Art professor joins CAHSS faculty, exhibits at NSU
Exhibit premiering at campus gallery Sept. 28
Kandy Lopez, M.F.A., is bringing her experience as both an artist and educator to NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS).
Lopez joined the Department of Performing and Visual Arts as an Assistant Professor in fall 2016. Born in New Jersey but raised in Miami, Lopez was first turned on to art by figure drawing.
“After that, I became obsessed with drawing, and that turned into my love of art,” she said.
By the time she started high school at Miami’s New World School of the Arts, she knew what her calling was. Lopez followed that through with arts degrees from the University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University.
Lopez has participated in exhibits since 2001, with her work being featured both nationally and internationally in Israel. Her latest exhibit - Armour: The Art of Kandy Lopez - is on NSU’s home turf and opens Sept. 28 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at Gallery 217 in the Don Taft University Center. The exhibit, which runs through Nov. 15, is a mix of new art with older pieces. The exhibit features work in a variety of mediums, including watercolors, prints, and yarn figures.
Lopez noted the difference between her earlier work and the more politically/socially charged messages in her new pieces. Fashion is also part of the show and relates to the exhibit’s title.
“It’s protective armor we wear within cities,” she said. “We’re putting on a face when we need to, and taking it off when we feel safe.”
As much as Lopez enjoys working in her studio, she also relishes the chance to help her students.
“If they’re having a problem and I can help them get to the solution, that’s great,” Lopez said.
Lopez, who also has a marketing degree, encourages prospective artists to take business courses and learn not only how to sell their art, but that art can also be found in commercial work, whether it involves designing a drink bottle or working on a movie.
“A lot of artists are introverts and don’t know how to talk about their work,” she said. “You have to do critiques and become familiar with how to talk so that you can become comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.”
Students benefit from having a professor who is active and engaged with them outside of class, said Associate Professor Mark Duncan, M.F.A., chair of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts.
“Students can identify with her cultural background - her work speaks to them,” Duncan said. “It goes beyond just being an art teacher. There’s a dialog and discourse with the community.”