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More about ‘Accumulating Interiors’ sculptor Vanessa Diaz


ai-3On view now in the Art Gallery at FGCU is Accumulating Interiors: Tyanna Buie and Vanessa Diaz.

The art making practices and motivations of Tyanna Buie and Vanessa Diaz differ in their approach to incorporating architectural interiors. What brings their work together is the desire to evoke psychological and emotional responses to familiar interior spaces and objects. This exhibition is their first collaboration.

ai-2“Through site-specific installation, sculpture and video, my work explores diverse approaches to customizing architecture, nomadic definitions of boundaries and various indicators that define personal territories,” states Diaz about her work. “I move from place to place: seeking out unnoticed locations, architecture, scavenging for discarded furnishings, packing/unpacking, interacting with the local community… I am interested in our behavior towards objects, preservation, associated memories, what defines a place as ‘familiar’, and ai-1the consideration of usefulness.”

Diaz’s process of finding materials is habituated to an interaction with the community. “The custom of meeting local storeowners, architectural salvage specialists, collectors, invitations into people’s home and exploring neighborhoods are research,” Vanessa explains. “I have found that pursuing a dialogue in the exchange of materials offers a history of the possessions that we carry from place to place.  It leads to questions dealing with identity, origins, preservation, value, inventiveness ai-8and methods of being resourceful.”

The adjustment to a new environment, culture and set of rules highly informs the concept of her work. “My ambition as an artist is to offer and engage viewers in site-specific installation experiences.”

In 2014, Diaz was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant and a South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship. She was one of ten artists invited to exhibit in the premier Florida Prize in Contemporary Art vandiazexhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art. Her work has been exhibited at Project Row Houses in Houston, TX, the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, FL, the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, FL and the ArtsUp! gallery space in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  She has received several fellowships for residency, including  The Joan ai-6Mitchell Center, New Orleans, LA;  BAU Institute Camargo Foundation, France; The Oberpflazer Schwandorf Kunstlerhaus, Germany; The Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL;  the Wassaic Projects, Wassaic, NY; and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA.

Accumulating Interiors is on display in the main gallery through November 17. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.

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