September 19, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Fine Arts Gallery Presents Works by Jack King and Bryce Speed Sept. 22-Oct. 10

~ 2015-2015 is the Year of the Arts at Valdosta State University ~

VALDOSTA — The Department of Art at Valdosta State University will host a gallery talk with award-winning Tampa, Fla.-based sculptor Jack King at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, in the Fine Arts Gallery. At 7 p.m. the gallery will host an opening reception for the latest campus-based exhibition, featuring works by King and Bryce Speed, a noted mixed media artist from Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

“We selected these two artists to show together based on the strength of their work. Although the artists don't know each other,” shared Julie Bowland, Fine Arts Gallery director, Department of Art professor, and noted landscape painter, “there seems to be some visual and conceptual currents of connections between them.”

“Bryce Speed's mixed media on paper paintings,” she explained, “are of interiors — dreamlike and ethereal with large, open, abstract spaces sparsely populated with partial figures, beds, and other signs of domestic life.

“Jack King's free-standing sculptures are mixed media as well, but mostly wood, and have a warmth but also an edge.”

Bowland noted that both Speed’s and King’s featured works “are carefully composed and beautifully crafted and very much open to interpretation.” She said that their art was selected for exhibition at VSU because they offer something that the university’s faculty, staff, and students, as well as the greater community, might not otherwise be able to experience.

“We try to balance the shows in terms of media, style, and aesthetics and to bring a diverse mix of art to campus and the region,” she said. “I think people will enjoy this exhibition.”

Speed is an instructor of art at the University of Alabama. King is a professor of art at the University of Tampa. The exhibit will run through Friday, Oct. 10.  

VSU’s Fine Arts Gallery is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is free of charge. 

Contact Julie Bowland at (229) 333-5835 or to learn more or to schedule a guided tour of the exhibition.

On the Web:

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Jack King, Artist Statement

It has always been my contention that the most successful works of art are those which create an inseparable marriage between the medium, the processes, and the idea. When this balance is achieved, the work seems to exist in a dimension where questions of meaning, material, and technique seem superfluous, a dimension independent of time and space. The difficulty for the artist is finding that subtle but profound balance.

In my work, the effort to obtain this equilibrium is achieved by forming a generalized concept then allowing the medium, as well as every other component of the creative process, to have a maximum impact upon the development of the image. This paradigm requires continual exploration and experimentation as essential elements. To a certain extent, my role as the artist is akin to that of a musical conductor, responding to each element in an attempt to wed them into a harmonious composition.

My recent work has sought to explore the relationship of passing (both physically and spiritually) from one existence into another. This interest has been spurred by the ongoing quests of the Balseros (the Cuban rafters seeking sanctuary in the United States). Although I am interested in their particular plight, I began to see them more as representatives of a continuing aspect of our collective human mythology, which requires and rewards a physical journey (often over a body of water) in order to obtain a new level of consciousness and/or physical existence. In many respects I see this quest as analogous to the making of art, for one begins with trepidation but possesses a hope that the end will justify the journey. The original objectives and intentions are soon tempered by the various obstacles and difficulties encountered along the way; upon completion, an entirely new reality emerges.

Aesthetically, attempting to achieve a visual balance between the dominance of imposed order and the chaos of complete freedom fascinates me. I am not concerned in finding any ultimate resolution but dig deeper into the moment of exchange when one force becomes the other. I am reminded of the statement by the 16th century French essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne: "The excitement of the chase is properly our quarry; we are not to be pardoned if we carry it on badly or foolishly. To fail to seize the prey is a different matter. We are born to search after the truth, to possess it belongs to a greater power."

Bryce Speed, Artist Statement

I am interested in the juxtaposition of atmospheric space with modernistic architectural detail. Conceptually, the work investigates ideas centered around domesticity, the politics of architecture, and the persistence of loneliness in a socially connected age.

Often within the compositions, outside and inside merge, creating an ambiguity of space where architectural forms reference both the stability and instability of identity. Forces of nature, like water, fire, and wind invade and sometimes destroy these structures. Destruction paired with the temporary (or resilient) nature of architecture serves as a metaphor for the evolving self.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The Fine Arts Gallery's commitment to bringing in artists from around the country and hosting educational gallery talks meets the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit to learn more.




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