Water Forum at Santa Fe College

This is an official Santa Fe College press release

• Mallory O’Connoroconnormall@bellsouth.net
• Erin Friedbergfriedbereh@cityofgainesville.org
• Annie Paisawpais@aol.com — Florida’s Eden project
• Julie Garrett, for help facilitating your story, (352) 870-2924 (cell) or (352) 395-5430 (office) or julie.garrett@sfcc.edu

Sept. 10, 2008

Community Water Forum and Water Expo Oct. 3
“The Art and Science of Water: Framing the Issues and Finding Solutions” 

Water—who has it, who wants it, who controls it—has become a major issue throughout Florida. Water has been central to Florida’s allure and has shaped its culture since humans first arrived on the peninsula 12,000 years ago. Over the centuries, this precious resource has been seen by some as something to be exploited. For others, it is a gift to be preserved.

“The Art and Science of Water: Framing the Issues and Finding Solutions,” 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 at Santa Fe College, is a community forum and water expo that brings  together scientists, artists, environmental organizations, educators and journalists to explore the past, present and future of water in our region and to offer strategies for preserving and sustaining this vital but fragile resource.

The program is funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council and is organized by the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Florida’s Eden Project.

The community forum begins at 9 a.m. in the E Auditorium at Santa Fe College’s Northwest Campus. At 9:15 a.m., J.D. Sutton, an actor and William Bartram impersonator, will discuss the changes the famous naturalist experienced in North Florida between visits in 1765 and 1774!

Session One, 9:30-11:30 a.m., will look at water resources and why the St. Johns watershed is so vital to the region’s environment. Bill Belleville, author ofRiver of Lakes, A Journey on Florida’s St. Johns River, chairs the session. Also participating in this session are Cynthia Barnett, author of Mirage, Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. and St. Johns Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon.

Session Two, 1-3 p.m., is chaired by Mallory O’Connor, Professor Emeritus of Art History, Santa Fe College, and curator of Liquid Muse: Paintings of the St. Johns Region, an exhibition of art by 35 Florida artists at the Thomas Center Gallery, Gainesville, through Oct. 19. This session will focus on the work of three artists—Sydney McKennaSpence Guerin, and Margaret Ross Tolbert—whose paintings have been inspired by water and who are passionate about preserving the region’s resources. The artists will show examples of their work and discuss how they use their art to build public awareness of the need for conservation.

Session Three, 3:30-5:30 p.m., is chaired by Annie Pais, co-director of the Florida Eden’s Project and curator of Portray, Preserve, Prosper, an exhibit of works by Florida artists that will be on display in the Santa Fe Gallery in Building M, room 147. This session will look at how artists, writers, musicians and naturalists have collaborated to educate the public and to work for sustainable economic opportunities in the region. Additional participants include Stewart Thomas, co-director of the Florida’s Eden project and Steve Robataille, Santa Fe faculty member and producer of Natural Florida, an electronic presentation of art, music and literature celebrating Florida’s natural beauty and historic culture.

Water Expo
From 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., a variety of organizations will offer displays, information and volunteer opportunities at a Water Expo. The displays will be set up in the corridor between Auditorium E and the Santa Fe Art Gallery. The Water Expo is hosted by SFC Student GovernmentSustainable Santa Fe, and the SFC Department of Fine Arts.

Reception and Gallery Walk with Annie Pais from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Following the forum, a reception will be held at the Santa Fe Gallery.

All events are free and open to the public, and everyone is invited to attend any or all of the planned events.
Groups should RSVP to Julie Garrett, (352) 395-5430 or julie.garrett@sfcc.edu to assure adequate seating.
Those wishing to table at the Water Expo should also contact Julie Garrett.


SFCC “The Art and Science of Water:  Farming the Issues, Identifying the Solutions”
• Annie Pais, exhibit curator and director, Florida’s Eden, (352) 377-0777 or awpais@aol.com
• Gallery Director Jayné Grant, (352) 395-5464 or (352) 317-6977 or jayne.grant@sfcc.edu
• Julie Garrett, for help facilitating your story, (352) 395-5430 or (352) 870-2924 (cell) or julie.garrett@sfcc.edu

Online Resources:
Florida’s Eden webpage on the show
SFC Gallery webpage on the show
One Region, One Book read of Mirage
Press Release
Fact Sheet
Community Water Forum, Scheduled for Oct. 3
“The Art and Science of Water: Farming the Issues, Identifying the Solutions”

Sept. 12, 2008

Portray, Preserve, Prosper Opens at the Santa Fe College Gallery
More than 30 local artists portray area springs
Opening reception, 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19

(Gainesville) —  Santa Fe College is proud to host “Portray, Preserve, Prosper – Florida’s Eden: Springs Heritage Region,” featuring the art of more than 30 of our best known cultural ambassadors inspired by our local springs and rivers. The educational art exhibition is guest curated by artist Annie Pais, director, Florida’s Eden, a non-profit devoted to building a model sustainable environment and economy in 30 North Florida counties.

The exhibit’s many forms, including photographs, sculpture, stained glass and fabric, have a combined effect as refreshing and uplifting as the crystalline waters of the springs themselves. Artists include photographer John Moran, painters Margaret Ross Tolbert and Eleanor Blair, and ceramicist John Tilton (go to www.sfcc.edu orwww.floriaseden.org for a complete list). In addition to great art, several  educational components invite visitors to participate, such as, a collection of plastic water bottles illustrating a typical person’s bottled water consumption over a year, and a challenge to identify local rivers and lakes in an aerial painting of North Florida, sans cities, towns and roads, in Johnny Dane’s “Alamacani Eco-Province.”

Portray, Preserve, Prosper’s opening reception is 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 with catering by Blue Water Bay and music by the Santa Fe Jazz Ensemble. Local author Cynthia Barnett will sign her book, “Mirage, Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.”

The community-wide read of Mirage is the first step in the Florida’s Eden Water Awareness Campaign, designed to build citizen knowledge and dialogue on the most important natural resource — and most valuable economic asset — in our region. Santa Fe College is the first college campus to sign on to the project and is also hosting a community water forum, “The Art and Science of Water: Framing the Issues, Identifying the Solutions” on Friday, Oct. 3.

“Everything we need to protect our natural resources and build a sustainable and prosperous economy is already present right here in our own regional backyard,” said Pais. “These are exciting times and North Florida has a real opportunity to emerge as a national model by making wise choices to preserve our natural resources now instead of restoring them later in crisis.”

Pais said if she can inspire students to be innovative and entrepreneurial, “then I will feel that we’ve succeeded. Each person has something of great value to contribute.”

“My message to students is this: Help us to envision the future — your future — and then share with us how you see yourself and a career in that vision. The next 10 years will introduce a new way of doing almost everything here, and the career opportunities are endless.”

The exhibit will normally be open noon-4 p.m. on weekdays,  but during the community water forum and water expo on Oct. 3, it will be open from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., with a walk through and second reception with Pais from 5:30-6:30 p.m. It runs through Nov. 7.

For more information, contact Annie Pais at (352) 377-0777 or SFC Gallery Director Jayné Grant at (352) 395-5464.


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