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Adler’s ‘Presence’ affords opportunity to cross-pollinate ideas across art forms


Each year the FGCU Art Galleries curates an exhibition with the goal of not only exhibiting the work of an outstanding artist, but of identifying an artist who is closely connected with Southwest Florida’s unique attributes. For 2020, that artist is Ran Adler, and his exhibition titled Presence opens in the Wasmer Gallery on January 30 with a 5:00-7:00 p.m. reception, Gallery Talk and jazz recital.

“This year’s artist, Ran Adler, comes to us with an established and deep connection to the natural environment of our area,” expounds FGCU Gallery Director John Loscuito. “Working in close proximity to campus from his studio in Naples, Florida provides the artist with an opportunity to engage inventive collaborations across multiple disciplines of FGCU.”

The Wasmer Art Gallery’s high ceiling inspired Adler to think of his work on a grand scale and to contemplate how his work might inspire others to engage public spaces. In the latter regard, Adler hopes that his installations help foster a new benefactor-motivated paradigm for the introduction of art into public spaces, an idea that City of Fort Myers Public Art Consultant Tom Hall amplifies in an essay he’s written to coincide with the exhibition.

Filling a space as large and expansive as the Wasmer Gallery is, admittedly, a tall order for any one artist. To help him actualize his vision for the space and maintain the incredible attention to detail that characterizes his body of work, Adler brought FGCU Art Major and Gallery Assistant Marcela Pulgarin into his studio last semester.  Pulgarin devoted countless hours to learning Adler’s craft and helping him produce the work guests will discover when they come to the gallery to view and be affected by Presence.

For this exhibition, Adler also invited to his studio Bower School of Music Instructor Brandon Robertson and the FGCU Jazz Combo to see the works in progress and to discuss how musicians could interpret the work. This visit resulted in new compositions to be performed as a concert in the Wasmer Art Gallery.

The Theatre Department also played a part in using Adler’s work to cross-pollinate ideas between art forms. In this regard, FGCU Theatre Professor Dan Bacalzo developed a course titled “Creating New Theatre” to integrate the exhibition into his students’ creative process, and they have developed original theatre pieces to be performed within Adler’s installation.

Judith Liegeois Designs opened their doors to support all of these efforts and the Wasmer Family stepped forward to support the exhibition and fund the acquisition of one of Adler’s works for the FGCU Permanent Collection.

“All of these generous contributions are a testimony to Southwest Florida’s support of the FGCU Art Galleries’ mission and to the quality of work Adler produces,” says Loscuito. “Thank you all for contributing to the cultural richness of Southwest Florida.”

January 14, 2020.



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