Mass Visual Arts features ‘Underground’ exhibition

The “Underground” exhibition opening Friday at the Wooly, an art space at 20 N. Main St. next to the Top restaurant, features themed works by 33 artists including “Rosa” by Lauren Molina. (Courtesy photo)

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.

On Friday, local non-profit Mass Visual Arts opens an art exhibition at the Wooly, a space located next to the Top restaurant downtown.



What: Mass Visual Arts exhibition featuring themed works by 33 artists
When: Opening reception 6-10 p.m. Friday as part of Artwalk; exhibition continues 6-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday; 6-9 p.m. Monday-April 4; 6-10 p.m. April 5; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. April 6; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 7
Where: The Wooly, 20 N. Main St.
Admission: Free

The 10-day-long show, which is themed “Underground,” features art from 33 artists in the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, multimedia, woodwork, film, video and sound installations.

Dale Gunnoe, founding member of Mass Visual Arts, says viewers will be treated to a diverse array of interpretations on this show’s theme.

“We didn’t give the artists a whole lot of parameters,” he says. “We tried to pick a theme that was ambiguous and interesting enough that would produce work we wanted to see.”

Gunnoe says the artists’ interpretations of the “Underground” ranged from the literal, with depictions of insects crawling through soil, to the figurative, with some artists exploring alternative ways of thinking and alternative societal roles.

This is the third annual show the non-profit has organized since forming in September 2011. The first two were themed “American Dream” and “Below the Belt,” the latter of which solely featured art from contributors living below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Gunnoe says he, along with six other area artists, musicians and professors, created the group with one goal in mind.

“Our goal is to receive work from the community in which we reside and to provide opportunities for all artists to display their work professionally,” he says. “We have art from established professional artists all the way down to amateur artists just beginning their careers.”

Tom Hart, founder of the Sequential Artists Workshop, is displaying a set of two stories told from one set of identical prints. When the images are shuffled, the story of an underground creature moving through the soil is told in a different way. Hart says this is his first participation in a Mass Visual Arts show.

“The last Mass Visual Arts show was tremendous. It made me forget I left the New York art world. The show was so impressive; large-scale, intelligent and professional. I can only assume this show will be the same,” he says.

Gunnoe says he’s happy to note an increased local interest in the visual arts within the last two years. With the relatively recent opening of spaces like the Sequential Artists Workshop and the FLA Gallery, there are more opportunities for artists to display their work for Gainesville audiences.

“When we started, we felt there was a void,” he says. “But now there’s been a lot of really cool stuff going on downtown with visual arts. We’re very happy to contribute to that.”

The opening reception for “Underground” will be held during Artwalk on Friday from 7-11 p.m. at the Wooly, 20 N. Main St. Admission is free.

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