by Ben Sheffler
The Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts, building 15 on Pensacola State College’s main campus, will exhibit artwork by the prolific Native-American artist Neal Ambrose-Smith from August 19 to October 4.
Ambrose-Smith is a painter, printmaker, and sculptor who is an outspoken proponent of using non-toxic printmaking techniques. By using these different media, he creates a layered grouping of images in a collage.
“I find it highly entertaining the way he juxtaposes pop culture imagery with contrasting images to create a new dialogue,” said Gallery Director Vivian Spencer. “He hides all sorts of goofy things in his artwork.”
Ambrose-Smith uses tribal imagery along with current events to create artwork that not only educates but also leaves the door open for interpretation.
“What does Star Trek have to do with ‘True to Life,’ ‘Weird’ and Indians?” Spencer said of the painting “Weird.”
“There are messages in all his work,” she said.
Ambrose-Smith’s visit is part of PSC’s Visiting Master Artist Workshop Series, an effort that brings students and expert artists from across the country together.
The series has been an on and off event for 30 years, but it has been running consecutively for the last seven, according to Spencer.
“This year is our year of printmaking and sculpture,” Spencer said.
In February 2014, the series will continue with fiber artist Jo Stealey.
A reception for Ambrose-Smith is scheduled for Thursday, September 12 from 6 to 8 p.m., and at 9 a.m. on September 13 he’ll do a “gallery talk” about his artwork. After the gallery talk, he will host a workshop at 10 a.m. that focuses on non-toxic printmaking techniques. Each event is free and open to the public.
Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
For more information or to schedule a tour, call 850-484-2550.