Clearing the canvas for fall art

USF’s Week of Welcome provides students and art enthusiasts with an opportunity to discover and participate in the University’s ever-expanding art programs.

The William and Nancy Oliver Gallery – located at FAS 103 next to the Fine Arts Building – stands among the most prolific contributors to campus art, with 10 events listed on its website for August and September.

The “Day One” exhibition held its opening reception Aug. 13 and introduced guests to the gallery’s eclectic mix of mediums and visuals from artistic USF students.

The exhibition’s artists are all second – and third-year masters of fine arts graduate students, but little else connects their work aside from their degrees.

The small gallery space displaying all their works holds about a dozen paintings, a handful of sculptures, drawings and even short films. Third-year USF MFA student Robb Fladry had two media-minded pieces on display at the exhibit.

“The concept behind the majority of my work is the way the entertainment industry influences our thought and dictates our ideas,” Fladry said.

On Aug. 30, the gallery will host a free international film and video festival – in March, ArtHouse Film and Video Festival brought work from Portugal and Sweden to USF.

Two other USF galleries offer exhibitions for new or returning students and staff. First, the Marshall Student Center’s Centre Gallery will host the second “So You Think You Can Paint” competition.

“The show had 627 visitors last year, but it was only up for two days,” said Centre Gallery director Lauren Branzei. “This year, we expect far more visitors because the show will be up in the gallery for eight days.”

The event began last spring to give members of the community – USF students and nonstudents alike – an opportunity to enter their paintings into a competition, with no limitation to the size, subject or material of work submitted except that it must be a painting.

Submissions will be accepted Aug. 19, 20, 23 and 24, and stay on display from Aug. 25 through Sept. 3.

A reception will be held Aug. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m., which is open to the competition’s participants and guests.

Intended to mimic the dance reality show, a video of the judging process will be shown, and winners of the competition will receive one of five grand prizes during the reception.

Beginning Aug. 23, USF’s Contemporary Art Museum will reopen by featuring artist Carlos Garaicoa’s work.

The exhibition “Carlos Garaicoa: La enmienda que hay en mi (Making Amends)” will treat guests to a variety of visual textures, including paintings, photography, superimpositions and sculptures reflecting his Cuban nationality.

Garaicoa’s artistic influence comes from his life experiences in Havana, Cuba, and more recently from his second inspiration of Madrid. His expressions of urbanism, politics, history and human rights within his art have received coverage from the New York Times.

The Art and Ice event – hosted by Week of Welcome and the USF Honors College – is offering students New Orleans-style Snoballs surrounded by Garaicoa’s work on Aug. 25 from 3-5 p.m. “Making Amends” will remain on display until Dec. 11 and remains free to the public.

After Week of Welcome, there are still plenty of art-related events to attend around USF and Tampa Bay.

The Centre Gallery will hold a reception for artist and USF professor G.B. Stephens on Sept. 10, followed by Adam Kitzerow on Sept. 24.

Although better known for their bars and clubs, Ybor City and South Tampa also hold art events connecting artists and fans from around the area.

The first Saturday each month from noon to 6 p.m., Ybor City holds an art walk where art studios, galleries, performances and workshops allow guests a chance to mingle with artists while exchanging ideas and creations. The next scheduled walk is Sept. 4.

The Artists Trading Card and Drawing Exhibition compiles various artists whose works have been created with various materials, including watercolor, graphite, pen, chalk and charcoal, and will be on display until Sept. 17. It is located at the Old Hyde Park Art Center on 705 Swann Ave.

For more information on upcoming USF art exhibits, go to