April is National Kite Month, so when the Florida Women's Art Association was asked to put on another art installation at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, kites as canvases flew above all other ideas.
Acrylic. Ink. Mixed Media. Photography. Sculptures. Artists of a variety of mediums took on the challenge, resulting in 45 FLWAA members creating over 50 kites for the exhibit, titled "It's a Kite Thing." It opened at MOAS on Sunday, March 19, and will run through May 28.
"It really is an honor that the Museum of Arts and Sciences would even consider taking us on and allowing us to come together as women and that they support us in our community," said LC Tobey, chair and curator of the exhibit.
FLWAA acquired blank kites for the exhibit and distributed them to the artists interested in submitting their work. The only instruction given was to leave the tails on and give them a little pop of color.
"Each artist really came up with their own themes," Tobey said. "The name of the show is, 'It's a Kite Thing.' So, put your kite thing on a kite. That could be anything, as long as you're having fun."
Beyond the artists themselves, hard work was done behind the scenes to get the exhibit ready, Tobey said. Her husband Tommy wired each individual kite to be able to be hung and it took four days and countless hours for six MOAS employees to install the exhibit, including Dean Cormier, Caleb Canlon and Brandon Sheppard.
"They're the dream team," Tobey said. "They're the ones that make the whole show glow and glitter."
Tobey, of Ormond Beach, is a glass artist, so when it came to creating her kite, she naturally included glass elements. Made of felt, her kite was inspired by one of her previous glass art pieces titled "La Femme," which is on display in New York.
Her kite, she said, features a glass eye and and dichroic glass tear.
"But the lips are smiling so it's a kite of joy," Tobey said. "Tears of joy, I call it."
The exhibit also features a 9-foot-long kite by Teri Althouse and Thays França, co-founders of Art Spotlight in Ormond Beach. Not every artist can pull off a challenge like that, Tobey said, but she was confident they could.
With March being Women's History Month, and FLWAA being an all-female arts group, Tobey said she is always excited to work with female artists. Last year, MOAS hosted a spring exhibit by FLWAA composed of individually-painted umbrellas.
"I think I always stretch them by throwing out these incredible installations and it really stretched some of them to use a technique or a medium they wouldn't naturally use," Tobey said. "They really had to think about this, and what's nice about this is that it brought them all together."