DUNEDIN — Several winter exhibits are set to open Friday, Jan. 13, at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin.
The winter exhibits include work from visual artist Christopher Skura; a selection of works curated by multi-media artist S.Toxosi; and collection of revealing self-portraits.
In the Entel Family Gallery, visitors will find “Christopher Skura: The Beginner’s Mind.”
Artist Christopher Skura’s symbology is a fascinating blend of organic and mechanical forms reflecting his childhood in Florida and current life living in New York City and upstate New York.
Skura is a visual artist who has called New York City home for almost 30 years. He grew up in Pinellas County, attending Anona Elementary, Largo High School, and the former Florida Gulf Coast Art Center in Belleair. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and holds a degree in painting and drawing and a professional certificate in sculpture from the Ringling College of Art and Design and a liberal arts degree from New York University.
Skura studied ceramic sculpture with Peter Gourfain in New York City, drawing with Richard Barnet, Nicki Orbach and Leonid Gervits at the Art Students League of New York, stained-glass design and construction at the Peters Valley School of Craft, painting and ceramics at the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center and philosophy with Paul Edwards at the New School University.
His work has been exhibited at K.S. Art, 440 Gallery, Jeff Bailey Gallery, Thread Waxing Space, Cynthia Broan Gallery, The Alternative Museum, and New York University Gallery in New York City; and Dorsch Gallery, Art Lab 33, Rocket Projects and the Pulse Fair in Miami. His work also has been seen at the Ringling Museum of Art and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, as well as other museums throughout the Florida and elsewhere.
Skura’s most recent work is influenced by “street” and “pop” art and references psychology, structural systems, emergence theory, jazz and the architecture and the temporary nature of the human body. Some of Skura’s forms are organic and plant-like but others suggest the machinery of a man-made environment. This duality reflects his visual experiences growing up in the lush Florida landscape and his current life living and working in Manhattan.
Working in my Woodstock, New York, studio during the 2020 COVID pandemic influenced my creative process by making my working method more direct and immediate,” Skura said in an artist statement provided by DFAC. “I have begun a routine of drawing every day in sketchbooks. Out of these small drawings have come many sculptural ideas.”
Skura states that each imagined form serves as a kind of placeholder and represents someone we have lost. “Drawing quickly with paint marker, my natural, hardwired shapes have become more pronounced,” he continues. “The goal is to work with a ‘beginner’s mind’ and utilize the flow-state to achieve a direct ex-pression.”
Skura’s work comes out of extensive sketching and drawing. The artist rarely recreates exact drawings as sculpture, instead using them as a springboard to begin experimenting.
“Most of these drawings are small and done very quickly,” he explains. “By hesitating less, I have focused on completing an artwork in one or two sessions as opposed to laboring over it. The surfaces on the new works have become less concerned with refinement and I feel this has created a warmer and more active surface.”
The style of Skura’s most recent artworks is influenced by the “street” art that blanketed his New York City neighborhood during lockdown.
“The images reference psychology, structural systems, emergence theory and the architecture of the human body,” he says. “Improvisation and freehand drawing are emphasized for phenomenological effect and I try to capture the speed of living in Lower Manhattan. The forms speak to the effects of time on the human body and the natural world. Each work imagined is a small psychological portrait of something struggling to survive or already gone.”
For more information about the artist, visit www.christopherskura.com.
DFAC will present “SOONOQO: We Become Body in Waves of Light and Sound” in the Gamble Family Gallery.
To inaugurate DFAC’s guest curator program, curatorial power has been bestowed upon multi-media artist Saudade Toxosi. With the exhibition, she seeks to tell the story of the Divine Feminine via an international gathering of artists working in unexpected means. In Somali, SOONOQO means “to become” and also, “to return.” This provocative installation reflects the simultaneous act of unfolding and returning to ourselves.
Toxosi is a psycho-spiritual artist and image curator working in painting, charcoal drawings, photography, mixed media, assemblage, video art and sound design.
For more than two decades, Toxosi has engaged in a meditative curatorial process of selecting and organizing found images that explore and articulate her thoughts about the “new indigenous African” experience in the United States and all people of color around the world. These image pairings through her prevailing curatorial project “Equinox 1600” have garnered attention from artists, musicians, filmmakers and cinematographers that have informed some of the most important visual and narrative statements of our time — notably Samora Pinderhughes’ “Rituals of Abolition” in 2022, Bradford Young’s “Black History Written By” in 2021, as well as “Kahlil Joseph’s “Lemonade” in 2016, "Fly Paper" in 2017 and Arthur Jafa’s "Love Is the Message and the Message Is Death" in 2016 where Toxosi worked directly with these filmmakers and multidisciplinary artists.
In 2020 Toxosi was named a distinguished fellow by Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Atlanta, Georgia. She has shown her art around the globe, at venues such as the Norval Foundation in South Africa; Hordaland Kunstsenter in Norway; Havana, Cuba; and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maasstricht Nether-lands. Toxosi has received the BIPOC guest curatorial award at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
Also on display in the Rossi + Meta B. Brown Galleries will be “Intimacy: Into Me I See,” a revealing show of self-portraits. Deliver your favorite self-portrait or selfie — all media accepted — to celebrate the many faces of our creative community.
All three exhibitions will run from Jan. 13 through Feb. 26. Exhibition hours will be Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Admission for all exhibitions is free.
For more information, visit www.dfac.org, call 727-298-3322, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter, spring art classes registering at DFAC
A new session of art classes will get underway Monday, Jan. 9, at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin.
Though the center runs classes year-round, they are divided into six-week sessions and special workshop weeks. The upcoming Winter I session will run Jan. 9 through Feb. 19. The Winter Workshop week will be Feb. 20-26. Winter II classes will run Feb. 27 through April 9.
Spring classes will begin Monday, April 10.
With more than 100 options per session, there's bound to be something for everyone, including DFAC's new food arts offerings. While DFAC offers top-notch instruction in traditional arts, such as drawing, painting, and pottery, prospective students also will find offerings in digital imaging, fashion design, jewelry, metalworking, stone carving, and wood turning, to name a few.
There are no grades in the classes and no failure, just the reward of freeing your creativity
The Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Gladys Douglas School of the Arts is currently registering for winter and spring session classes for children, teens and adults, with discounted tuition rates for DFAC members. Daytime and evening classes are available as well as one day to week-long workshops in a variety of media.
For class information, including a complete catalog and registration, visit www.dfac.org. For more information, call 727-298-3322.