September 19, 2020 – February 7, 2021
The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art (LRMA) is pleased to present the St. Petersburg College Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition 2020. This show highlights current work created by the College’s full-time and adjunct Arts and Humanities faculty, recognizes their artistic careers, and honors their commitment to arts education.
This year, between the Coronavirus pandemic and the global outcry from the Black Lives Matter Movement, we have faced unprecedented times. In response, some faculty members used their creative ingenuity and technical skills to create face shields and masks for those in need in the medical community. Others joined the public forum for social justice. Some have confronted crisis, pain, and mortality in their artwork, still others have found solace by meditating on the healing aspects of the creative spirit.
In this “new normal”, the landscape for education and the arts may be forever changed. In response to the pandemic, many institutions were forced to dive deep into their well of creativity to reinvent themselves in the virtual world. Staying relevant and connected to their community was a matter of survival. St. Petersburg College and the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art moved their operations and programs completely online. For those in quarantine, the power of creative thinking though the virtual classroom and other online art experiences became vital community resources to help maintain some sense of normalcy and deal with these difficult times.
The Visual Arts faculty quickly pivoted to virtual studio environments to engage students at home. LRMA hosted the first online SPC student art exhibition, Art In the Time of COVID: Spring 2020 Charrette, with a virtual reception that included nearly 150 students, family, and friends from around the country. This fall, although many academic classes will continue to remain online, the Visual Arts department is part of SPC’s first phase to transition back into the classroom with a combination of face-to-face and online classes.
The Visual Arts at SPC date back to the 1950s and serve as an integral part of student life and learning across all campuses. Courses include drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, printmaking, and digital arts, leading to the Associate of Arts (AA) degree for transfer into advanced visual arts programs and the Associate of Science (AS) degree in graphic and digital arts and photography technology. Visual arts venues include the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art and and the Crossroads Gallery for students and faculty on the Clearwater Campus. Smaller exhibition spaces include Art Way at the Seminole Campus, and the Downtown Center in St. Petersburg.
In addition to the visual arts, the College offers vibrant performing arts programs in music, dance, and theater. It has invested in cultural initiatives such as the Music Center on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, and the Palladium Theater at the Downtown Cultural Art Center, which includes a partnership with American Stage and shares a box office with the Florida Orchestra.
Even in these uncertain times, the fine arts are alive and well at St. Petersburg College.