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Rocky Carr, 2012

An interview with Rocky Carr and Chris Degrer

How do you collaborate and why is that important to you?

Rocky: We prefer a business-type model where we live and work
together on a constant basis, having a collaborative/democratic role in
each other’s modes of production in every possible way. In this manner,
we make twice the work in half the time. By the time our pieces are
presented for critique or exhibition, they’ve already received as much
criticism and decisive conclusions as possible.

Chris: Collaborative efforts enable you to get rid of the distasteful, old
“artistic genius” thinking. I think that there are enough corrupt places
in the world for art to not sponsor chauvinism or the enlargement of
ego. In the process of working together, you are able to discern your
own qualities in relation to your partner, which results in a deeper
understanding of how connected things are to each other.

How do you describe the art you make?

Chris: My work can be described in terms of how an archetypal
sidekick works in a narrative. What Don Quixote’s Sancho Panza,
Batman’s Robin, and Sherlock Holmes’ Doctor Watson, all share in
common is that they remain on the edge of support and opposition.
A sidekick typically acts as a regulation of a main form, but can only
achieve this by remaining peripheral. My work departs from the point
where this agent appears as an exception, and gives me access to the
back door of an event.

Rocky: The foundation of every project begins with a diagram of some
sort. I try to create visual schematics of non-linear narratives and
highly complex machines in the Deleuzian sense. These machines form
“flows” among one another and, despite individual niches, collaborate
to represent a single ideology or ideological body.

Is there a certain critical theory manifested in your work?

Chris: Today’s Western societies have the dogmatic advantage of
information that doesn’t just remain within its own determined context,
but beholds how it can flow like water and overlap. I assert that
this has to be seen as an advantage—and also a challenge—by which
we cannot limit ourselves to a single discourse.

Rocky: The viewer will inevitably read your work according to overlapping
social models. With this in mind, I try to make work with an
overall universality, which is reinforced by its more particular foreign
or alienated signifiers. Ultimately, I can count on heterogeneity as
something that is implicitly homogeneous.

What inspires you to create?

Chris: The fixation and/or regulation of forms conducted by a state
apparatus, or any other authoritarian regime for that matter. What
guides our practice is the proclamation of an order that we, consequently,
intend to reciprocate.

Rocky: In addition, we wish to dispel the myth of art as a means of
self-expression or narcissism. Naturally, the intuitive process by which
art is created is inherent in its very production. However, we feel as if
a more external analysis is what compels us as artists while our relationship
to expression is merely a reflection of our subjective choices.

How do you each plan to handle the business side of art?

Rocky: I plan to proceed from a personal, academic interest, not a commercial
one.

Chris: Art is a profession because it is the act of re-contextualizing the
common; however, it is still actualized as any other profession. It is not
possible to fully step aside from the economic logic.

What are your plans for the future?

Rocky: We plan to stay in school as long as possible—both to expand
our knowledge and continue our discussion with the creative community
at large. That’s just a first step toward a career as international
gallery artists. We’re building a foundation that will hopefully last.

Beyond that?

Chris: To establish a self-supporting career as a cultural producer
and not just passively observe a world in need for radical change. We
both agree on expanding our interests and knowledge by immersing
ourselves in further education, but I never want to abandon my connection
with the world in which I live by hiding in an institution.

Rocky: In the immediate future, I’d like to get into a good graduate
school. I haven’t completely abandoned the prospect of becoming a
writer. One day, I would like to get a Ph.D. in philosophy, media, communication,
or something along those lines. My ultimate goal is to
become a professor and senior researcher at a prestigious university
while maintaining a strong body of artwork within a legitimate gallery
and museum circuit.

For an up-close look, visit: www.RockyCarr.com


 


 

Chris Degrer, 2012

An interview with Chris Degrer and Rocky Carr

How do you collaborate and why is that important to you?

Rocky: We prefer a business-type model where we live and work
together on a constant basis, having a collaborative/democratic role in
each other’s modes of production in every possible way. In this manner,
we make twice the work in half the time. By the time our pieces are
presented for critique or exhibition, they’ve already received as much
criticism and decisive conclusions as possible.

Chris: Collaborative efforts enable you to get rid of the distasteful, old
“artistic genius” thinking. I think that there are enough corrupt places
in the world for art to not sponsor chauvinism or the enlargement of
ego. In the process of working together, you are able to discern your
own qualities in relation to your partner, which results in a deeper
understanding of how connected things are to each other.

How do you describe the art you make?

Chris: My work can be described in terms of how an archetypal
sidekick works in a narrative. What Don Quixote’s Sancho Panza,
Batman’s Robin, and Sherlock Holmes’ Doctor Watson, all share in
common is that they remain on the edge of support and opposition.
A sidekick typically acts as a regulation of a main form, but can only
achieve this by remaining peripheral. My work departs from the point
where this agent appears as an exception, and gives me access to the
back door of an event.

Rocky: The foundation of every project begins with a diagram of some
sort. I try to create visual schematics of non-linear narratives and
highly complex machines in the Deleuzian sense. These machines form
“flows” among one another and, despite individual niches, collaborate
to represent a single ideology or ideological body.

Is there a certain critical theory manifested in your work?

Chris: Today’s Western societies have the dogmatic advantage of
information that doesn’t just remain within its own determined context,
but beholds how it can flow like water and overlap. I assert that
this has to be seen as an advantage—and also a challenge—by which
we cannot limit ourselves to a single discourse.

Rocky: The viewer will inevitably read your work according to overlapping
social models. With this in mind, I try to make work with an
overall universality, which is reinforced by its more particular foreign
or alienated signifiers. Ultimately, I can count on heterogeneity as
something that is implicitly homogeneous.

What inspires you to create?

Chris: The fixation and/or regulation of forms conducted by a state
apparatus, or any other authoritarian regime for that matter. What
guides our practice is the proclamation of an order that we, consequently,
intend to reciprocate.

Rocky: In addition, we wish to dispel the myth of art as a means of
self-expression or narcissism. Naturally, the intuitive process by which
art is created is inherent in its very production. However, we feel as if
a more external analysis is what compels us as artists while our relationship
to expression is merely a reflection of our subjective choices.

How do you each plan to handle the business side of art?

Rocky: I plan to proceed from a personal, academic interest, not a commercial
one.

Chris: Art is a profession because it is the act of re-contextualizing the
common; however, it is still actualized as any other profession. It is not
possible to fully step aside from the economic logic.

What are your plans for the future?

Rocky: We plan to stay in school as long as possible—both to expand
our knowledge and continue our discussion with the creative community
at large. That’s just a first step toward a career as international
gallery artists. We’re building a foundation that will hopefully last.

Beyond that?

Chris: To establish a self-supporting career as a cultural producer
and not just passively observe a world in need for radical change. We
both agree on expanding our interests and knowledge by immersing
ourselves in further education, but I never want to abandon my connection
with the world in which I live by hiding in an institution.

Rocky: In the immediate future, I’d like to get into a good graduate
school. I haven’t completely abandoned the prospect of becoming a
writer. One day, I would like to get a Ph.D. in philosophy, media, communication,
or something along those lines. My ultimate goal is to
become a professor and senior researcher at a prestigious university
while maintaining a strong body of artwork within a legitimate gallery
and museum circuit.

For an up-close look, visit: www.ChristoferDegrer.com.

Read about the New York Studio Residency Program that Chris attended.

 


 

Jen Nugent, 2012

Jen Nugent’s grandmother was a devoted painter. Nugent, born and raised in Sarasota, grew up under her influence...

...But the desire to pursue a career in art came later on. When she began
high school, art was one of many possibilities. By the time she graduated,
it was the only possibility. Nugent had no doubts about her career
path. After a brief stint at Parsons The New School for Design, she
discovered Ringling College was the place where she wanted to pursue
that path.

Nugent came to Ringling College with high expectations. Her experience
as a fine arts major here has far exceeded those expectations.
“Ringling gives me a sense of confidence and understanding,” she
says. “It’s empowered me to create new work that’s uniquely my own.”
Beyond that, she’s not creating blindly. Thanks to a solid foundation,
Nugent knows what she’s doing. And she can talk about it. To her,
that’s vitally important.

As Nugent sees it, art is never created in a vacuum. Being a part of
the Ringling College community jump-starts her creativity. She speaks
glowingly of her experiences in the Joint Collective, an artists’ consortium
of Ringling alumni and students. She has also helped organize
exhibits at area galleries, interned at an artist-run gallery in Brooklyn,
and served as a studio assistant for the artist Wendy Wischer. Nugent
thrives on this communal energy.  “It’s the conversations I have with others that inspire those ‘aha’ moments for me,” she says.

As for Nugent’s own work, it’s always changing shape. That applies
to her style, subject matter, and artistic process. “What I do depends
on who I’m speaking to and what I’m working on.” Nugent may trace
projected photographs on a canvas. Play with the forms of maps.
Transcribe her monologues and then manipulate the letterforms of
the words. Or create paintings that don’t try to be representational. As
Nugent sees it, it’s an ongoing experiment.

Nugent’s student work has earned a string of honors, including being
named a Ringling College Trustee Scholar and being nominated for the
Yale Summer Program. She has also been awarded scholarships from
several area non-profit groups.

What happens after graduation? Nugent would like to move to New
York City, get involved with alternative art spaces, maybe write a book,
have some kids, and keep making art. Art-making is a constant experiment.
Who says it has to end? “Ringling College helped start the process,” she says. “I plan on keeping it going.”

 


Therese McPhereson, 2011

What did Therese McPherson want to be when she grew up? The
question is what didn’t she want to be? As a child, McPherson was a
devoted generalist. Her career wish list included scientist, surgeon,
engineer, psychologist, writer, musician and teacher—although not
necessarily in that order. She loved to draw; even so, “artist” didn’t
make her list. Later on, McPherson figured out that an artist combined
all of these professions. And that’s when she knew what she wanted
to do.

After that, she steadily began working toward that goal. Before
attending Ringling College, McPherson was accepted in Ringling’s
intensive four-week, PreCollege Perspective program. While there, she
earned an award for her sculpture and was named to the dean’s list.
Today, McPherson is pursuing a degree in fine arts. She’s still a diehard
generalist. “My love of image-making began with a love of drawing,”
she says. “I still love it! But now I’ve added painting, darkroom
photography, video and interactive media. The kind of art I’m making
changes from moment to moment.”

McPherson is also a problem-solver—another habit carried over from
childhood when she loved taking things apart and putting them back
together. During her sophomore year, she immersed herself in the
study of the Max/MSP, a program designed for interactive installations.
She unabashedly loves it. “It allows me to work with sound, video, circuit
boards, MIDI controllers, projection, and installation,” she says. “It
satisfies the part of me that wants to be a jack-of-all-trades.”

That openness to everything has served her well. In her junior year,
McPherson was awarded a Best of Ringling scholarship. During the
following summer, she interned at a New York City media firm as a production
assistant; she quickly advanced to a paid position. In another
intern position, she helped an artist design sets and create animated
sequences for a children’s science program.

Today, the hard-working McPherson is fiercely loyal to the institution
that has provided a solid foundation for her future. “Ringling College
prepared me with technical training and brilliant ideas,” she says.
“That’s priceless.”

After graduation, she has no plans of slowing down. “I plan to work
hard and stay up on the latest technologies,” she says. “Excellence is a
constantly moving target.”

 


Amer Kobaslija, 2003

In 2003, Amer Kobaslija graduated from Ringling College with a BFA in painting and printmaking. He earned his MFA in painting at Montclair State University in New Jersey in 2005. After graduation, Kobaslija launched a career as a successful artist and is represented by galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco,
New York and Paris. He also teaches painting and drawing at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Kobaslija’s obsessively realistic, richly detailed paintings often depict his own studio: a white room crammed with art paraphernalia as if seen from some invisible surveillance camera on the ceiling. The artist lives with his wife, Akiko, and their puppy, Tito, on Bailey Island, Maine.

You were born in the former Yugoslavia, which is now
Bosnia. Does this affect your work in a way that is
obvious to you?
The somewhat faded memories of Bosnia seep into my present on a daily
basis. In that muddle I find the raw material needed for my work. Like
everyone, I am a sum of my experiences. Being a painter, those experiences
are at the core of my emotional truth, my values and my art.


Were you always interested in making art?
Yes. It was always all about art. Drawing the ancient bridges as a child
in Bosnia, painting the images of war later as a refugee in Germany
and so on, art was my way of looking at the world—and understanding
and communicating with it. It still is.

Your paintings straddle representation and abstraction. Why?
Because the core of all representational painting is based in abstraction
and vice versa. The way those painted forms and colors interact—be they
abstract or representational—has much to do with whether the painting
is visually intriguing or not. Before anything else happens, when looking
at a painting, I want to be visually pulled in and seduced by it.

Please tell us about your art-making routine.
Except on days when I teach, I’m in my studio every day. I start working
around 10 a.m. and usually stay until 10 p.m. I take a break around 6
p.m. for dinner with Akiko and then come back to the studio for another
couple of hours.

What’s your studio like?
A little messy. Finished works and works in progress, paint everywhere.
If you ask me, there’s nothing as seductive as the smell of linseed oil,
paint and turpentine, tempting and inviting you in. I like having my
studio in my home so I can wander in and out at any time. I don’t want
to think of my studio as a place where I go to work. Instead, having the
studio in your home, your life and work become one. It is more practical
this way—you don’t waste precious time commuting.

You also made your studio the subject of your art in your “Studio Painting” series. Is this a kind of autobiography?
Yes. My recent “Studio Paintings” are visual chronicles of my inner world.
By painting the place where I live and work, all the objects and stuff
found in these interiors operate as portals—mental links into times and
spaces that are of relevance to who I am. It can be said that these paintings
are metaphorical self-portraits. I am never there, never directly
painted; yet, much is being revealed to the viewer’s eye, all at once.

Can you talk about your latest series of paintings?
My new work is based on my visits to the home and studio of the late
French painter Balthus. He lived in his Grand Chalet in the village
of Rossiniere, deep in the Swiss Alps. Through a series of unusual
circumstances, I was introduced to the Countess Setsuko, his widow.
She granted me access to Balthus’ studio—a shrine-like space where
this great poet of brush worked for the last three decades of his life
and where he died in 2001. I’m making paintings of his studio, which
in a way operate as metaphorical portraits of Balthus. The series title
is “The Road to Rossiniere.” If all goes well, the work will be exhibited
in early 2011 in New York and Geneva, marking the tenth anniversary
of Balthus’ passing.

Is your work usually large-scale?
I go back and forth between miniatures and large-scale, often painting
the same subject twice. I was always intrigued by the jewel-like quality
associated with miniature painting. I still love the notion of paintings
being windows into space, illusions conceived through the act of—or
the “magic” of—painting. Same goes for the large-scale works, except
that you are not necessarily looking through the window anymore;
you are in that space.

What teachers along the way made a difference in your life?
At Ringling College, Leslie Lerner was my hero, along with Patrick Lindhardt,
Mark Anderson and Robert Farber. They taught me how to paint,
draw and think as an artist. Alison Watkins helped me find the poetry
in things. As a grad student at Montclair I met a number of prominent
art world figures, some of whom I became friends with. Patterson Sims,
who at the time was the director of Montclair Art Museum, liked my
studio work. He was generous to introduce me to several New York art
dealers. One of them was George Adams who now represents my work.

What advice do you have for Ringling’s current fine arts majors?
Find something that matters and stick to it. Work and persevere. Nothing
happens on its own. We are masters of our fate.

What’s it like living on Bailey Island?
Wonderful! Our chalet is right on the water and the view is spectacular!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In a castle on Hvar, an island in the Adriatic Sea. A little far-fetched I
know, but why not?

To view Amer Kobaslija’s works, visit: www.georgeadamsgallery.com

 


Lesley Flanigan, 2001

Lesley Flanigan is an artist. What kind of artist is she? Better to ask what kind she isn’t. “My work has been discussed from different angles within sound art, performance art, circuit bending, noise music, experimental music, electronic music, improvisation, media art, installation and sculpture,” she says. “Somewhere in the middle of all these areas is my art.”

These days Flanigan, based in New York, concentrates on sound sculpting, which makes sense for a fine arts graduate who concentrated on sculpture. She’s still making sculpture, although much of her recent sculpture is made out of sound waves instead of tangible materials.

Flanigan is inspired by the physicality of sound and electronic amplification systems. Other musicians tend to look at the loudspeaker as a mere output device. Flanigan sees it as a musical instrument.

How do you “play” a speaker?  With feedback. Flanigan creates audio feedback on hand-built, custom devices, and then weaves it together with the sound of her own voice and body movement. “It’s a physical process presented in a very
sculptural way. I look like I’m working with clay on stage.”

Flanigan credits Ringling College with giving her the resources and
facilities to think outside the box. Along with that, the college gave
her a powerful vocabulary, which enables her to express her off-center
ideas in every discipline. “Studying fine arts taught me a fundamental visual language,” she says. “That fluency gives me the ability to communicate in all fields of creative work, including theater design, multimedia installation, video
production, interaction design, music, sculpture and performance art.”

Most importantly, Ringling College taught Flanigan not to give up
when people don’t listen. She credits a long list of educators, including
Roxie Thomas, Leslie Lerner, Robert Farber, Dolores Coe, and Jennifer
Mumford, who crash-tested her ideas, critiqued her work and built her
confidence. They also shared their own stories—and gave a wartsand-
all portrait of the contemporary artist. “They each have a place in
the foundation of who I am today,” she says. “They taught me how not
to compromise. They gave me the courage to put myself out there and
keep going.”

Flanigan didn’t realize the significance of these teachers’ lessons
until years after graduation. In those early years, she fought to balance
her work life and artist’s life. She worked in theater, as a florist, and
as a video editor, among other jobs. Instead of being discouraged, she
absorbed the lessons of each new field. Flanigan distilled her notion of
what kind of artist she wanted to be and eventually went back to school
to make it possible. She studied at the Interactive Telecommunications
Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, a two-year
graduate program in which computer programmers, engineers, artists,
journalists and other strange bedfellows experiment with new technologies.
In 2008, Flanigan graduated with a master’s in professional studies degree. After that, she quickly made a name for herself with her innovative works and concerts.

Today, Flanigan’s accomplishments include the 2009 album, “Amplifications”
and performances and lectures at festivals, art spaces and universities around the world.

Despite these achievements, the lessons continue. According to Flanigan,
the learning process that Ringling College jump-started never really stops.

“Every day, I become more aware of different paths that empower me to be the kind of artist I am. Being an artist on my terms is possible. It’s hard work, and a constant building process that rarely has a clear path, but it’s possible. And I’m still working at it.”

 

 


Chris Gentile, 1995

Chris Gentile defies simple categories. Illustrator? Sculptor? Photographer?
The artist and Ringling College alumnus can’t be easily pegged. Many of his
works are ephemeral creations that live and die in the studio and aren’t meant
for exhibit. He photographs his three-dimensional constructions using angles
that give few clues about scale, material and context. Gentile exhibits the
enigmatic photographs themselves. Think of them as slices of time. Frames
snipped out of the big movie left to stand on their own.

This tendency to blur categories runs deep. As a child, Gentile was both creative and prolific. “I was really interested in construction and constantly making drawings.” Around 12, Gentile began snapping photographs to document his friends. “My own art blossomed out of the surf, skate and punk rock culture I found myself in,” he remembers. “My friends inspired me to pursue my own career making art.” He’s quick to add that his mother strongly encouraged him to pursue his creative impulses and supported his decision to go to art school.

That early inspiration ultimately led him to Ringling College’s fine arts program. Originally, Gentile wanted to be an illustrator. He admits that his motives were mostly financial. “How will you make money with an art degree? That’s a big question for many students and their parents, and I was no different. I thought that studying an applied art form like illustration would make it easier to find work.” As a freshman, he enrolled in Johntimothy Pizzuto’s drawing class.

“Pizzuto did more than teach me how to draw; he taught me how to
see,” says Gentile. The advanced students in the fine arts department
also made a big impression on him. “I could see that many of my peers
in the freshman year had strong rendering skills and I was humbled
and simultaneously inspired to get better.”

Gentile ultimately changed his focus but continued with his studies. In addition to Pizzuto, he also credits the life-changing lessons of many Ringling instructors, including Robert Farber, Mark Anderson, Doug Loewen, Roxie Thomas, Leslie Lerner, Tony Rice, Kevin Dean and Patrick Lindhardt. “My peers were also my teachers,” he adds. In 1995, Gentile received his BFA from Ringling. After graduation, he worked as an assistant for Paul Adams, “an amazing woodworker” based in Sarasota. He then enrolled in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received his MFA in 1998. After graduate school he took a full-time teaching position with Virginia Commonwealth University’s
newly opened branch campus in Doha, Qatar, from 2000 to 2002. “This was a life-changing experience,” he says. “I got to know an amazing man from Kashmir who was an expert on Central Asian weaving. He introduced me to the traditional weaving process in that region, which has had a profound influence on the repetitive aspects of my work.” 

Gentile went on to invent his own idiosyncratic brand of art, distilling and absorbing his life experiences in it, including aspects from his early years in the skate and surf culture, his lessons at Ringling College and Chapel Hill, and the practical lessons of Paul Adams. It all came together in his first series of photographs taken from physical constructions in the studio. Around the same time, Jeff Bailey of the Jeff Bailey Gallery in Manhattan, saw Gentile’s work and asked to represent him.

“Jeff believed in my work and offered me a show while doing a studio visit. I had taken some Polaroids of my studio work. That’s all I had to show him at the time—but he agreed to the exhibition.” As a result, Gentile’s first solo show opened at the Jeff Bailey Gallery in 2005. The exhibit generated enthusiastic response and Gentile’s first Artforum review. Many more exhibitions and positive reviews would follow. 

Today, Gentile lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with his wife Erin and their three-year-old daughter, Ida. He is the creative director of Condé Nast Publications’ photography studios in Manhattan and a respected working artist. His studio is only a five-minute walk from their house. He shares the building with other artists, a non-profit gallery, a surf shop that he co-owns, and a screen printing company. The basement is reserved for live music performances and rehearsals. 

Gentile’s in his studio, “every day, no matter what.” He usually creates in the evenings, when he does his best work. When he’s preparing for a show, he works night and day. A 16-hour stretch is the norm.

That work ethic is one of the habits Gentile picked up at Ringling College.
He’s still thankful for it. “I’m grateful to my education at Ringling for so many reasons. I learned how to be my own teacher and to keep learning. Above all, I
learned about commitment.” He recalls the words of one faculty member who told his senior thesis class that, ‘The world doesn’t need another part-time artist wasting resources and time.’ I really took that to heart,” he says. He adds that it’s still good advice for today’s students. Gentile adds some advice of his own.

“Get as much as you can from your time with your faculty and peers,” he says. “Outside of an academic environment, it’s harder to have a critical dialog with other artists. Ringling’s faculty members know more than you can possibly imagine. Take advantage of it!”

He pauses and adds another thought.

“I’ve found that making art with humility and sincerity leads to more knowledge and better work. To loosely quote Franz Kline, ‘To make something great, one must have the capacity to be embarrassed.’”

Chris Gentile is represented by Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY, and Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA.  Visit: www.baileygallery.com



Fine Arts Alumni News + Accomplishments

Omar Chacon, Class of 2002, sold a painting at Art Basel in Miami to the importart art collector/comedian Robin Williams. Omar  is represented by Lincart Gallery, in San Francisco, and by Greene Contempory in Sarasota, Florida. Last year, Omar won the $10,000 Miami University Young Painter's prize. The juror for the competition was noted art critic Jerry Saltz. 

Chacon had his International debut with Magrorocca in Milan, Italy in September 2008. He has exhibited at Greene Contemporary (www.greenecontemporary.com) in New York City. 

From Greene Contemporary:

Omar Chacón's vibrant abstract paintings refer to rich colors and patterns of indigenous Latin American textiles, but fuse these formal and cultural traditions into a process that is very much his own recipe. The effect of this sancocho ("stew"), as Chacón calls it, is an experiential mixture of European and South American histories that infuse cultural signifiers into Abstraction. Chacón's work is guided by the memory and respect for his grandfather, a self-taught artist who made only seven abstract paintings during his lifetime. Also consisting of small dots, one of his grandfather's paintings is included in the show as a literal and metaphorical reference point.

Even with a visual sancocho as a guide, Chacon has had to assemble his own source of colorful ingredients. From his studio containing a myriad of multi-colored drips to dots, Chacón uses each gesture like a building block to painstakingly construct a series of interlocking layers. Using layer upon layer of poured and dripped paint Chacón's work uses non-representational means to reference a broad range of subjects from art history to world politics, and to call forth the co-existence of shared histories and cultural variation.

Omar Chacón was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1979 and lives and works in Astoria, Queens. Chacón received his BFA from Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida in 2002 and his MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California in 2004. He has been included in exhibitions at the Queens Museum of Art, The Hunterdon Museum of Art and the Bronx River Arts Center. This is Chacón's third solo exhibition with Greene Contemporary.

From the blog of classmate Kris Chatterson:

 "Omar Chacon .... is a refreshing blast of color in a city that is usually quite gray. Over the years Chacon has patiently and intently mined the possibilities of poured and dripped paint. Chacon has developed his dots, drips and drips that are cut to form mosaic like tiles into a personal lexicon to create works that grapple with world politics and art history as subjects."

______________________________________________________________

Shawn Petterson, Class of  2003, exhibited in "Welcome to My World," a group show curated by Jonathan Greene at Greene Contemporary.

While diverse in the range and scale of work they present, the artists in Welcome to My World share similar approaches to their process, inspired by imagination to reinvent personal experiences, cultural identity, and fantasies into a visual language. The ad hoc combination of references and materials invites the viewer to enter both miniature and grandiose imaginary environments and situations, setting off on a journey of their own.

Shawn Pettersen channels the thought of an animal into deep meditations on
displacement, flight and adaptation. His craft embodies the time and patience spent to make these unique sculptures. 

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Omar Chacon, Class of 2002, Nicole Mauser, Class of 2006; and Nathan Skiles, Class of 2003, exhibited at Greene Contemporary in New York at SCOPE.

Building on Miami's overwhelming success, SCOPE launched its 2009 season with its flagship fair, SCOPE New York 09. SNY09, an invitation only edition of SCOPE art fairs, proudly returns to Manhattan's most famous cultural icon, Lincoln Center, with a glass facade pavilion situated in Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, at the corner of 62nd Street and 10th Avenue. SCOPE New York is just blocks from the Armory Show and serviced daily by VIP Zipcars, shuttles and pedicabs.

SCOPE New York 09's 50 international exhibitors upheld SCOPE's unique tradition of one-person and thematic group shows presented along
side museum-quality programming, collector tours, screenings, and special events. SCOPE New York features galleries from four continents and 20 countries, including Austria, Canada, China, Costa Rica,Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

SCOPE Art Fair has evolved from an industry niche to an influential global contributor, with ongoing events, educational programs, and the SCOPE Foundation 501(c)(3). With total sales of nearly $100 million, over 250,000 visitors, and wide media attention including that of The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Art in America, and ArtNet Magazine. Over the years SCOPE has helped build a flourishing collector base and remains a proud contributor to the ever expanding global market.

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Aiko Hachisuka, Class of 1996, exhibited at Sea and Space Explorations in Los Angeles. The exhibition included two sculptures built from couches, incorporating found objects such as clothing and various styles of fabric. Hachisuka uses drawings, found shapes and patterns as a point of reference to create distinct forms that are unexpected and unique.  

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Justine Gartner, Class of 2005, interned at HighpointCenter for Printmaking in Minneapolis, after spending two years living abroad in India, Japan and Brazil.  

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Shawn and Lisa Hardegree, both 2000 graduates,  started Las Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona. Shawn has shown his paintings at the Hickory Museum in Knoxville, Tenn.; the Lowe Gallery in Atlanta; and had a solo show at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.  Lisa has shown her prints at Harry Wood in Tempe, AZ; Tilt Gallery in Phoenix, AZ; and the Step Gallery in Tempe, AZ.  

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Tim Jaeger, Class of  2002, had a one-person show at the Yeiser Art Center, Nov-Dec. 2008, in Paducah, Kentucky.  Tim has also shown at Prospect One Biennale Exhibition in New Orleans, and had work at Grand Palais and the Cour Carree du Louvre in Paris; Chateau l'Hesperit in Moncaret, France; a solo show of work done at a residency in France; Serranno Contemporary in N.Y., N.Y.;  The Gallerie Dal Rey, a solo show in New Orleans - all in 2008.  Tim runs the Gallery at Canvas Cafe in Sarasota, FL,  when he isn't painting. See his work at  http://regeajstudio.com.

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Lynda Bostrom and Anthony Zollo, Class of 2008, created an installation, "Build and Destroy," for the final event of the old Tampa Museum of Art in January 2008. The museum was demolished in February, and re-opened in a new, larger facility in the Fall of 2009. Lynda and Anthony used pieces of the old building in their installation. Read about the exhibition at http://www.sptimes.com.

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Sorine Anderson, Class of 2007, was featured in the October 2007 issue of Sculpture Magazine. She was one of only 21 students selected from a pool of 339 nominees (including graduate students) from 139 colleges to be in the 2007 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award Show at the International Sculpture Center. The jurors for the program were Alyson Baker, executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York; Tom Csaszar, artist and writer; and Steven Siegel, sculptor. Sorine's work was on display at the International Sculpture Center's Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. 

Sorine is currently a graduate student at New York University, where she taught two sculpture classes and was the visiting artist coordinator at NYU Steinhardt. She also participated in a group show at Peres Projects Berlin. 

Sorine and her brother, Jarrod Anderson, Class 2002, had a two-person exhibition in St. Petersburg at C. Emerson Fine Arts in November of 2009.

See Sorine's work and read her artist's statement at http://www.sculpture.org.

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Hope Conner, Class of 2006, exhibited at the Vespine Gallery in Chicago. Hope was represented in December, 2008, at Miami/Basel at the Aqua Art Fair at the Aqua Hotel. 

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Michelle Dennis, Class of 2004, is completed a graduate program at Boston University. She had an exhibition at Robert Steele Gallery in New York City, where she has relocated. See Michelle's work at www.michelledennis.com.

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Three members of the Class of 1999, Steve Dixey, Sat Khalsa and Matt Relkin, exhibited in "The Ringling Brothers," at Atlanta's Beep Beep Gallery. For information visit www.beepbeepgallery.com.

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Fine Arts graduates Charles Mayton, Class of 2002;  Taylor Kretchmar, Class of 2004; and Hilary Graves, Class of 2004 were in a group show at the Galleria Francoso Artemporania, in Turin, Italy, in the fall of 2008.  The show was curated by Gareth James.  The link for  the gallery and images is http://www.francosoffiantino.it/.  Charles and Taylor will also be in a group show at the Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, Florida, during Miami/Basel 2008 - www.kevinbrukgallery.com. Charles and Taylor live and work in New York; Hilary lives and works in Los Angeles.

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Wayne Atkins, a Ringling Fine Arts 2000 graduate, was the visiting artist for the Fine Arts Miami/Basel Trip in December 2007.  Mr. Atkins is represented by the Taxter and Spengemann Gallery in New York. His paintings were featured at the Frieze Art Fair in London in October 2007.  He received his MFA from Cal Arts in 2007. 

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Jeff Ward, Class of 1999, completed his residency at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Core Program. The Core Program "gives residencies to highly motivated, exceptional visual artists and art scholars." Jeff was in the critics' residency program. He has taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Rice University.   Aiko Hachisuka, Class of 1997, was in the Core Program in 2001-2. Aiko lives and works in Los Angeles. Art writer Dennis Cooper calls Aiko one of "L.A.'s best young sculptors." 

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Stephen Shingler, Class of 2003, had a show in March, 2008 entitled "Two Crackers From the Same Box" at the Red Saw Gallery in Newark, N.J. Stephen will be exhibiting along with his brother, David. 

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Jay Lizo, Class of 1999, was in a three-person exhibition at the Concrete Walls Gallery in Los Angeles. Jay, who is originally from Sarasota, has shown at High Desert Test Sites and Supersonic in L.A., and has had a solo show at Webster University.  Jay lives and works in Los Angeles.

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Landon Wiggs, Class of 2001, was in a two-person show in January, 2008, at the Jail Gallery in Los Angeles. See more of his work at www.landonwiggs.com.

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Rosalynn Gingerich, Class of 2001, was the recipient of a 2007 Community Arts Assistance Grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs in Chicago. Rosalynn was recently promoted to the position of Director of Instructional Fabrication for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. See her work at www.rosalynngingerich.com.

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Chie Fueki '96 is represented by the prestigious Mary Boone Gallery in New York City. Chie is featured in a video with images from a past exhibition at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EclNdgu3ozY. Chie also was on David Humphrey's radio show "Sound and Vision" on WPS1. 

Chie has also exhibitioned at Mary Boone in "A Tribute to Ron Warren" as part of a group of 30 leading artists called "among the most innovative and influential of our time." Others in the show included Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Barbara Kruger and Julian Schnabel.  Visit www.maryboonegallery.com.

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Brady Dollarhide, Class of 1997, is represented by the gallery Jessica Murray Projects in New York City. His work was in the exhibition "Open House" at the Brooklyn Museum, alongside work by the artist Richard Diebenkorn. Art writer Jerry Saltz of the Village Voice featured Brady as "an artist who stands out" in a review of the show. Brady has also exhibited at Jeff Bailey Gallery and Curt Marcus Gallery. 

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Mary Hood, Class of 1995, is a professor at ASU Herberger College School of Art, where she won the 2008 Faculty Achievement Award in the Best Performance or Artwork category. 

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Alice Pixley Young, Class of 1995, completed a fellowship residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She shows regularly in Chicago and Cincinnati, where she lives. See Alice's work at www.pixleyart.com.

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Katie Niewdowski, Class of 2002, has shown her sculpture at Harvard University and LittleJohn Contemporary Gallery in New York. See her work at www.katieniewo.com.

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Kelly Sturhahn, Class of 1996, had a solo show at the Skylight Gallery in Keene Valley, N. Y. in 2008; group shows in 2007; a solo project at The Arts Center, Saratoga, N. Y.;  a show at ScopeHamptons, in East Hampton, N. Y.; and participated in Miami/Basel in Grendel Miami in 2006.  Kelly works and shows in the New York area, and is employed by  the Michael Werner Gallery in Manhattan.  

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Michael Rey, Class of 2002, was selected from a group of 150 serious young artists for an exhibition at Steve Turner Contemporary Gallery in Los Angeles. 

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This list has been compiled by Mark Anderson, Fine Arts Department Head. For more information, please email manderso@ringling.edu.