CURATOR OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART
Keith D. and Linda L. Mondo Gallery, The Ringling Museum
It has been an honor to be invited to serve as juror for The Best of Ringling 2020.
I commend the Ringling College for honoring their commitment to the students by moving forward with the exhibition and swiftly changing to an online format for showcasing their work. This kind of flexible approach and adaptive thinking is required now more than ever to deliver what we initially set out to accomplish: to celebrate and recognize the talented and visionary artists of Ringling’s Fine Arts program. I have a deep appreciation for the Ringling College for bringing together and nurturing this talented generation of artists, whose work is crucial in helping us imagine the kind of future we truly wish for ourselves.
The twenty artists in this exhibition address various issues pertaining to identity, representation, and the psyche in unique ways. The breadth of the work here is also a testament to the varied materials and media these artists pursue in order to communicate their ideas clearly and authentically. I’m impressed with the three-dimensional works in mixed media, installations, animations, and sculptures, as well as the painterly explorations on a flat surface. Collectively, the works combine elements of formalism with fantasy and play in brilliant new ways.
Every artist in the exhibition has made an exciting intellectual contribution to the field of visual art and I’d like to congratulate them all for their excellent work. Their creative output is a necessary contribution to our collective well-being.
The Job Characteristics Model is a fun, short, and educational video that describes best practices for designing and communicating roles within professional organizations. I appreciated that the model’s philosophy approaches workers as multi-dimensional entities who need things like fulfillment, happiness, and recognition in order to thrive in the workplace.
The project brief is very self-aware in that it acknowledges that this video or format does not represent a novel idea (the model was developed by Hackman and Oldham in 1980), nor is it a business or creative project proposal. While the principles of this competition includes newness and viability, this project presented an existing concept in a refreshing, legible, and creative format.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
Jeff Fowler is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and veteran of acclaimed visual effects/animation house Blur Studio in Culver City, CA, where he directed numerous projects for leading commercial and video game industry clients. Jeff wrote and directed the short film “Gopher Broke” which was nominated for Best Animated Short Film. He made his theatrical directorial debut with Paramount Pictures’ film “Sonic The Hedgehog” based on the internationally-beloved video game character.
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Jarret is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. With specializations in 20th century American literature and the U.S. graphic novel, he teaches creative writing, comics histories and the post-1865 American lit survey. Jarret has authored poetry collections and a rock-band biography, and has edited and co-edited several books about Las Vegas, including a travel guide. He also covers the city’s music and literary scene for arts and culture magazines like KNPR’s Desert Companion. He is currently writing a book on the auteur works of comics icon Jack Kirby, co-creator of the Ant-Man and Wasp, Avengers, Black Panther, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the X-Men. Jarret’s teaching expertise and interests include peer-teaching observations, teaching consultations, part-time Instructor (PTI) mentoring group advising, engaging students, and community-engaged instruction.
Todd Harvey co-founded Mission, a branding, marketing and digital agency, 20 years ago at the age of 24. Since then, he has gone on to represent some of the nation’s top brands, including Nike, NASA, STX, Sunkist, Pabst, NBCUniversal, DreamWorks and Wilson.
As a current board member of Baltimore School for the Arts, Todd relishes the opportunity to engage with both the up-and-coming newbies and the burgeoning artisans of the local arts community in Baltimore. Todd earned his BFA in Fine Arts and Art History at MICA and SACI-Florence. missionmedia.com
Colt Sammons is a Show Set Designer at Universal Creative, an NBCUniversal company, in Orlando, Florida. As a designer, he creates attractions for the themed entertainment industry, such as; immersive rides, queues, dining, and shopping experiences. Colt started working for Universal Creative as a freelance designer in 2013 and focused on projects such as Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Incredible Hulk Coaster refurbishment. In 2015, Colt joined the Universal Creative team full-time and has been working to bring the digital world to life with Nintendo’s intellectual properties. Colt develops attractions from blue sky to construction and specializes in show set, cutting-edge technology, and facility integrations.
In 2013, Colt graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design with a BFA in Interior Design. Many of the principals he learned while studying at Ringling have helped him craft seamless stories and immersive experiences for thousands of guests worldwide. Colt has been an active member of the Themed Entertainment Association since 2010 and served on the Board of Directors as NexGen Associate Representative in 2014. He was also involved with Slice Creative Network between 2013-2015. Currently, Colt is an active member on the Design Committee with the newest Orlando Main Street- Curry Ford West.
In his spare time, Colt and his wife Alexis work on designing and renovating their “Mid-Century Fixer-Upper” in Downtown Orlando. Additionally, Colt is serving on the production team at Action Church- America’s second fastest growing church of 2018. Finally, Colt and Alexis recently started a small business called Milk n Honey Tea Company that offers specialty blends of loose leaf teas and steeping accessories.
I’m the owner and creative director at Ordinary Folk. I am slightly obsessed with detailed keyframe animation and audio-driven motion design projects. I was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia but I am currently based in Vancouver, Canada.
I spend my time hanging out with with my super talented wife, playing with my crazy sons, riding my bike in the rain, attempting to create the perfect curve of animation or enjoying a glass of fresh orange juice. You know, enjoying God’s grace.
I also made a Motion Design online class and run and curate a vimeo channel for motion design awesomeness called WINE after COFFEE, that occasionally puts on a festival called Blend.
FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCER
Victor Simpkins is a film and television producer best known for the 1996 independent film “Swingers,” the now cult classic starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, directed by Doug Liman.
As producer, Victor is most proud to have paid all “Swingers” crew salary deferrals in full, cumulatively more than $200,000. Despite the enormous guarantee payment extracted from Miramax, Victor et. al. retain final cut. That, too, really makes him smile.
Prior to arriving Sarasota in summer 2014, Victor lived and worked in Los Angeles, London and New York City for more than thirty years. He produced and delivered hundreds of hours of television and film to, among others, NBC, CBS, TNT, the Disney Channel, HBO, Showtime and the PBS series “Masterpiece Theatre,” “Mystery, “ and “Nature.”
During several of his early years as an independent film producer, Victor operated out of Hugh Hefner’s original Playboy Club building on Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, where he was also Vice-President, Programming. Victor’s first independently produced movie “Deadly Dreams” was financed and shot at Roger Corman’s New Horizons studio in Venice, CA at that same time.
From 2016 – 2019, Victor taught Film Producing at Ringling College, four years he counts among the most important of his life and career.
Artists Minding Their Business is a very cool project that focuses on the very timely question of “How do creatives follow their passion while paying their bills?”
The project demonstrated a fairly thorough approach to identifying and profiling a diverse range of creative business professionals. I thought the visual identity of the project was beautiful, and I appreciated the playful interventions on campus.
This was an impressive project. You tackled the sometimes intimidating challenge of reaching out to professionals you admire, and you asked for guidance on how to kickstart your creative careers. You made something beautiful, and I bet you learned quite a few things through the process!
DIRECTOR, MFA IN ILLUSTRATION PROGRAM
Hartford Art School
C.F. Payne’s illustrations have appeared in magazines, advertisements and children’s books for more than 35 years. A graduate of Miami University with a BFA and the Illustrators Workshop, Payne began his freelance career upon his move to Dallas, Texas in 1980.
He has taught illustration for more than 25 years, 19 of which were at Columbus College of Art and Design. Currently he serves as the Director of the MFA in Illustration program at the Hartford Art School. His art has been exhibited in numerous museums and university galleries including the Cincinnati Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Norman Rockwell Museum, Huntington Art Museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame and more. His art has appeared on the covers of Time Magazine, MAD Magazine, Der Spiegel, the New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Reader’s Digest.
C.F. Payne has illustrated 20 children’s books, some by Sue Macy, Marissa Moss, Phil Bildner and noted actor/authors John Lithgow, Steve Martin, astronaut Mark Kelly and Mark Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In 2018 he was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.
I have been struggling with strange mental issues that I couldn’t understand for a few years now, and it had gotten especially bad after I returned for the 2019-2020 school year from the previous summer break. I spent the entire Fall 2019 semester in counseling trying to figure out what was happening with me and, after some research, my counselor and I came to believe that I was suffering from something called Depersonalization Disorder.
Essentially, this disorder is usually the result of some previous extreme stress or trauma and causes people to feel as if their minds and their bodies are not connected; like they aren’t in control of their bodies anymore and are just running on auto-pilot. This video is my attempt to visualize what that feels like.
I researched the similarities and differences on how mental health is viewed and dealt with in America and in Korea. And to tie the two together, how mental health is treated in families of first generation Americans and immigrant parents, particularly Korean Americans and how that affects the relationship between parents and their children.
My body of work consists of two cast metal sculptures, one wooden sculpture, and one ceramic sculpture. Both cast sculptures are made of solid aluminum. The first cast metal piece, Untitled #1 (2018), depicts a mask-like face obscured by its hands. The second cast piece, Untitled #2 (2018), is made up from casts of my left and right hand, connected together with a thick metal chain, resembling something of nunchucks. The wooden sculpture, Dagger (2019), depicts a disembodied arm with a dagger pierced through it. Untitled #1 (2020), the ceramic piece, portrays a warped, cracked white cube, with dark hands clawing out from the cracks.
My research has a subtle connection with my sculptures on the subject of mental health. Each piece is an expression of a stream of consciousness thought process with the idea of the distress that people undergo when they have mental health issues.
The intricate work emphasizes the complexity of human connection/ the almost monotonous-delicate cycle of tending to our relationships. This piece touches on fragility, abandonment, forgiveness, freedom, releasing, power, and encapsules the beauty of the whole process all together
Mediums: calligraphy ink, acrylic paint, india ink, red chord, chalk, saftey pins, sharpie.
The research that we concentrated on was the environmental damage and psychological impact of factory work during the Industrial Revolution. During this time period, manual labor was being replaced by machinery along with the rise of materialism and capitalism.
Understanding radical groups and political conversations along with doing extensive research into the american lifestyle of the 1890’s. The nature of our thesis is a 3D environment based on the Industrial Revolution during the 1890’s in the Northwest United States.
We have been developing a 2 minute cinematic trailer with Unreal Development Kit for over 12 months, focusing on hand-drawn textures, materials, high quality organic modeling and hard surfaces, generating over 80 environmental art assets for
our flythrough trailer that we are currently creating.
Our research helped us have a better understanding of the historical impacts that still affect our world today. We are cross referencing our models to have a better understanding what materials and objects would have looked like from magazines and articles of the time period.
The environment is based on the biomes and organic life in the Northwest as well as the lumber and coal towns of the period.
The nature of my research involves exploring the intergenerational disparities in the LGBT community in order to create an hour long documentary presented by the Center of Diversity and Inclusion (CDI). The research for this project involves looking at how the history of the lgbt community affects various generations differently. From the aids crisis to World War 2, to the modern LGBT rights movement, to the “Lavender Scare” of the 1960’s, there were many
major events that shaped these people’s lives. As you move into the younger generations, the culture, vernacular, and levels of acceptance from outside the community changes drastically which also creates a disconnect between the older and younger members of the community.
Other factors, including race and socio-economic class also have a major part in shaping the experiences of these people’s lives. Through my research, I gained a more holistic understanding of the community. For my thesis, I work with Sydney Anderson and the CDI to create the documentary to bridge the gap and share the stories of those within the community. Our subjects range in agefrom eighteen to eightyseven. The content of their stories cover many avenues of how their experiences have helped to shape their identities.
From exploring their coming out, to dealing with housing discrimination, to coping with being trans against the backdrop of World War 2, to finding life long love, one main theme emerges and that is the shared resilience and spirit of these individuals.
Despite the disparities between age groups in the LGBT+ community and the vast differences in historical experiences, through exploring these stories, we learn that there are more similarities amongst members of the community than differences. People are people regardless of age, and their stories transcend generational gaps to create a greater picture of what it means to love and exist in the truest form of one’s identity.
FUTURIST/CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR
The Sarasota Institute
David Houle is considered one of the foremost futurists in the world today.
He has written 7 books, delivered 800+ keynotes and presentations on
6 continents and 14 countries in the last 10 years. He is now a full-time resident in Sarasota and is the Futurist in Residence and Guest Lecturer
at the Ringling College of Art + Design.
He is also the Honorary Futurist and President at the Future Business School of China and a Founding Member of The Sarasota Institute. He writes the monthly “The Futurist” column for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
For his full bio, please visit https://davidhoule.com/bio.
Index is a multi-part research and branding project for Ringling’s experiential learning initiatives. The project is very thorough, and in many ways unprecedented, as it’s fairly unusual for students to develop academic policies for their own college. Solving the problem of how academic policies are communicated, embedded and supported is a massive task that can feel overwhelming for even seasoned academic and organizational change professionals. With that in mind, Index is an impressive, well-researched, and thoughtful effort.
I appreciated the research and survey process, and I agree that it’s extremely important to understand the underlying “why” before endeavoring upon any design solutions. This process was represented in a well-made video. It appears that the research component yielded useful findings, and this in and of itself could have functioned as an autonomous project.
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER