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June 28, 10:00 AM - October 4, 4:00 PM

Alumna Robin Brailsford returns to Atlantic Center for the Arts with DEAR ROBIN / LOVE FRED, exhibition dedicated to the late Fred Chappell (1936-2024), Mentoring Artist Residency #30, April 2-22, 1989.

Creative sparks flew at a modernist cultural mecca in the mangroves, when California neon sculptor Robin Brailsford met North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell during an Atlantic Center for the Arts residency in 1989.  

Fred astounded me with the depth of his intelligence, and his humorous and agile turn of phrase.  I am honored to report that this exhibition is a hint of our prolific 35-year correspondence.”
– Robin Brailsford  

DEAR ROBIN / LOVE FRED is the third iteration of Brailsford’s Chronotopes.  The first was a series of glass and found object sculptural installations charting solar movement, light induced visual migraines, (acoustic) sound and (visual) silence in an all metal building she called Cranium.  She assembled photographs of the installations into an artist’s book: Chronotopes: Chronologically @ Cranium.  The book elicited a letter from Chappell, deciphering his reading of each of the catalog’s 92 images.  In response to his response was the second Cranium installation Fred Chappell’s Typewriter, consisting of vintage letterforms, dogs, time, flotsam and jetsam.  The Red Fred Folio includes Chappell’s full letter and the resulting temporary sculptural work. Both books will be available for purchase.  

DEAR ROBIN / LOVE FRED features eleven of Brailsford’s large photographic prints of Chronotope sculptural installations. These are paired with typographic, Bauhaus-like, wall-mounted reliefs of Chappell’s insights in response. Two panoramas and twelve smaller photos of Fred Chappell’s Typewriter round out the visuals. Miami-based sound environmentalist Gustavo Matamoros, and alum of Residency #30 1989, will be exhibiting sound installation Chappell’s Chapel activated by the tone qualities within the voice of Chappell in relationship to the environment and architecture of ACA. 

If life is change, sound is evidence of life. Every sound expresses and contains the information needed to understand a natural event. Art offers me a creative context to explore sound as a representation of nature and of our presence. Since the late ’80s, I have been creating audio portraits, soundscapes, and sound installations of people, places, and spaces.”
Gustavo Matamoros 

Regional digital billboards featuring select photographs in Brailsford’s exhibition will be displayed publicly throughout New Smyrna Beach and surrounding areas with the support of Lamar Outdoor Advertising, who originally donated billboard advertisements as a platform to exhibit original works for Brailsford’s first exhibition at Atlantic Center for the Arts in 1989.  

You are cordially invited to join us for DEAR ROBIN / LOVE FRED opening reception at Atlantic Center for the Arts, Pabst Visitor Center and Gallery, 1414 Art Center Avenue, on Friday, June 28 from 5-7 PM with panel featuring Robin Brailsford and Gustavo Matamoros moderated by Curatorial and Residency Director Sadie Woods at 6 PM. Free and open to the public. 



Robin Brailsford is best known for dynamic civic environments showcasing her patented architectural mosaic technique, LithoMosaics. These are coupled with dimensional elements; word play and landforms. Public art has been her chosen métier for more than 30 years, although photography has never been far from the top. Many of her iconic, enameled glass panels are based on photographic originals, from Muybridge nudes to CCTV images of January 6th insurrectionists. Her work in this ilk, Paint for Cuba, was first shown at the Fred Snitzer Gallery in Coral Gables in 1990 and is now in the collection of the Tacoma Museum of Glass. 

Robin was exposed at an early age to the famous artist colonies of Gloucester, Rockport and Provincetown. She studied Metalsmithing, Glass, Video and Sculpture while attaining a BFA, MA and MFA in Sculpture. At Syracuse University, Pilchuck Glass School, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and at the Universities of California – San Diego, and New Mexico, she worked with Bill Viola, Helen and Newton Harrison, Terry Allen, Stephen Antonakas, Larry Bell, Erwin Eisch, Christo, Albinus Elskus, Thomas Barrow, and Rodger Mack. 

Born on Boston’s North Shore, Robin’s father was a British Master Mariner and the founder of the Smantha Smith chapter of Veterans for Peace. Her mother, born on a homestead in the sub-arctic of northern Minnesota, was an acclaimed philosophical and children’s book author and artist. Both died at the age of 96. Her brother is a Marine Surveyor in Maine, who used to run sea life ecological tours out of Tarpon Springs. 

Their first trip to Florida was when she was six. Her family was selected as the All-American Family from Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia and the University of Pennsylvania, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists put out a call for families from all 50 states to enter via essays and interviews. Faded magenta Kodachrome slides reveal that there has never been (nor will there ever be again) such an iconic mid-century Florida experience. For two weeks fifty diverse families were paraded in 50 brand new Studebakers, photographed by the paparazzi at Cypress Gardens, interviewed extensively on the radio, and hosted at Lehigh Acres. Although the family from Hawaii won top honors (and a LHA house) the Brailsford’s were finalists. 

Robin now lives and works in a part of the country she calls Baja SW. With her partner, artist Wick Alexander, she has built a compound of modern studio buildings in the chaparral on the US/Mexico border. She sculpts, hikes and photographs beauty daily, with three dogs ranging in age from 18 to 2. 

Gustavo Matamoros creates interdisciplinary art, music, and sound installations, primarily using sound recorded in natural and urban environments around Miami, Florida, where he lives and works. He is also active as artistic director of Subtropics, an organization that presents experimental music and sound art in Miami since 1989. Matamoros is currently artist-in-residence at Deering Estate and at Florida International University’s i360 XR Theater.


June 28, 10:00 AM
October 4, 4:00 PM
Event Category:


Sadie Woods, Curatorial & Residency Director
386-427-6975 X13


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