Since 2000 when the Florida state legislature designated The Ringling complex under the jurisdiction of Florida State University, the museum and its campus has been under the direction and stewardship of the Tallahassee university.
Starting on August 14 and running to October 25, faculty members from the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University will have work featured alongside the John and Mable Ringling Museum's permanent collection. Titled "Back and Forth: Thinking in Paint," the exhibit is the first time a visual conversation has occured between Ringling's masters of old and contemporary professors at FSU teaching the principals and craft of painting and art to future generations of artists. The exhibition will include 22 works from five college faculty artists including: Carrie Ann Baade, Ray Burggraf, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Mark Messersmith and Judy Rushin.
“This exhibition is a first for The Ringling, and it highlights the incredible possibilities that exist with our partnership with FSU,” says Steven High, executive director of The Ringling. “We are proud of our collection at The Ringling, and it is wonderful to see the contemporary art that it continues to inspire.”
One of the participating professors Baade, an associate professor of painting and drawing, is excited about being a part of this inaugural education transaction between the university and the museum.
"It's an unique opportunity to have academic educators responding to a historic body of work," says Baade who joined the university in 2007. "I would love to have more dialogue on how artists quote other artists in their work. I want to extrapolate that because artists break with the past all the time, but you can't really ever get away from it."
The faculty lineup for "Back and Forth" includes a diverse selection of artists and educators who have created art and studied all around the world. Baade herself studied art at the University of Delaware, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.
Burggraf is currently a professor emeritus with the college who taught painting and color theory at FSU for 37 years. His work represents influences from the German Bauhaus movement of the 1930s and the school of Optical Art made popular in the 1960s.
Garcia-Roig was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in Texas. She has said that her work tries to explore her Cuban roots as well as expand the boundaries of abstract painting. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Garcia-Roig is the current head of the painting and drawing department.
Messersmith moved to Florida over 30 years ago and has fallen in love with and painting the Florida landscape ever since with an unique approach involving presentational and colorfully abstract style.
Rushin is the director of the graduate program of art at the university, and her work explores the power of color, space and shape with both large and small installations of sculpture utilizing geometric patterns.