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June 10, 2018 @ 4:00 pm
- June 10, 2018
- 4:00 pm
- Books & Books in Coral Gables
- 265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
This book, which pairs my journal entries with photographs and artworks that span a decade of observation, is an impressionist memoir of Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s The Everglades: River of Grass. The images convey both real and imagined scenes—visual narratives that emphasize a sense of place and memory while referencing the cultural history of an imperiled ecosystem. It is my hope that this multidisciplinary approach to understanding the Everglades may transform the way we see and remember landscapes.
The Everglades is a singular, challenged landscape that offers bountiful resources; among them, a place for reflection. The region is broadly defined as starting north of the Kissimmee River, where water flows slowly over wetlands, through interconnecting prairies and hammocks southward to the coastal lowlands of the Florida Bay.
Presented in a cardboard box, the book consists of 142 color pages of visual art projects including paintings, photographs, journal entries and archival images from the South Florida Collections Management Center and photographs taken at Archbold Biological Station. The strategic goal is to inspire the public to reconsider the environment while also illuminating the region’s collective heritage through art, history, science, and culture.
“Deborah Mitchell’s beautiful Everglades Field Guide is a journey into both primal landscape and the human psyche. She wanders deep into the physical space and finds worlds within the brackish water and mangrove roots. This penetration is vividly expressed with both pen and brush. Add the use of collage and camera and the guide is a recipe for enjoying countless hours in one of the America’s great wonders. There is no other Everglades, and Deborah Mitchell is also a unique. Even more amazing, the Everglades Field Guide is even an interesting read a thousand miles away. Words and images create a transcendent experience”.
– Michele Oka Doner, artist and Native Miamian
About the Author:
Born in Canada, 1965, Deborah Mitchell is a Miami Beach based artist whose practice explores man’s extremely precarious relationship with nature (think alligators, pythons, water rights, and flamingoes). The experience based works highlight the beauty of our natural resources while igniting curiosity for our cultural history. A decade of facilitating cultural outreach projects has provided Mitchell with numerous contacts both in the environmental and art communities, enriching her ability to bring to unify the voices of artists (and sometimes scientists) in the diverse communities of South Florida and beyond. Prior to dedicating herself to interpreting our wilderness with a brush, camera and pen, Mitchell was adjunct in a middle school science lab as an extension of her studio practice from 2010-14. A decade of her work is documented in a book entitled Everglades Field Guide: From Reality to Memory, and can be seen in Dr. Laura Ogden’s book Swamplife, University of Minnesota Press.
As the Executive Director of AIRIE, Inc, Mitchell invents creative outreach programs and oversees details related to curating exhibitions surrounding the Artist in Residence program in the Everglades. With support from aides, she organize monthly lectures, performances, film screenings, and workshops by writers, choreographers, musicians and visual artists. She has just been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to curate an exhibition in the Everglades with sculptor Robert Chambers. Mitchell added a new twist on her commitment to stewardship this year, when she organized a Think Tank designed to address the responsibilities of cultural leaders in Florida. Twenty-five leaders from Florida Audubon, Archbold Biological Station, Perez Art Museum Miami, Tampa Bay Times, FIU and History Miami attended the fireside retreat in the back country while Mitchell moderated the discussion to initiate best practices within the community. She is fiercely dedicated to promoting improved stewardship through the arts, all while having a great deal of fun.