"The Embodied Mind" Virtual Art Exhibit on Display through May 15

Arts & Culture


As we face insurmountable challenges surrounding a monumental paradigm shift triggered by COVID-19, social distancing and campus closures, radically new approaches to academic programming are required. As such the New College of Florida Art Department will present its 2020 Senior Thesis Art Exhibition entitled The Embodied Mind, in an online virtual platform. The culmination of a year-long studio art research project, the work in this year’s exhibition focuses heavily on the position of painting as a tool for examining and celebrating wellbeing, diversity and community in both body and mind. At a moment when the world has been forced into a moment of inward reflection, New College thesis students have been creating outward expressions that activate and affirm their positions in the world. Through a celebration of queer pride and gender fluidity and by foregrounding issues around mental illness awareness in the twenty-first century, this year’s thesis students tackle timely and relevant topics during this unprecedented historical moment. This year’s exhibition includes students Miranda Chapman, Kayden VanAntwerp, and Samantha Zellner.

Through an appropriation of vintage anatomical textbooks and imagery, Miranda Chapman approximates what it is like to suffer from an anxiety disorder. The subjects of her paintings, executed on sheer fabric and lace, appear to emerge from the confines of their frames. Chapman’s unconventional mixed media paintings combine oil paint and embroidery on sheer fabric supports, and invite the viewer to examine what it is like living with an anxiety disorder. Through her work she transforms the invisible to something viscerally palpable.

In his paintings, Kayden creates a personal expression of queer pride through a combination of bold colors, ornate symbolism, and LGBTQ+ symbols and imagery. Queer portraits paired with imagery of insects and flowers convey a sense of beauty, transformation and growth. Kayden's series of paintings creates a safe place and a celebration of queer life for viewers both within and outside of the queer community.

In a culture that teaches people to suppress their emotions and suffer silently, Zellner portrays her feelings of anguish and discomfort through the depiction of serene and fantastical landscapes. Her use of bright colors and Surreal imagery evoke an environment where human suffering is made visible. Each painting focuses on commonly diagnosed mental illnesses, embodied through an interplay of saccharine colors and highly inventive landscapes, in order to describe the struggles and contradictions of coping with intense emotions and past traumas.

Pictured: “Confidence, Each Time We Face Our Fear, We Gain Strength, Courage and Confidence in the Doing,” Oil on canvas, 48″x36″. Artist: Samantha Zellner

View the online exhibit.

« View The Wednesday Apr 15, 2020 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Snap Shots of Sarasota During COVID-19

Snapshots of Sarasota During COVID-19

Aug 13, 2020

"Collaboration" Builds Community Despite Pandemic

Philip Lederer | Aug 7, 2020

Stitch in Time

Stitch in Time

Aug 6, 2020

Harvey Milk Festival's Exhibition Unites Art with Activism

Harvey Milk Festival’s Exhibition Unites Art with Activism

Andrew Fabian | Jul 31, 2020