Exhibition Dates: September 10-October 23, 2021
Opening Reception: September 10, 6 p.m.
“Environmentally Engaged” is a juried exhibition of handmade fine crafts where artists express ideas about the environment, the impending effects of climate change, and human relationships with the natural world. Through the art, visitors will be challenged to think about their connection to the earth through their actions and, hopefully, be inspired to strive for a more sustainable world.
From across the country, artists created pieces in ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood. At the opening and awards reception on Friday, September 10 at 6 p.m., people will have the opportunity to meet the talented artists and the show’s judge, Howard Rutherford,art collector, community leader, and co-founder of the St. Petersburg Science Festival.
Artist Lorraine Turner created “Welcome Rain” a portrait of a black panther in a rain forest. Her techniques include raw appliqué, thread painting and hand embroidery to fashion a colorful 24-inch by 25-inch textile work of art. Lorraine is a trained animal communicator who donates the proceeds of her sales to funds for endangered animals.
The king of beasts sports a rainbow mane, but this is no hunter’s trophy. The life-sized lion’s head was intricately handcrafted from fibers of the Agave sisalana plant by Swedish-born artist Anne Andersson. In 2020, Anne’s wild animals set the theme of the Dolce & Gabbana’s Milan Spring/Summer Fashion Show. The set was transformed into an elaborate jungle rainforest featuring a life-sized leopard and jaguar borrowed from the designers’ private collection of Anne’s work.
For this exhibition, University of Montana art professor Julia Galloway has thrown and painted six ceramic urns, each with an endangered species from Florida. They are part of her nationwide project about America’s endangered species. Sales of her work are donated in part to a local ecological nonprofit.
Free community programming begins with a conversation with artists Kenny Jensen and Casey McDonough who make environmental issues part of their practices – including 14-year-old activist Ryan Moralevitz. Coral reef and bay grass restoration will be the second program, followed by a panel encouraging the public to make a difference by offering solutions for daily life.
“In the Environmentally Engaged exhibition, artists express their concerns, hopes and fears in their artwork,” says Florida CraftArt’s Board President Tyler Jones. “This is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about environmental issues by visiting the show and also attending the free educational programming. People will learn how they can make a difference in the outcome of our world by modifying their actions.”
As engaging the community is part of Florida CraftArt’s mission, the public is invited to attend the exhibition and programming free of charge which is made possible with support from the exhibition’s sponsors Kathryn Howd and Edward Rucks, along with David and Becky Ramsey, Regions Bank, the City of St. Petersburg, and Florida’s Division of Arts & Culture.
See environmental issues through the eyes of artists from September 10 to October 23 when the People’s Choice Award will be presented. People can vote for their favorite work of art in the Florida CraftArt Exhibition Gallery and on Facebook.
Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.FloridaCraftArt.org or call (727) 821-7391. Fine craft art is presented in its 2,500-square-foot retail gallery and curated exhibitions are featured in its adjacent exhibition gallery. Florida CraftArt is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 and headquartered in St. Petersburg. Its mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work. Florida CraftArt is the only statewide organization offering artists a platform to show and sell their work.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR (Visit FloridaCraftArt.org for more information):
Friday, September 10, 6 p.m. Opening reception and awards ceremony with artists and judge Howard Rutherford.
Saturday, September 11, 5-7 p.m. Second Saturday ArtWalk in the Gallery. Visit ArtLofts on our second floor.
Tuesday, September 21, 6 p.m. Learn about environmental restoration from coral reefs to bay grasses.
Saturday, October 2, 2 p.m. Artists talk about their practice: Kenny Jensen, Casey McDonough and Ryan Moralevitz.
Saturday, October 9, 5-7 p.m. Second Saturday ArtWalk in the Gallery. Visit ArtLofts on our second floor.
Thursday, October 21, 6 p.m. Join us to discover how you can make a diﬀerence. Learn about volunteer opportunities, Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose ideas, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and more.