The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art (LRMA) presents its summer exhibition series highlighting renowned Florida artists who raise awareness of the effects of climate change on our most precious resource… water. Balance of Water: Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse, on view May 21 through August 27, 2022, explores the unseen forces in nature that keep our planet in check and envisions what could happen when imbalance pushes these forces to the brink. Creating a forum for dialog where art and science converge, Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse’s monumental paintings push the conversation of climate change in new directions in a visually poetic way that is all-encompassing, yet intimate in feeling.
This journey through the exhibition mirrors the flow of the Gulf Stream which continues through Florida’s Waterways: Homage to Tarpon Springs, on view May 21 through August 27, 2022. Paintings and sculptures by Christopher Still, Allen Leepa, Bill Renc, Dale Chihuly, and others pay homage to our local waters and touch on environmental issues close to home. Florida’s Waterways continues with a second installment, on view June 18 through October 16, 2022. Artists including Clyde Butcher, Denis Gaston and others consider the human impact on our environment.
Throughout the galleries, artworks are paired with educational text, iPad kiosks, and QR Codes that encourage scientific inquiry. Central to the exhibitions is a gallery in-the-round. Its exterior walls reveal the consequences of this climate crisis as the waters at the equator heat up and set the world ablaze. In contrast, the interior gallery space offers a safe haven where Mickett and Stackhouse’s pristine tidal paintings are a place of reflection.
Balance of Water: Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse
May 21 – August 27, 2022
Balance of Water highlights contemporary artists Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse whose collaborative work raises awareness of the effects of climate change on our waterways. (Artist Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse).
As this delicate ecosystem nears a tipping point, they explore ways to alleviate the warming of our waters and reveal the consequences of the rapidly changing climate with a sense of mindfulness and urgency. Since relocating from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs in 2017, Mickett and Stackhouse unveil their work to their recently adopted community for the first time. This series of sixteen monumental paintings and prints tells the overarching story of the effects of global warming.
Water is the sustenance of all life. It shapes our lands and is essential to our survival. More than two-thirds of our planet is covered in water, yet only 2.5% is drinkable. This finite resource produces energy, sustains our communities, and balances the earth’s climate system. Fossil fuel emissions from human activity is the greatest contributor to global warming. In recent decades, increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases have built up in the earth’s atmosphere causing temperatures and sea levels to rise. Scientists are sounding the alarm as this warming trend has accelerated, leading to shifts in the climate system, which affect our food and water supply, economy, and our future. Important to regulating our climate are the ocean’s global currents, trees, and mangroves, all of which are essential for absorbing CO2. Mickett and Stackhouse use these elements as a common thread throughout this exhibition. Through a visual language comprised of symbols, such as the mangrove and ice cube tray, they weave together a story that raises questions about climate change and offers creative ways to heal our waters.
Art as a universal language provides a visceral experience that encourages meditation and inquiry. Mickett and Stackhouse’s collaborative work inspires us to pause for a moment to contemplate the world around us and compels us to learn more and take action.
Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse have been making art collaboratively for over twenty-two years. They create two-dimensional and three-dimensional art that focuses on water and water-related issues. Museums, collectors, commercial developers, and government agencies collect and commission their work, which includes large-scale sculptural projects throughout the country. Mickett comes to the collaboration from a background of philosophy, film, radio, poetry, and theater, in addition to the visual arts.
With a PhD in philosophy, she worked in academia for over a decade and currently serves on the Boards of Tarpon Springs Sustainability, the Pinellas County Urban League, and North Pinellas Advocates for Racial Equity. Stackhouse is a renowned sculptor, painter, and printmaker with an honorary doctorate from the University of South Florida. His work is collected by the Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Australia, and other major museums. (Left: Image: Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse, Imbalance of Fire, 2020, acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, 92 ½ x 56 ¾ in. Courtesy of the artists.).
As the 2020 Creative Pinellas Art Laureates, Mickett and Stackhouse received Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay Critic Award for the science conversations they conducted during their Expanding Waters exhibition. In 2021, they were honored to be Artists-At-Sea aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s ocean-research vessel Falkor. Their most recent project includes a collaboration with choreographer Paula Kramer, dancer Helen French, and musician John O’Leary for BEACON 2022.
Florida’s Waterways: Homage to Tarpon Springs
May 21 – August 27, 2022
Balance of Water debuts the work of collaborative team Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse to their recently adopted community of Tarpon Springs. In support of this exhibition, Florida’s Waterways features two installments of selected works from the LRMA collection which are interpreted through the lens of climate change on our state’s diverse waters and beyond.
Florida’s Waterways: Homage to Tarpon Springs, on view May 21 through August 27, 2022, welcomes Mickett and Stackhouse to our community by making connections with fellow Tarpon Springs artists Allen Leepa, Christopher Still, and others, about water and climate change. Pointing north towards Tarpon Springs’ historic sponge docks, LRMA’s Atrium gallery highlights paintings and sculptures by five renowned artists who are tied to our community and pay homage to our surrounding waters and marine life. Works by Allen Leepa, Christopher Still, Dale Chihuly, Bill Renc, and Nancy Cervenka touch on environmental issues close to home. Florida’s diverse waterways and low-lying lands are the most affected by climate change in the United States. It is imperative, now more than ever, that we protect our natural resources and our future.
Florida’s Waterways Works on Paper
June 18 – October 16, 2022
Florida’s Waterways continues with a second installment, on view June 18 through October 16, 2022, in the Lothar and Mildred Uhl Works on Paper Gallery. From rivers and marshes to the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, photographers Clyde Butcher, Barry Anderson, and Robert von Sternberg, and painter Denis Gaston, explore life above and below the surface as we consider the human impact on our environment and the accelerated effects of global warming.
April 5 – July 10, 2022
YOU GOOD? is an exhibition that was made possible through a partnership between Creative Pinellas, Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete, Pinellas Wellness Connection, and St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA). This exhibit highlights 16 Pinellas County artists, and writers, who were given the question “you good?” as a starting point when they created the work on display.
The goal of YOU GOOD? is to destigmatize mental health, behavioral health, and addiction, to create space for our community to ask for help when they simply aren’t good. To find mental health services through Pinellas Wellness Connection visit: http://stpe.co/yougood Above: Organized by Creative Pinellas, this traveling exhibition features 16 local artists who destigmatize mental health by creating space for our community to ask for help when they simply aren’t good.
Participating Visual Artists:
Paul Berrara, Nikki Devereux, Javier T. Dones, Wooley Dutton, Gail Hoffman, Carrie Jadus, Reid Jenkins, Jim Kammerud, Alex Kaufman, Dacota Maphis, Mark Mitchell, Jabari Reed, Teresa Sullivan, Cindy Tremaine, Fred Woods, Steven Oliver, and Zulu Painter.
Mary Chris Bailey, Meisha Brundridge-Baker, Chelsea Catherine, Tyler Gillespie, Mitzi Gordon, Amanda Hagood, Tenea D. Johnson, Lisa L. Kirchner, Ian Lindsey, Brooks Peters, Anda Peterson, Anthony Peterson, Pedro el Poeta, Gianna Russo, Saudade Toxosi, and Gios Typos.
Gallery Talk: Balance of Water with Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse
Sunday, May 22, 2022
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
SPC Tarpon Springs Campus, Fine Arts Building Auditorium
Admission is free but donations are welcome
Join LRMA Curator Christine Renc-Carter and Tarpon Springs artists Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse as they discuss raising awareness of climate change on our waterways through art.
Gallery Talk: Interior Waterways and Climate Change with Carol Mickett and Mallory Dimmitt
Thursday, July 21, 2022
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Interactive Gallery
Free admission, donations welcome
Join artist Carol Mickett and conservationist Mallory Dimmitt, CEO of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Coalition, as they discuss the importance of the waterways in the interior of the state of Florida and how they impact and are impacted by climate change.
Also on View: Abraham Rattner: French Watercolors; Artistic Journeys; Elemental: Fine Crafts from the Collection; Made in Florida: The Art of Giving.
About the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
Opened to the public in 2002, LRMA is a modern and contemporary art museum with a collection of more than 7,000 works of 20th and 21st century art. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by Abraham Rattner, a renowned figurative expressionist; Esther Gentle, Rattner’s second wife and a printmaker, sculptor, and painter; Allen Leepa, Rattner’s stepson and an abstract expressionist artist; and an extensive collection of works by notable 20th century artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger and Henry Moore.
The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, a distinction held by only 6 percent of all U.S. museums. LRMA is located just west of U.S. Highway 19 at 600 E. Klosterman Road, on the Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg College. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission by donation. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Additional information available at leeparattner.org.
Content and images coutesy of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at the St. Petersburg College for editorial purposes only-all rights reserved. (Feature image above: From the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, artists explore life above and below the surface and consider the human impact on our environment.Image: Clyde Butcher, Loxahatchee River #1, 1991, gelatin silver print, 48 x 72 in., LRMA Collection, from the Gulf Coast Museum of Art Collection, GC1995.016.
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