Tag Archives: Art Gallery

Irish Experience exhibit opens in TAG

Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

The Irish Experience exhibit opened Sept. 9 at The Art Gallery at the University of West Florida. It includes the work of art students who spent 28 days of their summer in Ireland eating, breathing and learning about Irish culture.img_5331

“UWF’s Irish Experience program allows students to take their artistic talents abroad and focus on their individual fine art disciplines and areas of interest,” The Art Gallery states. “During the program, which lasted from May 25 through June 23 this year, theatre and music students were given the opportunity to perform in such venues as the George Bernard Shaw Theatre and Carlow Cathedral in Carlow and the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Art students were able to work alongside Irish artists David King and Elizabeth Cope.”

The artwork featured in this exhibit is by Jasmine Bennett, Jaime Diffee, Jasmine Holmes, Lyani La Santa, Olivia O’Hern, Morgan Walker, and Nicholas Croghan.

“We flew into Dublin, Ireland and then traveled about an hour away to Carlow, Ireland, where we stayed at Carlow University,” said Nicholas Croghan, director of The Art Gallery. “We were there for 28 days. For the first week we did some touring around the coast and recovered from jet lag. After the first week, the students began their classes on Irish history and studio art for six credit hours,” he said.

Half the artwork was done during the time students spent in Ireland, and the other half once they returned home. About 90 pieces of artwork are displayed in the exhibit. All different types of artwork are on display, from watercolors, drawings, digital photography, printmaking, paintings and sculptures. The artwork also depicts the scenery, culture, wildlife, architecture and landscapes of Ireland.

“My art work included in the Irish Experience Exhibition deals with isolation and the insignificance one can feel in a new place when surrounded by overwhelming beauty,” Jaime Diffee, a student artist who participated in the program, said. “The work also reflects the serenity that accompanies isolation, the meditative peace when you become part of the environment, anonymity, and the acceptance of events that need to unfold.”

When the exhibit opened for its first full day at noon on Sept. 10 students were there to see it.

“I found out about this exhibit from a flyer on the wall in the anthropology building and was instantly interested because of my Irish background,” said Brett Farran, freshman environmental science major. “The artwork was beautiful and very cool. My parents traveled to Ireland this summer, which made me a little jealous. Now seeing this artwork, I really want to go.”

The exhibition is free and open to the public through Oct. 1 in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts in Building 82. The Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m. while the exhibit is in process.

img_5302 img_5347


















TAGGED exhibition opens for its spring 2016 season

By Sydney O’Gwynn
Staff Writer


Junior art major Corey Frey won Best in Show with his piece, “Quiddity,” a painting of a baby girl, modeled after his daughter.
Photo by Sydney O’Gwynn.

Junior studio art major Corey Frey took home the Best in Show award at the opening reception of the TAGGED Student Art and Design Exhibition on Thursday night.

The exhibition was open from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Art Gallery (TAG) in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Five juried awards were given out: two honorable mentions, two runners-up and a Best in Show award. There was also a People’s Choice award decided by the viewers at the opening reception.

The TAGGED exhibit is “an opportunity for students to compete in a juried competition, much like they will do once they graduate,” said Nick Croghan, director of TAG.

Croghan said there were more than 120 student submissions, and 13 members of the University of West Florida’s faculty narrowed the selection down to 45 pieces of artwork. Then, Croghan said, he brought someone outside of UWF to select the winners. This year’s guest judge was Raven Holloway, executive director of the Pensacola Museum of Art.

Holloway said there were several factors that went into the selection process.

“Obviously, the quality of the work, but also the creativity and imagination,” Holloway said.

She praised Frey’s winning piece.

“The painterly qualities of that piece were just outstanding,” Holloway said.

While the two runners up and the Best in Show winner received cash prizes from UWF, Holloway and the PMA awarded one-year memberships to the two students who received honorable mentions.

Frey’s winning piece, “Quiddity,” is an oil painting on wood panel. The painting is of a baby girl, modeled after his daughter.

“I’m exploring the relationship between visual imagery and the narrative that paint provides as a substance,” Frey said. “So I’m exploring whatever the subject matter may be, but I’m also really interested in what paint can do and the process of painting.”

Frey said it is nice to be in these shows because the artist sees the support in their work from others.

“For one, it’s just a confidence boost,” he said. “I think any student can just be excited that their work is being appreciated and just hearing that support is a huge deal and it keeps you going.”

Senior art major Jane Hatcher, who usually can be found taking pictures and videos at various art events, stepped out from behind the camera to accept the People’s Choice award.

“It’s a big honor because people are actually voting on your artwork,” she said about winning the award. “I love it.”

Hatcher said she had the materials for her work, which shows a tree stump with vines leading up to an upside-down chair, in her possession for the past four years. Her fascination with mushrooms inspired the outdoor theme in her piece. “It’s kind of bringing outside in,” she said.

The annual TAGGED event has been held for more than a decade. It is an all-student show, which associate professor Valarie George said is extremely important for both the students and the community.

“It’s important for a million reasons,” she said. “[Students] have to have some experience in applying for shows, being selected, being rejected; going through the motions of that process.”

Croghan agreed with George, citing art as a form of communication.

“You can talk about aesthetic issues, political issues, gender issues,” Croghan said. “Whatever platform you think is important, you can use this as a venue for expression.”

Hatcher also said student shows are important because it is an exposure opportunity for students as well as a way for the community to see the next generation.

“We’re upcoming artists; this is what we want to do for the rest of our lives,” Hatcher said. “When the community sees that, it encourages us.”

The 2016 TAGGED exhibition runs through March 12. TAG is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For information on the Department of Art, including TAGGED and other upcoming events, visit their website.

Visiting lecturer Chris Schweizer tells art students to do what they love

Sydney O’Gwynn

Staff Writer


Chris Schweizer, signing autographs at UWF. Photo by Sydney O’Gwynn.


Chris Schweizer, a graphic artist and cartoonist, discussed his journey into the world of graphic design in his lecture Thursday in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of West Florida.

Schweizer said he found it difficult deciding exactly what he wanted to do in the art field. When he was in his twenties, comic books became all the rage.

“That got me really excited,” Schweizer said, addressing the audience. “So I started to do comics.”

He said his dad had a huge impact on his decision to become a graphic novelist. He said he remembers when he was 24 and he drew some comics. After showing them to his dad, his dad said he should draw comics for a living.

“For him to, sort of, propose that was the first time that I actually thought of it as being a job,” Schweizer said.

“The Crogan Adventures” is Schweizer’s historical fiction graphic novel series. There are currently three published: “Catfoot’s Vengeance,” “Last of the Legion” and “Where Loyalties Lie.” He also has a children’s series called “The Creeps.”

In his lecture, Schweizer talked about his process when writing his novels and coming up with ideas for their stories.

“I give my characters an impossible problem and force myself to solve it,” Schweizer said addressing the audience. “It’s fun trying to figure this stuff out.”

He said he tries to engross himself in whatever genre he is working in so he can understand what he is drawing. He said doing this helps with the accuracy of the artwork.

Senior digital art major Lyani La Santa said it was a nice lecture for art majors to find some validity in their field. Being a digital art major, she said she also enjoyed his outlook on digital media.

“It’s nice to know that even though he is an accomplished artist, he sees online media as an actual tool to get art out there,” La Santa said.

She said she liked his approach of doing whatever makes you happy and said she learned to, “be as animated as your art.”

Schweizer is the first lecturer to visit the department of art this semester. Nick Croghan, director of The Art Gallery, said he tries to bring in several lecturers throughout the course of a semester.

“What I’m looking to do is provide the best experience for students, the university community and the general northwest Florida community,” Croghan said.

He said he tries to find lecturers whose experiences will cater to students in different fields of art.

“One of the things I really try to do is find a balance between traditional mediums and more contemporary mediums,” Croghan said.

To close the lecture, Schweizer gave some advice to up and coming art majors. He said exposure is key for an artist.

“Showcase what you do and how you to do it as much as you can,” he said.

He also said to stay true to what you do, because you never know what impact you are having on your fans.

“I love for work to be fun,” Schweizer said. “I really enjoy my work and I want to continue to enjoy my work.”

Before the lecture, Schweizer gave everyone in the audience a copy of one of his sketchbooks released in 2011. After the lecture, he autographed the books, making sure to give each one a personalized sketch. He gave the remaining listeners his philosophy on being successful in their careers.

“You’ve got to be two of three things,” he said. “Really good, really fast or really easy to work with.”

For more information about Chris Schweizer and his work, visit his website at croganadventures.blogspot.com.

For more information about the Art Gallery and its upcoming events, visit its website at tag82uwf.wordpress.com.