AVON PARK — “On Sacred Ground: Highlights from the Permanent Collection” opens on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at the Museum of Florida Art & Culture (MOFAC) on the SFSC Highlands Campus in Avon Park.
Featuring 36 works of art, visitors will see new additions to the collection, works that have never before been exhibited, works that were previously installed in various locations on SFSC campuses, and damaged works that have been restored for the exhibition. This exhibition is on view through Friday, Feb. 9, 2024.
“For most art museums, the majority of their collection is in storage, and MOFAC is no exception,” said Anthony Record, MOFAC curator. “Many different exhibitions could be built from the MOFAC permanent collection, but I approached this exhibition with the idea of showcasing what are the most impressive and important works of art in the collection, with an eye on how each artwork fits into the collection’s major areas of focus.”
The exhibition is broken into five sections: Florida Wildlife, The Florida Landscape, The Highwaymen, Florida Culture, and Peter Powell Roberts, an artist who created a large body of work after retiring in Highlands County.
“If you work or attend classes at the SFSC Highlands Campus, you have probably seen Roberts’ paintings in public spaces and offices all over campus,” Record said. “The Roberts section is a great introduction to some of his most interesting and ambitious paintings, including his largest painting, and one of his older works that had become warped over time. It was restored to like-new condition over the summer.”
The title of the exhibition comes from the Christopher Still painting, “On Sacred Ground,” the first artwork that visitors see when they enter the Museum. “On Sacred Ground” and the other monumental Still painting in the collection, “Land of Promise,” both represent times in Florida when traditional ways of life from the past are adapting to thrive under new social, political, and environmental challenges. They are always on view and act as bridges between the “History of Florida” exhibit and the contemporary art exhibition space.
“Clearly the Still paintings represent the foundation of the collection, but my goal for this exhibition is to give visitors a bigger picture of what MOFAC is all about,” Record said. “I hope our visitors can feel proud about this remarkable cultural resource that we have here in Highlands County and gain a fresh perspective on some of the best artworks that MOFAC is preserving for future generations.”
Join us for free refreshments at the reception for “On Sacred Ground” on Wednesday, Jan. 10, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at MOFAC. MOFAC is located at 600 West College Drive in Avon Park.
For more information or to request a tour or class visit, call the Museum office at 863-784-7130.