The Morean Arts Center (MAC) announces participants for Fresh Squeezed 4: Emerging Artists in Florida. Sponsored by the Gobioff foundation and Lisa and Perry Everett, the annual showcase focuses on nurturing and advancing the careers of budding visual artists, while giving the community the opportunity to discover exciting new art being made in our region. An opening reception will be held during Second Saturday ArtWalk, Saturday, March 14, 5-9 pm and the exhibition will remain open to the public through April 22, 2020.
The 6 artists featured were selected from over 140 applicants. “This is an important show for us because it highlights one of the things the Morean does best and that is being a resource and advocate for emerging artists,” explained Amanda Cooper, Morean Arts Center Curator. “We are often a first step for an artist before major museum exhibitions.”
The artists receive practical support ranging from giving them great head shots and professional images of their work. They also receive coaching from the Morean staff and network of professional member artists with expertise on the logistics of shipping art, critiques on the art and guidance on pricing structures.
The Fresh Squeezed artists for 2020 are:
Krystle Lemonias, based in Tampa, is an interdisciplinary visual artist and art educator. She is primarily influenced by her research on social class privilege, border culture, economic inequity and the resiliency of Caribbean people. Lemonias uses found materials, fabric and iconography to explore these themes. Her dedication to visual arts is an important contribution to contemporary Carribbean art and history. She acquired a BFA in printmaking from New Jersey City University in 2018 and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of South Florida.
Cindy Leung, a class of 2021 graduate student at the University of Florida College of the Arts is a ceramic artist. She received her BFA in Studio Arts with a concentration in ceramics from Queens College, City University of New York. Art enthusiasts who saw the Bruce Dehnert curated Great Divide exhibit earlier this season at the Morean Center for Clay may remember seeing Leung’s heritage reflected in the two pieces selected for that show. She was born and raised in Hong Kong, assisted artists Sin-Ying Ho and Phyllis Kudder Sullivan before completing her studio assistantship a Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center in New York.
Nicholas Kalemba is a contemporary painter living and working in Orlando. Specializing in acrylic and oil painting on a large-scale, he works as a muralist, studio painter and adjunct professor. He graduated with a BFA in 2016 and an MFA in 2019 from the University of Central Florida. He is currently an “Artist in Action” at the Maitland Art Center.“My paintings immerse viewers in a familiar but skewed version of reality to expose the painfully humorous decay of our social institutions. They aim to be cryptic, humorous, macabre and seducing all at once,” said Kalemba. He is driven by an overwhelming desire to capture and examine the moments, events and environments that define our experience as modern human beings.
Fans of the work of Kirk Ke Wang will want to see the art of Luca Molnar. Molnar uses mixed media to capture a sense of fractured space, pitting continents of pattern against one another in an approach evocative of Wang’s style but in a fresh and unique voice. “The patterns I use quote specific domestic items – embroidery, quilts, clothing, wallpaper, tile and the like. These patterns are ones we encounter in the everyday, most often in bathrooms and kitchens, the centers of care for the body and the often-invisible labor of women,” explains Molnar.
Molnar added, “As a new transplant to Florida, I’m particularly excited for the opportunity to get to know the other artists, Morean staff, and the St. Petersburg art community. This show has given me the push I needed to finish this body of work and the space to experiment with installation pieces to pair with the paintings.”
Jared Ragland, will be exhibiting, SNOWBIRD a project he started after his recent move to Tarpon Springs. “Consisting of photographs made during daily walks and bike rides around town alongside a collection of historical images, objects, and ephemera, the work situates the idyllic and quotidian, the strange and the sentimental, and serves as a means of orienting myself within a unique community steeped in a complex mix of culture and history, contradiction and change,” said Ragland. Ragland, a fine art and documentary photographer, teaches in the Judy Genshaft Honors College at the University of South Florida. In 2019, he received the Reel South Short Award for his first film, Some Million Miles at the Sidewalk Film Festival. The film is currently featured online by PBS. He has worked on assignment for NGO’s in the Balkans, the former Soviet Bloc, East Africa and Haiti.
Chelsea Rowe is a local multimedia artist who recently returned to St. Petersburg from LA. She reports excitement at being able to participate in the Fresh Squeezed 4 Show, “… at the exact moment that I happen to have moved back to the city I’ve always considered home, and to make new pieces in this wonderfully strange, beautiful swamp,” says Rowe. She is known for creating environments using stagecraft, video projection, painting and drawing. “I develop a cast of costumed characters that emerge from a swampy, neo-primordial Floridian landscape, inspired by the current state of my home and the onslaught of hurricanes that are forcing Floridians to adapt to change.”
Now in its 4th year, the Fresh Squeezed exhibit is steadily growing in momentum and following. “It’s a win-win project for everyone. The artists get the benefit of our expertise and a solo show in a beautiful, reputable space. Then we get to meet and work with these fabulous artists and connect them with our community,” added Cooper. For more information on the Morean Arts Center and upcoming exhibitions, please visit MoreanArtsCenter.org.