Student artwork, girl with blue hair and morphed face

Student Surrealist Art Exhibit 2023: Statewide

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May 13, 2023 – August 20, 2023

Student Surrealist Art Exhibit
“The Shape of Dreams”

Pinellas County: January 14 – February 26, 2023
Hillsborough County: March 11 – April 27, 2023
Statewide: May 13 – August 20, 2023

Initiated in 1985, this annual juried art exhibition presents work by Florida middle and high school students who are invited to explore ideas and visions similar to those explored by Salvador Dalí and the surrealists. This year, the theme is “The Shape of Dreams,” a theme that encourages students to explore the process and meaning of their dreams through time, myth and literature.

Dreaming is a state of awareness common to all human beings. The dream engages thought, senses, memory, and emotion. It is an irony of the dreams are so visual: we experience the dream as things seen, yet only with our eyes closed. Because of the intensity of the dream state, its calls into question the very nature of reality — is this reality or a dream? The dream presents poignant images mixed with the most banal traces of visual experience, leaving us searching for meaning. Thus, the dream invites abundant, though often unresolved, insights into the life of the dreamer, and when the dream is visualized, into the life of the artist.

Influenced by Sigmund Freud’s ideas about interpreting dreams, Salvador Dalí became a painter of dreams. Along with his surrealist colleagues, he set out to explore the world of dreams, sharing the discoveries of his nocturnal adventures. Dalí described his paintings as “hand-painted dream photographs,” with his irrational dream-visions are captured and presented with the precision of a photograph. Dalí explored a variety of techniques to achieve this effect, including scale distortion, transformation, unnatural atmospheric colors, anxiety-inducing horizon lines, and dream-symbol narratives.

“The Shape of Dreams” invites students to reflect on their dreams and create their own visual interpretations and techniques. The work size is strictly limited to 8×10 because of the frame size, but all 2D media types are welcomed and encouraged as submissions.

For more information about the Student Surrealist Art Exhibit click here.

This exhibit is held in the Raymond James Community Room on the ground floor of the Museum. Access to the Museum’s ground floor is free and open to the public; online timed reservations are available by selecting ‘Ground Floor Only’ at the ticket here. The Raymond James Community Room occasionally closes for private events, in which case the exhibit will not be accessible.

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