The City of Orlando Public Art Program is pleased to announce The Agua Series, a solo exhibition by award-winning Florida artist Muffy Clark Gill, is on view in the Garden House Gallery at Harry P. Leu Gardens from February 25 through June 25.
Water is the universal element that connects all beings. In The Agua Series, water is the focal point and Clark Gill captures life aspects on, in and below the water's surface. The Agua Series of paintings focuses on regional Florida ecology and bodies of water worldwide. Personal reflections gleaned from 56,000 photographs through a lifelong passion for travel, culture and history are influential in her work. She aims to share what she finds inspirational in nature and offers connectivity to wildlife, botanicals and water. When one captures the views from these perspectives, the subject matter becomes abstract. Observing underwater distortions of the human body, the underwater aspect displaying the water's exotic distortion of the reflected light, the altering perspective when viewing water at eye level or from the air is the subject of fascination.
Wielding her photography and the ancient wax and dye-resist process known as batik and the Japanese technique known as rōketsuzome or rozome, Clark Gill creates visual imagery on silk. During high school, while visiting Kampala, Uganda, she had a life-changing encounter when she was introduced to an art gallery exhibition featuring decorative batik crafts made by native hands. The experience was so profound, it sparked her interest in batik and ultimately developing into an art form all her own. The batik-dyeing practice, traceable to ancient India, China, Thailand and Indonesia, has significant reserve areas. After sketching with a pencil on silk, hot wax is applied in layers with Japanese sheep hair brushes. From light to dark, Japanese-style kimono dyes are pushed into the fabric, rather than slowly seethe into the silk, until the desired colors are achieved. This process intensifies the dye color and disperses it more evenly. Covering each color with wax is essential in preserving the color and drawing. The wax is ironed out of the fabric, steamed to retain the dye's brilliant colors and finally rinsed to remove any excess dye.
Clark Gill is an award-winning and classically-trained artist who has worked in batik, an ancient artwork style, for nearly 40 years. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Art's degree in graphic design from Boston University, she spent 28 years as a design/marketing professional for new-media companies before concentrating full-time on her artwork.
Her work has been included in more than 80 regional, state and national juried and invitational exhibitions and festivals throughout Florida. She has earned 50+ awards, including best in show, first and second place, merit and purchase awards for her work by internationally-renowned professionals in the contemporary art field such as Erin Wright, Barbara Shapiro, Stephen Knudson, Diane Cambier, Bonnie Clearwater, Elaine Gustafson, Donald Kuspit, Ned Rifkin, Faith Ringgold, Daniel Stetson, Michelle Tuegel, Clyde Butcher and Harry Benson.
Clark Gill's career highlights include three paintings as part of the Windows and Doors to History project featuring modern Marco Island history on permanent display on the Marco Island Historical Museum's exterior in Marco Island, Florida. Featuring more than 20 paintings of the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes of Florida, The 20th Century Seminole Experience was on display as a solo exhibit in the 22nd Floor Capitol Gallery of the Florida State Capital in Tallahassee, Florida, and with two paintings permanently on loan to the Office of the Florida Secretary of State. The gallery is presented by the Secretary of State and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. As part of the 1997 National Arts for the Parks competition, Everglades Encounter, a painting of Deaconess Harriet Bedell, was selected as one of the Top 100 paintings to tour the United States.
She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists — a national professional organization juried by peers, Florida Association of Public Art Professionals, Silk Painters International, The Batik Guild, and participates in many other national and state artist organizations.
About Public Art - City of Orlando
Public art is vast and multidimensional and plays an integral part in influencing urban environments, ranging in forms, sizes, and scales. Traditionally, public art is artwork available in the public realm placed in highly-populous areas for public viewing and may include large-scale sculptures, exhibition spaces, and site-integrated aesthetic works. The Public Art Program exists to acquire, exhibit and support visual arts and regional artists in Central Florida and strives to display artwork in highly-visible locations, concentrating on downtown plazas, city parks, neighborhood community centers, and municipal structures. Artwork selections reflect the character, history and evolving culture, and collective expression of the community. Additionally, it represents and reveals the populace and adds significance to the region while chronicling the highest degree of shared experiences, social awareness, intellectual pursuit, ingenuity, creative ability, and the skills the public has to offer.
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