Oct 1, 2020 – Jan 15, 2021

Curators: AdrienneRose Gionta and Jeanie Ambrosio

University Galleries

Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters

Florida Atlantic University

“As you talk, sit up straight and don’t fidget. And choose your subjects with care. While politics, religion, and other potentially volatile topics aren’t really off-limits, discussing them could risk nettling your dinner companions and putting a damper on the meal.”

Peggy Post, Emily Post’s Etiquette (New York: Harper Resource, 2004).

There are many unspoken rules within society that are tacitly governing our everyday actions and conversations. Emily Post published the earliest of these “How To’s” in her 1922 book, Etiquette: The Blue Book for Social Usage. “Why shouldn’t we talk about these things at the table?: A Community Based Conversation with South Florida Artists” is an online contemporary art exhibition that presents 15 artists residing in South Florida whose work varies greatly in style and media. In questioning the advice from Post that topics such as politics, religion, money or sex should not be discussed in formal settings or at the proverbial “table”, the co-curators AdrienneRose Gionta and Jeanie Ambrosio emphasize dialogue as a core tool for speaking to challenging subjects. To begin this conversation in a time of social/physical distancing, the curatorial process builds on a series of virtual studio visits with the artists, which aim to understand how local artists from diverse backgrounds are responding to the current political climate through their work. Aligning with the 2020 presidential election, this exhibition will serve as an alternative source of contemplation beyond the traditional debates and media stream. Presenting and reflecting on these collective yet varied points of view may serve to enrage, divide, heal or enlighten, while bringing forth a sense of community, reminding us that we are all delicately interconnected.

Harumi Abe

John William Bailly

Randy Burman

lou anne colodny

Morel Doucet

Todd Lim

Laura Marsh

Peggy Levison Nolan

Marielle Plaisir

Sri Prabha

Sandra Ramos

Lisa Rockford

Sarah Michelle Rupert

Onajide Shabaka

Michelle Weinberg

"The prospect of uncovering an episode from the past relies on the ability to trigger the mind to remember. This unfolding episode is dynamic and in trying to recover a recollection we become conscious of the act, work to adjust, and focus."

"My radar kicks in

when good light shines on inconsequential things….

and on those I love."

"As I faced my drawing table during the Covid-19 pause,

I couldn’t help but reflect on current events. My own feelings of belonging and connection with the suffering of others found an outlet

for expression.”

"The window becomes a framing device and the harmony of borrowed scenery is

achieved by those layered compositions viewed from inside of a building. I incorporate

this idea in my paintings and view a canvas as a window looking over an

imaginary garden."

"In the event these Black bodies cease to exist with the threat of climate-gentrification, the land we inhabit still holds our cultural memories and genetics. Tropical foliage and front yard gardens are like gatekeepers of time - they anchor the dreams and hopes of the people.

"The collages imagine a South Florida where the only thing left standing are our edifices of artifice, poking through the waves like monuments to

our ambivalence, inaction

and ambition."

"I illuminate the presence of the black body in its identity and as a way to fight against stereotypes. This involves the production of light boxes (Backlits)...like kinds of allegories and multiple metaphors: the black body as an unbearable lightness of being."

"Our interconnectedness and our symbiosis amongst all biomass and mass must be respected.”

"I use [Haiku’s] translated into a short animation surrounded by a vignette-like woodcut frame, to highlight briefly but consistently contemporary life issues related to uncertainty, migration, and sociopolitical and economic manipulation of populations in our globalized world.”

"These paintings are not political, nor are they righteous statements. Rather, they aim

to ask tough questions of cultural and community identity, specifically as these themes relate to place. Who is who? What is native? What is invasive?"

"Once 'the others' are discovered, their way of life leads to fear and misunderstanding. A great upheaval ensues and their way of life is threatened resulting in an explosive end…or is it a new beginning?”

"One shocking grotesque and racist revelation after another reveals a history of the bigotry of American presidents and how complicit they were in legitimizing American racism.”

"Are we willing to realize our own imperfections and begin the process of change in thought and belief? Maybe, something akin to a spiritual awakening."

"The cost of education continues to rise, and students enter the workforce with massive amounts of debt. Adjunct professors are underpaid, and tenure is dying. The cost of education and fair wages for

professors should be more at the forefront and take a larger seat at the table”

"I specifically look for objects from American pop culture that are iconic, kitsch, and will soon become dated. I am fascinated by the context and psychology of how certain items become desired and will eventually become lasting artifacts that epitomize a time period.”