By: Tyrah Walker
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) Kent Campus held the grand opening of their art gallery, Figuration on Sept. 29, featuring artwork created by four local artists that show figuration in their own perspective. The featured artists, Nina Avis, Cody Rose, Dimelza Broche and Franklin Ratliffe were at the gallery speaking to viewers about their inspirations and showing them their favorite pieces.
Nina Avis, currently attending the University of North Florida (UNF), was born in South Korea and started painting at a young age. Her artwork is inspired by social and mental issues present in the world today. Her piece, “The Girl on the Bed,” shows a woman lying on her bed looking at her reflection through a mirror while holding a knife. Avis is inspired by other female artists such as Alyssa Monks and Artemisia Gentileschi. “I’ve always been making art my entire life,” said Avis. “I was just one of those people that never stopped.”
Cody Rose, also a current student at UNF, showcases his figuration artwork through charcoal and printmaking. Rose always wanted to be an artist but didn’t start his craft until after he graduated high school. His favorite pieces of his own art are “Malaise I,” “Malaise II,” and “Malaise III,” which shows human figures devoid of faces and hands. His inspiration for this was to take away the hands and face to reveal vulnerability. “For those, it was an attempt to create an uncomfortable feeling,” said Rose.
UNF graduate Dimelza Broche realized her passion for art at the age of 13. As a child, she looked up to her older brother who is also an artist. She has had her work featured in other galleries, such as The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, the Women’s Center of Jacksonville and the S. Dillon Ripley Center.
Franklin Ratliffe, also a graduate of UNF, gets his inspiration from close relatives and friends. He wanted to design cars when he was a little boy–which eventually led to his passion for painting once he entered college.
For his painting, “collector (major event in furs),” Ratliffe’s nephew is surrounded by dark black spaces–symbolizing a dream he had where his nephew wandered around obscure landscapes. “I had these strange dreams where he was wandering off into these weird landscapes,” said Ratliffe. “I sort of saw him as not being afraid of doing things that are either not socially acceptable, or just not being afraid of dangerous things.”
FSCJ Professor Dustin Harewood teaches design and painting. He’s previously taught three out of the four showcased artists, and has been following their work since they were his students. He was one of the two professors that chose the artists for the figuration gallery. “I’ve been following what they’ve been up to and I’ve been a fan of what they’ve been doing,” said Haywood. “I’ve just been watching them get better and better.”
If you missed the opening night of the gallery, you can go to Kent Campus and view the gallery everyday 6-8 p.m. until Oct. 20. The gallery is located at Building E, Room E112a.