Thicker than Water: an Exhibit of Community Concern

IGOR chip- human appreciation 150The show opening tonight at the LeMoyne Center for Visual Arts has a topic close to our hearts.  It’s called “Thicker than Water: an Exhibit of Community Concern,” and it features works by two artists concerned about human impact on Gulf ecosystems.  The proceeds from tonight will be split three was between the art center, Crude Awakening Tallahassee and the Florida Wild Mammal Association, and the Wild Mammal Association will have some statistics on the current crisis.  The artists are Patrick Lane and Allison Jackson.  Allison’s paintings are featured in the slideshow above.  One painting is titled St. Joseph Bay, which is of course where  we are following Dr. Randall Hughes and her biodiversity in salt marsh ecology study.  The first painting of the slideshow features something that’s been a common sight the last couple of months in the bay, horseshoe crabs coupling.

While we have so far been lucky in the bay with regards to oil, there is still a considerable amount of it in the Gulf, and a lot of that invisible dispersant.  The situation seems more optimistic, but history shows that it takes a bit of time to fully gauge the effects of such an event.  The works featured in this exhibit express the concerns of the artists about the Deepwater Horizon oil seep and about our relationship to nature in general.  The artists shared their thoughts with “In the Grass, On the Reef:”

Allison Jackson

“My work references traditional Florida landscape painting, which often depicts the ideal, in order to expose a situation that is becoming less than ideal. These paintings are an exploration of a fantastical, grotesque situation that could arise from the continued abuse of our environment. Within the beautiful Florida sunsets and dawns, I present to the viewer an ecology gone awry. The Florida that I show is at once familiar and disquieting, intending to incite within my audience both a sense of admiration for the beauty of the landscape, and a sense of apprehension at what the future may hold if we continue on our current path.”

Allison Jackson was born and raised in Tallahassee. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida State University in Spring of 2010. She works primarily in oil. Allison will be doing a one year internship with the Yale School of Drama beginning in Fall of 2010, painting sets for Yale Repertory Theater.

Patrick Lane

“Created in response to the oil disaster, my work addresses the many factors that have contributed to the current state of our delicate waters. Overpopulation, dependency on fossil fuels and their byproducts, neglect, greed, and hope are all prevalent themes in this series. Discarded plastics and other forgotten objects are telling signs of a throw away culture of convenience. My work comes from the realm of experimentation in order to unlock the infinite potential of any given material. In this case wax, wood, metal, and plastic are simply a cast of characters that reinforce the greater visual cluster. The resulting form of this clustering is the allusion of a crowd of fish or even a school of people.”

Patrick Lane recently received his BFA in Painting and Sculpture from Florida State University. He currently helps to foster creativity to local students serving as an instructor for LeMoyne Summer Art Camp. Next, Patrick plans to travel to New York in and effort to further his development as an artist.

Thicker than Water: an Exhibit of Community Concern runs from August 3 through August 17.

If you are an artist, writer, photographer, or musician whose work is inspired by the Florida Gulf Coast, especially the Forgotten Coast, we’d like to here from you.  Leave a comment below, or write robdv@wfsu.org.

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About Rob

Rob Diaz de Villegas is a senior producer and editor for WFSU-TV. Rob covers ecology, managing the National Science Foundation funded In the Grass, On the Reef project. Previously, Rob produced and directed WFSU’s music program, outloud. He has also produced a number of ecology and music related documentaries and was selected the PBS Producers Workshop, a program that grooms up-and-coming producers to create programs for national broadcast.