UT Art Show: Seeking Identity

A closing reception at the The University of Tampa  for the bachelor of fine arts graduates’ exhibition “Seeking Identity” was on May 6 at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery on UT’s campus. Below are photos from the well-attended exhibition.

One of the artists, Colleen Itani (above), explored the duality of anxiety and humor, which she calls the “truest representation” of herself.

Colleen Itani’s Artist Statement

Are you comfortable? Can I get you anything? I’m taking the door off the hinges. I am exposing myself and inviting you in. You can touch my things because I say you can. You can share my bed with my invitation. I’m making room for you.

Frequently overwhelmed with emotional response and an inability to vocalize this, I am driven to create. Often times I am consumed with feelings of connectedness and a simultaneous fear of the unknown, I cannot speak about what is stirring me. It is through my work that I can attempt to explain this. I get to establish my space and my presence.”

In A Spy in the House of Love, Anaïs Nin writes, “Both anxiety and humor became interchangeable. The pretenses, escapades, trickeries seemed to her in her humorous moods like gay and gallant efforts at protecting everyone from the cruelties of existence for which she was not responsible. Wits and good acting were employed for such justifiable ends: to protect human beings from unbearable truths.” My work reflects this duality of anxiety and humor, the truest representation of me. By understanding discomfort, I attempt to become more comfortable in my identity.

Won’t you come in?

An interactive website featuring the artists’ work is available here.

David R. Wheeler is managing editor of AliveTampaBay.


The Scarfone/Hartley Gallery.


Seeking Identity” was on May 6 at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery on UT’s campus.

On the University of Tampa campus.

On the University of Tampa campus.

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