Opening reception during Second Saturday
ArtWalk on Saturday, May 12, 5pm-9pm
The Morean Arts Center’s (MAC) upcoming exhibitions Leslie Neumann: Manna from Heaven…and Earth and Water over the Bridge: Contemporary Seascapes explore the relationship between art and nature and are on view May 12 through June 29. The opening reception is held during Second Saturday ArtWalk on Saturday, May 12, from 5pm-9pm.
Artist and environmental activist Leslie Neumann, presents a new body of work focusing on the power of nature in these troubling times. Neumann has lived and worked in Aripeka, Fla., located on the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles north of St. Petersburg. Aripeka is a small Florida town reminiscent of what the state looked like 50 years ago. She divides her time between art-making, expressing the beauty of Aripeka, environmental activism, and working to preserve and expand the surrounding 15,000 acres of coastal marsh.
Neumann is an artist that specializes in painting wetlands and cosmic images using a technique called encaustic on panel. Using a combination of oil paints and hot wax, she achieves striking images with deep, rich colors and texture.
Water Over the Bridge: Contemporary Seascapes is a collaboration between the MAC’s Curator of Exhibitions Amanda Cooper and New York City curator D. Dominick Lombardi. This exhibition features the works of artists from both the New York City metro area and Tampa Bay area artists, creating a provocative, cross-country dialog. Selected artists include Selina Roman, Anne Bowen, Babs Reingold, Carolina Cleere, Margaret LeJeune, Rieko Fujinami, Bill Gusky, Dale Leifeste, China Marks and William Thompson.
Cooper stated, “Both exhibitions, while focusing on environmental issues that have become political hot-buttons, are vastly different in their approach. Where Water over the Bridge is sometimes a searing indictment of the current situation and how we as citizens of the planet have failed to protect it, Leslie’s exhibition addresses land conservation by displaying nature’s raw beauty and power. One is a loud protest — a call to action — the other is more of a love-in; a visual celebration of nature that serves a reminder of what could be lost if we continue on this destructive path.”
The MAC’s exhibitions are free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday, Noon-5pm. Neumann will be hosting an Artist Talk discussing art and environmental activism on Thursday, June 21, 6pm-7:30pm.
“We hope people will leave with a renewed awareness of global conservation issues and a sense of urgency to take action, whatever that looks like for them,” said Cooper.
The Morean Arts Center, with roots dating back to 1917 as the Art Club of St. Petersburg, focuses on an innovative, community-oriented approach to art and art education. The mission of the Morean Arts Center is to connect people with art and to contribute to the economic development of the region. Operating under the Morean Arts Center includes the Chihuly Collection, Glass Studio & Hot Shop and the Morean Center for Clay.