Tuesday May 31, I went to see the exhibition of Marjorie Graff and Kim Kirchman at Gallery 114 HCC on the Ybor City Campus. Upon entrance into the gallery, I was immediately captivated by the delicacy and intimacy displayed by the works of the two artists. Marjorie Graff creates relief monoprints, abstracting vertical layers of floral like designs inserting patches of beautiful bold vibrating colors while Kim Kirchman constructs terra cotta hand built pottery glazed with delicate hand painted flowers. The handles on her baskets tower over the intricate vessels similar to swaying women raising their hands in celebration. The two different mediums complement each other both “embracing floral motifs for their opulence, femininity, and symbolism, the artist forge harmonies connections between their distinct processes”. Quote from invite About the Exhibition.
Cultivating What Might Have Been Lost ceramic by Kim Kirchman
The title of the show is Driven From the Garden. When I saw the title, I was perplexed and thought Driven, was a harsh word for such a beautiful enlightening exhibition. Looking up the word I observe that it has multiply meanings.
Then I read the poem typed on a card in the gallery written by Gianna Russo a poet, writer and Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Saint Leo University.
In her poem, I’ve set my heart on a glimpse of you, she speaks of the Florida Golden Aster which has been listed as an endangered flower since 1986.
Her poem laments the disappearance of the Aster plant due to the development of sprawling urban life, “the golf courses, and strip malls……..”.
Yes the Florida Golden Aster and other endangered plants have been “Driven from the Garden”.
Marjorie Graff is a retired Professor of Fine Arts at St. Petersburg College/Clearwater Campus where I was inspired years ago by her work and the class I took in printmaking. She also is the founder of 24 Hands of which I am a part of. Kim Kirchman is a Professor and Director of the Ceramics Studio at St. Petersburg College/ Clearwater Campus. Their professional careers and friendship shared for over 20 years is part of the reason for the success of this exhibition. The show continues until June 23, 2022.