Santa Fe Art Gallery reopens after nearly two years, reigniting creativity in the community

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The Santa Fe Art Gallery made its grand reopening Friday night after nearly two years of closure, attracting more than just inspired young artists.

A hundred people gathered Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. for the opening night of the show.

The exhibition, No Day Without a Line: New Plein Air and Life Drawings, features works by Steven Edgar Bradbury. Bradbury is a Florida-based artist who works with graphite and pastels to create a variety of artwork, including landscapes, character designs and anatomy drawings, said SF director Kyle Novak Art Gallery.

The gallery closed in March 2020 and was unable to hold in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Novak said. It was used as a painting and drawing studio because it was the largest space where social distancing could be respected.

“We’re really excited to have the art gallery become an art gallery again,” Novak said.

Sage Morrow, a second-year studio art student at SFC, said she came to the gallery primarily because her art class required it. But, after hearing the show featuring Bradbury, an artist who came to demonstrate for one of her classes, she knew she couldn’t miss it.

“He showed us how we should draw the anatomy. We got to see him go through the process of drawing a nude model,” Morrow said.

Novak encourages everyone to stop by the gallery to physically view the art — an activity many people have been deprived of since March 2020.

“It’s important now more than ever because we’ve all been through a bit of a restrictive experience over the past few years,” Novak said. “I think even before that, but even more so now, we kind of experimented with imagery… through our phones – through a screen – and I think it’s really important to get out there and see the art in person. There’s just something different about it.

Gainesville artist Steven Bradbury’s anatomy drawings can be seen at the opening of the Santa Fe Art Gallery on Friday, January 21.

AJ Williams, an SFC Digital Art Technology student, said she also came because of the class requirement. However, when she arrived, she was glad to have come.

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“I love skeleton designs,” Williams said. “And the horse over there – it looks so detailed.”

Other SFC art teachers gave their students the opportunity to earn extra credit by coming to the Bradbury show.

“They don’t have anything for me to do, like write anything. They just need to come here and see the environment,” said Mario Mutis, art workshop teacher at SFC. “It’s a place where students look at what they see in class in a more real context and apply a lot of the things they learn here and just to socialize.”

Art is not something Mutis wants students to associate with grades and pressure. He even encourages UF students to take recreational art classes at Union Reitz.

“You can take classes for fun. There’s not that stress of needing to be there,” Mutis said. “If there’s a day you can’t do it, you can’t do it.”

The SF Art Gallery’s Bradbury exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday through March 4.

Contact Lily Kino at lkino@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @lily_kino.

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Lily Kino

Lily Kino is a sophomore journalism major covering Santa Fe. When she’s not writing, Lily walks in nature or swims with her goldendoodle, George.

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