Florida Folk Art: Just Above the Water

Florida Folk Art:
Just Above the Water

Florida Folk Art includes an overall view of folk arts in Florida and individual profiles of celebrated artists, including Mary Proctor, Mario Sanchez, Nicholas Toth, Ruby C. Williams, and Purvis Young.

This traveling exhibit is based on the book Just Above the Water: Florida Folk Art by Kristin Congdon and Tina Bucuvalas. The book is the culmination of a five-year project encompassing on-site research, including visits, interviews, and long hours of traveling and gathering information on folk art and artists.

The work of painters, sculptors, master saddle makers, iconographers, and instrument makers is illustrated in the exhibit through black-and-white and color photographs.
Some consider folk art to be art created by self-taught individuals working in an idiosyncratic style, while others believe it to be the expression of traditional cultural forms. Kristin G. Congdon and Tina Bucuvalas argue that artists of both types express innovation and tradition. In many instances, a close examination of the artists and their work reveals much about Florida’s cultural history. The artists clearly are not naive, simple, primitive, or quaint. Like the work they produce, they are sophisticated, expressing their creativity in relation to complex cultural backgrounds.

The Florida Folk Art exhibit will be on display at the St. Petersburg Museum of History from March 22 – June 10, 2017.