New Feature Exhibition in May April 18 2018
Greetings From Florida, Journey to Paradise
On View: May 5 - 25, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 5, 4-7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, May 18, 11 AM
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
In Greetings from Florida, Journey to Paradise, Orlando artist and Florida native Victor Bokas presents a series of 33 mixed-media paintings to create a personal narrative that resonates on many levels. Using bold, tropical colors, Bokas creates lively, imaginative scenes that embrace and celebrate his deep ties to Florida while simultaneously delving into the universal dilemma of journeying through a struggle to arrive at peace.
Victor aptly begins the exhibition with depictions of the road as a metaphor, comparing the range of emotions that may surface at the beginning of a road-trip with those that one may encounter on their own journey towards personal fulfillment. As can be seen in the piece, Thunder Road, Victor’s energetic brush strokes capture sentiments that one may experience after long hours of driving: encountering road rage, detours, and getting lost. In the face of these challenges, Victor encourages viewers to focus on the “yellow brick road” despite the unsettling landscape, and he does so with wit and whimsy. In his own words, he states, “For me, this exhibit is my quest to separate myself from the corporate world as a designer for 38 years and follow my dream to be a full-time painter. I hope this exhibit inspires people to find their focus, follow their passion and pursue their dreams.”
As one makes their way through the exhibition, they gradually progress towards Paradise, a Florida wonderland full of palm trees, seashells, pink flamingos, and more. In many of his pieces, he pays homage to his Greek heritage by incorporating statues, columns, olives, and vases. He also playfully mixes in 3-D elements. Grids, squares and other graphic design elements rove in naturally to lend structure and direction. No doubt, his long career as a graphic designer ingrained a sense of order to his hyper-imaginative settings. A self-described “collector of kitsch,” his studio is filled with vintage flea market finds which often serve as a source of inspiration, with these items often incorporated into his art.Once viewers make their way to Paradise, in traditional Florida fashion, they are directed to Souvenirs, which, in this case, consist of a collection of small 6 x 6 paintings that visitors can pick up as a memento to remember the experience before moving on to the next stop in their own journeys, wherever they may take them.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Growing up in the Florida Panhandle against a backdrop of palm trees, beautiful beaches and sunbathers have had a strong influence on Victor’s life and art. He began painting at age 11 and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design .
His works are included in corporate and museum collections throughout the state of Florida. Permanent Collections include Mennello Museum of American Art, Darden, Tupperware, City National Bank, Orange County Convention Center, Winter Park Library, Maitland Art Center, Orlando City Hall, Walt Disney Productions and the Orlando International Airport. In 2000, his piece titled Florida Vacation became part of the Orlando International Airport Public Art Project and was turned into an 88 x 15 ft mosaic masterpiece welcoming visitors to Orlando. His work is also featured on the cover of the publication “Picturing Florida—From the First Coast to the Space Coast.” Solo exhibits include the Maitland Art Center, Bloomingdale’s, Harris House–Atlantic Center for the Arts, Mount Dora Center for the Arts, Valencia Community College, Georgia Southern University, and Pensacola State College.