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82ºW / Six Degrees of Separation
Thomas Center Main Gallery
January 20–May 12, 2017
Opening Reception:
Friday, January 20, 2017, 5:30–7:30pm

The work of eight contemporary Cuban artists will open with a reception honoring guest artists Osmeivy Ortega and Lisandra Ramírez. Three of the artists and the Curator, Gabriela Azcuy, will be the guests of honor at the opening reception.

At the gallery opening, guest artists Lisandra Ramírez and Osmeivy Ortega, as well as Curator Gabriela Azcuy will speak informally at 7 pm. The topic of the talk is Cuba Ahora – the Next Generation.

Exhibition curated by Gabriela Azcuy and Anne E. Gilroy

Featured Artists
Adriana Arronte | Adrián Fernández | Marlys Fuego
Osmeivy Ortega | Jorge Otero | Lisandra Ramírez
Adislen Reyes | Gustavo Del Valle

82ºW / Six Degrees of Separation Pop-up
Woodcuts of Osmeivy Ortega
Opening Reception:
Saturday, January 14, 2017, 7–10pm
2029 NW 6th Street, Gainesville

Premier Cuban printmaker Osmeivy Ortega comes from Havana to Gallery Protocol to install and open a pop-up exhibit of his oversize woodcut prints.

Exhibit Hours:
Sunday, January 15, 12 pm – 3 pm, Monday, January 16, 10 am – 5 pm.

Opening reception and party is a festive evening with a Cuban beat! Cigars, mojitos, and Cuban small bites to the sounds of Reggaeton.

Both of the 82ºW exhibitions are part of the region-wide Bulla Cubana celebration of Cuban culture and are free and open to the public with the support of Milestone Advisory Partners.



Peel, War Hero Series, Jorge Otero

They are coming, Lisandra Ramírez

Untitled, (detail) Osmeivy Ortega

Showcasing Student Student Art
Elementary Exhibition
March 11 –April 8, 2017

Secondary Exhibition
April 22 – May 16, 2017
Reception: Thursday, May 4, time TBD

The exhibition includes works of art that were created during the 2016-2017 school year in Alachua County by students who were selected by teachers from participating schools.

The School Board of Alachua County’s Visual Arts Showcasing Program is designed to share the excellence of student art with the community.

Two Ways to Look By Jayden Garniss,
Idylwild Elementary
James Miller Instructor

Woman from Archetype to Abstraction
September 30, 2016–January 10, 2017

Mezzanine Gallery
Opening: Fri., September 30, 7:00–10:00 pm,
Artwalk Gainesville

An expansive group exhibit of drawing, painting and sculpture featuring woman as Muse. Curated by Anne E. Gilroy, the exhibit is in the Historic Thomas Center’s Mezzanine Gallery from Friday, Sept. 30 to Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Featured artists include Anthony Ackrill, Brianna Angelakis, Dessarae Bassil, Christina Carfora, Ani Collier, Adreena Cook, Tom D., Angela DeCarlis, George Ferreira, Amy Freeman, Laurie Hitzig, Barb Howe, Daniel Hughes, G.V. Kelley, Louise Leak, Jeffrey Luque, Gorge Mangual, John Moran, Daniel Nevins, Susan Ober, Marta Pérez, Melanie Peter, Lauren Reveri, Jesse Rhoads, Cindy Steiler, Daniel Stepp, Mark Stock, John Ward, Alison Ward, Art Werger and Nika Zakharov.

Press Release

Opening Reception Flickr Gallery

Venus, (detail) Artist: Art Weger, Photo: Mateo Puig

Jesse J. Aaron–Sculptor
May 27–December 30, 2016

“I never try to second guess the Lord,” said Jesse Aaron when he felt he had been called by God to carve wood. Sculpture by Aaron (1887 to 1979) featured in the Main Gallery, previously the kitchen of the Hotel Thomas, where Aaron worked for a few years as a cook.

Press Release

Opening Reception Flickr Gallery

Self-portrait, Artist: Jesse J. Aaron

Lennie Kesl–Portrait Artist
May 27–September 20, 2016

Drawings of familiar faces by Gainesville artist Leonard E. Kesl (1926 to 2012) in the Mezzanine Gallery, along with photographic portraits of the late artist by his daughter, Charlotte Kesl. This exhibit commemorates the anniversary of Kesl’s 90th birthday.

Press Release

Opening Reception Flickr Gallery



Portrait by Lennie Kesl
Untitled, Artist: Lennie Kesl, Photo: Charlotte Kesl

March 24–May 14, 2016
Opening: Thurs., March 24, 5:30–7:30 pm
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A curatorial treasure hunt yields exquisite gems of painting, poetry, and literature from the work and collections of artists and authors.

Press Release

Opening Reception
Flickr Gallery


Currents, (detail) Artist: Trish Vevera

Visual Arts Program Showcases
K-12: January 16–February 20, 2016
Secondary: February 27–April 2, 2016
Elementary: April 9–May 7, 2016


Enchanted Forest, Student Artist: Alyssa Gerochi

The Self by Emanuel Torres Pérez
January 15 – March 15, 2016

A solo exhibit of introspective and conceptual self-portraiture by an award-winning, young Puerto Rican artist. Features contemporary works of multimedia drawings, paintings and prints.

Exhibition organized with the support of Héctor Puig and
Héctor Framing & Gallery.

Opening: Fri., January 15, 5:30–7:30 pm
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Special Jewel Box Concert: Elio Piedra's Quartet
7:30 pm

Special Jewel Box Concert: Elio’s Quartet at 7:30 pm
Join us for a free performance. Winner of the 2009 International Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba, Elio Piedra’s Quartet fuses an innovative mixture of styles and sounds, ranging from Smooth Jazz, Gospel, Swing, and Funk, to Classical Music, with roots in Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz. To hear music from their new CD “Pathway” visit:

Untitled by Emanuel Torres Perez
Untitled, Artist: Emanuel Torres Pérez

AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs
October 1, 2015–January 6, 2016
Opening: Thursday, October 1, 5:30-7:30 pm

The Thomas Center Galleries announce the opening of AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs, an expansive exhibition to be presented in the Historic Thomas Center’s Main and Mezzanine galleries from Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015 to Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. The opening reception for the exhibition is Thursday, Oct. 1 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs is curated by Margaret Ross Tolbert, and is based on her award-winning book of the same title. A multi-media art experience in the truest sense, the exhibition will juxtapose Tolbert’s dramatic, large-scale springs paintings and eloquent poetry with contributing artists’ and scientists’ photographs, videos, cartography and writings. Featured will be the underwater photography by Jill Heinerth, Mark Long and Tom Morris, and springs maps by Eric Hutcheson, Georgia Shemitz and Jhwum-Ki-ak.

Among the most remarkable natural wonders of the Sunshine State is the seldom-seen, underground Floridan aquifer system, a 100,000 square mile life force that reaches into neighboring states and feeds more than 1,000 freshwater springs throughout Florida.AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs is intended to give the audience a greater understanding and appreciation of Florida’s subterranean water system, while celebrating its extraordinary beauty and that of the fragile springs that arise from the system’s depths.

The opening reception of AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs will be followed by a music concert inspired by the land and waters of Florida and beyond, performed by Patchwork, an award-winning, five-piece female folk/bluegrass group that is a favorite of Florida festivals

Press Release - July 16, 2015

Press Release - September 16, 2015

AQUIFERious Facebook Group

Opening reception sponsor: First Magnitude Brewing Company

Over the course of the exhibition, the Thomas Center Galleries will present a number of programs and opportunities for discussion about the springs, and how they serve as a rich platform to connect art and science.

Companion events include:
Deeper into AQUIFERious: A Conversation with the Contributors
Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. (Galleries open at 6 p.m.)
The world-renowned artists, cave divers, scientists, mapmakers and writers who contributed to the “AQUIFERious” book and exhibition share their research and passion for the springs and the aquifer.

Extreme Adventures: Cave Divers Tell Their Stories
Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. (Galleries open at 7 p.m.)
Discoveries, rescues, breakthroughs and thrills abound when the modern-day explorers share their experiences in the fantastic springs caves of north Florida.

Immersed: An Evening of Springs Films 
Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. (Galleries open at 6 p.m.) 
Noted directors take the stage to screen segments from their films including: Jill Heinerth’s “We are Water,” Bill Belleville and Bob Giguere’s new “Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs,” “Eric Flagg’s Ichetucknee Springs,” Lesley Gamble’s otherworldly films, the creators of the Sirena film shorts and others.

Wet Talks: Springs Lovers’ Show and Tell
Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. (Galleries open at 6 p.m.)
Adding their voice to AQUIFERious, enthusiasts will be given three minutes to share their springs passion, efforts or expertise in photography, poetry, writing, or simply the spoken word. To participate, call 352-393-8185, bring a flash drive and/or sign up at the event to take your turn at the podium.

Springs for Hiram, (detail of right panel) by Margaret Ross Tolbert
Springs for Hiram, (detail of right panel)
Margaret Ross Tolbert

June 26–September 19, 2015
Opening: Friday, June 26, 7:00 –10:00 pm
BEAUTY & THE BEASTS invites the viewer to explore a menagerie of images inspired by curiosity and connection with the creatures of land,
sea and air. From beastly creatures to man’s best friend, the images of over 30 artists who find their Muse in the animal kingdom are showcased. This expansive exhibition of drawings, paintings, and sculpture is curated by Anne E. Gilroy. Opening reception sponsored by Leonardo's 706.

Press Release - June 4, 2015

Flickr Gallery of Opening Reception

The Awakening, Brianna Angelakis
The Awakening
Brianna Angelakis

May 8 – June 20, 2015
Opening: Thursday, May 7, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Site-specific paintings by Florida artists highlight the Thomas Center’s open-space Mezzanine Gallery and the changing cloudscape and luminosity of the arching glass ceiling over the Spanish Court.

ROOM FOR REFLECTION Photographs by Jan Zamojski
A body of single-exposure photographs, capturing the reflected play of light on glass through both the camera lens and the sensitive eye of the artist. Looking at, through and beyond the surfaces of places and objects, ROOM FOR REFLECTION offers the viewer a different glimpse of the world and its layered possibilities.

Press Release

Flickr Gallery


Blue Dream (Detail) Artist: Irene Salley
Blue Dream
Irene Salley

Betwixt the Magical & the Macabre

March 26 – May 30, 2015
Opening: Thursday, March 26, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
TIGHTROPE - Betwixt the Magical & the Macabre presents art balanced between the heebie-jeebies and the heroics we undertake to bolster our bravado against what goes bump in the night. Viewers are invited to enter a world of fantasy and fear given form by artists. The exhibited art encompasses a range of media with a particularly interesting selection of work by printmakers. The exhibition is intended for mature viewers, with images ranging from the fantastical to the frightening.

Press Release

Flickr Gallery


The Fun Fair (La Fîte Foraine) (Detail) Artist: Camille Bombois
The Fun Fair (La Fîte Foraine)
Camille Bombois

January 9-March 14, 2015
Open Friday, January 9, 5:30-7:30 pm

A look at nearly 100 paintings of the paintings of self-taught Gainesville artist Eddy Mumma before the collection travels to the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore for a national debut.

Press Release
Exhibit Photos on Flickr

Untitled by Eddy Mumma
Mr. Eddy Mumma

Mezzanine Gallery

2014 Showcase
November 21, 2014–January 3, 2014
Reception: December 6, 6–8 p.m.
Free and Open to the Public.

This juried exhibition features the work of dozens of Gainesville’s artists in a variety of media.

Press Release
Exhibit Photos on Flickr

Nuestra Senora de Monserrate
Peeking Through Poe Springs
Tina Corbett

Main Gallery

September 27, 2014–January, 3, 2015
The Santos of Xavier Colón
Reception: Saturday, September 27, 6:00–9:00 pm

The centuries-old Hispanic tradition of depicting "Santos" continues as this young master presents his renditions of The Madonna.

Press Release
Exhibit Photos on Flickr

Nuestra Senora de Monserrate
Nuestra Señora de Monserrate
Xavier Colón

June 27–September 20, 2014
Portraits with Presence
Reception: Friday, June 27, 6:00–10:00 pm

A contemporary look at the timeless tradition of portraiture and the artist's ongoing quest to capture a sense of the presence of a person on canvas and paper.

Angela by Daniel Hughs
Young Girl
Daniel Hughes

March 28–June 21, 2014
The Work of Ron Haase
Reception: Friday, March 28, 7:00–10:00 pm

While abstract, this work by the noted architect and author reflects the sense of place inherent in our regional landscape and state's vernacular architecture.

Red Boat
Red Boat House 1
Ron Haase

May 10–June 21, 2014
Our Neighbors of European Heritage
Reception: Sunday, May 11, 3:00–5:00 pm

A multi-media art exhibition features student interviews and depictions of local residents with family roots in the European continent.

Getting to Know
Getting to Know You

October 4 – January 4, 2014

The Art of Lorelei Esser
Opening Reception: Friday, October 4, 5:30-8:00 pm

This dynamic, immersive installation of three-dimensional sculptures, mobiles and wall reliefs is created from a variety of materials and found objects. Once deteriorating pieces are reclaimed, repurposed and reborn into Esser's own mythology, carrying portents of redemption or renewal.

Presented with the support of Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board.
Lorelei Esser artwork photographed by Randy Batista.

"Tour the Gallery with Lorelei" (free)
Friday, October 25 at 7:30 pm on "Artwalk Gainesville" night

Whiskey Creek
St. Francis
Lorelei Esser

November 22, 2013–January 4, 2014
2013 Showcase
Reception: Saturday, December 7, 6:00–8:00 pm

An annual tradition, this exhibition features the work of dozens of Gainesville's finest artists.

Facing the Sun
Facing the Sun
Alfred Phillips

September 13–November 16, 2013
Alachua County Public Schools Staff Exhibition
Reception: Friday, October 4, 5:30–8:00 pm

This special exhibition showcases the extraordinary talent and creativity of the Alachua County Public Schools' staff members.

Whiskey Creek
Whiskey Creek
Diane Brody


May 24 - September 7, 2013
and their Progeny

Opening Reception and Concert:
Reception is on Thursday, May 30, 2013 from 6:30-9:30
Willie Green’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m
The event is free and open to the Public

The BLUES PIONEERS and their Progeny exhibition will feature over 40 colorful folk-art style illustrations of many of the 20th century’s giants of the blues, as well as other legendary musicians who whose style was influenced by these trailblazers. Each portrait will be accompanied by a brief description of the musicians’ lives and their significant accomplishments. In addition, viewers will be able to access a representative recording on their smartphones from each of the artists’ musical catalogues via at:

To mark the exhibition’s opening, the Shakerag Culture Center, Inc. is collaborating with Thomas Center Galleries to present singer, guitarist and harmonica player Willie Green in concert. Green is a beloved Delta style bluesman, who now calls Ocala home. He worked as a migrant farm worker from 4th grade to the age of 40 and, before gaining fame as a musician, made a living as a truck driver, pipe layer and lawn maintenance man. He learned the blues in his early teens when he would hitchhike or hop a freight train to hear the old blues masters playing in juke joints in other towns. He is self-taught on both harmonica and guitar. Now a widely respected artist, he has opened shows for John Hammond, Jr. (who calls Green "the real deal"), John Lee Hooker, Jr., James Cotton, and many others including the legendary Eric Clapton.

The BLUES PIONEERS and their Progenyexhibition is presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department with the support of Grooveshark, the Possum County Folk Art Gallery, Randy Batista Photography and the Shakerag Culture Center, Inc.. Willie Green’s exclusive management is Rick Ambrose Productions.

Explore the BLUES PIONEERS exhibit online.

Blues Pioneers Exhibit Artwork by Ty the Portrait Guy
Ty the Portrait Guy


March 29 – June 22, 2013
Main Gallery
in Florida History, Mythology and Art

Opening Reception: Friday, March 29, 7–10 pm

Commemorating the 500th Anniversary Ponce de Leon’s Landing in Florida over 30 original art works by contemporary Florida artists that will document the history of the Fountain story in Florida and explore interpretations of the significance of the story in their own lives and in the life of our community.

Don't miss THE QUEST FOR THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH companion exhibition at The Doris (716 North Main St.) March 29 – April 23. For more info, go to

Fountain of Youth

Fountain of Youth Sue Jester
Sue Jester

The Fountain by Linda Chapman
Linda Chapman

January 11 – March 23, 2013
This Wondrous Place

Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 2013, 5–7 pm

Rare photographs, documents, multi-media exhibits and the work of Gainesville’s leading artists will tell the story of the 156 year old, 53 acre Evergreen Cemetery, one of Gainesville’s most historic and beautiful sites.

Curated by Burton J. "Jimi" Brown, J.D. Ph.D. with Susan Stewart, this new history and art exhibition tells the story of the 53-acre Evergreen Cemetery from its founding in 1856 and shines light on the many important historical figures for which it is their final resting place. In addition, throughout the exhibition numerous works by six of Gainesville's leading artists—Frank Barone, Randy Batista, Eleanor Blair, John O'Connor, Bob Senesac and Anne Seraphine—interpret the great beauty and moving emotion of the site.

Sponsored by

Sponsored by LocalEdge, OConnorArt, VisitGainesville, and the Matheson Museum

Following the reception, the Shakerag Culture Center, Inc. and the City of Gainesville are pleased to present a concert by The Rowan Cunningham Band, in the Thomas Center's beautiful Spanish Court at 7 p.m. The evening is free and open to the public.

Anne Seraphine, Frank Barone, Eleanor Blair, and Bob Senesac

October 5, 2012– January 5, 2013
Main Gallery
Through the Lens of The Gainesville Sun

Featuring over 50 of the Sun’s finest photographs documenting the University of Florida’s 3 National Championship Football Seasons. Curated by Rob Witzel, Deputy Director of Photography, Gainesville Sun. Taken by the Gainesville Sun’s superb team of photojournalists, the work on display will covey the vast range of human emotion that the athletes, coaches and fans experienced during the 1996, 2006 and 2008 football seasons on the road to one of sports’ most coveted prizes, the national championship in college football.

“This exhibition will allow us to see these extraordinary images once again… not as we first did as recaps of yesterday’s game on the sports page or online,” says Russell Etling, the City’s Cultural Programs Coordinator, “but as the works of masters of their craft finding… in the words of father of modern photojournalism Henri Cartier-Bresson… the supreme moment captured with a single shot,”

Sponsored by
Sponsors for Championship Seasons

Opening Reception: October 12, 5–7 pm

Championship Seasons

Past Mezzanine Gallery Exhibits

January 11 – February 16, 2013
Showcasing Student Art (K-12)
Reception: Thursday, January 17, 6:30–8 pm

Presented by the Alachua County Public Schools Visual Arts Program, this exhibition will feature the work of over 80 budding artists from over twenty-five K through 12 schools.

ACPS Caitlyn Hardcastle
Caityln Hardcastle
February 22 – March 30, 2013
Showcasing Student Art (Secondary)
Reception: Thursday, February 28, 6:30–8 pm
Artworks by Alachua County Public Schools' Secondary School students will be showcased and celebrated on the walls of the Historic Thomas Center.
April 5 – May 18, 2013
Showcasing Student Art (Elementary)
Reception: Tuesday, April 9, 6:30–8 pm
Charming student art from Alachua County Public Schools' Elementary Schools will represent the promise of wonderful things to come.
November 17 – January 5, 2013
Celebrate Design (American Institute of Architects)
The Celebrate Design exhibition features a selection of projects from both AIA Gainesville and AIA Florida chapters. A free public reception and award ceremony will be held Tuesday, Nov. 20 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. This year's guest speaker is John Zona, AIA, architect of two winning AIA Florida 100 Buildings: the Baughman Center at the University of Florida and Mandi's Chapel located near Live Oak
. AIA is a professional association seeking to further the profession and public awareness of architects. 
Reception: Tuesday, November 20, 6–8 pm

September 7 – November 10, 2012
Mezzanine Gallery
More Night Paintings by Melanie Peter

AFTER DARK More Night Paintings by Melanie Peter will feature dozens of works by the celebrated regional artist whose unique paintings shed new light on the world we see around us long after the sun has gone down.

Melanie Peter is a fourth generation Floridian. She paints the after dark neighborhoods near her North Central Florida home. Her inspiration might be the direct result of having played endless games of spotlight tag as a child, of thrilling helter-skelter night flights into Leesburg’s yards, trees and lakeshores. Peter’s paintings have been exhibited at Boca Raton Museum, Appleton Museum and Hippodrome State Theater, as well as in many fine gallery and national juried exhibitions.

In speaking of a mosaic of over 50 of Peter’s pieces, which she is lending to the exhibition, collector Lauren Richardson says, “I am very excited to see the night paintings in a public space again. I think they are masterfully done and document Gainesville more uniquely than any other artist. Melanie has captured the aura of each place, something mysterious that only appears at night.”

Of her paintings Peter says, “My night paintings evoke the comfort of identity with place. Many are paintings of Gainesville, but these places might be anywhere, in any hometown or city. The feeling that darkness is somehow a threat is dispelled. There is light in the darkness. Home and comfort are found wherever the lights are on.”

Opening Reception Friday, September 7, 5–7 pm

Melanie Peters After Dark

July 7– September 1, 2012
Mezzanine Gallery
Gainesville Fine Arts Association 2012 Summer Showcase

The Gainesville Fine Arts Association (GFAA) will be presenting the 2012 Summer Showcase at the Historic Thomas Center, July 7th though September 1st. An opening reception for members and the general public will be held on the Thomas Center's Mezzanine, Thursday, July 19th, 5-7 p.m.

The Summer Showcase is a non-juried event open to all members. This year approximately 50 artists will display their most current work (various media represented) as the GFAA celebrates Summer at the Thomas Center!

Opening Reception: July 19, 5–7 pm

Sumiko Davis - Dudley Farm

Susan C Johnson - Friends


June 30 – September 29, 2012
Main Gallery
Picture/Story II

The collection of paintings in Picture/Story II are built upon the observational, figurative work of ten artists, both emeritus and emerging, who over time have influenced one another as students, teachers, and colleagues.

Displayed without titles, each artwork in the exhibition entices the viewer with a hint of narrative mystery.  Viewers are invited not only to imagine the story within the picture, but also to share it in written form for other viewers to consider.

Picture/Story II is reprised and expanded from an exhibition curated by Anne Gilroy and sponsored by the David T. Warner Foundation, Inc. at the Bellamy Road Fine Arts Gallery in November, 2011. The current expanded version of the exhibition is being held at the Historic Thomas Center in tribute to the late Mr. Warner, whose support of the visual and literary arts has been a significant influence in our region. 

Opening Reception: July 19, 5–7 pm

Daniel Stepp Vacuum

John Ward - Double Portrait

May 5 – June 23, 2012
Main Gallery
In a Southern Garden

Curated by Tim Malles, In a Southern Garden  will feature the work of 16 Gainesville-based artists created during two days (March 9 and 10) of plein air (from the French words for “open air”) painting in the enchanting gardens of the historic Thomas Center and Matheson Museum. Plein air painting challenges artists to capture what they see in front of them, as well the light, the atmosphere and feeling of the moment in time in which they are working. These captured “impressions” are the hallmark of this style of painting, which traces its roots and popularity back to 19th Century Europe.

Reception: Sunday, May 13 (Mother's Day) 2-4 pm

Refreshments and piano performance by Stephen Dolbier from 2:00–3:00 pm, followed by a poetry reading from 3:00–4:00 pm by Lawrence Hetrick and Sean Sexton. A portion of the sale of the artwork, as well as Mr. Hetrick and Mr. Sexton's books benefit the Thomas Center Associates, a membership organization that supports ongoing programs and events at the Thomas Center.

Sponsored by:

Robin Popp

In a Southern Garden

In a Southern Garden

May 26 – June 30, 2012
Mezzanine Gallery
Art Teachers Exhibit
Beyond the Classroom

The exhibition includes over 25 works by 12 teachers in a variety of media. Educators represented are: Paula Anderson, Jennifer Bennett, Louise Brown, Monica Coker, Linda Henderson, Amy Horstmeyer, Cassie Miles, Sherrie Pettigrew, Deanna Price, Cynthia J. Starr, Lori Swarthout and Linda Zidonik.

“Throughout the year we celebrate the work of the talented young students in the Alachua County Public Schools.” says Russell Etling, Cultural Affairs Programs Coordinator for the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “It is fitting we wrap up the year by featuring the work of those talented art teachers who do so much to inspire their students to express themselves creatively while instilling in them a lifelong appreciation of art.”

Reception: Thursday, June 7

Linda Zidonik Sherrie Pettigrew
Louise Brown

2012 Past Exhibitions


Redeemed by Art

January 7 – February 25, 2012
Main Gallery
Redeemed by Art: Al Black’s Highwaymen Murals
Photographs by Gary Monroe

In the 1960s, a group of self-trained African American artists began producing iconic Florida landscapes in and around the Fort Pierce area. They became known as The Highwaymen because they sold their paintings alongside the roads frequented by tourists. Al Black (b. 1946) was one of them. For more than thirty years, he worked with the group as both salesman and painter. Then in 1997, found guilty of fraud and possession of drugs, Al Black went to prison. He was about to begin the most productive decade of his life. Encouraged while incarcerated by Dr. Diane Rechtine and Warden Ron McAndrew, Black began to paint Highwaymen style murals throughout the prison. When he left prison in 2006, he had created more than 100 murals that transformed the drab walls of the institution into windows of hope and beauty. Intrigued by Al’s story, Gary Monroe, professor of art and photography at Daytona State College, photographed the prison murals in the context in which they were created. Monroe, author of The Highwaymen: Florida’s African American Landscape Artists and Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman, brings a depth of knowledge and a unique perspective to his subject. Through his photographs, he tells us a story about the power of art as a force for change and as a possible means of redemption.

More Florida's Highwaymen Art
MaryAnn Carroll
Two Exhibits - One City

March 2 – April  28, 2012
Main Gallery
Region4: Transformation Through Imagination

The Region4: Transformation Through Imagination exhibition features works by 17 artists who seek to transform the reality of the local Cabot/Koppers EPA Superfund site into images that convey both the history of the issue and the possibilities for restoration and positive change. The artists have used scientific data from the site to create their art works, often forming partnerships with scientists who served as consultants on the projects. The artists have also worked to portray the concerns, hopes, beliefs and experiences of the people whose lives have been affected by the site over the past 30 years. The goal of the exhibition is to inform and explore, while offering strategies for healing the community and the land.

It is also hoped that through the exhibition and related programs, the public will learn about the long struggle to remediate the site and how important this remediation is to the health and well-being of our community.

The Artists
The 17 artists who are participating in the Region4: Transformation Through Imagination exhibit include: Kate Barnes, Stacey Breheny, Anthony Castronovo, Jerry Cutler, Bonita Dewiliby, Lorelei Esser, Florida Research Ensemble, Katerie Gladdys, Tom Hundersmarck, Nitin Jayaswal, Debra Lindberg, Jill Murphree-Leitner, John A. O'Connor, Melanie Peter, Sherrie Pettigrew, Anne Stagg, and Margaret Ross Tolbert. Scientific consultants and other collaborators include Lu Cao, Pat Cline, Ky Gress, Wes Lindberg, Tom Morris, Anna Prizzia, Barbara Jo Revelle, Whitney Sanford, Jack Stenner, Greg Ulmer and Samuel Lopez De Victoria. A video documentary of the project by Wes Lindberg is also included in the exhibit.

Friday, March 2 - 5 to 7 pm: Opening reception, Gallery Talk and Cinema Verde Film Preview

Friday, March 30 - 6 pm: Brook Singer Lecture
Brooke Singer is a media artist who lives in New York City. Her work blurs the borders between science, technology, politics and arts practices. She works across different media to provide entry into important social issues that are often characterized as specialized to a general public. Brooke's current work includes, an online, data visualization application that consists of 365 Superfund sites.

The exhibition was organized by the Superfund Art Project (SAP) in collaboration with Protect Gainesville Citizens (PGC). Formed in 2008, SAP is a creative public outreach component of the Protect Gainesville's Citizens group. The mission of SAP is "to use all forms of art to express the science and emotions associated with living near an EPA Superfund site. The SAP envisions citizens and the government working together, using art and science to inform the community while healing and transforming the site." The exhibition and related programs are funded by a grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and are managed by oconnorartLLC, a Gainesville-based art consulting business.


Left Behind by J. O'Connor
John A Connor

Citizen Bio-Detector by A. Castronovo
Anthony Castronovo

Peace Pole by L.Esser
Lorelie Esser

Urban Entomologyd by N.Jayaswal
Nitin Jayaswal

Unintended Consquence by A. Stagg
Anne Stagg

This Water by S.Pettigrew
Sherrie Pettigrew

April 21 – May 19, 2012 (Elementary)
Mezzanine Gallery

The exhibition includes a variety of works of art that were created by Alachua County Kindergarten - Grade 4 art students who were selected from 31 participating schools. The School Board of Alachua County’s Visual Arts Showcasing Program is designed to share the excellence of student art with the community. The Alachua County school receptions are sponsored by the Thomas Center Associates, Inc., a membership organization that supports ongoing programs and events at the Thomas Center.

Reception: Thursday, May 3

March 10 – April 14, 2012 (Secondary)
Mezzanine Gallery

The exhibition includes a variety of works of art that were created by Alachua County Grade 5 - Grade 12 art students who were selected from 31 participating schools. The School Board of Alachua County’s Visual Arts Showcasing Program is designed to share the excellence of student art with the community. The Alachua County school receptions are sponsored by the Thomas Center Associates, Inc., a membership organization that supports ongoing programs and events at the Thomas Center.

Reception: Thursday, March 15