Detail, “The Shape of Things to Come” by China Marks
By PAM HARBAUGH
This exhibit must be seen. It is “RADIANT MESENGER: Drawings by China Marks” and it opens Saturday at Florida Tech’s Foosaner Art Museum. What’s more, the artist will make an appearance to speak about her work that morning in the Foosaner’s Harris Auditorium.
And what a perfect name for this exhibit, because Ms. Marks is, if I may, a “radiant messenger” who brings us important intimations about the value of the creative soul. No doubt, this promises to present a fantastical look into another world, plump with fantastical narrative and imagination.
Now living in New York City, the artist was born in 1942 and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, a town rich in the history of art and proud home of the venerable Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. Her resume teems with important exhibits and awards, including a Fulbright fellowship and an NEA fellowship.
Ms. Marks began as a sculptor then went into two-dimensional work, including prints and collages of wondrous subjects. Influenced in part by manga and anime, she discovered that stitching her drawings gave them additional texture and thematic layers. So, in a way, she has combined sculpture and drawing, resulting in unique, highly expressive “sewn drawings.” She also has created a number of “parallel world” installations in which she expressed her concept that the avenue to parallel worlds is through art.Carla Funk, Florida Tech director of museums, curated this exhibit. In a press release, she stated: “I love the tactility, hybrid characters and bizarre narratives that Marks creates with her sewn drawings,” Funk said. “She achieves true philosophical probing through her mixture of the absurd and the tragi-comic.”
The Foosaner exhibit comprises more than 50 of Ms. Marks complex works made over the last three years. The exhibit will run through Jan. 7, 2017. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Free admission.
China Marks lecture will begin 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Foosaner’s Harris Auditorium. Admission to the lecture is $5 to the general public and free for museum memers and Florida Tech students, faculty and staff.
The Foosaner Art Museum is at 1463 Highland Ave., Melbourne. Visit FoosanerArtMuseum.org, call 321-674-8916 or click onto their ad.
ABOVE PHOTO: Detail — “The Shape of Things to Come” 2014, 32″ x 38″ Fabric, lace, thread, button, fusible adhesive. .