*A new version of this article has been published with updated dates.*
A Gainesville-based artist is partnering with Moisturizer Gallery to create a collaborative visual art zine that will be showcased at a release party July 24.
For the past month, Bjørn Parramoure, 35, has been asking Gainesville creatives to share any work they’ve created during quarantine for a compiled “quarantine works” art zine, which is a small-circulation magazine.
When Parramoure lived in Orlando, he contributed his own work to a local zine his friends Daniel Harris and Cody Ziegler started in 2013 called “Is It Over Yet?” and attended its release parties.
After moving to Gainesville, he was disappointed there were no similar events, and he was inspired to start his own Gainesville-based zine. Parramoure said other local artists expressed a disconnect in the art community, which also inspired the idea.
“[Gainesville] has lots of artists,” he said. “But really, where is the community? So my goal for this is to see artists meet one another. I want for there to be cross-pollination of artists in Gainesville.”
Parramoure is accepting artists’ submissions via email through Thursday to compile the finished creation, which will be called "Cross Pollinator."
After nearly a year of isolation, Parramoure hopes the zine will not only showcase Gainesville’s hidden talents but also unify the community now that quarantine is over.
He hopes the project becomes a repeating event with a subsequent show every few months.
“My goal is to see more people connect with one another,” he said. “Hopefully it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Parramoure also wants to shift the public’s gaze from celebrities and figures in the media to local artists who often go unrecognized.
“One of my goals for this is to get eyes on each other locally, to care about what our neighbors are doing, what our friends are doing,” he said. “I feel like that’s an important shift.”
Parramoure plans to have artists and musical performances during the release events at the Moisturizer Gallery.
Dessarae Bassil, director and curator of Moisturizer Gallery, will host the release event for the finished project at the end of July. The gallery generally has large-scale group art shows in addition to undergraduate shows.
“I always do a mix of local artists and artists from around the country,” Bassil said. “For the online ones, we had some artists from different parts of the world. I make a concerted effort to always include people that have never been in an art show in their life.”
Although Bassil has not yet seen the art submissions, she is looking forward to seeing what people come up with.
“I always want to see people get as weird as possible,” she said.
Ellie Smith, 20, heard about the zine from a post her friend shared on Instagram. She submitted a digital illustration as well as a Bob Ross-inspired oil painting.
“The digital art I'm more passionate about because it's just so powerful,” she said. “I enjoy making people feel good in seeing what my brain looks like on a piece of paper.”
Smith said she was grateful that submissions were open to all Gainesville residents because she knows the local art community can be competitive and difficult to break into.
“I know that a lot of the shows here, that if you want to sell art, are really, really hard to get into. You can barely even find anything online. So I was really appreciative that the zine was just so open, and it was on Instagram,” she said.
Lara Deblasio, a 22-year-old co-director of TheSl8 art gallery, learned about the zine on Moisturizer Gallery’s Instagram page, and she decided to submit a written piece on nostalgia.
“I think it's really cool that Gainesville is doing something in print because I've recently had this epiphany that a lot of really super cool publications aren’t going into print, [they’re] going digitally, and I'm definitely an analog-based person,” she said. “I really love tangibly holding something with work in it.”
While working for TheSl8, Deblasio was exposed to many individuals from the Gainesville art community. She saw that it contained plenty of talent, but it lacked the unity that other cities she has lived in has, which would make it more accessible and visible to the public.
“I think the zine is the perfect vessel to do this,” she said.
Parramoure is taking submissions for the art zine until Thursday. Gainesville residents can submit artwork to GainesvilleZine@gmail.com. More information can be found on Parramoure’s Instagram.
Contact Bryce Brown at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @brycebrownnn.