October 21, 2021 – July 17, 2022
Located in the Kohan, Newell and Friends of Artis—Naples Galleries of Hayes Hall
Florida Contemporary, an annual exhibition organized by Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, highlights the work of notable visual artists active in Florida. The artists invited for its ninth iteration are Colombian Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Hawaii-born Akiko Kotani and California native Noelle Mason. With their distinctive backgrounds and artistic preoccupations, these three artists provide an array of compelling works in diverse media that testify to the state’s vibrant art scene, as well as its ever-changing human geography, which is continuously injected and bursting with multicultural creative talent.
The exhibition provides insights into these artists’ unique visual lexicons in three galleries, each one dedicated to a single artist. Overall, the show focuses on their enduring visual investigations into a range of crucial aesthetic notions, including transcendence, beauty and visuality, as well as topical questions regarding identity, belonging, surveillance and border crossing. This show creates a space for viewers to become both inspired and exalted while simultaneously allowing one to engage with critical dialogues about the role that art plays in this multicultural nation and in our connections to nature, land and geography.
Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, in 1977, Gonzalo Fuenmayor lives and works in Miami. He has created an astonishing body of charcoal drawings and photography imbued with a sense of magical realism. His work poignantly addresses Latin America’s colonial past and its legacy, as well as the multilayered cultural influences that have impacted both his artistic practice and Latin America as a whole. With a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Fuenmayor has built his professional artistic career in the United States over the past two decades.
Hawaii-born fiber artist Akiko Kotani (b. 1940) is professor emerita of art at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and resides in Gulfport. She was named Pittsburgh Artist of the Year in 2013, and in 2019, Artist Laureate by Creative Pinellas. From her massive, site-specific installation pieces crocheted with plastic trash bags to minimalistic stitched works that distill impressions of nature and landscape, Kotani’s art exemplifies the boundless innovations taking place in contemporary fiber arts. She has significantly contributed to redefining fibre arts' relationship to the fine arts, transcending the customary boundaries between the two. Stitch by stitch, she integrates traditional women’s handcrafts into stunning contemporary artwork.
Born and raised in San Diego, California, multidisciplinary artist Noelle Mason (b. 1977) is associate professor of art at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Her art is the result of her intensive research into surveillance technology and issues of border control. She works in a wide variety of media, ranging from cyanotypes and collodions to handwoven tapestries. Mason holds an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she has garnered many awards and residencies throughout her career, including the South Arts Southern Prize (2017) and Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Artist Grant (2013). She held a residency at the esteemed Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, among other commendations.
Artists of Florida Contemporary
March 3 at 2pm
Past Iterations of Florida Contemporary
- Florida Contemporary 2020-21 December 2020 – July 25, 2021
- Florida Contemporary 2019-20 December 20, 2019 – April 19, 2020
- Florida Contemporary 2017-18 November 16, 2017 – January 13, 2018
- Florida Contemporary 2015-16 January 27 – April 20, 2016
- Florida Contemporary 2014-15 January 31 — April 26, 2015
- Florida Contemporary 2013-14 February 22 — April 27, 2014
This presentation of Florida Contemporary has been organized by Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, and curated by Rangsook Yoon, Ph.D., curator of modern art.