Curated by John Loscuito and Anica Sturdivant

Sponsored by Gene and Lee Seidler, and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture

October 6 - November 17, 2016

Thursday, November 3

Artists’ Gallery Talk and Theatrical Reading at 5pm

with a reception to follow, until 7pm

(This is a rescheduling of our original event postponed due to Hurricane Matthew)



Students from Dr. James Brock’s Poetic Techniques spent two class periods inside the installation of Accumulating Interiors to write eksphrastic poems in response to what they observed, experience, and imagined. To read the poems, click here...


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TYANNA BUIE   “A Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI native, Tyanna Buie is a visual artist who received her BA from Western Illinois University, and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Buie has attended Artists-In-Residency programs, such as the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, as well as maintaining a connection to the community by hosting printmaking workshops and demonstrations while participating in Healthy Neighborhood Initiatives through the production of public art created for underserved neighborhoods in Milwaukee, WI. In 2012, Buie received an emerging artist Mary L. Nohl Fellowship and is the recipient of the 2015 Love of Humanity Award from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and the 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant. Her work is currently on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum as part of the permanent collection.

Buie currently lives and works in Detroit, MI, where she is Assistant Professor/ Section Chair of Printmaking at the College for Creative Studies.

Tyanna Buie, Heirloom, 2016, Screen-print, hand-applied ink, and nickel on paper, 60 x 50 in.

VANESSA DIAZ  “Through site-specific installation, sculpture and video, my work explores diverse approaches to customizing architecture, nomadic definitions of boundaries and various indicators that define personal territories.”

In 2014, Diaz was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant and a South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship. She was one of ten artists invited to exhibit in the premier Florida Prize in Contemporary Art exhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art. Her work has been exhibited at Project Row Houses in Houston, TX; the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, FL; the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, FL and the ArtsUp! gallery space in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  She has received several fellowships for residency, including  The Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, LA;  BAU Institute Camargo Foundation, France; The Oberpflazer Schwandorf Kunstlerhaus, Germany; The Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL;  the Wassaic Projects, Wassaic, NY; and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA.

Vanessa Diaz, The Keeping Room, 2014, Fabric, wood, salt, and mirrors, Dimensions variable.


The art making practices and motivations of Tyanna Buie and Vanessa Diaz differ in their approach to incorporating architectural interiors. What brings their work together is the desire to evoke psychological and emotional responses to familiar interior spaces and objects. This exhibition is their first collaboration, and arts writer Danny Olda was asked to contextualize this installation with respect to each artist’s past work. Olda‘s essay provides important insights into the conceptual process behind the exhibition.

FGCU Art Galleries thanks Vanessa Diaz, Tyanna Buie and Danny Olda for their participation in this exhibition. Accumulating Interiors would not have been possible without the support of Gene and Lee Seidler, the Florida Division of Cultural Aairs and from visitors’ contributions to the FGCU Art Galleries.


by Danny Olda, Arts Writer

It is difficult to overstate the role of space or place in contemporary art. It can take on a nearly cosmological nature, not simply a vacuum wherein art is made and experienced, but a medium unto itself that can be stretched and warped. More than a setting for sculpture and installation, it can lend conceptual mass to an artwork, helping it pop into existence, so to speak. Coined by Jacques Derrida and used in the context of art by writer A.R. Warwick, ontopology (a portmanteau of ontology and topology) as an idea suggests that a real sense of identity, even a sense of being, can rise through a person from a place such as a living room, an artist’s studio, even a country. In the exhibition Accumulating Interiors, artists Vanessa Diaz and Tyanna Buie explore some of the conceptual span of space, the way it is filled and how meaning is pulled out of it. The methods by which they do this are visually complimentary but, fascinatingly, work toward contrasting ends.

Tyanna Buie creates work in a wide variety of sizes, media and contexts. However, if there is a fulcrum upon which her practice pivots, it may well be printmaking. She plumbs and imparts intimate memories and personal histories in her work. Family photographs are uniquely able to convey such themes, and the manner in which she alters them intensely reveals the gap between an ideal life, or even simply a just life, and lived reality. Collectively, these photographic prints reclaim space. In Buie’s installations, they engage in the same literal homemaking that they do in the archetypal family room – they surround a person with the images of loved ones, the narratives that invisibly bind them all together and together bind them to this place. This is further echoed in her wallpaper prints that assert entire walls, entire galleries, enveloping viewers. It recreates the home, perhaps the most psychologically fundamental space, and presents it as the most affecting setting and even a discreet character in the personal histories that are the subject of Buie’s work.

Home is the central, if not singular, character in the work of Vanessa Diaz. As Diaz describes it, she “scavenges” discarded furniture, décor and architectural components. She then alters and reassembles the objects she finds, often shedding it of its original utility, and investing it with a new sort of value. To that end, she searches for objects, not for their typical uses, but for their histories, their psychic signification and the ways they activate the spaces they inhabit. Diaz isn’t so much interested in the sturdiness of a table or chair as she is in how those pieces of furniture supply a house with familiarity. They are no longer items for sitting or eating upon, but containers for something much more enigmatic. Loosened of their intended purposes, a bundle of bed posts, for instance, is free for a new dialogue about or with the home they, in part, made. Indeed, it is as if Diaz examines the ontology of a place through the items that fill it.

As the exhibition title suggests, the artists accumulate interiors. Buie gathers her own spaces as well as the objects and memories that settled within it through time and, expresses it through her work.

“Growing up in the foster care system, I was unable to acquire or hold on to certain childhood relics or family photos,” Buie related to me. “Using printmaking techniques has allowed me to re-create images and objects as a way to solidify my personal history.”

Diaz, on the other hand, hunts for and harvests the unwanted interiors of others, in search of what she calls “a history of the possessions that we carry from place to place,” or, as I think of it, as the places we carry in the possessions.

Hence, whereas Buie explicates a home and especially something of its substance, Diaz implicates it. Through their installations they both point toward a physical and emotional space – one from within and the other without. There is necessarily a constructive tension between the work of the two artists. Thus it’s notable that Buie and Diaz decided not to separate their work into apportioned areas of the gallery. Rather, their installations blend and commingle throughout the space. Accumulating Interiors is not quite one installation. It is more so two, folded into each other as the artists envelope multiple interiors into the exhibition – internal structural spaces and introspective landscapes. Together they offer interiors shared and private, reflections on places searched for and carefully collected.