Art museum

USF Museum of Contemporary Art Expands to St. Petersburg – The Oracle

The College of The Arts and Contemporary Art Museum plans to have greater engagement with the St. Petersburg community through the construction of Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum. SPECIAL AT ORACLE/USF

The USF Museum of Contemporary Art (CAM) is expanding to St. Petersburg to support technology and artistic engagement by students and the general public.

Consolidation led to USF College of The Arts leasing 3,100 square feet of space at The Factory St. Pete in the Warehouse Arts District.

The gallery, named Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum, aims to shed light on environmental issues, sustainability, and social justice through contemporary art. Christopher Garvin, Dean of the College of The Arts, predicted that Generator should officially open to the public in August 2022.

Generator’s gallery space is leased for $75,000 a year, according to Margaret Miller, director of the Institute for Research in Art. The rent is covered by the city of Saint Petersburg, which has committed to financing it for the next three years.

The College of The Arts and CAM are currently finalizing construction and lease contracts with the City of St. Petersburg and The Factory, Miller said.

“Hopefully we’ll start construction in the next few weeks and have the space ready for the first show by the start of the fall semester,” she said.

The construction process is funded by the St. Pete campus, Miller said. Other major backers were The Factory, Behar + Peteranecz Architecture Firm, and the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership.

Generator was designed to be a post-consumer model, which means that immersive time-based media and digital art, such as projectors, film, and augmented reality, will be featured instead of artwork. material arts.

By refraining from purchasing physical artwork, Generator would remain environmentally conscious, Garvin said. Using accessible artwork on file rather than purchasing pieces and having them shipped to the gallery will allow CAM to reduce its carbon footprint.

“There will be no painting hanging on the wall, there will be a [digital] experience there. And we think that translates to generations other than mine,” Garvin said.

“Millennials and young people understand the value of experience as much as just buying and consuming things, so it’s a new way of looking at art.

CAM’s curator of public art and social practices, Sarah Howard, said the expansion will not only provide students at the St. Pete campus with easier access to CAM, but also provide them with opportunities for work and internship.

Howard said the College of The Arts intends to integrate educational programs, lectures, curatorial visits and other activities into Generator to engage students and the public in the arts culture that USF has. to offer.

The first tentative artist to feature in Generator after it opens is a Danish artist and activist collective called SUPERFLEX, according to Howard.

Most of SUPERFLEX’s work revolves around interspecific living and what humans can learn from animals to better manage the environment. Many of their pieces have taken the form of energy systems, beverages, sculptures, copies, hypnosis sessions, infrastructure, paintings, nurseries, contracts and public spaces.

“Their practice specifically blurs the lines between art, design, science, and activism using humor, play, and imagination to offer creative insights into challenging global and social issues,” said Howard.

For Generator in particular, Howard was interested in SUPERFLEX’s research on how the marine environment can teach people to adapt their surroundings to survive the effects of climate change.

While nothing is set in stone yet, the College of Arts and CAM will meet with a SUPERFLEX representative to discuss future collaboration within the week.

Miller said CAM will also feature local artists and they are still considering their options.

“Our program at Generator will be kind of a combination of top international artists, nationally-known artists, and really good local artists,” she said. “We’ve only just gotten to it, got it all organised, but it’s quite exciting.”

With all the goals he and CAM have in mind for the gallery, he hopes it will ultimately serve as an artistic unifier for USF and the local St. Petersburg community.

“The biggest part of it is that we put our best foot forward and commit to St. Petersburg and to the community,” he said. “We invite people to campus, we invite the community to be part of us… [College of Arts] really wants to be community leaders in this area, and we will continue to work in this direction. This is just the beginning.”