Leap Year at The Department Store

Leap Year, the year long, emerging artists mentorship program facilitated by MINT, announces the final exhibit for the 2011/2012 artists John Paul Floyd, Jane Garver, and Chelsea Raflo.

About the Artists:

John Paul Floyd’s photographs deal with the ways we manage natural landscapes. He is interested in the choices we are forced to make as a society that is constantly growing larger, more advanced, and complex than the other beings inhabiting our world. Oftentimes it seems easier and more efficient to level the natural features of a landscape and form it into the shape that best fits our needs. He has made an effort to objectively photograph the Boat Rock Nature Preserve to both recognize the remaining boulders and to pay tribute to the boulders that have been destroyed by developers. By creating this catalog of the current resources of Boat Rock Nature Preserve he hopes to create an awareness of the destructive effects of progress at the edge of preservation efforts.

“Leap Year has been an amazing experience for me. The opportunity to focus on a body of work without restrictions or expectations has allowed me to evolve as an artist and further cultivate an honest practice. The connections and relationships that the program led me to are invaluable and I will cherish them for the rest of my career. I would like to thank Erica Jamison, Mint Gallery, and the organizations and individuals who have made Leap Year possible for me. It is people like this that make Atlanta special and make me proud to be a part of the Atlanta art community.”

Jane Garver is an Atlanta-based artist. She explores human relationships and personal roles in the various forms of mapping conversations, creating site-specific sculpture, and discovering subversive ways to turn art viewers into performers.

She is currently designing a new project that will spotlight its users, drawing from such diverse inspiration as NASA’s gilded heat shields and her childhood favorite workout videos by Jane Fonda.

“Leap Year has given me framework and support from which to move forward and complete an ambitious artwork I had previously thought was unattainable. From memberships to community arts organizations, advice from mentors, and the use of a studio, I gained an increasing awareness that the time is right now to make my best work.”

Chelsea Raflo is an Atlanta-based conceptual artist who explores format and process, and meaning. Her work involves multiple mediums- painting, drawing, photography, animation, sound- she often considers the limitations and possibilities presented by each individual process, and what that means for both how she creates and defines her work.

For this exhibit she has created a music video, because she is interested in redefining the music video as a celebrated framework or genre for fine art, and divorcing the term from whatever stigmas of overly “pop” or formulaic commercial endeavors it seems to imply.

“Thinking back to this time last year, I can tell you that I feel far more connected to our city’s art community through my participation in this program, and I think that’s saying a lot, because I probably wouldn’t have said last year that I felt particularly outside of the loop. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and for the experiences I’ve had over the past year, and although my Leap Year participation is ending, I feel that the momentum in my work is still increasing. It is very motivating to have this kind of extended support, and I especially appreciate that the program offered a broad range of benefits, providing us with practical assistance, valuable connections, and involvement in projects and workshops that took us out of our comfort zones and stretched our creative capacities. Its hard to believe that we fit as much into one year as we did: looking back, I realize that almost every single month had, for me, a different, specific focus- making work for six different exhibitions, developing and teaching two new workshops, our fundraiser events, completing a residency, collaborating with GSU students for a semester project, and so on- yet somehow it all came together as one very integrated, and very unique experience.”

Partner organizations that have supported them through this process include The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, WonderRoot, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, Dashboard Co-op, The Goat Farm Arts Center, and C4 Atlanta. Additionally each artist was paired with two mentors who offered critical feedback and support. The 2011/2012 mentors were Katherine Taylor, Matt Haffner, Niklas Vollmer, Mary Engel, Amber Boardman, and Craig Dongoski.

The Department Store
467 Edgewood Ave.
Atlanta, Ga.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *