The Schmidt Gallery’s ‘Confluence’ Exhibit Showcases Diversity in Culture as well as Disciplines

A glimpse at the range of works and artists currently featured at the University Galleries

India Ink and graphite. Clay and brick. Ceramic and sound.

The art on display during the Confluence exhibit is as diverse as the FAU students who created it. Displaying now through the summer, Schmidt Gallery’s Confluence exhibition presents works created by MFA candidates graduating from the department of Visual Arts and Art History.

“This exhibition is very strong,” said Kandy G. Lopez, one of the six featured artists. “Each of us have our own ideas and because of the variety in backgrounds — Korean, Brazilian, Iranian, Dominican, American and Argentinian/Morrocan — the exhibition talks about culture.”

Lopez is Dominican and lives in Miami. Her portrait work depicts individuals within her community, in relation to their Urban environment, and examines the identities that people create for themselves in order to adapt and thrive.

Lopez’s “Stepping Out ” sequence presents full-length oil on plexiglass portraits. The portraits tower over the viewer’s head, larger than life, much like the personalities in them.

Two of the subjects, Chris and Jenny, step out of their environment of an urban landscape done on mirrored film. The effect is a surreal blue on silver, semi-washed out cityscape from which the pair contrast even more boldly.

“I want the viewer to understand the person being depicted and not judge them. I want the viewer to see beyond the facade. Your environment in a big part of who we are and what we have become,” said Lopez.

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From the opposing corner of the gallery, a series of overlapping sounds emerge. Chanting, singing and prayer are pierced every so often by a wail. This is part of Rahele T. Filsoofi’s exhibit, “Only Sound Remains.”

Rounding the corner reveals a small white nook that’s able to accommodate a dozen or so visitors. Whispering can be heard, but there’s no one else inside. Within this nook is a small white ledge, and perched on this ledge are 11 white ceramic vessels — The sounds are coming from within the vessels.

“Exploring my personal and cultural memory through objects has been part of my work for the past two years,” said Filsoofi. “Only Sound Remains shares the untold and hidden events that I experienced with a large group of Iranians away from home.”

While Filsoofi’s main focus was ceramic work, her finished piece was a collaborative effort — between herself, a sound engineer, a videographer and a musician — in order to create a complete multimedia experience, which Filsoofi hopes will serve as a “cultural bridge” between her culture of origin and the culture that she is now a part of.

Lopez also hopes the exhibit can help highlight the growing culture of FAU’s Visual Arts and Art History program.

“I want the viewers to recognize that FAU’s MFA program  molds great artists and especially great art,” said Lopez. “I want the viewer to question how such a program can create such a diverse work of artists ideas.”

Entry to Schmidt Gallery is free, though there is a suggested donation of three dollars.

You can also visit Confluence, the MFA exhibition 2014 Facebook page

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In conjunction with Confluence, the Ritter Gallery held its opening night reception for Praxis, on Thursday April 17.

Praxis features the work of 20 graduating BFA students. However, unlike Confluence, Praxis will only be on display through May 2.

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