"Visions of the Gulf" by Christopher Stills
The Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala
January 22 - March 20, 2011
The great Florida artist Christopher Still is showcasing 40 paintings at the Appleton. It was the Gulf oil spill disaster that prompted this gifted artist into action. Inspired by what he saw as "key moment in Florida’s history right now" the Florida Artist Hall of Fame painter spent most of 2010 painting from the Panhandle to the Keys. “The best way to make people concerned about the Gulf is to share with them how beautiful it is,” Still says.
Now a resident of Tarpon Springs, Still was born and raised in Clearwater a few miles to the south.
“I had gone up to Apalachicola out of concern over what may happen with the oil spill,” he says. Eventually, he adds, the experience “led to a conversation with the museum over wouldn’t it be great to celebrate how beautiful the Gulf is.”
A celebration of this sort requires scenes of the Gulf before BP; and Still provides plenty, including haunting sunsets from Caladesi and Honeymoon islands off the Dunedin coast, a study of lobster and coral beneath the waves, the fine kitchen details — right down to a child’s drawing held to the refrigerator door by magnets — that spill off the canvas in “A Florida Feast.”
The premier piece is “And My Father Before Me” (Pictured above) depicting generations of oystering on Apalachicola Bay. Up in a corner, virtually unseen, are a pair of jets from Eglin Air Force Base, one of the few escapes, Still says, from the generational occupation.
“I was coming across the bay and I saw this family oystering,” he says. “I realized I was looking at something historic.
“What started out as a short trip turned into me moving up there for a while and now a major exhibit,” Still adds.
If you are unfamiliar with Christopher Still's work please visit his personal website. Christopher is a true Florida treasure.
Ocala.com Article written by Rick Allen about the Exhibition
Appleton Museum website
Christopher Still website