Justine Parks is a recent graduate from the University of Tampa, and her show here at the Rialto will be her first full exhibition. She majored in Graphic Design with a minor in Painting and Studio Art, but found during college that abstract painting provided her an outlet that other mediums hadn’t. With the urging of her professors and peers, she found her creativity rising and playing out in beautiful ways.
She’s always been a world traveler, having been to 10 countries already in her 22 years. Parks pulls some of her biggest inspiration from the broad, open nature of the world, and all the various microcosms that exist within.
Nature and science are the other main inspirations driving Justine Parks to create. She describes a lifelong fascination with mineral formations and the “substructures that emerge in the organic world and cosmic universe”. She tries to bring out a similar feeling of mystery and natural reaction with her epoxy resin pieces, which she describes as being “like trying to control chaos”. There’s always an element of surprise to working with such a reactive material, and watching it all play out organically on the panel creates a sense of connection between each piece in the show. Parks has them specifically painted onto hexagonal panels, as the hexagon is the strongest shape in nature, visible throughout organic and inorganic chemistry, within the base structure of our DNA, and the formation of various crystalline structures. She hopes that by expressing the strength and flow between all these pieces, she can highlight the interconnected nature of the world around us, providing viewers a thoughtful journey throughout her process.
Her show will show at the Rialto for the months May and June, with an gallery reception on the Fourth Friday of May from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.