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Published: November 01, 2022

Abstract Artist Displays 77 Pieces in New Technology Building

The more time you spend with the works created by abstract painter Sara Conca, the more you’re likely to see something in it that means something to you.  

Conca has 77 pieces displayed within the Jenkins Health and Technology Building, which was named after Howard and Patricia Jenkins in a grand opening on Oct. 24.  

Abstract Artist Displays 77 Pieces in New Technology Building Abstract painter Sara Conca has 77 pieces displayed in the Jenkins Health and Technology Building. Photo by Marc Vaughn

“Abstract art is subjective to the viewer — the viewer sees what they want to see,” Conca said. “It’s interesting what you see first.” 

President Ronald Vaughn said he was driving down MacDill Avenue in South Tampa when he noticed one of Conca’s pieces from the window of the Michael Murphy Gallery. 

“I was immediately struck that her art might be a very good choice for the art we hoped to display in the new Technology Building,” he said, describing the work as inspirational and creative. He was impressed with her unique style of painting images from reverse, building the image from the foreground to the background, as she lets her intuition guide her strokes.

Conca is a ‘plein air artist,’ as she always paints outside, she said, stating the act makes the pieces more organic. In fact, all of the work hanging in the Technology Building was created in layers while she was outdoors, often by a river or lake.

“I feel the energy transfers,” she said, adding that the more you observe the art, the more you’ll notice the different layers, which are physically visible when viewed from the side of the paintings. 

“I like to create work that looks like different realms or meditation mantras — different areas you go to in your mind to get that certain amount of peace,” she said. 

In her work, Conca incorporates BB gun pellets to scare away negativity and brass key shavings, because they turn green when they oxidize, giving it the golden green look while also opening the doors of your mind. 

“These are like my little languages,” Conca said. “Most artists write their own language.”

Abstract Artist Displays 77 Pieces in New Technology Building Conca hopes that visitors of the buildings feel refreshed and energized when they view her pieces. Photo by Marc Vaughn

The different materials and textures that Conca utilizes enhance the beauty of her art, and make each piece more interesting, Vaughn said. 

“I hope students enjoy the beauty of her work, and hopefully spend a little time searching for their own creative meaning,” he said.

Additional pieces of Conca's can also be found in the Science Research Laboratories.

The artist hopes that visitors of the buildings feel refreshed and energized when they view her pieces, and they leave understanding more about themselves. 

“I am honored to have my first large permanent collection with UT,” Conca said. “I’m over the moon about it and truly honored and humbled.”

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