Frank Rampolla: The DNA of the Mark

January 28, 2017 - April 2, 2017

Frank Rampolla (1931-1971) was a Florida-based figurative expressionist artist and professor, who lived in Sarasota and Tampa during the 1960s. He taught at Ringling College of Art and Design and the University of South Florida. This exhibition examines not only his extensive mark-making skills but also the imprint he made on his students. Works from MOCA's Permanent Collection are featured along with several large-scale paintings from the collection of Rampolla's son. Jim Draper and Paul Ladnier join forces to show evidence of the master's influence in their work along with other students, such as Jere Allen.


Jere H. Allen

Jere Hardy Allen, born in Selma, Alabama, 1944, moved to Mississippi in 1972 to become a painting professor at the University of Mississippi. He has spent the last eleven years in his studio in Oxford. His family now extends to four generations in Lafayette County. Allen graduated from the Ringling School of Art and the University of Tennessee where he received his BFA and MFA degrees, respectively. He is listed in Who's Who in American Art, studied on a Group Studies Abroad Fulbright Grant in Costa Rica, received the 1993 Visual Art Award of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and accepted an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Allen's art was included in the traveling exhibition Outward Bound: American Art on the Brink of the 21st Century.  Solo exhibitions include shows at Stadtsche Galerie Paderborn, Der Kunstkreis Hameln, and Oldenburger Kunstverein in Germany, as well as the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., Carol Robinson Gallery in New Orleans, and Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi.

Frank Rampolla

Frank Rampolla (1931-1971) was a master figurative expressionist artist and art professor. Rampolla, schooled in the ways of the old masters, had an extraordinary classical knowledge of the arts and literature. He was a classically trained pianist and composer as well as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. During his prime art-making days, as always, the arts were an integral facet of American society; they reflected the national issues of the time. In the 1960s, it was the Civil Rights movement, women's rights and the pill, Vietnam, Camelot, the Cold War, the space race, drugs, rock 'n' roll, free love, and hippies searching for the meaning of freedom and expression. The art welcomed rebellion, but Pop Art paintings of soup cans and gumball machines became the mainstream. A few artists chose the path led not by the whims of the market but the truth of their own conscience with a deep concern for the human condition. Rampolla ascended from this select group. The artist's works are in the permanent collections of museums across the country, including The Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; and he Library of Congress and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. 

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Staff Profile Jim Draper

Jim Draper

UNF galleries coordinator

Jim Draper grew up in Kosciusko, Mississippi, the geographical center of the state. His work which includes drawing, painting, photography, video, and writing informed by journeys into the wilds of Florida and Georgia. He attended the University of Mississippi, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1974. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1978. Based in Jacksonville, he is currently the coordinator for the University of North Florida's galleries. Draper's work includes Full Immersion, a serial program that critically explores ways in which the natural order informs the structures and behaviors of the human experience. He is developing a site-specific installation and body of work entitled The Ditch, visual reconciliation of the disturbed landscape. Latest exhibitions include his seminal work Feast of Flowers at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens (Jacksonville, Florida) and Image Gathering + Disseminating the Natural Experience at Florida School of the Arts (Palatka, Florida). Draper has taught drawing and painting at UNF, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Flagler College in St. Augustine. Draper's work appears in hundreds of corporate and private collections. His duties as UNF galleries coordinator include curatorial responsibilities for the campus-based University Gallery of Art and the UNF Gallery at MOCA Jacksonville. He also is responsible for the UNF permanent collection.