The Gallery at the Reitz Union Auditorium on Level 2 supports the University of Florida’s educational mission and enriches the campus community by providing opportunities to experience diverse expressions of culture through visual art. The primary goal of The Gallery is to showcase student and university community art work.
Admission is free and open to the public.
7 a.m. – 7 p.m., daily
Exhibit runs through March 5 – 26, 2021
Monsur Adeniyi Awotunde
The works in this show explore the themes of travel, dislocation and food. I engage with these themes through absence and presence. In traveling from one geographical location to a culturally different one, we experience the absence of things that are most basic and essential to us, and we find ourselves in the presence of their substitutes. My painting presents cultural and social elements of identity through traditional Nigerian Yoruba foods.
I see the act of painting itself as a journey. Its process moves from one creative stage to another, sometimes with unpredictable encounters. As for my experience traveling from Nigeria to the United States, one of the main challenges I encountered upon arrival here in Gainesville, Florida was not finding familiar foods and their ingredients. The absence of these particular Nigerian foods around me here, and the act of finding substitutes have been the core ideas underpinning my current abstracted, collaged, and expanded paintings.
One of my main intentions for my current practice is to develop a stronger visual language for abstraction, and to create something that could contribute to the larger conversation of contemporary abstraction. It is from this primary motive that the expansion of materiality arose. I am exploring this expansion more deeply in the most recent works. I am interested in the possibilities that can be achieved with disparate materials of detritus such as: paper, polythene, and plastic bags – all of which have commonly been used in the transportation of food products in both Nigeria and the United States. The movement of these materials is crucial to my work, as it highlights the metaphorical notions of movement of foods as commodities and migration of people.
Please carefully read The Gallery policies and procedures provided in the application link before you begin your application. Only artwork submitted in the application and accepted by The Gallery will be displayed. No substitutions will be accepted.
Accepted artwork must be delivered to The Gallery in person and artists are responsible for installing and de-installing their artwork.
All artwork must be appropriately framed or canvas gallery wrapped and ready for installation as detailed in The Gallery policies and procedures.
Please note, the Reitz Union does not insure artwork displayed in The Gallery. Neither the Reitz Union nor the University of Florida is responsible for any damaged, lost, or stolen artwork.
686 Museum Rd, Level 2
Gainesville, Florida 32611