USFCAM to showcase hidden gems in new exhibition

The new USFCAM exhibition will allow viewers to see an untold part of the museum’s art bank. ORACLE PHOTO/SAMANTHA MOFFETT

The newest exhibition at the USF Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM), Restricted, on display from June 8 to Aug. 4, showcases a wide variety of artwork that comes together to promote one common theme; “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Upon entering USFCAM, visitors are met with Restricted’s logo and name on the wall, inviting them to study the different paintings, sculptures and video pieces that line the interior of the museum. One of the first pieces found when entering the exhibition, Mike Glier’s Carol Calling, features a nude painting of a woman in nature calling to a bird, highlighting the human relationship with our environment. Another is Andy Warhol’s $1 and Purple Crows- (Stamped Indelibly), featuring a green, purple and black screenprint and purple rubber stamps.

“We wanted to use this opportunity to show some of the things that are usually kept safely in storage, but that we can’t always show,” USFCAM Exhibitions Manager Shannon Annis said.

Whether the pieces are too large, valuable, complicated to install or of a vulnerable nature, the exhibition provides both a safe space of display for each of the, “hidden gems,” and a place of conversation for visitors about topics that are not usually discussed.

The exhibition includes pieces from the 5,000 objects in the USF permanent collection, created by national and international artists, some of which include Tim Rollins, Teresita Fernández and Andy Warhol. The seldom-seen pieces include a conglomeration of media, including paintings, sculptures, video and more.

“The staff who chose specific works had the opportunity to write the labels, explaining why they valued those works and why they should be seen,” Noel Smith, the deputy director for USFCAM, said. “The entire staff is represented and reflected in the show, and that makes it a unique experience.”

USFCAM is an accredited museum by the American Alliance of Museums and collects contemporary art for students to study, according to Annis.

“Art can provide a common language,” Annis said. “Contemporary art in particular addresses the issues of our time, so it’s very good stimulation for discussion as a starting point to get dialogues going.”

Students are able to access a list of everything included in the collection on the USFCAM website and can even make an appointment to see the collection.

Restricted showcases some of the objects most difficult to show to students even on an appointment basis because of their installation requirements. Advocating for what deserved to be seen and discussed was crucial, according to Smith and Annis.

“We hope that (visitors) will learn that the exhibition deals with very important issues about the role of the museum in collecting and safeguarding works for present and future generations,” Smith said. “We understand the present by understanding the past and museums are like libraries in that sense: the collected works tell us of our passions, our discoveries, our learning, our problems, our aspirations, our poetry.”