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University Of West Florida Student Artists Display Variety Of Work

Whether you’re looking for traditional art or something more innovative, the current exhibit at The Art Gallery, or “TAG,” as it is called, delivers.

The Art Gallery is inside building 82 on the University of West Florida campus. With about 40 pieces in various media, the show, called “TAGGED,” highlights the work of UWF students.

“Every exhibit is different,” said gallery curator and director Nicholas Croghan. “To see the artists’ craftsmanship, their hand in the process is really great.”

Corey Frey, a junior at UWF, won “Best in Show” with his oil on wood piece. It’s a likeness of his daughter. Frey named the piece “Quiddity.” Quiddity means “the essence of something.”

“There’s an expectation with a painting… you’re expected to make something look realistic. This is interesting in the case of… this painting because her face is covered by a toy that she is holding, and so it deals sort of with what we perceive identity to mean and how we recognize people,” Frey said.

Another artist, Madisen Pooten, a junior, got her inspiration after contemplating a class assignment: Carry around a 2 by 4 board for 24 hours.

“I wanted to focus on the …haphazard and this tension that happens when you are putting yourself into situations that are uncomfortable not only physically but mentally and also how you’re being perceived by society,” Pooten said.  

She transformed her 2 by 4 into a series of three mobiles comprised of the shredded board. After they were installed in the gallery, the garnered a “Second Place in Show” award for Pooten.  

Yet another of the exhibitor, Jane Hatcher, a senior, found herself fascinated by what many consider ordinary objects: a chair, mushrooms, piles of leaves. She mounted a chair covered in mushrooms and leaves on the wall. Nearby, a stump, from her back yard sits on the floor. The entire tableau sits in a pile of leaves and is framed by vines.

Hatcher said her piece is meant to bring the outdoors inside and pique people’s curiosity.
It’s called “Hidden Treasure” because there are things such as unusual colored leaves, bugs and even a faux diamond that people can look for amid the material that makes up the exhibit. Hatcher’s installation was voted to receive the “People’s Choice Award” at the show, which has had about 500 visitors so far.

The Art Gallery exhibit continues through March 12. To find out more, visit https://tag82uwf.wordpress.com/

This article is part of a collaboration between WUWF and the UWF Center for Research and Economic Opportunity.