Robert Reedy is director of the Advanced Design Lab and a professor in the School of Visual Arts and Design at the University of Central Florida.

His work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries, including The Museum of American Art at The Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., The American Crafts Museum in New York, and The Museum of American Ceramics in Pomona, California.

How do you describe your philosophy as an artist? And what have been some of the influences on your work?

Growth as an artist is directly related to the acceptance of one’s self as an individual who dresses, talks, visualizes and creates differently from any other human.  In fact, we are unique functioning designs.  The more I embrace this, the more freedom I exhibit as an artist … All artists are connected by history, visual elements, and principles of design. However, it is who we are and how we visually interpret the environment that creates our individual identities as artists.

Growing up in rural Mississippi was challenging [for me].  Traditions such as storytelling, family, and faith had a tremendous effect in shaping my work. These traditions and experiences shaped my values. I see it as a refreshing force in a world that can sometimes be cold, static and impersonal.  My philosophy is an interesting balance between intellect and superstition, science and magic, New York and Mississippi—a sort of “Doo Dah Dada.”

What are you working on now?

Currently, I am involved with a more sculptural approach to the vessel and recently have returned to a mixed media form of painting and drawing.

What do you like most about FAVO?

What I like best about FAVO is that it is the first project (in my mind) in Orlando that truly is artist centered, and its sole purpose is to foster and nourish the creative spirit. Also, I love the fact that it is championed by a church and not tied to any political or government entity.  It is art for art’s sake, at the same time providing artists a place to feed their creative and spiritual souls. God willing, it could be art heaven on earth.