TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 12, 2015) - As Iva Gueorguieva looks intently at the seven sculptures coming to life, she speaks about the synergistic relationship that she has developed over the past few years with University of South Florida’s Graphicstudio and how it has elevated and transformed the way she constructs her artwork.
It’s unlike anything that exists in this country,” Gueorguieva said about Graphicstudio. “The history of it, it’s often the case that you don’t realize what you have close to home.” The studios are a part of the Institute for Research in Art at USF and have been in operation on the Tampa campus since 1968, hosting a collection of over 100 artists to collaborate on printmaking projects.
Gueorguieva, a world-renowned LA based painter, recently spent a week as the Artist-in-residence at the printmaking studios to design and collaborate on mixed media environmental sculptures. This latest series, titled Vanished Animal, includes seven constructed macrocosms or mini-cityscapes, incorporating found objects from the university area environment.
The sculptures are constructed with a rebar and cement foundation, including pieces culled from a former Firestone Tire building demolished near University Mall, metal shelving from USF classrooms, cut in various shapes, clay draped over the metal framework to mimic life or skin and carefully cut fragments of intricately designed artwork painted, etched on aluminum plates and printed on to fabric.
Gueorguieva believes the experience of collaborating with the printmaking experts at Graphicstudio has helped her evolve as an artist. "Every time I come here things change in my own studio, I would not be making the paintings that I was now if it was not for the relationship," she explains. "I would not be the artist that I am if it weren’t for this relationship; it’s the most important relationship that I have in my art life."