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Atlantic Center for the Arts 32nd Annual University Student Exhibition

May 14, 2021 - August 7, 2021

Free, and open to everyone!

On Exhibit: May 14 – August 7, 2021
Reception: May 14, 5 PM – 7 PM (Free and open to the public. Guests will be required to wear masks and social distance)
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10 AM – 4 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 2 PM
Atlantic Center for the Arts Pabst Visitor Center & Gallery, 1414 Art Center Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Juror: Dora García

Click here to view exhibition brochure

32nd USE finalists:

Through the annual University Student Exhibition, Atlantic Center for the Arts honors the outstanding work being produced by state university art students, and recognizes their dedication to the pursuit of excellence.

The selection process for this exhibition begins with individual art departments. Department chairs are asked to nominate up to three full-time, degree-seeking students, in any medium or style. The quality of work submitted in years past indicates that the departments provide the intellectual and creative direction necessary for students to push their limits; resulting in work that is unique in its singleness of vision. By identifying and promoting these emerging artist, Atlantic Center hopes to focus statewide attention on the high level of creative and experimental work being produced at the college level throughout Florida’s state university system.

Dora Garcia, Artist / Contemporary Art Teacher
Dora García reflects on the parameters and conventions governing the presentation of art, on the question of time (real and fictional) and on the boundaries between representation and reality. Through her work the artist presents reality as multiple and questionable and explores the relationship between the artist, the work, and the public. She acts like a cinema director who tells stories (or simply selects them), unchains a situation, situates us in a scenario or makes us participants in a game the rules of which are very similar to reality and for this very fact allow us to question it. Her work, conceptual in nature, consists of text, photographs, and installations restricted to a specific location. She often draws on participation and performance. Through minimal changes, the exhibition space is converted into a different experience for each visitor, who leaves it with his or her perceptions altered, or at least with a degree of skepticism and doubt. For more information, please visit and www.doragarcia.net and projectesd.com/artist/dora-garcia

Dora García Juror’s Statement April 10, 2021

Even if the pandemic circumstances of 2020-2021 did not allow me to visit, so far, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, I am immensely thankful to the Center for having invited me to be the Master artist-in-residence for the Residency #179, and now, the juror for the 2021 ACA University Student Exhibition. I have reviewed with great interest the portfolios of fourteen of the students, and I selected the work of five of them. This selection is of course subjective; another juror would have – no doubt – chosen differently. It is subjective, personal, but not so much based on taste as on kinship: “a feeling of being close or similar to other people or things”.

We have been through so much the last long year. I chose these five artists because I recognized in them my own feelings of desolation and confusion, but also optimism and push to fight back. This common, ambivalent mood of both hope and despair led me to choose the works of Grace Schwarz, Casey VanDyke, Marina Dietrich, Savannah Fleming and Gabriel Marino. The films of Grace Schwarz, the found photographs of Marina Dietrich, the self-portraits of Casey VanDyke, the imagery developed by Savannah Fleming and Gabriel Marino, had sensibility and humor, generosity and combativeness, criticality and empathy. They open into the future, without naivety, with disarming promise.

This said, I greatly value the work of all fourteen young artists – students. I have seen in all of them the courage and energy that takes to be an artist, in times like these more than ever.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by Ed and Jeanie Harris.



May 14, 2021
August 7, 2021
Free, and open to everyone!
Event Category:


Ivan Riascos, Residency Director
ACA Main Campus: 386-427-6975


ACA Pabst Visitor Center & Gallery
1414 Art Center Ave
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 United States
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(386) 427-6975