The Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery

Artists have always played a crucial role in increasing awareness and inspiring stewardship of national parks. Opened in 2002, the Dante Fascell Visitor Center gallery provides a space where contemporary artists, inspired by the beauty of Biscayne National Park and South Florida, can show their work. Past shows have included color and black and white photography, oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor paintings, drawings, fiber, ceramics, collage and sculpture. Shows typically include a "meet the artist" reception, made possible by sponsors. For more information, please call 305-230-1144. Subscribe to gallery updates with the words "ART LIST" in subject line.

Inspired by Diatoms: Rick Cohen’s Diatomaceous Dreams

Opens in Biscayne National Park Gallery

Diatomaceous Dreams, a show of Rick Cohen’s found-object assemblage sculptures inspired by single-celled aquatic plants, is the newest exhibit in Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery. Cohen uses bottle caps, marbles, jewelry-findings, plates and other objects in large and intricate patterns that are reminiscent of the plants that provide up to half of the oxygen we breathe. The exhibit is on display from 9-5 daily from June 11 through September 12. Special events associated with the exhibit include a virtual event at 6:00 pm on June 14 with Florida International University’s Dr. Evelyn Gaiser called “Why Diatoms Matter,” and an opportunity to meet the artist and view actual diatoms under a microscope at a reception on Sunday, June 27 from 1-3 pm.

The postcard front for the show that displays one of the artist's sculptural interpretations of a diatom

Diatoms are single celled organisms surrounded by a cell wall composed of silica “Their architecture can be complex and aesthetically beautiful, and is what inspired me to create my art,” said Cohen. “I’m not attempting to recreate biologically accurate models but rather present through assemblage sculptures my interpretation of the fascinating shapes and structures of these important life forms.” Several of the works on display contain plastic seashore flotsam and jetsam, recovered from the shoreline of Biscayne National Park.

Diatomaceous Dreams is part of the park’s Community Artists Program, started in 1997 as an outlet for the works of artists who are inspired by the beauty of Biscayne National Park. Over the years, the gallery has hosted well over 60 shows featuring photography, paintings and drawings in a variety of media, fiber, clay, printmaking and sculpture. The program is made possible by the South Florida National Parks Trust.

For more details about the exhibit, visit the park’s website at or contact park ranger Gary Bremen at 305-338-6584. For regular updates from the park, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @BiscayneNPS.

Last updated: June 9, 2021

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