The Lee Trust for Historic Preservation has announced that it is adding a Gallery Talk to its program of events associated with the opening of the ArtCalusa exhibition this weekend. The Gallery Talk will be a free presentation by renowned artist Jackson Walker entitled “Juan Ponce de León: The Romance and the Reality” that will take place on Saturday (November 2, 2013) at 10:30 a.m. in the City Pier Building at 1300 Hendry Street, Fort Myers.
Walker’s gallery talk is part of the opening weekend of the ArtCalusa: Reflections on Representation exhibition that begins with a VIP reception on Friday night. Following Jackson Walker’s Gallery Talk on Saturday morning, there will be a Florida Humanities Council-sponsored free forum, Art Meets Archaeology, at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets to the Friday night gala are $50 and include music by Kat Epple, Calusa-inspired culinary treats by Chef Michael Gavala, meet-and-greets with the participating artists and a lecture by Dr. Jerald Milanich, who will explore the 420-year-old mystery of Theodore de Bry’s engravings in his presentation, “Tattooed Ladies: Do Theodore de Bry’s Iconic 1591 Engravings of Florida Indians Reflect Reality or Something Else?” Tickets for the VIP reception are available through the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center at www.sbdac.com or (239) 333-1933. A published exhibition catalogue of all works will also be available for purchase.
ArtCalusa: Reflections on Representation is a signature Viva Florida 500 event, part of the statewide initiative led by the Florida Department of State, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott. Viva Florida 500 serves to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León to the land he named La Florida in 1513. Unknown to many, Juan Ponce de León’s voyage was the first documented landing of a European explorer in what is now the continental United States.
Jackson Walker’s painting in the ArtCalusa exhibition, and his presentation build on the Viva Florida 500 theme. Knowing the significance of the 500-year anniversary of Juan Ponce de León’s voyage, Walker began his painting They Called It La Florida as a personal project in 2011. The Florida House on Capitol Hill subsequently purchased the painting and is generously exhibiting it at multiple venues across Florida through 2014 when it will be permanently installed in Washington, D.C.
Jackson Walker is a native born, fifth generation Floridian who has undertaken the task of bringing Florida’s rich history to life with his large epic paintings. His research includes travel to archaeological sites and consulting with historians and scholars. With painstaking attention to detail, the stories are visually interpreted in a traditional, narrative painting style. As a self-taught artist, Walker was influenced by well known illustrative artists like N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle and Edouard Detaille. His unique storyteller’s approach takes the viewer into a place as it might have appeared in reality.
Jackson Walker’s paintings of Florida and its history are included in prestigious collections of both public institutions and private collectors. His numerous awards include the 2011 Audubon of Florida Artist of the Year, 2008 Florida House Artist of the Year, and 1995 Florida Commendation Medal by the Florida National Guard for his documentation of Florida’s military history.
Florida House on Capitol Hill in Washington in partnership with the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at the University of Central Florida developed an accompanying interactive program to share the compelling story of the landing of Juan Ponce de León on the shores of “La Florida.” The Florida House on Capitol Hill expresses gratitude to Florida Blue, members of the Juan Ponce de Leon Society at Florida House and the generous people of Florida for bringing this program to a reality.
ArtCalusa sponsors include the College of Life Foundation, Lee County Tourist Development Council, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Florida Humanities Council, Florida Anthropological Society and True Tours.