ArtServe’s Su·i ge·ne·ris Exhibit Seeks to Define the Evolution of “Normal”

While the world grapples with the evolution of what “normal” actually looks like in the COVID era, Fort Lauderdale’s ArtServe has re-imagined its “Su·i ge·ne·ris” exhibit, which traditionally features artistic works that go beyond conventional genre boundaries. 

With this year’s version entitled “Su·i ge·ne·ris—Converging Visions of New Identities,” the exhibition opens on Friday, January 21 with an in-person public reception at ArtServe from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Admission to the reception is free.   

The exhibition itself, which runs through Saturday, March 26, is free and open Monday through Saturday.  ArtServe is encouraging social distancing and face coverings, and will provide hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility.  

“Su-i-ge-ne-ris, a Latin term that means ‘of its own kind and therefore unique,’ will touch upon politics, migration, belief systems, self-analysis and self-preservation,” explained ArtServe Executive Director Jason Hughes.  “The viewer will be invited to reflect on our ever-changing society, with artwork prompting questions of who determines what is normal, how do we establish new value systems and how do we move from analysis into action.”   

Through an experimental curatorial approach that welcomed multidisciplinary works in photography, video and interactive pieces, Su·i ge·ne·ris artists were invited to present their expressions of identity and sociopolitical discourse.  

“Social issues are driven by currents of cultural transitions,” noted ArtServe’s Sophie Bonet, who curated the exhibit in conjunction with artist Carol-Anne McFarlane.  “At the core of this project lays the desire to understand how contemporary structures mold and transform individual lives, gender, social power and the ideologies of class systems.”  

McFarlane, an international speaker who focuses on social critique, gave her perspective on Su·i ge·ne·ris, noting that its thrust is “. . . a response to our environment, our living conditions and the political structures around us.  (Artists) looked inward, longed for connection . . .  and many of us desired to escape.”    

Su·i ge·ne·ris, which is supported by grants from Truist Foundation, Broward Cultural Division and Culture Builds Florida, includes the following artworks and artists: 

  • April Saler’s large-scale, mixed-media installation “NOPE:  a casual, yet assertive, statement of self-preservation,” which explores emotionally isolating narratives through found objects, graffiti, video projections, reactive paintings, wordplay and collaborative drawings 
  • “Layered Tensions,” a photography and multi-media installation by visual and holistic artist Natalia Vásquez which explores the subtle, yet powerful energies that make up our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual landscapes 
  • Rosa Naday Garmendia’s “Miami is Not Cuba” mixed-media installation, which focuses on the artist’s upbringing and experiences as a trans-cultural child, a multi-ethnic Cuban woman, an immigrant and an industrial worker raised in Miami  
  • Sarah E. Huang’s “Aging & Maturing,” which reflects on identity and connection to her heritage and Taiwanese culture through a surreal, visceral installation of gesturally drawn carcasses on vellum with powdered graphite  
  • The A-Project by Tabatha Mudra, a photo-essay on androgynous people that brings awareness to individuals who do not fit into typical masculine and feminine gender roles Other participating artists are Adrian Monterrosa, Andrea Duarte, Bridgett EzzardDarius V. Daughtry, Iana Agapova, Jennifer Turner, Loni JohnsonNiki LopezValeraYves Gabriel and Zipporah Michael.

About ArtServe 

Named a “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits, Fort Lauderdale-based ArtServe is an award-winning arts incubator that is advancing the arts for social good as a creative laboratory and hub for experimental artists committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Now in its 33rd year, ArtServe has won several awards for innovation in the arts and is supported in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Florida’s Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs. Each year, ArtServe programs contribute tangibly to the region’s economy, helping 2,000+ artists sell their work, build businesses and engage the community. To do that, ArtServe secures financial support through donations, sponsorships and memberships. 

Become a member of ArtServe as either an artist or community member at or become a founding member of Friends of ArtServe at Requests and questions about the ArtServe facility or programs can be emailed to