TEDxUF Gets Transparent: Exploring Creative Pathways to Spread Ideas
TEDxUF will be presenting its seventh annual conference at the Curtis M. Phillips Center tomorrow, April 1st. Featuring an array of speakers, performers, innovators and artists, TEDxUF 2017 will unravel the elastic concept of transparency.
Nine speakers will take on the stage to unpack on a wide range of topics and experiences from black holes and sea level rise to public art and healthcare.
Though TEDxUF is known to use talks and labs as a means to communicate, this year’s event also incorporates the dynamic element of art to serve as a new, creative pathway. With a successful fall TEDxUF art exhibit that inspired and engaged its audience, the participating artists are eager to showcase their work tomorrow in the black box theater.
“The ability to tickle both the left and right brain by attending TEDxUF this year could only further enrich the experience”
Rachel Lewis, a senior painting major and TEDxUF artist discusses the importance of incorporating art at the event.
“Listeners will also become lookers, allowing them access to a myriad of approaches in thinking about the theme of transparency and creating a dialogue around it,” Lewis explains. “The ability to tickle both the left and right brain by attending TEDxUF this year could only further enrich the experience.”
Art provides another medium of expression and allows visual representation of ideas to be a part of the conversation. Brittany Sgaliardich, the event’s Creative Director, has worked with her team of artists since the fall to bring two TEDxUF art exhibitions to life this year.
“Our responses to art can illuminate a truth within ourselves.”
“In its ability to evoke a wide and dynamic range of emotions from the viewer, our responses to art can illuminate a truth within ourselves,” Sgaliardich expresses.
With over a dozen artists using varied mediums such as interactive sculptures, installations and paintings, each interpretation of transparency is unique.
“[There is such] a diverse range of art involved. These artists have so thoughtfully interpreted the theme of transparency in ways unique to their experiences and inspirations. I can’t wait to see all their work in the same room and open the doors to attendees to experience,” says Sgaliardich.
Lewis is leveraging the concept of transparency by experimenting with visual art and poetry. She drew inspiration for her piece while noticing the walls and constructed social truths that we, as humans, create for ourselves.
“I had been thinking about the permeable membrane that borders each individual of the human race and the way in which we all identify differently because of this fleshy exterior organ. I questioned the role of separation amongst such a beautiful variety of people and really felt the need for a transparent relationship amongst us,” Lewis explains.
Lewis’ piece highlights the values of flesh and encourages balance through teamwork and respect. Her interactive balancing puzzle stands atop a rug that resembles flesh and is accompanied by a poem, injecting the piece with a linguistic element.
“Poetry is an outlet that helps me to more lyrically define intentions within my work that may not be perceived otherwise…I hoped that pairing poetry with this piece [would] incite meaning in a cohesively playful way,” she expresses.
Kelsi Quicksall, art education senior, also incorporates an experiential component to her interactive piece. Her representation of transparency, The Wired People Project, is an ongoing social and visual 6-month project that she showcases at events and in the classroom as an elementary art teacher.
The Wired People Project is a blind contour drawing activity that requires subjects to draw their own faces while looking in a mirror and without picking up their pencil.
“The integration of oneself as the subject, the addition of the drawing shield, and the rule of continuous line pose a challenge to any artist,” Quicksall explains. “[An] artist’s self-consciousness becomes transparent, inevitably triggered and revealed through this blind exercise.”
Quicksall’s appreciation for collaborative work has grown as she’s traveled outside of her comfort zone to incorporate interactive art with The Wired People Project.
“I used to work small-scale and independently, but have recently found collaboration such an imperative part of my work, ” Quicksall says.
TEDxUF’s pre-fest starts at 12:00PM with food trucks, labs and art open to guests. Talks start promptly at 1:30pm.
Tickets are free will be available for pick up at the Curtis M. Phillips Center on campus all day Friday, March 31st, from 12pm-6pm Please bring a valid form of ID.