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The Real Thing: A Blacklight Exhibition

Published July 11, 2017

The Real Thing: A Blacklight Exhibition

A Homage to the Blacklight Artwork of William Walmsley, Alternative Ego “Ding Dong Daddy”

“This blacklight art show creates an atmosphere of introspection and global mindfulness,” explains Perdita Ross, the conceptual and curatorial person behind the exhibition. “Unlike the 60s in which blacklight was often used for the sake of its ‘newness,’ this exhibition uses blacklight as any other art element would be used to structure and convey a message. The blacklight is not the statement, but creates the desired effect for immersion into a meditative environment. The exhibition focuses on utopian hopes, which were also a part of the cultural scene in the 60s era, but here we wanted to present an updated perspective on contemporary social issues.”

The exhibition title is based on two blacklight lithographs, produced in 1987 by William Walmsley, which are housed in the permanent collection of the FSU Museum of Fine Arts. Maps with text become the vehicle for expression in both images, humorously named Ding Dong Daddy The Real Thing. Walmsley created his “Ding Dong Daddy” alter-ego in the 1960s and continued to print with this persona in mind until he died in 2003. Walmsley, who taught at FSU, pioneered the use of florescent inks in printmaking for use with blacklight.

This blacklight art installation, an exhibition within the Artists’ League Summer Annual Show at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, consists of current work by artists in the Blacklight Guild, an offshoot of the League. The Real Thing includes works by five artists: the work of Perdita Ross focuses on world peace and contemplation; Joan Matey’s mobile from the cosmos conveys the search for a soul mate and a sense of interconnectedness; Jeff Zenick presents circular optical patterns and archetypal symbols of past and present; Barbara Psimas offers paintings of spirituality; and Joyce Edwards celebrates floral beauty.

Please join us at the Museum of Fine Arts opening reception from 6 to 8 pm on Friday, June 23 to enjoy the blacklight installation, which will also feature an interactive performance, and don Chromadepth glasses to experience the work three-dimensionally.