Three years ago, Josh Hobson returned to Gainesville. University of Florida’s 4Most Gallery was the first to showcase his photography since he had been back.
Now, one master’s degree later, he will be the Gallery’s curator.
This summer, School of Art + Art History (SAAH) alumnus Josh Hobson (MFA Art ‘17) was appointed as the 4Most’s Resident Artist for the year. Already an accomplished photographer, Hobson plans to use his position to enhance the the Gallery’s stature, facilitate opportunities for SAAH students and alumni, and continue building connections between the school and the local arts community.
“One of the stated goals of 4Most gallery is to act as a link between SAAH and the greater Gainesville arts community,” Hobson explains. “Often, students feel that they are working in a vacuum, with their work not being seen outside of the confines of the classroom. 4Most offers exhibiting artists the chance to participate in the arts community of Gainesville.”
Although Hobson is a photographer, the gallery also features works of sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, new media, relational aesthetics, hybrid forms and more. Most of the artists featured are current students in SAAH and alumni who are emerging artists in their field. The gallery hosts solo, group and thematic exhibitions, artist talks, workshops and screenings.
It is a lot for anyone to manage, but the Tallahassee native is up to the task. While living in Portland, Oregon, Hobson planned, conceived and executed exhibitions at the Newspace Center for Photography. Last spring, he co-organized the FACC Student Juried Exhibition at the University Gallery. Before that, he operated his own art space, worked in galleries and launched a curated periodical called Code Switch that highlighted emerging artists in the Southeast.
Perhaps most importantly, he spent graduate school emphasizing extracurricular activity. Hobson says that allowed him to cultivate productive relationships with classmates, faculty and staff, which has made his job productive and enjoyable so far.
Hobson’s aim is to develop his own work while granting others a platform to do the same. He says the studio space the residency provides will allow him to hone his craft and prepare for a solo exhibition at the gallery this spring.
“The art of photography implies that the world is an interesting place, that there are naturally occurring events and scenes that are just waiting to be captured,” Hobson says. “More recently, however, I have become interested in creating new and ephemeral scenes in my studio and using the camera to record them. Still though, the art is not created by the camera, merely captured and recorded by it.”
For those interested in experiencing Hobson’s work and that of many other current UF students and alumni, the gallery frequently hosts events, holds exhibitions and is regularly open from 10-1 on weekdays. The Gallery also participates in Gainesville’s monthly artwalk.
The 4Most Gallery is many things, but above all it is a place for growth - both personal and social, for attendees and featured artists alike. Only a few months into his residency, Hobson is bringing that front and center.