For the second year in a row, Wujcik has followed curator Giroux into the Sensory Overload fray. The pair has also collaborated on window displays at Urban Outfitters and Dirty But Sophisticated, an art and fashion event, in Ybor. "We sort of realized that we have the same kind of energy and the same kind of interest in Tampa — not feeling like we have to leave to be successful," Wujcik says. "Things are good enough right here. And things are getting better every day."
Members of artist collective Experimental Skeleton plan to use the maze to spoof the idea of artworks as priceless commodities. Constructing a replica of British artist Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God," a life-sized, diamond-encrusted skull that made headlines last year when a group of collectors purchased it for $100 million, Experimental Skeleton plans to surround its replica of the work with an array of laser beams designed to mimic a high-end security system. In typical ES fashion, after the group's core collaborators agreed on the concept, a wide-ranging debate between their 15 to 20 members ensued.
"Now we're talking about the reality of it. 'How can we do this? How can we construct it?'" says longtime ES member Bob Dorsey. "Everybody kind of jumps in and says I'm doing this or that."
Tristan Henry Wilson
When Giroux asked illustrator Tristan Henry Wilson to join the group of artists, the Ringling College of Art and design grad admits he was flummoxed.
"The theme for SO that Jay had come to me with, I was having difficulty coming up with something. As an illustrator, I really like having a story to go by," he says.
So Wilson called up a friend and collaborator who writes short stories and asked her to write something based on the idea of a labyrinth. A few days later, the illustrator had a narrative to work with. Only the final 16-inch-by-20-inch illustration will be on view at SO, along with some of his previous work, but Wilson says that's the way it should be.
"I think the piece stands on its own," he says.
Using the labyrinth as a metaphor for global networks, photographer Marina Williams will use her 8-foot-square segment of the maze to showcase photographs she has taken in public spaces around the world.
"I am very fascinated by 'third spaces,'" she says. "Places that you don't work in, places where you do not live ... airports, subways."
Williams, who recently returned to St. Petersburg from graduate school in London, plans to weave her photographs into actual maps to create a surface for visitors to explore while poster-sized color photographs will show off her candid shots of people in the third spaces of public life.
Josh Pearson and Eleanor Grosch
Tampa artist Josh Pearson had never met Philadelphia designer Eleanor Grosch until Giroux suggested that they collaborate, but after one look at Grosch's work he knew they had a lot in common, Pearson says. Both artists are drawn to illustrating animal characters — like the whales, peacocks and owls that decorate pairs of Keds designed by Grosch for the shoe company, or the hybrid "octo-phant" that Pearson recently created for an Art After Dark event at the Tampa Museum of Art. For the past few weeks, the pair has been trading digital files over the Internet and plans to create an area filled with illustrations of quirky sea creature characters for the labyrinth.
"She was somebody that I really respected," Pearson says about Grosch. "Her style is all about simplicity and elegance, and I like that."
At last year's SO, Kim Coakley's curtain of colorful prints and drawings folded into three-dimensional, flower-like shapes drew a lot of attention. This year, the Tarpon Springs artist plans to create something similar on a smaller scale. Wall-mounted creations that bridge the gap between sculpture and drawing merge colorful, organic lines with curling planes of paper. This time around, Coakley says she's ready to admit that the pieces are unabashedly floral.
"It's actually always been the center of my work. ... but now I'm accepting it as the description of it," she says. "The flower is the perfect manifestation of truth and beauty in my eyes and my world. Flowers are just perfect, so that's what I want to create. I want to find that truth within my work and within myself."
Moving Current Dance Collective
Responding to the maze's architecture, Tampa dance collective Moving Current — also veterans of last year's SO — plan a "structured improvisation" with lights and shadows, artistic director Cynthia Hennessy says.