Trelles, Gallardo, and Budoff at the Rollins Museum of Art

In “New Name, New Exhibitions, Bright Future Ahead for Rollins Museum of Art in Winter Park, Florida,” Chad Scoot writes about new developments at the Rollins Museum of Art, where curator Gisela Carbonell, from Puerto Rico, has organized two exhibitions featuring work by artists hailing from “the island”: “Gallardo/Budoff: Growth, Breadth, and Terrain” and “Rafael Trelles: The Imagined Word” [see previous posts Art Exhibition: Rafael Trelles, La palabra imaginada and Art Exhibition: Gallardo/Budoff: Growth, Breadth and Terrain.] Both exhibitions opened today, September 18, and are on view until December 31, 2021. Here are excerpts; read full article at Forbes.

Most hotels consider a smattering of prints and local photography an “arts program.” At The Alfond Inn [. . .], owned by Rollins College, and the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art share their moniker with Rollins College benefactor Ted Alfond and his wife Barbara. The couple met at Rollins and both graduated there in 1968. [. . .]

Ted and Barbara Alfond work with Rollins Museum of Art officials on acquiring select pieces which go directly to the school. That esteemed contemporary art collection now numbers roughly 500 items and growing. [. . .] All of these entities–the hotel, the art collection, the museum and the college–have chartered a bold, shared course for growth which will spread their influence far outside the confines of the liberal arts college with roughly 3,000 graduate and undergraduate students five miles from downtown Orlando. [. . .]

Into its tidy galleries the Rollins Museum of Art presents six fresh exhibitions for fall of 2021, all opening September 18, a commendably ambitious program for an institution of this scale. Also commendable is the free admission. That, thankfully, won’t change when the museum moves off campus.

Up front this season are a pair of exhibitions demonstrating the museum’s stated intention of increasing its representation of Puerto Rican artists. Gisela Carbonell, the museum’s curator and a Puerto Rico native, has led this charge and put both shows together.

Orlando has America’s second largest population of Puerto Rican residents, behind only New York. Recognizing this, the museum found its holdings and programming of Puerto Rican art woefully inadequate for a local population of Puerto Ricans which surged to 12.5% following Hurricane Maria.

Especially bewitching are Rafael Trelles’ (Santurce, Puerto Rico, b. 1957) drawings referencing works of literature around the world from Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” to Gabriel GarcÍa Marquez’s “Cien Años de Soledad.” On what looks like simple, brown, butcher’s paper, Trelles deftly brings forth characters from the books in loose acrylic suggestions of form and richly detailed facial representations in ink. The unusual combination, with loads of negative space where no drawing exists, evokes the mental imagery of book characters conjured by readers, simultaneously detailed and vague. [. . .]

For full article, see https://www.forbes.com/sites/chaddscott/2021/09/17/new-name-new-exhibitions-bright-future-ahead-for-rollins-museum-of-art-in-winter-park-florida/

For more on the Trelles exhibition, see https://web.rollins.edu/rma/exhibitions/2021/rafael-trelles-the-imagined-word.html

[Shown above: Rafael Trelles (Puerto Rican b. 1957), “The Metamorphosis,” 2019. Etching ink on Stonehenge paper.]

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