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Vanessa Bryson's <i>Fish Eye</i> Opens: at Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery
Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x3084
Contact: Susan Gonshor, 305-230-1144, x3019
South Florida artist Vanessa Bryson will open a solo exhibition of her work at Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery on Friday, February 27, 2009. Fish Eye features watercolor batiks on silk by Bryson, inspired by the underwater world of the coral reef. A “Meet the Artist” reception, with refreshments and a silent auction, will be held on Friday evening, March 27, from 7-9 p.m. The show will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from February 27 through May 31. Both the show and the reception are free and open to the public. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center is located at 9700 SW 328 Street, 9 miles east of Homestead, Florida.
“I love the brilliant light of the south; it brings out the intensity of the colors of nature,” says Bryson. “The natural world drives much of the subject matter for my painting.”
Batik, the technique Bryson highlights in this exhibition, is a bit of a departure from her usual watercolor-on-paper paintings. Originally from Indonesia, the technique typically uses wax to protect portions of a piece of fabric from soaking up dye. Once the desired coloration is achieved, the wax is melted away and reapplied as another color is used. Repetition of the process leads to elaborate patterns being created. Bryson couples the traditional technique with her own twists to create large-scale, multipart reefscapes inspired by the fact that most of Biscayne National Park is covered by water. A SCUBA diver and snorkeler herself, Bryson also credits the photography of Patricia Jacobs as a source of inspiration.
A native of England, Bryson attended the Hornsey School of Art and earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree (with honors) from the Walthamstow School of Art, both in London. In 1974, she moved to Houston where she attended the Glassell School of Art, studying both watercolor and jewelry design. She arrived in South Florida in 1996, and has been a member of the ArtSouth artist community in Homestead since 2003. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Deering Estate at Cutler, played several roles with the Dranoff Foundation, and exhibited a solo show in the cabinet room of the state capitol in Tallahassee.
Fish Eye is part of the park’s Community Artists program, and is made possible by the South Florida National Parks Trust through the generosity of Miami-Dade County’s Cultural Affairs Division, The First National Bank of South Florida and Sedano’s Supermarkets.
For further information on the exhibit, call 305-230-7275.
Did You Know?
Tunicates, or sea squirts, live on the roots of the red mangrove tree. These simple animals survive by filtering plankton out of seawater, and hold promise as the source of potent drugs used to fight tumors. Watch for them when snorkeling along Biscayne National Park's mangrove-fringed shoreline.