In this subtropical summer all of Florida is a dark, wet, green-tinged soup. But respite can be found inside the cool, dry Gallery at Avalon Island, downtown in the historic (and also green) Rogers Building, where the current exhibition Roadsides and Skylines teams up Jenn Allen, Derek Demeter, Crystal Floyd, Wayne Grant, Maureen Hudas, Spanky Hudas and DeVan Jimenez to explore aspects of Florida that don’t make it to the tourism posters.
- sculpture by DeVan Jiminez (photo via gallery)
These sculptures are set against Grant’s and Demeter’s dark landscapes. The landscape painting evolved in the 19th century, but night landscapes were rare, what with Victorians’ belief that night air was bad for you. Demeter captures the special essence of the Florida night, revealing the cosmic, starry sky that we could see if there were less light pollution.
Florida’s overlooked people and places are the subject matter of Maureen and Spanky Hudas. Spanky photographs abandoned cars, boats and buildings encircled by trees, carpeted by vines and otherwise transformed into something else entirely. In Hudas’ words, his quest is a “cognitive therapeutic outlet” from his day job as scenic painter, revealing eerie scenes no theme park would ever permit.
- detail of "Tokens of Affection," assemblage by Crystal Floyd (photo by Matthew Moyer)
Curator Patrick Greene has assembled a show rich with a palette of natural colors and vivid in highly personal expressions of a state that he loves. Guided by his expert eye, the viewer will come away with some of this love, off the main roads and into the paradise that Florida once was, and still is if one looks deeply enough into the mist.