There’s a new exhibit at the University of Tampa. It’s the creative, imaginative, and energetic works of a local abstract artist in the halls of its latest technology building. Abstract painter Sara Conca has 77 pieces that you can see at the Jenkins Health and Technology Building.
Inspiration is everywhere
“Abstract art is subjective to the viewer — the viewer sees what they want to see,” Conca said. “It’s interesting what you see first.”
President Ronald Vaughn said he was driving down MacDill Avenue in South Tampa when he noticed one of Conca’s pieces. It was in the window of the Michael Murphy Gallery.
“I was immediately struck that her art might be a very good choice for the art we hoped to display in the new Technology Building,” he said, describing the work as inspirational and creative. He did some research on Conca’s work, including her impressive technique of painting the foreground as background in a style she says is intuitive to her. His unique style made Cona’s work the perfect match for the University of Tampa’s creatively driven classroom environments.
Conca is a ‘plein air artist.’ Or an artist who paints outside in order to gain inspiration from her natural surroundings. Conca always paints outside, she said, stating the act makes the pieces more organic. “I feel the energy transfers,” she added. All of the work in the Jenkins Health and Technology Building was painted outdoors in several layers. You can observe this up close, especially when looking at the sides of the canvas.
“I like to create work that looks like different realms or meditation mantras. Different areas you go to in your mind to get that certain amount of peace,” she said.
A unique addition
In her work, Conca incorporates BB gun pellets to scare away negativity. She also adds brass key shavings. They turn green when they oxidize, giving it the golden green look while also opening the doors of your mind.
“I hope students enjoy the beauty of her work. And hopefully spend a little time searching for their own creative meaning,” Vaughn added.
You can see additional pieces of Conca’s in the Science Research Laboratories.
“I am honored to have my first large permanent collection with UT,” Conca said. “I’m over the moon about it and truly honored and humbled.”