Visitors to the current exhibit at Pasco-Hernando Community College's art gallery in New Port Richey, "Myths, Muses and Madwomen — Exploring the Feminine Archetype," may find some of the images, sculptures and installations disturbing.
Art instructor Julie Lovero-Fox, one of three artists with work in the show, hopes that's not their only response.
Her sculpture of Medusa's head may appear distorted and, to some, disgusting or frightening, but on more contemplation, other, more positive, feelings might emerge, Lovero-Fox said.
"I walk along a feminist edge with my work," she said. "I focus on powerful aspects. I choose to pick up on the strengths" of a mythical figure, "rather than the mask of the perfect woman."
She said she thinks that at least some observers "will have a sympathetic feeling" and view the figure as an infant or as a creation similar to the Japanese Haniwa figures.
Ms. Lovero-Fox said she remembers hearing stories as a child that made her fearful and that other people may have had similar experiences that trigger the reaction they have to her art.
"We all approach art with our own life experiences," she said. Some may see something threatening, while others see it as playful. "I like to leave things a bit interpretive and not tell people 'You're supposed to feel this'.''
Whatever the reaction, "We need to shed those negative feelings," she said.
Student Michael Schuler's works fall into two groups. One series focuses on a Christ figure with symbolic trees, the other on the military, with some pieces illustrating the soldier's perspective.
Student Meike Groh's work is also divided into two different series, one of hands, the other of night landscapes.
Ms. Lovero-Fox, of Spring Hill, is an instructor at the PHCC campuses in Spring Hill, Dade City and New Port Richey. She taught at Mudworks Ceramic Factory in Spring Hill, a paint-your-own and/or make-your-own pottery studio.