Art exhibition arrives at FAU for the fifth time

The showing, which is free for students and the public, will be on display until March 3.


An art installation by Rachel Avena at the Schmidt Center Gallery and Ritter Art Gallery from the 2013-2014 southXeast exhibition. Photo courtesy of University Galleries.

Cameren Boatner, Contributing Writer

More than a dozen artists from eight states are displaying their work at FAU for the southXeast: contemporary southeastern art exhibition.


Hosted by University Galleries, the exhibition features photography, moving sculptures, and avant-garde art from artists living in southeastern states.


This is the fifth time the exhibition has been on display for free at the Schmidt Center and Ritter Art Galleries.


University Galleries director Rod Faulds, with the help of art faculty members, chose 14 artists out of 200 who applied for the exhibition.


“[We wanted] a diverse mix of artists that represent what gets taught here in the studio arts program,” he said.


Faulds also organized a panel of four of the chosen artists to talk about their inspirations and “artist heroes.”


John Douglas Powers, an artist on the panel from Knoxville, Tennessee, joked about the obscurity of his moving sculpture named “Haliades” during the exhibition’s Feb. 1 opening.


“So, this is my thing. My squeaky, mechanical thing,” Powers said.


The “thing,” made of wood, steel, and an electric motor, was crafted into wavy sheets and displayed under a projection of moving clouds.


English major Richard Harrison attended the opening and commented about the subjectivity of the piece.


“I don’t always know what it means, but that’s what’s great about art, it’s open to interpretation,” Harrison said.


Mechanical engineering major Marty Cheng said he hasn’t seen anything like the art on display at southXeast.


“When you’re in a space with this object, your relationship to it is intrinsically different than, say, a painting,” Powers said.


Rob Duarte, another artist on the panel from Tallahassee, incorporated sound and light into his art, though his most visible piece in the gallery, “A Thunder Cloud Came Over,” is devoid of both.


“The work that I make is research-driven and concerned with where technology and culture collide,” Duarte said.


Rachel Garceau, an artist based in Atlanta, focuses on re-creating themes of nature in a way that exhibits her craftsmanship.


“In order to understand them a little more, I drew connections between the natural world and the man-made world,” she said.


Her installation, “Borders, Boundaries, and Spaces In Between” was created with the help of FAU art students.


Michelle Lisa Polissant, a Haitian-American artist based in Miami, explored what it was like to be living on her own in a series of self-portraits entitled “Dancing with Myself.”


“All this work is related to the idea of love and care, romantic and not romantic, sex, queerness. All things that I think are really important in this part of our communities,” Polissant said.


The exhibition will be open until March 24 in the Schmidt Center Gallery and March 3 in the Ritter Art Gallery on the Boca campus.


Cameren Boatner is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].