Cedar Key Art Center exhibits reflect coastal change
On February 1st, the Cedar Key Arts Center and the University of Florida hosted the opening reception for two “coastal change” art exhibits that remain on display at the Center throughout the month of February.
In the Member’s Gallery is the Changing Levy Coast Arts Project, which is a partnership between the local arts community and a University of Florida team of faculty and graduate students from the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning. The Changing Levy Coast Arts Project is part of the larger two-year initiative funded by Florida Sea Grant that is focused on planning for coastal change and sea level rise in Levy County.
For the Changing Levy Coast Arts Project, seven participating artists have displayed fifteen pieces in a mix of styles and media – ranging from paintings, journey daybook pages, mixed media, jewelry, and sculpture –each engaging the issues of coastal change and sea level rise in their own way. Most of the pieces explored Cedar Key’s coastal landscape and how changes may affect the environment and its inhabitants, while other installations reflected on human development trends and questioned how long those trends can be maintained. One viewer felt the artwork captured “the unique character and talent of a very special place.”
The exhibit also displays information from the Planning for Coastal Change in Levy County Project, including project posters illustrating potential sea level rise impacts to coastal habitats and development in the county, a short film that recorded local oral histories on coastal change, and a “drift wood quilt” created by participants in the Cedar Key Summer Youth Program, where they used paint to illustrate their understanding of sea level rise and its impacts on boards, or “patches” that were “sewn” together with rope, tying their visions together.
At the exhibit opening, graduate student and event coordinator, Sarah Thompson, appreciated the efforts of each artist and the Cedar Key Arts Center. “It was a great opportunity for the community to gather and explore its unique relationship with coastal change. I was thrilled with the artwork, and even more impressed by the people creating and engaging with it.”
Also on display at the Cedar Key Arts Center during February is the Homage to the Honeymoon Cottage. The Honeymoon Cottage is a decades-old iconic Cedar Key structure that completely collapsed during a storm in 2013. This exhibit also highlights important changes for the Cedar Key community.
A sampling of works created for the Changing Levy Coast Arts Project: “Warning Signs” by Russ Weaver, a portion of “Waiting” by Margaret Pulis Herrick, and “Exhale” by Amy Gernhardt.