The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents 2022 DDOA Individual Artist Fellow Kiara Florez’s exhibition, Inner Reflections, running September 2-23, 2022. Guests are invited to attend a Meet-the-Artist Reception on Friday, September 9, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Painter Kiara Florez was always involved in “artistic endeavors.” As a child she wanted to be a writer, “creating characters and worlds that didn’t exist” and writing stories while drawing her ideas. It was in high school – at age 16 – that Florez turned seriously to visual art. As she learned the fundamentals and explored a variety of media, she came to painting and discovered her style and artistic process. Her works, primarily paint on canvases, use acrylics to mix the primary colors together. She uses only one paintbrush as she lets the painting come to life through an intuitive process. “I often meditate to music or be surrounded by nature to find a visual for the messages and/or emotions I am trying to convey,” says Florez. “My progression of each work is loosely based on jumbles of my thoughts and feelings at the time, so there are moments where the painting can take an unexpected turn. In the end, there is always a personal and spiritual message within each work in this series.”
Based on intuition, her works begin with a faint idea of “how I want the painting to come to life.” But that process is often challenging. Since a work in progress can “change form and go in any direction it pleases,” it can require her to overpaint or even begin again. But while each work springs from a personal message, she leaves any “interpretation and analysis” up to her viewers and is especially gratified when her paintings “speak not just to the mind, but to the soul as well.”
A recent graduate of Delaware State University with a B.A. in studio art, Florez has already been seen in several exhibitions, was the Delaware winner of the 2017 Doodle4Google competition, and has had her work on view at the U.S. Capitol. Her imaginative paintings magically merge the figurative and the abstract, always informed by “nature, music, all forms of art, and dreams.”
The collection that garnered her the Division’s Fellowship is a series of acrylic paintings on canvas, colorful narratives that “explore spiritual thinking and imaginative worlds, using bold colors and wavy lines.” Both figural and abstract, her works are populated with exaggerated shapes in a vibrant color palette, a “loose interpretation of the human figure and nature” that carry Florez’ personal, spiritual messages.
Florez describes her inspiration as an artist: “This collection of paintings explores spiritual thinking and imaginative worlds, using bold colors and wavy lines to express those concepts. I let the colors connect with each other and let them dance across the canvas. The forms and shapes are highly exaggerated and appear in abstract form. Many of my works often human-like beings interacting with landscapes or other beings. The figures may not always have facial or a full body. They may be placed above a natural landscape, floating above mountains or standing tall in the sky. I create openly interpretive paintings for viewers even if there is a personal meaning behind it.”
The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington.
Image: “Fleeting Dreams” (2022) Acrylic painting, 30x40in
The Mezzanine Gallery, located in the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington, features one-person exhibitions of Delaware artists in disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, folk, and media arts.
To be considered for an exhibition, artists may submit a Mezzanine Gallery Application before the annual deadline of March 15.
Delaware’s Individual Artist Fellowships recognize artists for their outstanding quality of work and provide monetary awards. Individual Artist Fellows are publicly acknowledged and benefit from the additional exposure to their work. Visual artists who receive Individual Artist Fellowships are also given the opportunity to exhibit in the Mezzanine Gallery.
To be considered for a Fellowship, artists may submit an Individual Artist Fellowship Application before the annual deadline of August 1.
Visit the Gallery
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Photo ID required after 4:30 p.m.
On-street and garage parking available
Free and open to the public.
About the Gallery
The Mezzanine Gallery presents solo exhibitions of work by Delaware artists in disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, folk, and media arts.
This opportunity is available to Delaware’s emerging and established visual artists who have won Individual Artist Fellowships, or have been chosen by the Division’s annual Gallery Panel.
Held the first Friday of the month from 5-7 p.m. Dates are subject to change.
October 7-28, 2022
Opening Reception: October 7 from 5:00pm-7:00pm
November 4-23, 2022
Opening Reception: November 4 from 5:00pm-7:00pm
December 2-30, 2022
Opening Reception: December 2 from 5:00pm-7:00pm
Our annual exhibition schedule runs from
September to August, with a new exhibition
every month except in January.
*2022 Individual Artist Fellow