Arts and Humanities

The Art Gallery at UWF presents “Surviving the Wilds of the Panhandle”

The Art Gallery at the University of West Florida presents “Surviving the Wilds of the Panhandle” by artist Justin Quaid Grubb from Sept. 29 through Nov. 11. An opening reception will be held at TAG on Thursday, Sept. 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. Artwork will be on display at TAG, located in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts, Building 82, on the Pensacola campus.

Queer theorist and art critic José Esteban Muñoz wrote, “Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality for another world.” “Surviving the Wilds of the Panhandle” is a glimpse into that other world. 

Employing Neo Space Age aesthetics, Grubb’s installation, composed of anthropomorphic shiny ceramic vessels, video, aluminum foil, sand, and construction materials, locates itself in the past as a launching point for developing a vision of queer futurity rooted in persistent and radical optimism. He navigates the unease and discomfort of his identity as a queer man new to the southern landscape through Reid F. Tillery’s 2005 guide book, “Surviving the Wilds of Florida.” As Tillery states, “Florida is a beautiful state with vast wild areas that beckon to be explored. But to safely enjoy any wilderness setting you must know how to provide for your own well-being, as well as for that of your companions.” Grubb transforms the art gallery into a home base for clusters of ceramic forms – communities offering safety and a suggestion of a welcoming future. 

The solo exhibition “Surviving the Wilds of the Panhandle” by artist Justin Quaid Grubb will be accompanied by a limited number of exhibition catalogs featuring a statement by the artist and an essay by Ariel Kroon, PhD, available for free to the public.

TAG is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. All events are free and open to the public. 

The Art Gallery at the University of West Florida seeks to challenge, stimulate and engage students and the greater public through direct interaction with works of contemporary art.