On February 5, the Friends of Rookery Bay and the United Arts Council of Collier County will present the 7th Annual Florida Juried Photography Exhibit featuring the flora and fauna of Florida.
The exhibit is being judged this year by pre-eminent photographer Clyde Butcher, who has portrayed his bond with the environment for more than 50 years through powerful black-and-white photographs characterized by elaborate detail and textures.
"I choose to photograph from my heart, which is very different than working with your head," explains Butcher. "When I see a scene that stirs my soul, I photograph it. Since I have been photographing the landscape for over fifty years, I instinctively see texture, value, scale and composition, which create a satisfying photograph to me personally. I’m always glad when it’s well received by others.
The State of Florida has conferred on Butcher the highest award that can be given to a private citizen: the Artist Hall of Fame Award. He was also privileged to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association and given the honor of being Humanitarian of the Year for 2005 from the International University.
Additionally, Butcher received the 2011 Distinguished Artist Award from the Florida House in Washington, D.C. and the Sierra Club has given him the Ansel Adams Conservation Award, which is given to a photographer who shows excellence in photography and has contributed to the public awareness of the environment.
Butcher has completed six Public Broadcasting programs on the environment of Florida, with three of them being award-winning documentaries. Much of his work can be seen in his numerous books, the most recent being America the Beautiful, a table top collection of his work from across the United States, and Portfolio II – Florida, a collection of images from Florida.
Florida Gulf Coast University holds eight prints and three of Butcher's photographs in the portable works component of its public art collection. They can be viewed in Lutgert Hall, Holmes Hall, Academic Building 7, the Library and Campus Support Complex.
Clyde Butcher will attend the February 5 opening reception, which takes place from 5:30-7:00 p.m., and select winners from among the 30 works submitted by 25 artists. Cash awards will be presented and wine and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Admission is $3 for the public and free for participating artists and their guest as well as members of the United Arts Council and the Friends of Rookery Bay.
The Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is located at 300 Tower Road, one mile south of the intersection of US41 and Collier Boulevard (CR951), less than 10 miles from downtown Naples, on the way to Marco Island. For more information, call 239-417-6310 or visit rookerybay.org and facebook.com/friendsofrookerybay.