Spencer Gillespie, Rsc, 2019 Oil and acrylic on hanging canvas, 75 x 40 in.

Spencer Gillespie: Formal Fluidity


October 15 - November 10, 2021

Artist Talk, 5-7pm, Thursday, October 14, 2021

Spencer Gillespie graduated from FGCU in 2017 and recently completed her MFA at Colorado State University. This solo exhibition features a body of work exploring how identity performs within the realms of aesthetics through process and material selection. The paintings allow us to ask how a provisional approach fits within the continued legacy of abstraction and how identity is embodied through action and mark making rather than representational form.


"I work non-representationally through text, mark making, expressive coloring, and layering because I want to capture my process in the studio. I want to talk about my daily struggles, insights, and joys in a permanent, artistic medium. Within my studio, I am able to physically capture emotions with paint and other materials by expressing myself in written and visual manner. I write and think about my identity as an artist and transgender woman. I think about myself as a partner, as a daughter, and as a sister. I consider my position as a colleague, instructor, as a mentor, and a student. I journal my internal struggles with mental health, bipolar disorder, depression, stress, family, and financial anxieties on the surface of my work for me to confront my demons head on. I speak them visually to myself and reflect upon my process as a mirror. At the same time, I am able to express my joy with accomplishments, relationships, and self. I embrace the pleasures of art making and being messy in the space of my studio. I am able to think of the whole space as part of the art process which allows me to use the entire space effectively and regularly. The studio is constantly evolving and creating, even when I’m not intentionally working on something directly. The performance of my actions are recorded on the surface of my paintings, the areas of my studio, and on my clothes. My work does not attempt to provide definitive answers; rather it asks viewers to reflect for themselves in a visual, conscious way asking them to reflect on their own identities in the process. Allowing ourselves a moment of reflection to our actions and by following the visual representation of our driving emotions, we can learn more about ourselves and better identify with one another." ~ Spencer Gillespie, 2021


Sponsored by the FGCU Alumni Association; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and WGCU Public Media


Image credit: Spencer Gillespie, Rsc, 2019, Oil and acrylic on hanging canvas, 75 x 40 in.




Spencer Gillespie Introduces "Formal Fluidity"

Go to Spencer Gillespie's website


Artist's Talk