In its third year, the Orlando Museum of Art’s Florida Prize in Contemporary Art exhibition highlights some of Florida’s most innovative artists. The show includes 10 artists from around the state with one artist chosen to win the top prize.

This year’s winner, Noelle Mason from Tampa, creates works in multiple mediums. Her works highlighted in the exhibition are textiles in the form of tapestries and cross stitch. One piece that stands out called “Nothing much happened today (for Eric and Dylan),” this piece is a cross stitch in cotton of an image from the surveillance camera during the Columbine school shootings. This provocative work stands out because it is extremely detailed with a difficult subject.

Mason has other pieces to go with her Columbine tapestry including an installation piece of cross stitch replicas of one of the shooter’s journal pages onto vintage handkerchiefs next to a desk made from crystals.

Walking into one gallery, large-scale beautifully painted portraits overwhelm the viewer. Michael Vasquez from St. Petersburg, paints uncommon and intimate portraits of gang members and troubled youth that gives the museum visitor a sneak peak into the world of Vasquez’s youth.

Painted QR codes reveals a secret message from Kyle Trowbridge. Photo/ Andrea Kalis
Painted QR codes reveals a secret message from Kyle Trowbridge. photo/Andrea Kalis

The exhibition includes interactive pieces that have the viewer engaged using QR codes and touchscreen tablets throughout the galleries.  One artist, Kyle Trowbridge from Coral Gables, paints colorful geometric patterns with hidden QR codes for the viewer to find. When scanned, the codes reveal a secret message from the artist.

Overall this exhibition is thought-provoking and entertaining. The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art at the Orlando Museum of Art will be on display until Aug. 14, admission is is $10 for adults, $5 for children and teens ages 4-17 and free for museum members.

By Camille Kalis

I like Steve Buscemi and dogs.

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