News | January 13, 2015

CultureNews

Artist in residence explores crossroads of art and science

A new residency program in the Bower School of Music and the Arts reflects FGCU’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning and to growth in FGCU’s Art Department and Art Galleries. Tampa sculptor Joe Griffith was selected to be the first resident artist in the program, and his work will be exhibited Jan. 15-Feb. 12 in the ArtLab.

Griffith has visited FGCU’s Vester Marine Field Station several times this year and will take up residence in an apartment there in January as he completes his work in collaboration with marine science researchers at the site. His installation, “Mercury Switch,” was inspired by studies being done on how oysters filter mercury in local waters.

“It’s really exciting to launch this program because the Vester center offers a great opportunity for us to bring artists here in January to explore the relationship between art and science,” said Art Galleries Director John Loscuito. “It’s a unique introduction to the ecology and the landscape and to the research that scientists are doing here.”

The Crossroads of Art and Science Residency is intended to be an annual program that invites mid-career artists to immerse themselves in and be inspired by the living laboratory that is FGCU. Griffith focuses primarily on large sculptures and site-specific installations but also works in painting and drawing, Loscuito said. His sculptural works range from large-scale metal to smaller fabricated fiberglass pieces.

”A lot of it has to do with natural forms and encouraging the understanding of nature,” Loscuito said. “Nature is transformed in his work.”

Griffith will participate in a gallery talk in ArtLab at 5 p.m. Jan. 13 and another during the opening reception at 5 p.m. Jan. 15.