The HUB Gallery Presents: “Paradise”

Each quarter, students (campus and online), faculty, and staff are invited to submit their artwork for a chance to be featured in the HUB Gallery in the building two lobby, and then a select few pieces are chosen as “Best in Show.” This showcase featured work that was created around the premise of paradise. Guest judge and Director of Professional Development Stacy O’Mara awarded the following students with awards for their outstanding artwork:

  • Chris Aguila Alvarez, Digital Arts & Design
  • Ernesto Peña Leyva, Digital Arts & Design
  • Tia Refait, Digital Arts & Design
  • Brandon Rymanowicz, Digital Arts & Design

Though each piece represented its own unique take on paradise, Ernesto’s work stood out even more as it was a tribute to the tragic events that happened at PULSE nightclub on June 12.

“I decided to create this fantasy/makeup look because we as an LGBTQ community are all broken; we are all wrecked by this tragedy. But nothing is going to bring this community down because at the end of the day, we are all diamonds and we are going to shine together,” Ernesto said.

Ernesto filmed a video on Instagram of himself applying a rainbow-colored mask of makeup, and promised himself that if the video reached 10,000 views in less than 24 hours he would submit a photograph of his creation to the HUB. The video completely surpassed that goal by receiving 200,000 views and 17,000 likes.

“For a lot of people [PULSE] was a safe place; a place where they could be themselves. They could be drag queens, entertainers, or dancers; it was a place free of judgment. It was truly a ‘paradise.’ This is my tribute to PULSE.”

The final exhibition for 2016 will be Wednesday, October 12 (entry deadline October 7) and the theme will be “Heroes and Villains.” If you are interested in submitting to the HUB or would like more information, please contact Digital Arts & Design Course Director Kim Lomas (

Be sure to explore more of our student-featured art pieces over on the Art of Full Sail Tumblr page, and check out a gallery of this quarter’s HUB showcase below.



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