In the alt_space: Gesamtkunstwerk: A Synthesis of Arts April 27 2015

Liz Gibson

Gesamtkunstwerk: A Synthesis of Arts by Liz Gibson
On view: May 2 - June 13, 2015
Reception to Meet the Artist: Saturday June 6, 4-7pm
Artist Talk: Friday, June 12, 11am

New Smyrna Beach, FL
— In the alt_space: Gesamtkunstwerk: A Synthesis of Arts by Jacksonville artist Liz Gibson will be on view May 2 - June 13, 2015 with a reception to meet the artist on Saturday, June 8, 4-7pm. The exhibition is a mixed media installation with a thematic focus on deformity, adversity, and empowerment. 

Gesamtkunstwerk : A Synthesis of Arts is part of an ongoing project that promotes social tolerance and appreciation of difference through art. Liz Gibson was born with seven fingers- five on her left hand and two on her right hand. Through her artwork in painting, sculpture, video, installation, performance and storytelling Gibson transforms her personal experiences of living with a physical disability into a socially compelling narrative with universal appeal. The exhibition is an example of the diverse ways in which contemporary artists marshal different abilities and sources of creativity that conceptualizes art as a means to facilitate social change.

Gibson's work centers on four semi-autobiographical characters that provide an alternative perspective on what it means to live with a physical disability in a culture obsessed with the merits of physical ability, beauty, and social norms. These "Deformance Art" characters represent different developmental stages a person born with physical defects often experience-- awareness, adaption, empowerment, and acceptance. The characters include "3-legged Fox," the child dealing with awareness of difference, “Ben Wa Betty,” the rebellious adolescent character struggling with identity and social norms, the flamboyant "Marquis Sha De,” who struggles to find balance between empowerment and ego, and "Techno Holiday" the yet to be achieved character who fully embraces difference, artistic success, and civic responsibility.

For this alt_space exhibition, Gibson will present 2-dimensional mixed media collages drawn from her characters. While this exhibition will not include a live performance, the mixed media collages represent a new step in the evolution of Gibson's exploration of narrative, techniques, and materials. The works on display integrate the concepts of transformation and multiple perspective in both content and materials. The artist uses lenticular prints, commonly associated with novelty postcards to create striking imagery to be viewed from multiple perspectives. What makes Gibson's lenticular print collages so captivating is how the material mirrors the transformative qualities of the content.

"It is most important to me to make work that is both visually intriguing as well as socially compelling.I want my art to be engaging, heartfelt, and ultimately socially positive for audiences of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and social-economical classes. Birth defects occur in all groups of people and the adversity of the disabled can truly touch us all, especially when the adversity is overcome and the deformed then become the empowered," Liz Gibson stated.


Liz Gibson works in painting, sculpture, video, installation, performance and storytelling. Her art has been presented and exhibited in galleries, colleges and museums including performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, the Jepson Center at the Telfair Museum in Savannah and the Ringling Museum of Art. Gibson was selected to receive one of eight Individual Artist Fellowships from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs for 2014. She is a recipient of a Spark Grant funded by Florida Blue Insurance to bring art experiences about her themes to young adults in Jacksonville in 2014-2015. She also received a grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida for 2013-14. She received her MFA in Performance Art from Florida State University in 2011. Gibson is based in Jacksonville, Florida and teaches at the University of North Florida.