Sister Cities Exhibit Exhilarates

Published: Nov 20, 2013
The dance department held an evening of experimental dance on Nov. 8 where student dancers created movement inspired by the art.
The dance department held an evening of experimental dance on Nov. 8 where student dancers created movement inspired by the art.

Marcus Brewer ’15 sat on a stool in the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, mesmerized by the large oil painting before him: a bowl of soup of various bones.

“There’s authenticity in the soup. This says we still have our culture, that it’s in our bones,” said Brewer, a government and world affairs major and ROTC cadet. “It says we’re not part of globalization. There is nothing to mask the flavor. The taste is us, the smell is us. It’s an extraordinary painting. I want it on my wall.”

In instructor Barbara Stubb’s art class on form and idea, she wanted her students to experience art in a different way, unplugged from their phones in an almost meditative exercise where the students spent time just staring and studying the pieces before them. Then they had to sketch the work.

“It’s a whole body experience,” said Stubbs, “and another way to learn. Let the artist teach them in a different way.”

In this exercise, the 37 artists are all from Barranquilla, Colombia, in an exhibition of art from Tampa’s oldest sister city. The exhibition runs through Dec. 4 with a special Mayor’s Reception to honor Elsa Noguera de La Espriella, mayor of Barranquilla, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, on Dec. 3 from 7-9 p.m.

Gallery Director Dorothy Cowden said the Sister Cities program was started in 1956 to foster greater friendship and understanding between the U.S. and other countries through direct and personal contact. Tampa has several sister cities, including Barranquilla; Agrigento, Italy; Ashdod, Israel; Boca del Rio and Veracruz, Mexico; Izmir, Turkey; Le Havre, France, and Oviedo, Spain.

In addition to the artwork, artist Linda Montoya Vega visited campus to interact with students, and the dance department held an evening of experimental dance on Nov. 8 where student dancers created movement inspired by the art.

When the boxes of art arrived in Tampa, Stubbs said they were blown away.

“This isn’t just a Latin American exhibition of art,” said Stubbs. “It’s a contemporary exhibition that brings the world to UT.”

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