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Updated: 02/16/2017 08:30:02AM

‘20th Century Seminole Experience’ opens at SFSC

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AVON PARK — The Museum of Florida Art and Culture (MOFAC) at South Florida State College has mounted an exhibition, “The 20th Century Seminole Experience: Paintings from the Florida Indian Tribes Series.”

The exhibition is open and continues through March 7 in MOFAC’s gallery on the SFSC Highlands Campus in Avon Park.

The exhibition will include paintings by award-winning artist Muffy Clark Gill who uses batik, a painting technique originating in Indonesia using wax on cloth.

“Gill appreciates the use of simple figures and vibrant colors that are often associated with the artwork of indigenous cultures, and she creates images that weave this love of color and design with Native American history,” said Megan Stepe, MOFAC’s curator.

Gill described her Seminole series as offering a modern insight combined with a historical perspective of the Native Americans who live in South Florida, with a particular focus on the Seminole and Miccosukee peoples, according to Stepe.

Accompanying Gill’s works, MOFAC will also display a collection of Seminole dolls. Members of the Seminole tribe have created dolls since the 1940s. They used designs based on brightly colored fabric in a patchwork style typically worn by Native American women. The dolls were sewn with intricate designs inspired by animals and elements found in the natural environment.

“The Seminole tribe makes many of their dolls from the palmetto leaves found in swampy marsh areas,” Stepe said. “These dolls have been often used to teach children important lessons about life and are considered highly prized by collectors of Seminole artifacts.”

Gill will present and discuss her photographs of the state’s Native Americans who inspired her paintings on Feb. 16 from 1-2 p.m. The talk is open to the public at no cost. Gill will speak in Building G, Room 101, on the SFSC Highlands Campus, Avon Park.

Also on display during the Seminole exhibition are a series of unconventional paintings by Melanie Hubbard. Titled “Text and Textures: Erasure Poetry by Melanie Hubbard,” the paintings are based on a 1924 book dealing with child rearing. Using watercolors, Hubbard paints atop enlarged images replicating pages from the book to effect what she asserts is an “erasure” of the antiquated advice given to mothers.

Hubbard is a scholar, poet, and teacher whose work has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

MOFAC is in the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts at 600 W. College Drive. The museum is open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:30–4:30 p.m. or by appointment for group tours. Patrons of the Wildstein Center may visit the museum one hour prior to matinee and evening performances.

For more information about MOFAC and its programs or to request a museum tour, contact Stepe at 863-784-7240, or email stepem@southflorida.edu. Visit the MOFAC website at mofac.org.


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