Scarlett Correa (BFA Painting ‘15) opened a solo show at the Tench Building Studio Gallery Friday, February 24. The show entitled Mixed: Exploring what America Looks Like Through Portraiture, is a portrait series focusing on people of color. All of the proceeds from the show benefited several nonprofits including, Planned Parenthood, the International Rescue Committee, Operation Smile and the ACLU. Correa describes the show as a mix of creative work with humanitarianism and activism.
After taking a year long break from art to recharge and refresh, Correa saw this show as an opportunity to transition into being more of a full time artist while doing something that was meaningful for her. She focused on people of color after realizing a lot her school art renderings were of petite, light skinned girls, and she saw this as an opportunity to improve her ability to rendier dark skin tones and give more representation to historically underrepresented groups.
“I think a lot of the toxicity surrounding topics like immigration comes from being stuck in an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality, when in reality, most of our friends, neighbors, and peers are immigrants, and their contribution to society is noteworthy,” Correa said. “I'm a first generation immigrant from the Dominican Republic, so this has always been sitting in the back of my mind. I figured portraiture would be a great way to invite a sense of intimacy between the model and the public.”
Correa credits the University of Florida and the School of Art + Art History for her work ethic and added, “I think the most valuable thing you get from an art education is the ability to take criticism well, and the ability to give it when it's needed in a way that's constructive, specific, insightful and well received.”
She encourages all artists and students to wholeheartedly commit to their craft and enjoy what they are doing. The best advice Correa said she has been given related to when people ask what students plan on doing with an art degree, she advises to say, 'my best.'
For more information about Correa, visit www.scarlettcorrea.com.