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Friday, June 21, 2024

4Most Gallery premieres ‘Plasticity’ Exhibit

The pieces were sculpted by artist-in-residence and gallery curator Morgan Yacoe and inspired by artistic models in the medical field

Graphic by Shelby Cotta. Photos courtesy of Paige Arneson.
Graphic by Shelby Cotta. Photos courtesy of Paige Arneson.

For Morgan Yacoe, inspiration strikes as soon as she looks in the mirror. 

As an artist in the medical field, Yacoe creates sculptures inspired by the human body. Her newest exhibit at the 4Most Gallery, “Plasticity,” features four of these pieces.

The exhibit, which runs from July 30 to Aug. 6, features collaborations between Yacoe and local medical professionals.

An hour-long virtual opening July 30 featured Yacoe’s inspiration behind all of the pieces and a Q&A session for the online audience. “Plasticity” can also be viewed in person at 4Most, located at 534 SW 4th Ave. The exhibit is Aug. 2 from 2:30-5:30 p.m., Aug. 4 from noon to 5 p.m. and Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Yacoe created “Plasticity” with the help of several other artists and medical professionals. Among her collaborators are Dr. Mike Criccchio, Dr. Jessica Ching, Angela DeCarlis, Dr. Jennifer Rhodes and Dr. Santosh Kale.

“Plasticity” focuses on the intersection of art and the medical field, an area Yacoe has spent most of career working in. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in sculpture, Yacoe began working as an artist in medicine, creating sculptures of body parts for professionals-in-training to better understand anatomy.

Yacoe graduated from UF in August 2020 with her master’s degree in sculpture. In addition to her work at 4Most, she’s served as the research coordinator for UF’s Center for Arts in Medicine and an adjunct professor in UF’s school of art and art history.

Through these experiences, Yacoe said she saw firsthand how art of all kinds of mediums can benefit the medical profession.

“It’s so many different fields of medicine where a sculpture and the fine arts can have this really amazing impact,” she said.

While she plans to continue working with the Center for Arts in Medicine and School of Art and Art History, Yacoe’s residency at 4Most is drawing to a close. “Plasticity” is her final show at the gallery and features four original projects — “The Dell Hand,” “BustED,” “The Art Of Reconstruction” and “Microsurgical.”

Yacoe’s tenure as artist-in-residence was marked by unprecedented distance and capacity requirements for the gallery. In addition to learning to run a gallery with no prior experience, Yacoe kept a stream of innovative exhibits with little to no in-person attendance.

But despite the challenges of virtual openings and limited hours, Yacoe said her residency was a valuable learning experience.

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“I viewed that as an opportunity to think creatively about how to keep a gallery accessible, open and functioning when it’s difficult for people to move around,” she said.

Yacoe enlisted the help of several interns during her time at 4Most. Paige Arneson, Francis Cadavid, Tanya Pattinson and Abby Somer have served as Yacoe’s interns throughout her residency at the gallery, and they were involved with the installation and promotion of the gallery’s exhibits during Yacoe’s tenure.

Pattinson, a 21-year-old UF art history and anthropology senior, said “Plasticity” offers a unique perspective on the relationship between art and medicine.

“We don’t really see these medical models as being pieces of art themselves, and to see them in the gallery setting is really eye-opening,” she said.

Each piece centers on the educational aspect of art in medicine. “BustED,” for instance, is a woman of color’s bust intended to highlight the racial and gender inequality on classroom models.“The Art of Reconstruction” features a female torso with a missing breast, which medical students are meant to replace with clay as a simulation for reconstructive surgery.

Yacoe said “Plasticity” was designed to highlight this kind of professional applicability in art.

“The arts does not have to be siloed into the white cube of the gallery or the critique space,” she said. “Art objects can be interacted with and applied in really powerful ways.”

As her final statement at 4Most, Yacoe hopes “Plasticity,” and her work as a whole highlights the power of arts in capturing the human experience.

“It really brings humanity to so many different fields, in particular medicine.” 


Contact Heather at Follow her on Twitter @hgrizzl.

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Heather Bushman

Heather Bushman is a fourth-year journalism and political science student and the enterprise elections reporter. She previously wrote and edited for the Avenue desk and reported for WUFT News. You can usually find her writing, listening to music or writing about listening to music. Ask her about synesthesia or her album tier list sometime.

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