A ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Paintings by Dima Kroma
July 13, 2019 — September 19, 2019
My art celebrates the spirit of cultural diversity; it tells stories about who we are and where we came from. I use the power of visual language to build bridges, hoping to surpass national and cultural boundaries.
My paintings take the viewers overseas to Syria, so they hear the music, smell the scents, see the architecture, and meet the hospitable people there.
I divide my time between painting, software programming and taking care of my family. Combining both art and science in my daily routine fuels my creativity and helps me find ways to innovate in both domains.
As an immigrant, I try to represent some of the Syrian culture in my art, to show that what unites us as human beings is far more than what divides us, and at the end of the day we are part of one big nation; that is humanity.
Dima Kroma is a Syrian-German informatics engineer with a specialty in Software Engineering, a wife, a mother of two, and a self-taught artist. She grew up in a scientific family as her parents were in the medical field. She loved art since early childhood, started to paint at 15 years old and focused mainly on still life.
Dima moved to the United States in 2010. She paints with acrylics and oil paints, and she is known to love vibrant colors. Dima believes that both artists and scientists tend to see the world in new but similar ways. They both solve problems with the same open-mindedness, and they both have no fear of the unknown.
Princess Simpson Rashid
Princess Simpson Rashid is an American painter, printmaker, blogger, art activist, competitive sport-fencer and coach. Her current body of work explores the relationship between color, perception and symbolism.Rashid has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in museums, art centers, galleries and alternative art spaces across the United States including the Pacific Grove Art Center in Pacific Grove, CA, Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz, CA, Tempus-Projects in Tampa, FL and the CoRk Art District in Jacksonville, FL.
See Simpson’s work on display in the JEA Science Theater and in the Pre-K Classrooms at MOSH.
MOSH integrates art into its programs and exhibits in an effort to connect with visitors on a multitude of senses.
For more information about MOSH’s Local Artist Program, contact our Curator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding has been provided by the PNC Foundation, the charitable arm of the PNC Financial Services Group.
Conceptual Photographs by Marcia Brito
I create photographic abstractions to explore the intersections of art and science and satisfy my thirst for innovation. My artwork employs optics, color, and the physics of light as tools to craft an alternative world. By manipulating a digital camera, I offer a subjective and abstract view of everyday reality. It is up to the viewer to interpret the shapes, colors and textures playfully presented through fragmented subjects.
The photographic abstractions provide an escape, even if only momentary, from the daily struggles we all encounter. The work is non-objective in order to heighten the purity of aesthetic elements and perceptual experience, transforming otherwise recognizable subjects to encourage the audience to delight in ambiguity. I hope that my photographic abstractions promote a joyful realization of the colors, patterns, and textures that underlie reality.
The series defies traditional rules of photography, pushing the medium past its documentation limits. The images are created in-camera without post-production photography software. I manipulate the lens and make gestural movements with the camera to highlight the role of speed, color, and light in the process of abstraction. The artwork is a marriage of the expression of the mind, heart, and soul with the technology of digital photography, bridging the more scientific aspects of photography with the gesture and vibrant color of abstract expressionism.
Marcia Brito is a conceptual photographer and visual arts professor based in Miami. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at Jacksonville University. Her work can be seen at www.britoart.com. For purchase inquiries of the artwork on exhibit here, please email Chris Cooney at email@example.com or call (305) 619-5663.
Sculptures by Michael Cottrell
For many years, my sculptural artwork has been inspired by forms found in nature. I am inspired by the texture of tree bark, the swirls in a seashell, and the graceful curves of a bone structure. My explorations are derived by interpreting forms found in nature and objects that are in some way hidden or obscured. As an abstract artist, I am constantly seeking out interesting “source material” for creating innovative forms – things such as bones, fossils, microorganisms, and crystalline structures – items that are familiar, yet are not a part of our conscious observation of everyday environments. I strive to capture the elegance of the essential qualities of these forms and bring them into view to encourage others to fully engage with the nuances of the world around them.
I have used many types of materials such as welded steel, cast metal, and even fabric to interpret natural objects in an abstract way, but digital processes have opened up fascinating new avenues for this type of work. By scanning actual objects to generate virtual 3-D models, I can manipulate these forms in the virtual space in ways that simply are not possible in the physical world. I can create abstractions not only by re-imagining the aesthetic characteristics of a form, but also by manipulating the actual objects into new fantastical versions of themselves. The results are still familiar, but invigoratingly fresh. They demand investigation as they seem plausible, but are impossible.
Atlanta native Michael Cottrell is Professor of Sculpture at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He received his BA in ceramics from Warren Wilson College and his MFA in sculpture and ceramics from East Carolina University.
Images of Florida’s First Coast:
Photographs by Will Dickey
Will Dickey has been a Jacksonville resident since he became a staff photographer for The Florida Times-Union in 1983. News events, environmental portraits, sports, business, digital illustrations and features are among his daily assignments for the newspaper. His work has also been featured in Water’s Edge, Florida Trend, Newsweek and Time magazines, the ABC Evening News and National Geographic’s website.
Dickey has won regional and national awards for his newspaper work, but he has a special respect for nature and for the beauty of northeast Florida, especially the Timucuan Preserve, the St. Johns River and the Atlantic coastline.
The waterways and woods are his passion, professionally and personally, and photographing them is something of a return to his roots. He grew up in Alabama and wet his first hook as a young child, fishing alongside his father and uncles in the creeks and ponds of his hometown Chatom, north of Mobile. In high school and college (Auburn University) he developed an interest in photography and turned his camera to nature.
Dickey’s images of First Coast landscapes have been displayed in local art galleries and outdoor art festivals for the past several years. You can see more of Dickey’s nature photography at www.willdickey.com and his editorial photography at www.willdickeyphotography.zenfolio.com.
Decoding the Infinite Forest:
Photographs by Doug Eng
How do you photograph a forest? A forest presents itself along a path, creating an immersive and timeless experience, unfolding in a progression. Most photographs depict a contained space at a moment in time. I am interested in extending both of these dimensions.
A “forest” is conceptually unconstrained and without bounds. By creating a long window into the scene with no sky/foreground elements, I intended to imply the infinite and replicate what our normal field of vision would see on a trail. The forest is presented consistently as an objective composition within this frame. My interest is to study multiple locations, subjects, and types to determine if there is a visual signature unique to each condition, appealing to my engineering disposition to rationalize the chaos that is the forest. This code becomes apparent only when viewing multiple tree forms as they become the notes, chords, rests and tempo of a musical score.
Our culture of consumption continues to have a devastating effect on our forests. As a witness to the miraculous place any forest can be, my hope is that this project may, in some way, contribute to the wisdom to conserve, manage and protect these living resources.
Trained as an engineer and software programmer, Jacksonville native Doug Eng is a photographer and installation artist whose work may be seen at www.dougengart.com.
An Installation by Sarah Crooks Flaire
As MOSH’s 2016 Artist in Residence, Sarah Crooks Flaire explores the landscape of natural springs as a metaphor for the heart of our St. Johns River. Rooted in her personal mythology of Red Pearl River, where she redirects her energy daily from consumptive to creative partnership, Bearing Witness explores the tension between domestication and wild that the St. Johns River struggles with daily.
Like liquid light bubbling from underground darkness, water emerges from mystery and flows through our collective subconscious, bringing archetypes and stories. Worldwide, Original Peoples revered water as sacred and celebrated this gift of life by honoring its purity.
Fountains of youth belonged to everyone, and springs were historically sites for Councils of Reconciliation. In this current time of global climate change, we too have the opportunity to honor our water. Through conscious choices, we can move away from anthropocentric living towards reciprocity with the natural world.
Sarah Crooks Flaire is an artist and certified Florida Master Naturalist who earned the 2016 Ninah May Holden Cummer Award for artfully connecting people with the environment. She delights in creating tools and images that combine art and science while nurturing positive relationships with the natural world. Her work has been collected by corporations and healing centers, and her solo exhibitions include installations at Henry P. Leu Botanical Gardens, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, and the Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts. To schedule a workshop, purchase a piece in this exhibition, or to learn more, please visit www.sarahcrooksflaire.com.
Assemblages by Crystal Floyd
My works explore themes of nature, storytelling and adaptive reuse. From my love of natural history, I construct sculptural vignettes as cabinets of curiosities. I employ preserved insects, taxonomical items, natural artifacts, living plants and artificial objects in my work to activate magical narratives — collecting, cataloging and documenting in hopes that my works transcend the appropriated objects and transfer the viewer into a world that they have created.
These pieces are not about glorifying death but rather honoring and celebrating life, paying homage to the repeating patterns and cycles therein. Most of the items used are personally collected during nature outings, meticulously selected from private collections or gifted by other like-minded adventurers and lovers of the natural world in hopes that they will find new life and appreciation. The items in these cases carry personal significance to me, weaving new narratives and finding new perspectives between the static specimens contained within and the active memories that surround them.
For more visit: www.crystalfloyd.com.
Works of Art by Area High School Students
As part of its Arts Infusion Program, MOSH encourages youth to explore the connections between art and science. MOSH, in partnership with area high schools, has developed the Informed Art Project, in which students produce works of art that tell unique stories, guided by curriculum requirements but open to artist interpretation. In producing their works, students are encouraged to incorporate scientific principles accurately and precisely. Their art pieces are displayed at the Jacksonville Science Festival and selected works are showcased at MOSH.
Rights and Reflections
Works from the Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation
The featured artists are leaders of the Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation (JCDC). Founded in 2004 as the Jacksonville Consortium of African American Artists, JCDC is a group of artists, art administrators, teachers, and business people who seek to increase representation of African American artists and art resources in underserved communities in Jacksonville.
JCDC builds bridges that connect and empower communities through creative placemaking efforts that develop and strengthen a neighborhood’s character and identity. Such projects leverage the power of the arts, culture, and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for equality, growth, and transformation.
Suzanne Pickett has a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of North Florida. Her body of work embodies mixed media techniques that represent the spirit of the natural form and the complexity of the human spirit. She uses dramatic texture and color fusion in her two- and three-dimensional works with the use of paint, clay, wood, and other textures.
Annelies Dykgraaf was born and raised in Nigeria. She has a BFA from Calvin College and studied in France through the Cleveland Institute of Art. She is active in many Jacksonville cultural organizations and has exhibited at many regional museums and galleries. Her art is mainly in relief work – wood or linoleum carvings depicting people, symbols, textile patterns and motifs of West African folk tales.
Marsha Hatcher was born in South Georgia and has a BA from Albany State University. Having been a military wife for many years, she has traveled around the world and much of her work, mostly acrylic and oil painting, passionately captures these experiences and the people she has met. Her preferred subjects are people of color, and her works are featured in many private collections.
MUKASHI BANASHI 昔話 (OLD TALES)
Illustrations by Elena Øhlander
My work focuses on the subtleties of the human condition and explores identity, individuality, and gender through creative visual narrative. I utilize a contrived scenario, a self-styled characterization, and the psychology of color and semiotics to build my vernacular.
I seek to preserve the heritages and cultures of my daughter and myself. I am inspired by Japanese fine art, poetry, mythology, folklore, cuisine, language, Kabuki/Noh theatre, traditional attire, textiles, flowers, animals, toys, pottery techniques, and more. I modernize all these elements through illustrative, mixed-media storytelling in two-dimensional form.
I portray my own likeness as a Eurasian-Asian female, which resonates with my daughter. I seek to foster her interests and preserve her curiosity about the world and her culture while empowering her with a female character who redefines gender roles and is unafraid to confront her fears and insecurities. This character is whimsical and ethereal, sometimes dark and foreboding. She is all the emotions that come with life experiences and she continues to persevere. She is all I could hope to inspire my daughter to be.
My goal is to encourage the viewer to break down stereotypes and look beyond the boundaries of their own culture and identity for introspection. I hope to bring understanding, mindfulness, and a connection to what unifies us to society at large.
Elena Øhlander is an illustrator, painter, and mother. She earned a BFA in photography in 2014 and is currently working in Jacksonville, exhibiting her work at regional galleries and museums. She is both Chinese and Norwegian, born in America to immigrant parents who focused on assimilating into American culture rather than preserving their cultures and traditions. Her daughter is part Japanese and she shares and protects her heritage through the creation of a large body of work titled, I Think I’m Going Japanese.
Inventors Left To Their Own Devices:
Mixed Media Sculptures by Jim Smith
On display are sculptures that appear to be devices of a bygone age. These “prototype devices” reflect the style known as Steampunk, but they do not have the lightheartedness usually associated with the Steampunk movement. They are presented as one-of-a-kind devices made with passion and anguish by well-known historical figures who were driven by some compulsion.
Each prototype contains elements that are significant to the individual who is credited with its creation, and each appears to have a significant reason for existence, with strong references to science fiction. The works are meant to look aged, touched by time. To reinforce believability, the sculptures are labeled as authentic museum objects are.
Jim Smith, a Jacksonville resident since 1977, began his art career in SoHo in the 1970s, near the end of the pop art movement. He currently teaches advanced three-dimensional art classes at the Bolles School. He is a founding member of the Northeast Florida Sculptors Group, has shown his art internationally in both Mexico and Europe, and currently exhibits at Jacksonville’s Southlight Art Gallery. Mr. Smith is a major contributor to the annual Empty Bowls project benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank. In addition, he donates art to various charities including JASMYN and the Patrons of the Heart program.
Details of his work, including these pieces, can be found on his website at www.smithjart.com.
Paintings by Mary St. Germain
I have an affinity and respect for nature; it is my sanctuary and escape. As a child I spent much of my time outdoors – snow in the winter, beach in the summer, and nautical adventures with my dad. However, I think that learning the crafts of crocheting, knitting and bobbin lace making first opened my eyes to the world of patterns.
That childhood love draws me to certain subjects — the way palm fronds interface with one another and the stature of grasses, some standing tall and others bent by sweet, southern breezes. Patterns of nature are the defining element in this series of paintings.
My process is a direct response to what is occurring on the canvas. Since I do not do a complete compositional layout for a given painting, problem-solving and openness to changes as I work become the norm. Nothing is sacred; there is always a push/pull dialogue between background, mid-ground, and foreground. For me, the challenge is to start free and end with a working composition. I have always worked with graphite and charcoal to sketch and this has a strong influence on my painting.
It is my belief that art is the catalyst to the healing process of the human spirit. Art lifts our thoughts and emotions to levels that transform our physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Mary St. Germain is a Jacksonville painter. She studied Fine Arts at Louisiana State University and is a member of Oil Painters of America, Landscape Artists International and the National League of American Pen Women. Her work is in private and public collections near and far.
Twilight Tales Under The Treaty Oak:
Silk Paintings by Nena Tahil
The binding theme of my art story is transformation. I am passionate about embracing new perspectives and experiences. Through my art I translate feelings and memories of people, places and points in time while expressing the juxtapositions of life.
Art is Nature, Nature is Art. Art is not just what we see, it is how we see it. Art is about opening up to new possibilities. Art is an adventure. When we blend Nature and Art, we accept the beauty of what was, what is and what it could be. As we contemplate the blessings of Nature, we accept alternative possibilities and potentials and we experience the power of new perspectives. We experience metamorphosis.
Twilight Tales under the Treaty Oak is my interpretation of Nature’s offerings of life lessons – resilience, growth, grace and quiet elegance. Each leaf is just one page in the book of knowledge waiting patiently to be read. This book unfolds a tale of self-reflection where the final chapter is a personal envisioning.
Nena Tahil is a recent Florida resident. After a earning a Master in Public Health degree from Columbia University and a successful career in the health industry, Nena has dedicated the next phase of her life to advocating for mental wellness and closing the gap between the disparity of physical and mental health. She is recent graduate of UNF’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Nena believes that creativity is an essential element to self-discovery and individuation. A portion of the proceeds from sales of her work support mental health awareness in the Jacksonville community. Visit www.silk-paintings-by-nena.com.
Red and Blue:
3D Imagery by Jason Tetlak
I despise the ordinary. I spend my days grumbling to myself about the lack of color and design in the world around me, particularly with regard to the blank, khaki-grey walls that make up many of the buildings and spaces where we live and work.
I strive to take over these places with art to create an oasis where the other grumblers of the world can have something to enjoy. Recently that has involved painting murals and pushing myself to create pieces that are bigger and more visible. Alas, there are still more walls to conquer.
Originally from northeast Ohio, Jason Tetlak is a long-time resident of Jacksonville and a graduate of Flagler College with a degree in graphic design and fine art. His work tends to be interactive, exploring the relationship between the viewer and the artwork, and often incorporates technology through the use of QR codes, 3D anaglyphs*, red reveal and augmented reality.
Jason has shown work in group and individual shows, including Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Art Basel in Miami. He has created several murals (including a Guinness World record for the largest 3D mural right here in Jacksonville), and is the Director of the Murray Hill Mural Project, an initiative he created to elevate one of Jacksonville’s neighborhoods through community creativity and art.
Jason’s art can be seen online at art.tetlak.com.
Tabono’s Tempo: Peace in Mother’s Voice:
Paintings by Roosevelt Watson III
My work examines contemporary black experiences. As a visual historian, I use art to create dialogue around societal issues and create space for empathy and observance. My series, “Tabono’s Tempo,” looks at the past to move the present forward. In the past, quilts and songs were used to lead black people on their paths to freedom. I weave my work to tell present-day stories by exploring the common traits of strength, confidence and persistence, represented the Adinkra symbol, Tabono. These three traits are embodied in the black families that are forced to continue on after the trauma of gun violence, a theme I contemplate in Peace in Mother’s Voice.
As an artist, I am interested in displaying the range of human emotion through the use of abstract expressionism. I use color, shapes and symbols around loose physical forms to allow the viewer to reflect on how they process emotion. My passion of metaphysics is incorporated in the selection of palette and the use of color to heal and be representative.
How can we work together to alleviate the social issues that exist in communities plagued by years of neglect? I hope I can be a conduit for that reflection.
Jacksonville native Roosevelt Watson III is a painter working in surreal, abstract, and expressionistic modes. A dedicated studio artist, he earned his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art (now the Savannah College of Art and Design) and is a recipient of the Community Arts Foundation’s Art Venture Grant. His work has been displayed in major institutions throughout Florida and beyond. For purchase inquiries of the artwork on display, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AIR for 2018 is Jason Woods, an actor, director, composer, scenic designer and writer. Originally from Western Kentucky, he and his family have lived in Jacksonville for ten years. Dubbed a ‘creative conjurer’, Mr. Woods has created original theatrical shows, operating as writer, director, composer, scenic designer and puppet builder, often all at once. His past works include St. George & the Dragon, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad’s Wild Expedition, and A Christmas Carol, a solo stage show he adapted and composed music for in which he portrays twenty-five characters. He is also a voice-over artist, lending his voice to numerous commercial and creative products around the world. For more information, visit www.jasonwoodsactor.com.
So, what has Jason done for MOSH? He contributed his talents to the design and fabrication of the centerpiece of the Museum’s upcoming signature exhibit, Mission: Jax Genius – a whimsical, steampunk-inspired time machine in which visitors select the Jacksonville makers of the past they’d like to retrieve and bring to the present. Here’s Jason’s fantastical object label for his creation:
(tem-poos fuy-jit) – Latin: Time Flees
American-made by Jason Woods, 1936
(Restored in 2018 by Dr. R. Bailey & Dr. A. Campbell)
Tempus Fugit was built from 1929-1936 by Jason Woods, who had become disillusioned with wealth. He sank his fortune into his concept, alienating himself from family and friends, as well as a drapes boutique (It’s Curtains for You) that relied on his frequent purchases because of his wife’s insatiable design appetite.
The initial builds of Tempus Fugit were failures and caused the loss of a few pigs, a nice chair, and a hat rack. The machine, designed to take users back to the time of their choice, was wrought with complications. These arose from experimental materials including plasma-electro grit, fake copper wire, and a host of other fastenings, hardware, and lubricants (including a well-seasoned potato salad by Woods’ aunt Laverne). They caused numerous undesired effects other than time travel: temporary receding hairlines, weight gain, extreme toenail growth (and strength), and reverse aging, which was later proven to be false, of course.
Success was finally reached in 1936 when Tempus Fugit first traveled through time. Lester Quarrel, a 52-year old millworker from Delaware (and a fine dancer) was paid $7.00 (roughly $130 today) for his willingness to use Tempus Fugit. Said Mr. Quarrel, “I guess they picked me ’cause I’m just about at the age where I don’t care about time-travel. Non-temporal bias, they called it. Plus, you know, seven bucks.”
Transported back to December 15, 1791, Quarrel claimed to have witnessed the adoption of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Mr. Quarrel also claimed he was later jailed that day for telling people he was from the future and knew all about the Bill of Rights until a guard had compassion on him and agreed to release him after he demonstrated his dancing skills. Quarrel stayed around Washington for a week but came back via Tempus Fugit just in time for the holidays, such as they were. No one in his family believed him. He has been quoted as saying, “Tempus Fugit changed my life. I’d do it again, but not for $7.00. I feel like my opportunity was really wasted because I didn’t change anything. I just stood around and watched. Being in jail was something I’ll never forget, but I wouldn’t recommend it.” Woods documented Quarrel’s journey as an “unverifiable success”. The drapes boutique, It’s Curtains for You, closed a year later.
Tempus Fugit was released to modest acclaim in 1936 and a collective shrug from the scientific community. After going back in time to “fix” some life choices, Woods stored the machine in a basement where it fell into disrepair. Woods is rumored to have provided his formula for time travel in a videotaped interview from 1981, but it has yet to surface. Woods died of unknown causes in 1984. It is rumored his last words were “too much paprika” though there are conflicting accounts that he said “too much time-travel”. His grandson, Jason Woods (Jacksonville, FL), informed M.O.S.H. about the machine in his grandfather’s old house and paid them to “get that thing out of here”.
Restored in 2018 by Dr. Russell Bailey and Dr. Amanda Campbell, Tempus Fugit exists now to serve educational needs and has been harnessed with a restrictive technology that will not allow ‘meddling’ with the past. Thanks to these modifications and a generous grant from M.O.S.H. under the direction of curator Paul Bourcier, Tempus Fugit now offers time-travel to the world and visitors of M.O.S.H. with one consequence: knowledge.