Florida School of the Arts presents artist Elizabeth Di Donna
As part of the visiting artist series, Florida School of the Arts will present a gallery exhibition for artist, educator and art-advocate Elizabeth Di Donna. The exhibit will open with a reception on Thursday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Gallery located on St. Johns River State College’s Palatka campus. The exhibit will be on display through November 21. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and during Main Stage performances. Gallery exhibits are free and open to the public.
The exhibit, titled i’m here now, includes photographs, video and installation pieces created by the artist, who uses the elements of paper, clay, light and text to create scenes of memory, place, fantasy and dreamlike spaces. “The work encompasses an awareness of time, sensations and the details of the physical world, realized through symbolic representations and invented landscapes,” said Di Donna, adding “Though these materials, I wish to create a corporeal moment outside of everyday concerns.”
The series of photographs in the i’m here now exhibit were taken in Florence, Italy, after the artist had been living in the city for four months. During this time, Di Donna was introduced to a common Italian saying, “Ora sono qui,” which means “I’m here now, but tomorrow, who knows?” “It reminded me of what I think about when I’m working,” explained Di Donna. “We’re not here long…life is temporary…how do you become aware of this moment? When you’re gone, will there be anything left behind?” Using this inspiration, the artist temporarily posted and photographed the words around the city, memorializing the details so as not to lose them after she departed. Di Donna was moved by the Italian people who often took notice of the message as she photographed. “I hope that when viewers experience these images, they consider, “I’m here now,” and celebrate it the way the Italians do,” she said.
Di Donna received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State University in Michigan and a Master of Fine Arts degree in studio art from Florida State University, where she also received the Florence Teaching Award, which provided the opportunity for her to teach at FSU’s campus in Italy. She also studied at the College for Creative Studies and Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, Michigan, and was a long-time member of the Detroit art community, where she taught art in after school and continuing education programs at Marygrove College. Di Donna currently serves as an academic program specialist, lead advisor and professor within Florida State University’s Department of Art.
The artist’s works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including venues such as the Fountain Art Fair during Art Basel Miami and the Project Space for the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts Conference. She has also led a number of presentations and workshops regarding the arts and art instruction during her career.
Florida School of the Arts is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards the two-year associate degree in the following areas of study: acting, dance performance, musical theater, stage management, theater technology, graphic design/new media and studio art. The School serves the entire state of Florida. Admission is based on an audition or portfolio review, an interview with the faculty and admission to SJR State.
Students produce and perform in approximately four visual arts exhibitions and 10 performances each year. For more information about Florida School of the Arts call (386) 312-4300 or visit online at floarts.org.
The works of artist, educator and art-advocate Elizabeth Di Donna will be displayed in an exhibit titled I’m Here Now at the Florida School of the Arts Main Gallery located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. An opening reception will be held Thursday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through November 21.
Director of Public Relations and Publications