Heroes, Sheroes, Science & Elvis at DFAC

October 15, 2020 | By Laura Kepner

Dunedin Fine Art Center

Michael Reedy – “Fifty-Fifty” in the Vespertine exhibit

The world, it seems, needs more science and in order to thrive as humans, we all need art. Catherine Bergmann, Curatorial Director for the Dunedin Fine Art Center, is excited to answer such needs through several current DFAC exhibits.

Through December 24

One of the center’s main exhibits is Vespertine, curated by Nathan Beard and showing through December 24 in the Douglas-Whitley Gallery.

This exhibit incorporates (in Beard’s words) “the daylit logic of scientific and technological concepts or processes into each artist’s creation.”

“Vespertine is significant in the fall lineup,” Bergmann says. “We’ve tied it with the theme (that was recently) in our dedicated children’s gallery — Mad Science.” 

The Vespertine exhibit aims to illuminate our complex connection to life, death, space-time and the pliability of knowledge. It features Elizabeth Baker, McArthur Freeman, II, Julia Buntaine Hoel, Kysa Johnson, Anne Mondro, Elsa Muñoz, Luke Myers, Lisa Nilsson and Michael Reedy.

The interpretations of each artist’s approach come together in completely fresh and poetic ways through video, dance, 3-D printing, a collage of gilt edges of old books paired with Japanese mulberry paper… along with so much more.

The exhibit challenges those looking for ways to allow art to fulfill a craving — something that has been missing lately. 

. . .

Fundraising with Elvis
Through October 18

Perhaps the most original fundraiser is the Velvet Elvis exhibit, which took the place of a previous and popular fundraiser called Me and My Shadow Box.

“Ikea donated 100 shadow boxes and artists paid $10 and donated their creation to the art center,” says Bergmann. “That’s what we did with our Velvet Elvis, but not with Ikea or shadow boxes. We think it is going to be a big idea.”

The exhibit has 38 pieces including Elvis, velvet unicorns, flowers, a clown, a matador, a big rig. . .  and a velvet Jesus.

For the fundraiser, you can purchase tickets and drop them in the box under your favorite artwork by October 18 – and you could be the owner of a fabulous piece of velvety beauty.

“We are going to have Elvis come this Friday. Elvis will be in the house to pick the winner.”

. . .

Phantoms and Bandits
Through October 18

Enjoy a virtual tour of Phantoms & Bandits at DFAC

This fall would have been the 16th year of DFAC’s annual Wearable Art celebration. Since COVID put a damper on that and many other interactive events, Bergmann put together a call to past Wearable Art designers to create masks, but not necessarily the kind you wear for protection in public. She figured the Lone Ranger or Phantom of the Opera.

“They didn’t pay any attention to that but that’s okay, that’s what I wanted,” she says, laughing.

Incorporated in this show are 250 images in the atrium, a video homage to the past 15 years of Wearable Art.

. . .

Highlighting Heroes and Sheroes
Through December 24

Nikki Pike’s work, in Heroes and Sheroes

Check out the Gamble Family Gallery for Heroes and Sheroes, co-curated by Bergmann and Beard. It was an idea originally scheduled for summer. “But when COVID struck and we planned to reopen, our summer art academy needed space so we sacrificed a gallery,” Bergmann explains.

“Heroes and Sheroes is an idea we had to sort of shine the light on those who have shown us the light. We thought it would be really good timing to lift up and inspire each other.”

Bergmann and Beard each selected a hero and a sheroe, which include artist Joan Duff-Bohrer, Ronny Elliott, Andre Heller and Hilary DePolo. The plan was for these heroes and sheroes to select their own, and so on. 

“There is a lot of poetry in this show,” Bergmann says.

“Another component is a book that people can put their own heroes and sheroes in. We are finding photos of the heroes and sheroes and creating a big forcefield on the wall. People can go to our Facebook page and can still suggest their own.”

. . .

Between Us
Through October 18

A multi-media exhibition of celebrated creative partners in the Tampa Bay arts community. Featuring Dolores Coe and Bruce Marsh, Carol Dameron and Herb Snitzer, Carrie Jadus and Mark Aeling, Mernet Larsen and Roger Palmer, Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse, Janelle Young and Ryan McCullough.

. . .

The DFAC Gallery Shop is now open on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How about reconnecting to your creativity? Check out www.dfac.org for a lineup of upcoming socially-distant classes and workshops for adults and youth, and some online classes.

If you’re in need of inspiration, you won’t be disappointed in the Dunedin Fine Art Center.


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