TEDxUF Welcomes Art with Inaugural Exhibition

TEDxUF will be presenting its eighth annual conference at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 1st. Showcasing a wide variety of speakers, innovators and artists, TEDxUF 2017 will unpack the elastic concept of transparency.

Though the event has historically communicated through talks and labs, this year’s TEDx production incorporates the dynamic element of art to serve as a new, creative pathway to spread ideas. With a successful fall TEDxUF art exhibit in December that inspired and engaged its audience, the participating artists are eager to showcase their work at the official event this Saturday in the black box theatre.

Kelsi Quicksall, a participating artist discusses the importance of incorporating art at TEDxUF. “The arts are major societal and cultural influencers in our world. Artists, especially those who I’ve met through TEDxUF, are curious beings who have unique ideas to share and channel these ideas and themes through their work,” she explains. “This year’s theme of Transparency begs for visual art representation.”

With over a dozen artists using varied mediums such as interactive sculptures, installations and paintings, each interpretation of transparency is unique.

“[There is such] a diverse range of art involved. These artists have so thoughtfully interpreted the theme of transparency in ways unique to their experiences and inspirations. I can’t wait to see all their work in the same room and open the doors to attendees to experience,” says Brittany Sgaliardich, Creative Director of TEDxUF.

Quicksall’s interactive piece, The Wire People Project, has been an ongoing social and visual experiment over the last 6 months. This ongoing collaboration requires subject to draw his or her face as they look in the mirror without lifting their drawing tool and using a drawing shield to hide their progress.

“The integration of oneself as the subject, the addition of the drawing shield, and the rule of continuous line pose a challenge to any artist… Individual artist self consciousness becomes transparent, inevitably triggered and revealed through this blind exercise,” she explains.

Quicksall, as an art education senior, was even able to bring The Wire People project into the classroom with her students. ”I even had my 4th grade classes bridge the gap between 2D and 3D, turning their own blind contour self portraits into wire sculptures,” she explains.

Rachel Lewis is also experimenting with the concept of transparency using visual art and poetry. Her interactive balancing puzzle will on top of a rug that resembles flesh and includes an accompanying poem that injects the piece with a linguistic element of dynamic interpretation.

“I was thinking about the skin and how it’s so difficult for people to get along even though our differences are only skin deep.. My piece is about seeking balance with each other and nature,” Lewis explains.

Tickets will be available for pick up at The Phillips Center at the University of Florida March 25th- 31st. Please bring a valid form of ID.

Brought to you by GainesvilleScene and GatorRentals

By: Ariana Aragon

Photos in the piece are by:
GainesvilleScene photographer, Serena Carton
Rachel Lewis (participant)