We recently had the opportunity to interview one of our very own, Fairgrounds St. Pete’s Assistant Experience Manager and FLORIDARAMA artist, Amy Ilic-Volpe. Her diorama The Panther Pathway, is aptly titled, as that’s exactly what it depicts!
Amy is a St. Petersburg, Florida native. She is an intuitive artist and maker, who is intrigued by mark-making and fluid applications of color and shape. She lets her mediums speak through her and she engages with them in free and loose movement. She often allows the process of art-making to be the true representation of art; the beauty is in the experience. Her artwork evolves as a visceral and emotional practice. Amy loves sunshine and adventure! She creates to make people smile and hopes the color and fun energy in her work does just that! Amy has been a member of Fairgrounds St. Pete’s Experience Management Team since April 2021.
Read on to learn more about what the experience of being part of our inaugural exhibit is like for her!
What do you want the public to take away from experiencing the FLORIDARAMA diorama you have created for Fairgrounds St. Pete?
AMY ILIC-VOLPE: I hope it sparks curiosity and wonder and encourages viewers to consider maybe Florida has a deep connection to possibilities and the unknown.
What inspired this FLORIDARAMA?
AI-V: I am always moved by energy and color and Florida is an unending well of wacky inspiration.
How did working within the confines of a diorama box affect your approach?
AI-V: I am very interested in installation and immersive spaces and I liked being able to bring an idea into 3D and would love to move from mini to a life-size format. I attempted to visualize this miniature format as a model for a potential life-size space.
How did thinking about Florida influence your artwork and approach in creating this diorama?
AI-V: Florida is such a strange and wonderful mix of oddities, from people to nature and animal life. How did Florida become this wacky place? My piece poses the question, “What if Florida was the epicenter, for this world, of wormholes into the multiverse?” Could Florida be a gateway between our world and the beyond?
What inspires you as an artist?
AI-V: As a native of St. Pete I’m inspired by sunshine and the easygoing vibe of my hometown. I appreciate fun, travel, adventure, experimentation and process.
What is your favorite FL destination or landmark?
AI-V: My favorite landmark growing up, which is sadly no longer, was the airstream sculpture on the side of I-4 between Tampa and Orlando. I miss seeing it on that drive, now.