Current Schedule

The Moon Museum (1969): Apollo XII’s Secret Art MissionApollo 12 Mission Photograph of Alan Bean beginning the LM ladder descent
August 22 – September 27, 2014

Opening and Reception: August 22, 6 – 8pm

In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the renaming of the Gallery of Fine Art at Florida SouthWestern State College (formerly Edison State College), our Fall programming will focus exclusively on the enduring legacy and profound global (even “extraterrestrial”) impact of our namesake artist Bob Rauschenberg.  From October 22 through December 17, the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery will premiere RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix – the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work at the Gallery since his death in 2008.  However, we are also delighted to announce that the first ever “Space Art” object will be landing at FSW in the meantime with our installation: The Moon Museum (1969): Apollo XII’s Secret Art Mission (August 22 – September 27, 2014).

The Moon Museum (1969): Apollo XII’s Secret Art Mission will present the little-known Rauschenberg / Experiments in Art & Technology (E.A.T.) project that clandestinely sent and permanently sited original artwork by six artists on the lunar surface in 1969.  A postage stamp-sized, paper-thin multiple, the Moon Museum was the brainchild of New York sculptor Forrest “Frosty” Myers.  A group of the most significant artists of the time including John Chamberlain, David Novros, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol and Bob Rauschenberg joined Myers in contributing individual drawings that engineers at Bell Laboratories transferred (using a then cutting-edge photo-reduction technique developed for micro-circuitry) onto a handful of identical ceramic wafers.  The first-ever “Space Art” object, one copy of the Moon Museum multiple was then surreptitiously attached to the Apollo XII lunar landing LEM 6, and has now, consequently, resided on the surface of the Moon for the last forty-five years.

As Rauschenberg’s artist-friend Forrest Myers has described it, “Darwinian evolution seemed to happen in fossil time, but seeing Man leave the Earth and step foot on the Moon was both instant and epic.”  Myers was inspired by the success of Apollo XI to propose sending art to the Moon – his art and the art of those artists he most admired.  Wanting nothing more than to put something soulful up where typically NASA had left detritus and hardware behind, nearly a half century later, The Moon Museum (with drawings by Rauschenberg, Chamberlain, Oldenburg, Novros, Myers and Warhol) is still a compelling art object and continues to resonate profoundly in the imagination.

Following the triumphant return of the Moon Museum from its first blockbuster presentation (an exhibition co-organized by the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery with support from the U.S. Department of State and National Geographic magazine) at the National Gallery of Art in Tbilisi, Georgia (former Soviet Union) last November, the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW will allow Southwest Florida visitors the rare opportunity to view in-person one of the few original Moon Museum (1969) ceramic tile multiples (along with vintage NASA press photographs, film shot by Apollo XII astronauts and related mission-flown artifacts).

“‘Moon Museum’ Exhibit Sheds New Insight on the Rauschenberg Legacy” in Art Districts by Tom Hall (August/September 2014)

“Robert Rauschenberg’s top secret moon mission” in Florida Weekly by Nancy Stetson (August 20, 2014)

“A trip the The Moon” in Fort Myers Beach Observer (August 20, 2014)

“Moon ‘museum’ masterpieces: Chip-sized gallery smuggled on Apollo” in Naples Daily News by Harriet Howard Heithaus (August 21, 2014)

“Exhibit showcases museum sent to Moon” in Gulf Coasting by Charles Runnells (August 29, 2014)

ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) 10-Year Retrospective JEMA
May 9 – July 25, 2014

Opening: May 9, 2014
Pre-Opening lecture by JEMA founder, curator and artist Sean Miller (and discussion with Gregory Green, Jack Massing of The Art Guys, Bethany Taylor and other JEMA artists)
6pm, Rush Library Auditorium, J-Building
Reception to follow: 7-9pm, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery

Chronicling a decade of highly innovative art projects and often unconventional installations by invited artists, ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) 10-Year Retrospective will mark its final day at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (and elucidate the enigmatic/numeric exhibition title) by closing to the public on JEMA’s ELEVENth anniversary.

Founded on July 25, 2003 by artist/curator Sean Miller with an “unauthorized” Grand Opening in the lobby of the Seattle Art Museum, The John Erickson Museum of Art was officially inaugurated with a guerilla-style art action. Befitting its diminutive architectural scale (each JEMA gallery is only slightly larger than a shoebox) – the entire celebratory event was clocked from start to finish at two-minutes in length. Conceived in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp’s “Boite en Valise” (his mini-retrospective in a suitcase) and Robert Filliou’s “Galerie Légitime” (an exhibition space in the artist’s hat), the portable JEMA galleries (most now safely housed in 16”x12”x9” aluminum carrying cases) have played host to site-specific and solo projects by a wide-array of well-established and emerging international artists.

While ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) 10-Year Retrospective at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery will present more than twenty “archived” JEMA galleries – including those by Gregory Green, Arnold Mesches, Yoko Ono, Bethany Taylor, Sergio Vega and others, it will also premiere new works (or some not previously shown in the United States) by Jim Drain, Oliver Herring, Chip Lord, Tea Mäkipää, Andrea Robbins & Max Becher, Fluxus pioneer Ben Patterson and The Art Guys from Houston. This first-ever survey of artworks commissioned by the John Erickson Museum of Art, Elevenwill represent the largest gathering to date of artist/curator Sean Miller’s “location variable” JEMA galleries and be accompanied by his Next Chapter Spaces, JEMA Annex, JEMA Video Lounge, the Art Museum Dust Collection and new works from the JEMA Artist Dream Registry.

According to Bob Rauschenberg Gallery Director Jade Dellinger: “We are honored to be collaborating with our friends at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art and to have the opportunity to premiere this ambitious joint-venture in Fort Myers before travelling ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) 10-Year Retrospective to the University of Florida in Gainesville this Fall.”

The founder and director of JEMA, Sean Miller is a Florida-based artist/curator and an Assistant Professor at University of Florida with the School of Art and Art History and views the John Erickson Museum of Art as a generative art work.

As Kerry Oliver-Smith, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art/University of Florida views it, “Sean Miller’s remarkable JEMA project upends conventional ideas of the museum, artist and curator. He reinvents the museum by creating a series of miniature and mobile museums that occupy new realms of critical and literal space from site-specific sculpture and installation space to performance and web-based project. Each museum features a different artist and from there the project expands.”

Critically-acclaimed, Sean Miller’s work has received international coverage in broadcast, TV, film and print including: The New York Times, CBS News, The Nation, Baltimore Sun, LA Weekly, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miami New Times, Irish Times, Sculpture Magazine, Art Papers, New Art Examiner, ArtStar (episode “Six in the City”/Reality Television), Gallery HD, Dish Network (2008), Oddities (Season 2, episode “The Horaffe”)Science Channel,and the documentary film How to Start Your Own Country, directed by Jody Shapiro.

Gallery exhibitions are sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The State of Florida, Department of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council. Marketing of The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) 10-Year Retrospective is generously underwritten by Southwest Florida Community Foundation.


“Physically Small, Conceptually Large: JEMA Retrospective at Bob Rauschenberg Gallery” in Art at Bay by Danny Olda (May 12, 2014)

“Itty Bitty Creations” in The News-Press’ Gulf Coasting by Charles Runnells (May 16, 2014)


Benjamin Patterson: Born in the State of FLUXus – A Performance/Lecture
Tuesday, June 24 at 6pm

Ben Patterson

In conjunction with our on-going exhibition
ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) 10-Year Retrospective
May 9 – July 25, 2014
at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery

Presented in conjunction with ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) 10-Year Retrospective (May 9th – July 25th, 2014) and represented in the exhibition at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison State College (soon to be Florida SouthWestern State College) by his two solo projects [Paper Piece (1960/2014) and Bollywood Love: Object of Desire (2010)], the influential and affable artist Ben Patterson will discuss the origin and history of the Fluxus movement, his current work and his ongoing involvement with Sean Miller and the John Erickson Museum of Art.

A founding member of Fluxus, the international collective of artists known for infusing avant-garde practices with anarchic spirit and humor, Ben Patterson helped revolutionize the artistic landscape at the advent of the 1960s and was on the forefront of ushering in a new – often controversial – era of experimental music and visual art.  Now in his eighties and residing in Germany, Mr. Patterson has been the recent subject of a major traveling retrospective (organized by the Contemporary Art Museum/Houston) and has had the distinction of having his work acquired by numerous institutions – including the Permanent Collections of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

A classically trained musician and composer whose most significant contribution to Fluxus was exploring the connection between action and music, Ben Patterson has spent more than five decades creating compositions for both the body in action (“action as composition”) and the unconventional playing of his instrument, the contra bass, through ordinary gestures.  Later recognized as the first official Fluxus event, after a brief encounter with John Cage in 1960, Mr. Patterson became a fixture in the experimental music scene in Germany and co-organized and performed at the first International Festival of New Music with George Maciunas at the Staatsmuseum in Wiesbaden in 1961.

In the tradition of Marcel Duchamp, John Cage and Bob Rauschenberg, with tongue-in-cheek – often provocative – humor, Ben Patterson’s work is a celebration of “ordinary life”.  Employed for some years as a reference librarian, an arts administrator and as an entrepreneur with his own music management company, Patterson took a hiatus and withdrew from his career as an artist for nearly two decades.  Reemerging in the 1980’s and returning to Europe to live, Ben Patterson has spent the last twenty-five years prolifically creating visual art, scores and performing his work.

“Ben Patterson to discuss Fluxus movement in Edison State College lecture and performance on June 24” from by Tom Hall (June 17, 2014)

“Making sense of Ben Patterson’s ‘Fluxus in the Swamp’ performance” from by Tom Hall (June 30, 2014)

ferðalag (a journey or voyage):
Studenta curated show with
ESC Student Artists
Josué Charles, Christopher Lacoste and Leila Mesdaghi

Bob Rauschenberg Gallery
April 10 – 24, 2014

2014 Juried Student Art Show
Rush Library Ground Floor Lobby
April 10 – May 9, 2014

We are very pleased to have John Loscuito, the newly appointed Director of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Art Gallery, serving as our juror for the 2014 Juried Student Art Show.  He arrived in January of 2014 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he worked with a number of arts institutions including the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Theatre X and the Haggerty Museum at Marquette University. As an artist, teacher, collections manager and curator he has exhibited in and organized national and international exhibitions. Notable exhibitions he has traveled with include Wifredo Lam in North America and Keith Haring: the Milwaukee Mural. He has curated diverse exhibitions with a range of media and time periods from medieval manuscripts to contemporary painting and photography.  John Loscuito received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and his Masters of Business Administration degree from Marquette University.


January 24 – March 29, 2014

Opening: January 24, 2014
Lecture by Co-Curator Kevin Concannon: 6 pm,
Rush Auditorium, J-Building
Reception: 7 – 9 pm, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery

Among the earliest of artists working in the genre of Conceptual Art, Yoko Ono has consistently investigated the theme of peace and has invited those who interact with the work to play an active role in their creation and existence.  The exhibition YOKO ONO IMAGINE PEACE presents several of the artist’s most current works, re-imagined anew for the installation at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, Edison State College.

Four recent works, WISH TREE (1996/2014); IMAGINE PEACE MAPS (2003/2014); ONOCHORD (2003/2014); and IMAGINE PEACE TOWER (2006/2014) offer gallery visitors an opportunity to participate individually and collectively with the artist in the realization of the work.  Consider the world with fresh eyes as you stamp the phrase IMAGINE PEACE on the map location of your choice.  Attach your handwritten wish for peace to the WISH TREE, and this wish will be delivered to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Reykjavik, Iceland, where it will shine on eternally, joining more than a million others previously collected.  You are also welcomed to beam the message “I Love You” to one and all using the ONOCHORD flashlights.  You may take an ONOCHORD flashlight and an IMAGINE PEACE button as a gift to you from the artist and carry these timeless messages out into the world.  As Yoko Ono has often observed: “A dream you dream alone is just a dream, but a dream we dream together is reality.”

PASSAGES OF LIGHT, a video that chronicles the conceptualization and construction of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, and reinterpretations of the works PARTS OF A LIGHTHOUSE and MEND PIECE, are also featured in the exhibition.  PLAY IT BY TRUST, a monochrome chessboard and all white-painted lawn-sized game pieces, invites visitors to experience a playful metaphor for the futility and confusion of all types of conflict – where differentiation between opposing sides is difficult if not impossible to distinguish, and the commonality of opponents is exposed.

The exhibition YOKO ONO IMAGINE PEACE was curated by Kevin Concannon and John Noga with the support and involvement of the artist.  The installation at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was configured in direct collaboration with Yoko Ono to reflect the Gallery’s mission and its role as a learning laboratory on the campus of Edison State College in Fort Myers, Florida.

More about the Gallery: The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was founded as The Gallery of Fine Art in 1979 on the Lee County campus of Edison State College (then Edison Community College).  On June 4th 2004 the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, to honor and commemorate our long time association and friendship with the artist.  Over more than three decades until his death, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions including multiple installations of the ¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece.  The artist insisted on naming the space the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (versus the “Robert Rauschenberg Gallery”) as it was consistent with the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both our local Southwest Florida community and Edison State College.

Gallery exhibitions are sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The State of Florida, Department of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council.  YOKO ONO IMAGINE PEACE is generously underwritten by: Trevett Capital Partners; Steven Hubbard and Carolann Swanson; Barbara Yeomans; and the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery Docent Helping Hand Fund.

“Yoko Ono Exhibit Kicks Off Season” in The News-Press by Charles Runnells (December 5, 2013)

“Yoko Ono sends message to Lee County ahead of January show” in Florida Weekly by Glenn Miller (January 1, 2014)

“Yoko Ono Imagine Peace features work by one of world’s leading conceptual artists” from by Tom Hall (January 4, 2014)

“Yoko Ono Exhibit Invites Collaboration” in The River Weekly News by Tom Hall (January 10, 2014)

“Imagine Peace” in Florida Weekly by Nancy Stetson (January 22, 2014)

“In the bag with Yoko” in Florida Weekly by Nancy Stetson (January 22, 2014)

“Peace Plans” in Naples Daily News by Harriet Howard Heithaus (January 23, 2014)

“Yoko Ono’s IMAGINE PEACE Exhibition Comes to Fort Myers” on WGCU by John Davis (January 23, 2014)

“Co-curator Kevin Concannon brings Yoko Ono messages and insights to Fort Myers tomorrow night” from by Tom Hall (January 23, 2014)

“Always Creating” in The News-Press’ Gulf Coasting by Charles Runnells (January 24, 2014)