All Florida Invitational is being curated by artists

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Flora, fauna, politics, and psychosis make up but a few of the themes of the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s 65th All Florida Invitational – an exhibition with as wide a variety of artistic mediums as it has subject matter. On view July 16 through September 25, this year’s iteration of the longest-running juried art competition in the state brings together the work of five distinguished Florida-based artists alongside the work of 25 early-career Florida artists. The result is an exhibition of 30 works that provide a unique perspective onto current artistic practice in our state – a perspective guided by the voices of the artists themselves.

The Museum made the decision to change the format of the exhibition in 2015, switching from a submission to an invitational design. Five established artists with strong ties to Florida – Edouard Duval–Carrié of Miami, Elisabeth Condon of Tampa and Brooklyn, Christopher Harris of Orlando, Carol Prusa of Boca Raton, and Sergio Vega of Gainesville – were invited to each select five artists who they believe show great promise. With artists involved in the curatorial process, the All Florida Invitational offers a new and personal perspective.

“The invitational format has strengthened this much-beloved exhibition,” says Marisa J. Pascucci, the Museum’s Curator of Collections, who worked on the project. “The All Florida Invitational is now much more inclusive of all of Florida – both geographically and artistically. And interestingly, more than half of the artists participating in the exhibition are female.”

Irvin Lippman, the Museum’s Executive Director, notes that “as the Museum was founded by artists, we thought the best way to advance the All Florida was to create an artist-centered curatorial selection committee. We have chosen artists who definitely have their finger on the pulse.”

The All Florida Invitational features works by:

Elisabeth Condon, Tampa and Brooklyn, Painter,
Condon’s paintings, drawings and collages combine influences from Chinese scrolls, American postwar abstraction and wallpaper patterns.

Michael Covello, Tampa, Painting,
Covello’s art is based in abstraction while depicting space, whether figuratively in two-dimensional painting or literally in an installation. Striving for a presentation of excess, his work is purposefully challenging viewers to comprehend what is before them.

Cindy Mason, St. Petersburg, Installation, Sculpture,
Using the language of abstraction, Mason investigates the human consciousness and self-awareness in public and private space; specifically what the mind knows to be there and what a person actually sees.

Shawn Pettersen, Sarasota, Sculpture,
With a desire to create a bridge between the epic and personal, Pettersen’s work references natural disasters, the animal kingdom, technology, biblical stories and American biography.

Claudia Ryan, Bradenton, Painting and Drawing,
Ryan’s grand abstract works are filled with layers of gestural brushstrokes and markings. The intense compositions are imagined by the artist and put down on paper or canvas quickly in a mode of unconsciousness.

Carmen Tiffany, Miami, Video,          
Creating fantastical characters, Tiffany works in animation and drawing to investigate the unsettling aspects of utopian ideologies. She mimics the bright colors and patterns of children’s stories to fashion a world of artifice.

Edouard Duval-Carrié, Miami, painter and sculptor,     
Duval-Carrié was born in Haiti in 1954, emigrated to Puerto Rico as a child before studying in Montreal and France and finally residing in Miami. His paintings and sculpture reflect the culture and history of Haiti with references to the Vodou religion.

Emilio Martinez, Miami, Drawing and Painting
Born in 1981 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Martinez came to Miami at age 13. His difficulty in adjusting to the language and culture of his new home, he began to draw and paint. His work is filled with personal research and exploration on identity, diaspora and spiritual symbols. His work comes to life through the bicultural puzzle, which he de-codes, on a daily basis using a sketchbook where he records like a dairy, his obsessions, passions and fears.

Kerry Phillips, Miami, Installation artist,
Phillips credits the amassing and arranging of the found objects in her installations to growing up on farms and the grand storytelling of a grandmother. She terms these site-specific installations Inventories that “combine the all of something from my studio with something found on site.”

Vickie Pierre, Miami, Painting and Assemblages,
Pierre’s work is informed by memory, popular culture and the decorative and ornamental arts. Within her work, Pierre re-contextualizes iconic imagery and found objects to formulate a narrative that references the inner dialogue of identity and feminine psychology.

Onajide Shabaka, Miami, Mixed Media,
Shabaka references the anthropological, geological and biological in his visceral and conceptual photographic work. He seeks to engage with and merge nature, history, technology and ritual, much of which is intertwined with his work as an arts writer and independent curator.

Nina Surel, Miami, Mixed Media,
Surel was born and raised in Buenos Aires where she studied fashion, textile, costume and set design before relocating to Miami. Her multi-media works, often monumental in size, depict Surel as a single figure or as multiple characters in extravagant costumes highlighted by vintage found objects and set in extensive environments.

Christopher Harris, Orlando, Film,
Harris’ films explore the post-industrial urban landscape, black outlaws, the cosmic consequences of the sun’s collapse, a child’s nightlight and a theme park performance of Christ’s Passion.

Anthea Behm, Gainesville, Photography, Performance
Working with the visual, textual, and performative, Behm’s practice takes form as paintings, objects, photographs and performances. By considering the material and social as inextricably linked, she engages the production of meaning, ideology and value.

Jay Flynn, Pensacola, Multi Media,
Flynn works with various contemporary and historical photographic processes in sculptural form. Considering the physical presence of sculptural installations and photographs as illustrations of the past, he explores the dynamics between body and soul.

Jon Perez, Orlando, Video and Installation
Perez works with sound and video to investigate post-appropriation aesthetics in vernacular moving image archives and networks. He creates single channel videos as well as multi-channel installations. 

Christina Poindexter, St. Petersburg, Mixed Media,
Utilizing mediums such as sculpture, video, photography and many other media, Poindexter explores the human body and corporal experience. The painful aspects of our bodies, such as the reaction to physical and emotional environments are of interest to her and manifest in her varied forms of artistic creation.

Jamilah Sabur, Miami, Video,
Sabur is interested in cognitive science and exploring the unconscious mind. Her art is interdisciplinary and uses the body as a vehicle of expression.

Carol Prusa, Boca Raton, Painting and Drawing,
Prusa constructs domes and orbs covered in all-over patterns that are reminiscent of mathematical models of the universe. These drawings are executed in silverpoint and enhanced with graphite, dry pigment and on occasion LED lights that twinkle from within.

Carola Bravo, Miami, Installation,
Bravo, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, creates immersive installations that combine performances, videos, topographic wall drawings and sculpture and intersects with the viewer’s space and sense of reality. Each method shares a similar depiction of patterned, linear drawings that she describes as representing communication lines and mapping of a territory.  

Amy Gross, Delray Beach, Textile,
Gross embroiders and beads intricate and elaborate sculptures of the natural worlds. Simultaneously real and imagined, each sculpture is microcosm of organisms that are on the edge of decaying but their beauty is captured in time.

Carlene Muñoz, Miami, Drawing,
Using colored pencils on paper, Muñoz draws delicate compositions that suggest maps of the earth or the sky. She describes it as an intuitive process shaped by her unconscious thoughts.

Jill Lavetsky, Lake Worth, Drawing,
Lavetsky draws semi-abstract compositions that relate a narrative of life in South Florida. Working with charcoal powder and ink, with an occasional collage element, her works are often in various shades of black, white and gray.

Bonnie Seeman, Ceramics, Boca Raton,
Seeman’s art possesses a feeling of the macabre as she combines elements of the natural world to fashion utilitarian objects, such as teapots, vases, pitchers, etc.

Sergio Vega, Gainesville, Multi-Media,
Originally from Buenos Aires, Vega addresses both contemporary and historical representations of earthly paradise in the Americas. Using photographs, videos and interactive sculpture he interprets the notion of paradise and the Garden of Eden, specifically the theory of Antonio de Leon Pinelo from 1650 that locates the Garden of Eden in South America.

Kate Helms, Tampa, Sculpture, Installation
Mixing natural and constructed elements, Helms creates environments that critique the social, cultural, and historical aspects of life in Florida. The works layer bizarre, exoticized mythologies onto the 'native' subtropical landscape with worshipful, campy reverence. Wetlands are filled. Palms are planted. Myth replaces reality. Helms exploits a landscape that is both the subject of national ridicule (e.g. @_#FloridaMan) and the object of deep desire (South Beach, yachts, tanlines) to present concise narrative alternatives to traditional representations of tropical culture.

Sean Miller, Gainesville, Video and Installation,
Miller’s work explores situations, practices and information that define existing power structures in contemporary art and politics thru obsessive activities, absurd scenarios, humor and extreme aesthetics in order to introduce objects and events that question existing organizational methods and hierarchalstructures.

Michelle Kelly Rogers, Florida, Video,
Through the creation of video art, Rogers explores the themes of ecology and the politics of nature using bee culture as context.

Marla Rosen and Eddie Negron, Miami, Installation,
The complex installations of Rosen and Negron focus on the idiosyncrasies of South Florida’s locale and culture. The experience is subversive and harsh with unexpected sound and movement.

Jack Stenner, Gainesville, Video,
Stenner synthesizes culture, hardware and software to create conceptual work taking forms such as networked installation and experimental cinema.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by Jennifer & Marc Bell, Beatrice Cummings Mayer, and Christine & Peter Raimondi. Additional support is provided in part by the City of Boca Raton; the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Additional support is generously provided by our Members and Donors.


Please contact Kelsey Johnson for interviews with the selection committee, selected artists, Curator of Collections Marisa J. Pascucci or Museum Executive Director Irvin Lippman. High-res images and captions available via Dropbox: