Lakeland Community College Showcases Biennial Skull and Skeleton Exhibition Through Next Friday

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click to enlarge "Lost for Words" by Gadi Zamir - Courtesy Lakeland
Courtesy Lakeland
"Lost for Words" by Gadi Zamir

The biennial 'Skull and Skeleton' exhibition at the Gallery at Lakeland Community College has grown since it started in 2009 and now features more than 350 works by more than 100 artists from around the world.

Curated by gallery coordinator Mary Urbas, the impressive multi-room exhibition draws one in with pieces of every style imaginable, like Gadi Zamir’s “Lost for Words," a mixed-media work including assemblage, pyrography (the art of burning wood), and fabric dye on wood.

The piece depicts a giant skull dressed dapperly in a black coat and tie with a red flower on his lapel and a type writer for a mouth. Zamir, who owns Negative Space Gallery, said that when he was creating the piece he was thinking about his final message to all of his friends, family and supporters and that message is, “I Love You and Forever Will.” This sentiment is burned into what looks like what might be the paper coming out of the typewriter. The piece also features the names of people close to him including the names of his children and other who have been there for him along his journey, all burned into the breast of the suit coat.

Many of the pieces in the exhibition are inspired by Día de Muertos/Día de los Muertos, celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November and associated with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. The holiday, as macabre as it sounds, is actually a celebration of people we have lost in our lives where people get together and enjoy life in honor of those who have passed.

“It’s about embracing life and death and our mortality,” said Urbas, who's a life-long collector of skull art and artifacts. “Being raised Roman Catholic, the rebellious side in me was drawn to skulls for the initial shock value. I took a life changing trip to Mexico in the early 90’s and embraced its cultural diversity and folk art. The rest… as the saying… goes… is history!”

The exhibition also features the work of local artist Stephen Calhoun with his piece “Your Mind Stays Behind,” with its psychedelic skull image with fractals and bright colors swirling about like a tidal wave through the image.

Another work, “Handmade of The Dark” by Michael W. High, is a skeleton on a handmade gown expertly detailed and equally spooky and is made from ceramic textiles and an emulsion process. The artists also hand sews the gowns.

The exhibition is thought-provoking, enlightening and inspiring. It could be a stimulating way to celebrate this holiday weekend with this impressive display.

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. |Sunday, closed

For more information about the show contact: Mary Urbas, gallery coordinator at [email protected] or call 440.525.7029.
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