Recent work by Roger Chamieh, Kendra Frorup and Marc Mitchell Oct. 26 – Nov. 30, 2007

Dorothy Cowden

Oct 26 – Nov 30, 2007 Opening Reception: Friday, Oct 26, 7-9 p.m. Gallery Talk: Oct 29, 11 a.m.: Three Artist’s Dialog All events are open to the public. There is no charge for admission The University of Tampa, Scarfone/Hartley Gallery celebrates its 30th anniversary with this exciting exhibition featuring three alumni: Roger Chamieh, Kendra Frorup and Marc Mitchell. The public is invited to meet the artists at the opening reception Friday, October 26, 7-9 p.. and at a Gallery Talk, Monday October 29 at 11 a.m.

The following essay by Gil DeMeza, teacher and friend, best describes the artists in this exhibition To paraphrase a conversation in the novel “Foucault’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco, the protagonist states emphatically that all information is equal. What creates power with respect to any situation is the way that these bits and pieces of information are connected. This may be the simplest, clearest and most concise extrapolation to explain what might be called the creative process. We see all around us the evidence of life in terms of natural phenomena, we carry with us the internalization of experiences through memories and we study the behavior of human beings and animals as a way of gathering information. When we access the imagination and place or connect these pieces of information into a contextual situation, we create meaning and, possibly, art. From this point on most artists work “in series”, meaning they change the images through variations of a motif and/or experimentation. The momentum of this working method, which might be likened to evolution, usually results in some form of mutation, a particular variation which seems more “unlike” than “like”, in the series. This is the method employed by Kendra Frorup, Roger Chamieh, and Marc Mitchell. They have put together bits and pieces of information in their own eccentric ways and are presenting us with the wonderful and exciting mutations of their respective series.” Kendra Frorup is the collector. Her unique ability to take the old, the used and discarded and turn them into other worldly, incalculably exquisite moments in time is a magical talent. She is magically talented; her creations are works which exhibit both poignancy and invigorating humor. Her outgoing, friendly demeanor is as infectious as is her art while giving us pieces that are at once funny, elegant, scary and crude and like Roger and Marc, she is a dreamer of the first magnitude. With respect to her work, the viewer is never left disappointed or hungry. Roger Chamieh is the ringmaster; the man glowing in center ring under the spotlight. “Showman”, the title he used for his graduate thesis exhibition, clearly says to the world that ego is good. He has brought us the materialization of his ego and his dreams for this show and they are powerful in their seemingly contradictory subtleties. His works in this show have an elegance that is of a refined and sophisticated approach. He has been fascinated, for the past several years, by the “inflatable”; works which hover dangerously or ethereally, depending on the situation. Here on display is the fragile, yet enduring nature of life itself.

The most recent of these three graduates of our program and the third member of this exhibiting group is Marc Mitchell. Marc is an interesting study in character having graduated from the University of Tampa as a finance major. Along the way, he took all his electives in painting and decided that his future had to be as a painter, not a businessman. He subsequently entered and successfully completed his MFA work at Boston University. When you consider the fact that he received a scholarship to our university to play golf, you begin to see how the pieces fall into place. Marc is discipline personified. He is passionate to a fault and possesses a work ethic to accomplish anything to which he sets his mind. His paintings clue us into his love for architecture with their structural logic and integrity and in part because of this deceptively simple approach; they take us from pure surface to areas deep in the subconscious. In each case, these three extraordinary artists show us what love looks like. Love of truth, love for family, love for friends, love of work and struggle, of curiosity, of discovery, and love of process; in short, love of life. The Roger Chamieh, Kendra Frorup and Marc Mitchell exhibition continues through November 30. The Gallery will be closed Nov 21-26 for Thanksgiving break. For more information contact 813-253-6217. *University of Tampa Scarfone/Hartley Gallery is located in R K Bailey Art Studios at 310 North Boulevard *Gallery Hours are: 10-4 Tues- Fri, 1-4 Sat, Closed National Holidays. No charge for admission.

*The purpose of the Gallery is to exhibit works of art and host visiting artists as an extension of the classroom. The gallery provides students on campus and the community an opportunity to meet artists and to view and study significant original works created by contemporary national, international and regional artists. Events, lectures and performances that are intrinsic to the arts are included in the program.

*Programs are made possible with the support of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Tampa Friends of the Gallery.

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