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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Abstract side of artist is main attraction in exhibit


Madison King

The Carillon Gallery in the South Performing Arts Center is hosting an art exhibit that may leave viewers a bit tongue-tied in more ways than one.

“Flibbertigibbet” by Andrea Tosten, which runs until Sept. 30, drops them into the middle of an internal conflict.

The pieces that make use of screenprint, ink, acrylic and mixed media all on paper wrestle with the concept of being a flibbertigibbet, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a silly, flighty person.”

Photos by Ian McIntosh/The Collegian
This piece is called “Maybe I Am” and was made by Andrea Tosten, an artist-in-residence.

The word’s etymology even ties to its gossip and talkativeness. Gossiping in many cultural contexts tends to be associated with femininity which makes the piece “I Am,” a screenprint on paper with the words “I AM A FLIBBERTIGIBBET MAN” even more impactful in its implications.

“Andrea Tosten has created a powerful exhibition that has opened our students’ eyes to new possibilities of expressing their creative visions while effectively engaging in social dialogues,” South fine arts chair Joshua Goode said.

Tosten worked on “Flibbertigibbet” during her time as an artist-in-residence at South Campus, chaired by Goode.

“What is most remarkable is that our students were able to witness the production of this artwork during her artist residency,” Goode said. “They gained insight into what the creative process is for a professional artist and realized how they may develop their own career in the arts.”

This piece is called “Am Not” and it was made in 2020. The exhibit explores themes of social constructs and existence.


Tosten has been doing calligraphy for over 15 years and teaching for nine.

It is apparent in the piece “Maybe I Am,” which is a colorful standout in the exhibit. The background has ruled paper with the sentence, “Maybe I am a flibbertigibbet,” repeating on every line in Tosten’s handwriting — a familiar sight to those who were subject to such punishment in grade school. On top of the statement is a colorfully written inquiry that seems to echo beyond the canvas itself, “Am I a flibbertigibbet?” in the same sweeping loops and delicate curls as the text behind it.

“In ‘Flibbertigibbet,’ I use letterforms to ask one question and answer it in various ways in order to visually explore concepts of self, the human condition, existential dread and social constructs in a time of uprisings and a pandemic,” Tosten said via email when asked about the exhibit.

Tosten’s bookbinding skills are on display in the exhibit as well, which features a series of flipbooks, allowing the words “I AM NOT A FLIBBERTIGIBBET” to come to life in thought-provoking animation styles.

This piece, “I Am,” was also made in 2020. Tosten’s art is influenced by Annette Lawrence, Janine Antoni and more.

“Her art spoke like it was either trying to convince the viewer or the artist,” said Clara Howard, a South fine arts student. “Some pieces shouted, some were quiet and others felt like there’s so much happening.“

Howard also brought up the exhibit’s flipbooks, which she highly recommended people check out.

“I honestly think that people should go to the exhibit to form their own opinion on the art,” she said.

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