City Hall honors LeMoyne Center with art exhibit

Tallahassee’s City Hall will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts with its “Golden Anniversary” exhibit.

The Council on Culture and Arts is helping to kick off this celebration by partnering with the LeMoyne Center to mark the occasion.

Amanda Thompson, interim executive director for COCA, said she worked closely with artists to selectively choose artwork for the exhibits.

“For this particular exhibition, we knew we were going to include artworks that spanned the 50 years of LeMoyne’s existence, so pieces were selected from the 1960s all the way through last year,” Thompson said.

The artwork of Ron Yrabedra and Nancy Reid Gunn were selected for installation in the City Hall art gallery until March 12.

Raquel Jones, a fourth-year political science student from Orlando, said exhibits like these are exciting for the community.

“I love art,” Jones said. “I feel like it enhances the beauty of City Hall, a place that you go and wouldn’t expect to see artwork so beautiful.”

Yrabedra played a critical role in the development of LeMoyne as a local treasure. Yrabedra, who is colorblind, creates stylized portraits of flowers, bulls and palm trees in acrylic and gold.

“He uses vibrant, saturated color, which resonates with viewers,” Thompson said. “His works reflects his knowledge of art history and his concern with humanity’s spiritual quest for balance.”

Kelvin Porter, a first-year business student from Tampa, said he loves when art causes him to use his brain.

“When I think about it, art is what makes people think higher,” Porter said. “Art can change your emotion and make you feel better, make you feel worse, and it can motivate you.”

The other featured artist, Gunn, is one of the original artists who helped to establish LeMoyne. In her artistry, she developed a technique of using melted wax mixed with pigments to create pure abstractions and symbolic work.

Douglas Bradshaw, a second-year business administration student from Atlanta, said art with so much history should be on display for viewers to see.

“I feel like art should be put on display because it’s a different form of expression other than the norm that we have,” Bradshaw said. “It is people’s inner feelings transformed into a visual sense.”

Thompson said although the overall goal of the exhibit is for viewers to learn more about the artist, it is also equally important that the art is displayed publicly for viewers to come away with a more cultured sense of Tallahassee.

“The display of art in public spaces enables people to experience art in the course of daily life,” Thompson said. “It encourages one to look closely, analyze and think.”