Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Message becomes the medium for Tampa artist Kurt Holyoke

BROOKSVILLE

Passive observation doesn't work for Kurt Holyoke. If people like his art, he'd like to know. If they dislike it, he'd like to know that, too.

What matters most, says the Tampa artist, is that there is a reaction to his work — that the message becomes a medium. Which is why, when viewers see the collection of Holyoke's acrylics at the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery, they are likely to be captivated by images that explore what the late pop artist Robert Rauschenberg called "the gap between art and life."

Rauschenberg, who was well known for compiling everyday images into provocative montages, is one of Holyoke's heroes and a major influence in what he calls his "fragmented form" style.

Using bold, bright colors, Holyoke fuses visual elements into vibrant collages that are often emotion-filled, and perhaps even a little disturbing to some observers. That combination of aesthetics and philosophy adds to the thrill of the creative process, Holyoke said.

"Placing objects into different contexts creates exciting prospects for me," Holyoke said by phone this week. "People can look at a tree and see that image a certain way. But if you rip things apart, deconstruct them, you also change the perception of them. It's the search for those possibilities that drives me to do what I do."

The 48-year-old artist, who teaches drawing and painting at Hillsborough Community College, had no real interest in an art career until well after he graduated from high school in Tampa. With his sights set on earning a degree in pharmacology, Holyoke rediscovered his childhood passion for art while studying drawing with HCC art professor Steven Holm.

"All of a sudden, I had a passion that needed to be fueled," Holyoke said. "After a while, I just realized I didn't want to do anything else."

Although considered for a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, Holyoke chose to remain in Tampa, where University of South Florida professor Theo Wujcik helped him to cultivate his interest in philosophy in the artistic realm.

After graduating from USF's honors arts program in 1995, Holyoke went on to earn his master's degree in art at California State University before returning to Tampa to pursue his career interests.

Though he works occasionally in oils, Holyoke prefers acrylics because of the vibrant hues they deliver.

"They can be a bit of a challenge to work with," he said. "They are a bit opaque when you first apply them. But they come out more as they dry. I always caution my students to be sure to allow for that."

Holyoke's own creations have been featured at several Tampa Bay-area galleries, including Pasco-Hernando Community College, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Hoffman Porges Gallery in Ybor City. He has also exhibited at the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Ga.

In addition to being a devotee of the ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi chuan, Holyoke enjoys teaching art to a variety of age groups in diverse settings such as homeless shelters and inner-city elementary schools.

"I love teaching, period," he said. "Art gives people a vital outlet, a unique voice that speaks to others about themselves."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

If you go

See for yourself

The Art of Kurt Holyoke is on display as part of the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery's fall exhibit. Museum hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The gallery will hold an artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 16. For information, call (352) 540-3810.

Message becomes the medium for Tampa artist Kurt Holyoke 08/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 7:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sheriff's office identifies woman shot by Hernando deputies after brandishing shotgun

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has identified the woman who was shot by deputies who say she was suicidal when she pointed a shotgun at them on Sunday.

  2. Mike Evans supports Michael Bennett's protest

    Sports

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) comes down with a catch during practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  3. Bucs position battles; Defining the receiver competition

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs' top four receivers are etched in granite with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin.

    Bucs wide receiver Josh Huff makes a juggling catch as cornerback Robert McClain closes in Tuesday at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Pinellas aims to close reading gap between boys and girls

    K12

    Principal Kristy Cantu pored over Sutherland Elementary's test scores last year, looking for trends.

    Pinellas County teachers are being asked this year to pay closer attention to how their lessons might better engage boys. The district has come up with a "gender equity self-reflection" rubric for teachers to follow, with the goal of improving boys' performance in English language arts. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. Photo of the Day for August 21, 2017 - Trapped Under a Rainbow

    Human Interest

    'Trapped Under a Rainbow,' today's Photo of the Day, comes from Patti Presnell of Valrico, FL.