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Navel-gazing (and casting), interactive game art are focuses of upcoming JU art exhibits

Umbilicus Tower – beef intestines, cardboard, plastic, and bubble wrap – by Lauren Frances Evans

Unique free art exhibits focusing separately on the nature of negative space, commercial photography and the power of interactive design are set for Jacksonville University from Feb. 19 to March 18.

An opening reception for “Omphalos,” with works by artist Lauren Frances Evans; “Cycle,” with photos by Jensen Hande; and “FIEA Game Art,” with art concepts of interactive game design and game trailers presented by Brian Salisbury, art director at Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, will be held from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Alexander Brest Gallery at JU.

jensenhande photo
Photography by Jensen Hande

The Greek term omphalos, literally translated as navel, refers to various symbolic centers, believed to connect the earthly and the divine. The exhibition was prompted by the allure of origins, according to the artist. It will include a casting of Evans’ own navel and those of participating JU and professional visiting dancers created by the University’s visual arts students during advance casting workshops.

“Physically, [the navel is a] curious depression and marks our physical link to the past as well as our individual existence apart from it,” Evans said. “The navel is the first mark that life leaves upon the body. Unique as a fingerprint, it is a scar which points to our origins.”

Evans’ sculptural work addresses the body as a site of “irresistible paradox.”

Hande’s photographs are equally investigative and explore the potential humor, sweetness and commercialism juxtaposed within the portraits’ format. The pairing of artistic content creates a platform for viewer investigation and discovery.

Salisbury’s FIEA exhibit, meanwhile, includes industry-based print concept art and 3D game content with trailers and animations. The work is designed to be energizing and informative.

For more information, call the JU College of Fine Arts at (904) 256-7677. To see all of the JU College of Fine Arts Performing Arts Series events for 2014-15, click here.