Liminal Encounters

Published on January 1st, 2018

Autumn Casey Birds in Space

Liminality seems to depend on transience; that is, if you mentally pause mid-action during an otherwise ‘normal’ transaction, a healthy skepticism can emerge about the legitimacy of that action,” artist and educator Amber Tutwiler tells PureHoney, illuminating the keyword in her first-ever curated show, Liminal Encounters, at the Fritz Gallery in West Palm Beach. “We can begin to ask questions about our interactions with our environment — interactions that we otherwise take for granted, especially as it pertains to ritual, language, space, technology, and so many other aspects of our daily lives.”

Choosing artists who either work in or are from South Florida, Tutwiler has created a  narrative that fosters liminality while allowing for each piece to exist and be appreciated on its own. In addition to the abstract aims well articulated by Tutwiler, the show addresses the current political climate, the peculiar transience of South Florida as a U.S. port of entry, and the cycles of change an individual undergoes as she evolves.

“Transition can be brutal and challenging if not adequately prepared with support systems,” says Liminal Encounters artist Autumn Casey. “At the same time it can open new realms of possibility previously out of reach.”

Casey, who now lives in Philadelphia, might have had her own brush with the liminal when a shipping mishap resulted in her piece for the exhibition, an ascending mixed-media creation called “Birds in Space,” having to be rebuilt.

The show also features works by Katelyn Spinelli, Mumbi O’Brien, Sammi McLean, Michael Dillow, Brendan Sullivan and others. Many are alumni of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, and this same circle of Tutwiler friends represented in the exhibition also helped her adapt her ideas to the display space maintained by gallery owner Wendy Fritz — a serendipitous pairing that grew out of a casual conversation that Tutwiler had with a mutual friend of the gallerist.

“I also hope, in a simple way, that a sense of wonder about our environment is inspired in each viewer,” Tutwiler says of her inaugural show. “Wonder can put us in a place to feel vulnerable to our surroundings; vulnerability is a catalyst for seeing our world from an alternative perspective.” 

Liminal Encounters is on view through January 18. ~ Abel Folgar

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