Eight artists from throughout the state of Florida will claim their space in an exhibition lifting up themes of beauty, identity, authentic representation, fear, tenacity, and liberation. The show features some of the state’s finest artists who are dedicated to exploring their own intersecting identities in order to illuminate our collective human condition. Several of the artists—including Dimelza Broche, Cuban-born artist who uses a wheelchair—utilize images of the human figure as a vehicle for expressing vulnerability, empowerment, and transformation. Others use their body as a direct tool for art making, as seen in the experience of Sandra Murphy Pak, a Gainesville-based painter with ALS who deploys her feet and members of her care team to create mandala-like abstract works. In addition, the ways in which artists of varying abilities interact with the world, as a symbol of limitation, wonder, and freedom, will be highlighted, notably through the works of Vito Bonanno, a Miami-based mixed media artist with autism who gives us highly energized images that merge his internal and external worlds.
The exhibition will serve as a platform for community outreach and new collaborations. Most significantly, a display of artwork created by youth in our region will complement the professional artist exhibition, providing an opportunity for residencies between featured artists and schools and community groups already integrating the visual arts into their inclusive educational programs.
As I Am is a further significant step in Crealdé’s commitment to becoming fully accessible as a facility, an arts education initiative, and a place for people to be fully seen. This exhibition and related programming are an important component in the organization’s ongoing commitment to diversity, full inclusion, and excellence.
We are honored to work with Hope McMath as a guest curator. McMath is the former director of the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, which has become world-renowned for its commitment to accessibility. McMath, founder of Yellow House in Jacksonville, brings 25 years of experience in arts accessibility, curatorial practice, and the merging of cultural activity to advance social justice. Her expertise, combined with the input of the artists that she will co-create this experience with, will expand our capacity, knowledge, and impact.