DECEMBER 14, 2017 – JANUARY 18, 2018

The Fritz Gallery is pleased to present Liminal Encounters, an exhibition curated by Amber Tutwiler, including works by Tommy Coleman, Katelyn Spinelli, Autumn Casey, Mumbi O’Brien, Jacques de Beaufort, Sammi McLean, Michael Dillow, Donny Barth, and Brendan Sullivan.

This body is work presents what is perhaps uncommonly known as a “liminal encounter.” In these experiences, the functions of our environment lose context. We become a witness to space, as if we are seeing our surroundings for the first time, and have no prior knowledge of how to place oneself in it. While these experiences can feel alienating, they also make us aware of the peculiarities that regularly miss our gaze.  When we pause long enough to see them, a form so uncanny becomes known.

A liminal encounter “…enables us to see clearly something that is, in effect, right before our eyes and yet somehow obscured from us – something so taken for granted that it is ignored or allowed to be disguised by a cloak of abstractions” (Edward Relph, Geographical Experiences). In this collection of work, each artist confronts these encounters in regards to language, environment, feeling, ritual, place, space, and time. Ordinary becomes strange, and strange becomes familiar (Teju Cole, Known and Strange Things).

Each artist is either from or currently working in South Florida. As many of these emerging artists are Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts Alumni, 10% of sales will benefit the Dreyfoos Foundation. The opening night will take place on Thursday, December 14 from 6-9pm. A closing ceremony will take place on Thursday, January 18 from 6-9pm. A live performance by Mumbi O’Brien will be featured on the opening night at 8 pm. The Fritz Gallery is located upstairs at 1608 S. Dixie Hwy in West Palm Beach. The gallery is open from 10am-5pm Monday – Friday and 11am-4pm Saturday and Sunday (by appointment). For more information, please feel free to email, or call (561) 906-5337.

Tommy Coleman (b. 1987, Jupiter Farms, FL) is a South Florida raised sculptor, painter, and performance artist. His work explores the space of change, what we find is constantly inconstant. Through masterfully crafted objects, and staunchly sincere albeit witty images, Coleman’s work implores investigations of honesty, intimacy, and perceptional break downs which accompany anxiety and identity in the contemporary climate - all done by way of navigating the boundaries of what is considered permissible in the public sphere. Coleman received his BFA from The Cooper Union, and his MFA in sculpture from Yale University. He has exhibited at nationally at such museums as The Museum of Art and Design (NYC) and The Atlanta Contemporary (ATL) as well as internationally at Homesession in Barcelona and The Windor in Madrid. He is currently based in Long Island City, Queens as a Resident at the Artha Project.

Katelyn Spinelli (b. 1987, West Palm Beach, FL) is a South Florida born artist. 'Collision' pieces together the perception of anxiety and chaos. Focusing on acousmatic sound extracted from field recordings, 'Collision' responds to experimental concepts of reduced listening, repetition, and the significance of slowing down time. Spinelli received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2009, and is currently attending Yale School of Art (MFA 2018).

Autumn Casey (b. 1987, Dallas, TX) draws on a variety of personal relics and pop-cultural ephemera to challenge and question her subjectivity of the world at large. Her work follows an intuitive approach, collecting and redefining the use of objects that she is instinctively drawn to. The combinations are half autobiographical and half investigations into form and color. Her practice, which moves from sculpture to collage, as well as video performance, considers the history of the found object and assemblage, re-employing existing materials in unexpected, idiosyncratic ways. The result is a body of work that vibrates along the tense cord between the personal and the vernacular. Casey studied sculpture at the New World School of the Arts (BFA 2011) in Miami, Florida. Her work can be found in various collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art (North Miami) and Perez Art Museum (Miami). She won the 2010 Optic Nerve XII from the Museum of Contemporary Art. She is currently located in Philadelphia, PA.

Mumbi O’Brien (b. 1990, Blacksburg, VA) utilizes costumed performance, video, and photography to communicate a larger organized mythology. In this constructed narrative, the “Color Creation Myth,” personified colors of the rainbow spawn from binary colors, black and white. Gradually, she introduces additional characters and colors, which represent the non-paraded minorities. By constructing a fusion of existing spiritual and cultural ideological symbols, she aims to link this world of fiction to our ever-present reality. O’Brien received her BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, and was awarded the South Florida Cultural Consortium Grant in 2015. She currently lives and works in Lake Worth, FL.

Jacques de Beaufort (b. 1975, Lake Worth, FL) is an artist and curator who works across painting, drawing, video, and film out of Lake Worth, Florida. His recent series explores male and female portraiture tinged with surrealism and symbolism. His goal is to bring forth a presence, an “Other,” that lives in the imagination but can nevertheless be coaxed to participate in our physical world through the application of skill and patience. Previously, de Beaufort ran UNIT1, an exhibition and performance space in Lake Worth. He received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and is currently an Associate Professor of Visual Art and Art History at Palm Beach State College.

Sammi McLean (b. 1989, West Palm Beach, FL), originally from South Florida, received her MFA from the Florida Atlantic University (2017) with a concentration in Printmaking. With an experimental approach to printmaking, she has been researching contemporary applications of laser etching, bringing alternative plate building methods into her studio practice. Through her work, she creates an archive of personal ephemera. In her recent series, she investigates text and language through cataloguing overheard sentiments from daily interactions. These statements are taken out of context, and reassembled into cascading shadows. McLean is currently an adjunct professor of printmaking at Florida Atlantic University, and has been awarded the Friedland Project Grant, Lynn Travis Stendor Women in the Visual Arts Scholarship, and scholarship support for a semester abroad in Berlin, Germany.

Michael Dillow (b. 1988, Philadelphia, PA) is a visual artist born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. In 2010, he earned his BA in Film and Media arts from Temple University. Currently based in Lake Worth, FL, Dillow’s recent work functions as a topographic survey of south Florida’s transient landscape. Borrowing convention from vernacular photography methodology, his work aims to develop a conversation between the real and the imagined—drawing from personal experience and the universal stories of identity, displacement, and resilience. In 2016, Michael was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship from Florida Atlantic University, where he is currently pursuing his MFA in visual arts, with a concentration in photography. Recently his work was exhibited in the Center for Fine Art Photography’s group exhibition titled, Photography as Response.

Brendan Sullivan (b. 1986, Juno Beach, FL) is an artist, writer and musician currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His current body of work illustrates internal plains and flattened frames of dreamlike consciousness, each quietly informed by the noise of the outside world. Born in South Florida, he graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture in 2009 and is a cofounder and former director of the Baltimore-based artists space and gallery Open Space (2009-2017), as well as the founder and General Manager of The Crown (2013-2017), a Baltimore arts & entertainment venue. He has participated in readings and group shows in Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Donny Barth II (b. 1986, West Palm Beach, FL) is a South Florida based photographer. Barth’s work is an ongoing visual effort to suspend familiarity and the present moment in an effort to engender an artificial nostalgia. He actively seeks to capture vulnerability, while embracing the beautiful, miserable, and mundane. His series of Polaroids, “Since We Last Spoke,” and recent self-published photo book HOMESICK (a collaborative effort with Michael Dillow) both serve as explorations into the nostalgia of things unknown: the feeling and idea of somewhere familiar you’ve never been before. Barth graduated from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2004.