Riffs on Immortality / Keith Bland, Maureen Tracy Venti

Riffs on Immortality: Portraits of Sculpted Faces from the Stone Age to the Present
Paintings by Keith Bland, Poetry by Maureen Tracy Venti

The public is invited to an opening celebration for Riffs on Immortality on Thursday, July 18 from 6-9pm. The evening’s festivities will include an appearance a Second Line Jazz Parade by Skipper Kripitz and the Conch Republic Marching Band.

Riffs on Immortality is a new series of oil paintings by Keith Bland that contemplates the concept of immortality; in particular, what elements or expressions of a face render it ‘immortal’.

The exhibition includes the poetry of studio artist Maureen Tracy Venti.

When it was discovered that they shared a common artistic interest, specifically, the diverse philosophies of immortality, Venti wrote a series of poems in collaboration with Keith’s paintings. The resulting poetry is an integral part of the exhibition, and will be on view throughout the Armory main hall side-by-side with Bland’s paintings.

“These poems explore immortality as imagined by different cultures as well as its subtle influence on our everyday lives,” says Venti.

Bland’s paintings represent a return to the theme of his early work, a fascination with the transcendence of the human face.

He explains, “The ‘riffs’ are painted portraits of sculpted faces from different cultures that date from the Stone Age to the present. The iconic sculptures not only commemorate ancestral heroes and leaders, but also idealize the human face to represent sacred, supernatural, or protective forces within various societies.”

Riffs on Immortality will be on view through August 9 in the Armory Main Hall.

The Studios of Key West