FLORIDA: A LANDSCAPE OF DREAMS
November 6, 2021 - February 5, 2022Free, and open to everyone!
Photo Credit: Carlton Ward Jr.
Curated by Christina Katsolis, Southeast Museum of Photography
On Exhibit: November 6, 2021 – February 5, 2022
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10 AM – 4 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 2 PM
About the exhibition:
Florida: A Landscape of Dreams takes audiences on a visual journey across our state while addressing issues such as land conservation, water quality, and wildlife diversity. Over the years, Florida has been marketed as a ‘Paradise’–and selling the dream to tourists and residents alike–has come at a steep price. However, with a renewed interest in discovering “Old Florida” and the trend of “heritage tourism” on the rise, the public is poised to pay attention to what has been in our backyard all along. Thanks to the tireless efforts of certain conservation photographers–Jennifer Adler, Eric Clay, Paul Marcellini, Tessa Skiles, Mac Stone and Carlton Ward Jr.–we have truly come to understand what’s at stake. Florida’s landscape–from cypress strands to sawgrass prairies, coastal lowlands and estuaries to freshwater springs–is an environmental gem, and the aptly named “Treasure Coast” is a gift we cannot afford to squander. Through stunning imagery and educational initiatives, these photographers continue to make a difference. By showcasing Florida’s unique landscape and examining the role it plays in supporting our state’s lifestyle and economy, these photographers remind us that our future does not exist on a parallel track. Rather, it is intertwined with that of Florida’s conservations efforts, and the steps we take today will determine the final outcome. The photographs in this exhibition allow viewers to appreciate the many facets of Florida’s biodiversity, and the critical need to preserve it.
Forming an intimate showcase—a larger survey of which was presented last summer at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Primitive Florida— it ultimately invites audiences to examine their own relationship with nature.
The Art of Travel:
An additional section, The Art of Travel, includes vinyl reproductions of postcards mailed between the early and late 20th century, on loan from a private collection.
Florida was marketed as the nation’s playground; its tapestry of colors and unique character were the subject of innumerable postcards. Featuring scenes from throughout the state, these colorful advertisements were designed to entice; immortalizing sunny beaches and crowded coastlines, orange groves and sunsets of the same color, stately cypress trees and lush gardens, as well as hotels and attractions that have since faded into obscurity.
These postcards not only embodied the cultural milieu of a burgeoning state, but as tourist souvenirs go, were an economic means of communication. The heightened popularity of such sentiments as “Greetings from…” and “Wish You Were Here” have become firmly embedded in our lexicon. These postcards represent pieces of our collective history, and their personal messages–even haphazardly written–are a time capsule to Florida’s past.