The Gadsden Arts Center & Museum is currently hosting two major solo exhibitions of renowned Florida State University Art faculty Mark Messersmith and Carrie Ann Baade. The shows, running September 28th through December 15th, center on art as a catalyst for conversations about social change. In response to the social ills of the world, Messersmith and Baade have created bodies of work that challenge humanity’s impact on, and relationship with, the environmental, sociological, economic, and social climate. Mark Messersmith’s moody, chaotic landscapes feature crimes against the environment and indigenous cultures and evils specific to Florida and its unique ecosystems. Carrie Ann Baade creates imaginative, surrealist meta-narratives detailing her view of the apocalyptic climate the world has adopted due to religious and sexist dynamics.
FSU MFA & BFA Art students Elton Burgest, Toni Ardizzone, Kelly Hanning, Brian Holcombe, Caroline Manuel, and Michelle Wilcox also have art on display in the Zoe Golloway Gallery in the Gadsden Art Center & Museum. Using a variety of mediums, these students also explored the theme of art as social commentary. Elton Burgest said “being an African American, opportunities like this were the reason I came to FSU.” Burgest, as well as the other students in the exhibit are extremely grateful to the gallery curator, Angie Lewis Barry (BA Art History ’05, MA Arts Administration ’08), for her hard work and assistance in putting together this exhibition. Barry writes,
Gadsden Arts is excited to share the work of nationally known artists who live and work right here in our community. Personally, I’m honored to work with both Messersmith and Baade, both artists I discovered during my time at FSU and have admired since.