“This work does not scream that I am Cuban but it is essentially about trying to negotiate the complex proposition of sense of place and belonging that influences so much the construction of personal identity,” says Garcia-Roig. “In this show, I hope to visually cut through both my perceptual and conceptual approaches to experiencing and connecting to the landscape through my Cuban-American lens.”
Read more here: Hyphenated Nature and Upcoming Events in the Gallery.
More arts events in the Tampa Bay area in February
FMoPA in Tampa — Florida, and in particular the Tampa Bay area, is known for its incredible sunsets and sunrises; you never know if it will be a soft display or a dramatic array of intense pinks, oranges and yellows. If you enjoy gazing at the sky as much as I do, you’ll want to stop by Suzanne Williamson’s solo exhibition at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts titled the language of light, which runs from February 4 to April 3. These abstract photographs allude to color field painting, but are actually images of the Tampa Bay shoreline before and after sunrise. Learn more about the exhibition here.
Leepa-Rattner Museum in Tarpon Springs — Get a double at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, as they now have two new exhibits open through April 30: their 20and Anniversary exhibition Masterpieces from the collection and Over 17: the art and influence of Stanley William Hayter and Atelier 17. For their anniversary celebration, the Leepa-Rattner set aside more than 70 works by artists like Picasso, Miró and Chihuly as a culmination of the best in their collection. Over 17 will dive into the innovative engraving of Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17. If you’re looking to learn more about this artist, be sure to mark February 24 on your calendar, as the Leepa-Rattner will host a gallery talk with Hayter and his works scholar Ann Shafer. To learn more, visit Leepa-Rattner.
Creative Pinellas in Largo — Engage your tactile, auditory and visual senses: At the gallery of Creative Pinellas, they seek to encourage more sensory experiences in their new interactive exhibition LOOK TOUCH MOVE. As a collaboration between two artists, Sharon McCaman will present large-scale sculptural works in a tactile and visual experience called “Reiteration”. “Reprise” is a new choreography by Creative Pinellas award-winning artist Helen French, where she incorporates McCaman’s sculptures into her performance. The opening of LOOK TOUCH MOVE will take place on February 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a premiere of “Reprise” on March 10. To find out more about the exhibition, visit Creative Pinellas.
SPAACES in Sarasota — To honor and celebrate Black History Month, the SPAACES Foundation in Sarasota is hosting a panel discussion with photo-documentary maker Allan Mestel (who will feature works in his solo exhibition “No Justice, No Peace”) , Ringling College of Art and Design student Jesse Clark (who will also have work at SPAACES in the “My Beautiful” exhibit), Sarasota Herald-Tribune reporter Samantha Ghola, and Visible Men Academy CEO Louis Parker. The roundtable will take place on February 12 at 10 a.m. To find out more, email gallery owner Marianne Chapel or visit SPAACES on Facebook.
MainStage Theater in Tampa — Sometimes it takes action for words to take effect, especially with a topic as controversial as climate change. In this case, this action is the performance with the new multidisciplinary dance piece Interglacial by New York-based choreographer Laura Peterson at Hillsborough Community College’s MainStage Theater. With performances taking place February 11 and 12, attendees will delve into the frigid depths of the Arctic and explore human impacts on Mother Earth. Performances are free for HCC students, faculty, and staff, and $15 for everyone else. For more, visit the MainStage Theater.