Living With the Spirits of Tradition: African Art from the Betty Ford-Smith Collection
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 4 – FRIDAY, NOV. 17, 2023
Sebring, Fla. artist and educator Betty Ford-Smith has collected traditional art from Africa for decades. With trips to Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, and through contact with collectors in Europe and North America, Betty Ford-Smith developed a substantial collection of objects made on the continent of Africa. A mix of objects from cultural groups in West and Central Africa, Living With the Spirits of Tradition is a small glimpse of her collection, one of Central Florida’s major private collections of art.
Reception on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Andrés Ramírez: Hidden Divisions
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 4 – FRIDAY, DEC. 15, 2023
Tampa artist Andrés Ramírez works as an aerial photographer, and his job requires him to regularly be flown to various construction sites throughout Florida. Hidden Divisions features a collection of photographs that were taken from a propeller plane by Ramírez during his down time at that day job.
Photographed from 1000 feet in the air, Ramírez allows us to see the surprising structure and breathtaking scale of rural and suburban Florida that is not apparent from the ground. Featuring a birds-eye view of sugar cane fires, workers in
strawberry fields, surfers, and boaters, Ramírez photographs these and other subjects familiar to Floridians from an unfamiliar perspective to reexamine issues surrounding agriculture, environmentalism, immigration, and housing.
HIWYMN : Color & Force
In the early 1960s in Fort Pierce, Florida, five young African-American men in their teens and early twenties got together and taught each other how to make paintings of the Florida landscape. Founded by Alfred Hair and Harold Newton, and with the instruction and inspiration of white Fort Pierce artist A.E. Backus, this group of five painters eventually grew to twenty-six, and produced around 100,000 to 200,000 paintings in the 1960s and 1980s. HIWYMN: Color & Force focuses on the work of Al Black, Mary Ann Carroll, Rodney Demps, Alfred Hair, Harold Newton, Sam Newton, and Livingston Roberts, their stylistic differences, and their roles within the group of artists who have come to be known as The Highwaymen.
This exhibition is located in the lobby of the Board Room in Building F. Click Here for a campus map.
A History of Florida
Always evolving and always on view, A History of Florida consists of geological specimens, fossils, and material culture excavated locally in and around Highlands County. With these objects and contemporary art from the MOFAC Permanent Collection, A History of Florida presents a condensed visual timeline of Florida from its initial emergence from the sea through the 20th century.
A History of Florida includes reproductions of the 10 murals painted by Christopher Still as part of his House Chamber Murals installed in the Florida House of Representatives Chambers. Depicting Florida’s history and natural beauty, each canvas print measures over six feet long and hangs in the MOFAC Concourse.