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Recent Exhibitions

January 16 – March 28, 2020

“The Unnamed” by Frances Gallardo

Rising Water brings together artists whose work explores the aftermath of hurricanes in the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean. Using methods including representational strategies, mapping, allegory, and abstraction, these artists navigate what it means to live and create in a volatile and changing climate and explore the effects of hurricanes on communities, residents, and the psyche.

The threat of increasingly violent storms and rising sea levels is inescapable, and envisioning our futures in coastal areas of the Southeastern United States is difficult. This exhibition is asking how we can center empathy, humanity, and creativity in a conversation that routinely focuses on what can feel abstract – data, predictions, and hypotheticals.

Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, from the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, have photographed life in that city for almost three decades. Their photographic negatives were submerged during Hurricane Katrina, and when recovered and reprinted the photographs reflect imagery of daily life both disappearing through the water damage and emerging from the destruction. Willie Birch cast the crawfish chimneys he found in his yard and neighborhood after Katrina. These bronze objects monumentalize the resiliency of these adaptable creatures and, like in McCormick and Calhoun’s work, serve as a metaphor for the community and culture devastated by Katrina.

Similarly, Richard Misrach personalizes the brutality of Katrina through his documentation of the storm’s aftermath. This work describes the desire of displaced individuals to be seen, heard, and present, even in their absence, as they fled to safer ground.

“Hugo 16” by Aspen Mays

In her large black and white photograms, Aspen Mays makes analog images inspired by her experience of Hurricane Hugo that are themselves incantations, each mark referencing a desire to prevent destruction and to not feel powerless, through fragile human gestures that prove futile in the face of the storm.  Both Mays in her color photograms and Frances Gallardo in her textile and sculptural pieces take inspiration from the data mapping of major storms. Gallardo humanizes the data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and emphasizes precarity in her use of material: intricate, large-scale hand cut paper pieces and colorful needlework mapping storm paths.

In the prints of Sarah Welch we see a depiction of post-Harvey Houston that is honest and lived in, with the kind of deadpan humor that often makes trauma bearable, and through her installations and reading rooms she creates space for shared experience and catharsis. Trenton Doyle Hancock instructs us in how to build our own future unbound by any current reality.

The work in this exhibition is responding to and creatively interpreting storms and changing climate, rooted in vulnerable geographical areas that have been irreparably changed by hurricanes. Like the artists who have centered creativity and empathy as tools for navigating an increasingly storm-impacted future, our hope is that the audience will participate in imagining a way forward.

This project is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Curated by Jessica Ingram, Assistant Professor of Art, and Meredith Lynn, Assistant Curator.

En Garde

January 16 – March 28, 2020

An interactive exhibition of historic prints from MoFA’s Permanent Collection, swords on loan from FSU’s World War II Institute, and contemporary fencing equipment, explores how dueling weapons have evolved from symbols of power to elements of sport.

Jan and Her Friends

January 16 – March 28, 2020

The FSU Museum of Fine Arts is proud to be featuring the art and creativity of Tallahassee-based puppeteer Jan Kaufman in the installation Jan and Her Friends.  The adopted child of a physician, Jan began her career in puppetry arts by taking her dolls apart to see how they worked. Over the years, she has paired her interest in anatomy with degrees in theatre and education, adding a flair for voices and a mission to communicate with children for whom feelings can be frightening.

Elemental Iceland

October 14 – December 7, 2019

Contemporary graphic, textile, and sculptural works from Iceland addressing the island nation’s unique landscapes, geology, and cultural history rooted in materials derived from the earth and sea. Featured artists: Valgerður Hauksdóttir, Elva Hreiðarsdóttir, Soffia Sæmundsdóttir, Rósa Sigrún Jónsdóttir, Anna Gunnarsdóttir, Anna Þóra Karlsdóttir, Nicole Pietrantoni, Jóhann Eyfells, and members of the ARKIR Book Arts Group.

Identity in the Ottoman Empire

August 19 – November 9, 2019

An exploration of the diverse ethnic and religious identities that coexisted in the Ottoman Empire (ca. 1300-1922). Architecture, period photography, stamps, textiles, calligraphy, illustrated documents, and interactive displays bring to life this complex period in world history.

Le Sang Noir

February 15 – March 31, 2019

In 2010, Louisiana-based artist and biologist Brandon Ballengée saw firsthand the largest environmental disaster in United States history—the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Le Sang Noir (“Black Blood”) is a visual response to this tragedy. Locked in jars, suspended in alcohol, posed in petri dishes, Ballengée’s forms tell stories of species altered and obliterated. His prints, sculptures, and field projects are a narrative of human impact in the Anthropocene. By implicating us in their creation, the projects also inspire us to learn more about life in these complex, often fragile ecosystems.


January 7 – March 31, 2019

Do you ever wonder what is hidden behind the museum’s store room doors? MoFA’s Permanent Collection spaces will be under renovation during the spring semester, and guest curators from departments throughout the College of Fine Arts will be given the opportunity to arrange, rearrange, and change your viewpoint on some of the “biggest” works in our collection.

68:18  Student Protest in Print

February 15 – March 31, 2019

In the spring of May 1968, an occupation begun by a group of French students grew to one of the largest demonstrations in modern history. Striking workers and protesters brought Paris to a halt, and the posters and graffiti that amplified their message have become part of our visual vernacular. With original artwork that was posted on the streets of Paris fifty years ago and contemporary prints influenced by current student led gun violence protests, this exhibition explores the role of graphic art in political organizing.  

Visualizing the Invisible “Jungle” of Calais

February 15 – March 31, 2019

Since 1999, individuals fleeing conflicts or escaping poverty in the Balkans, the Horn of Africa, Sudan, and the Middle East have come to Calais in hopes of crossing the English Channel on the boats, trains, trucks, and buses that move between France and the U.K.  Temporary camps – often referred to as “jungles” – have proliferated, and their periodic demolition has come to be seen as emblematic of the “European migration crisis.” Eric Leleu’s photographs document this changing landscape of watchtowers, barbed-wire fences, flooded zones, walls, and surveillance cameras and explore these failed attempts to control migration and the resilient presence of migrants in and around Calais.

The Art of Craft: Handmade Paper (And How to Make it at Home)

April 7, 2021
Written by Cole Hancock Paper is such a commonplace material that we don't tend to think much about its origin. These days, most paper anyone will come into contact with ...

Upcoming Events!

February 5, 2021
The FSU Civil Rights Institute and Museum of Fine Arts invite you to join us for an evening reflecting on the intersections of environmentalism, equity, and justice. Tour A Sha ...

"What It Takes": Creative Research in the College of Fine Arts

January 27, 2021
The College of Fine Arts at Florida State University is home to seven units: the Departments of Art, Art History, Art Education, and Interior Architecture and Design, the Schools ...

Voices from Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex

January 12, 2021
In partnership with the Innocence Project of Florida, MoFA is proud to present a suite of prints from Voices from Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex, a portfo ...

MoFA Presents "Memento Vitae"

January 11, 2021
We use flowers to mark both beginnings and endings. We give bouquets at graduations and send them to provide comfort during illness or recovery; we decorate with flowers on our w ...