Hardee Center for the Arts

It is our goal to enrich community culture by offering a new exhibition each month of emerging and established artists. The gallery opened in September 2009 and continues to bring local, state and national artists to the NFCC campus. Exhibitions are scheduled a season in advance.

September/October Exhibit

The Hardee Center for the Arts is honored to exhibit work by Mark Fletcher during September and October.

  • Art Talk & Reception with Artist Mark Fletcher: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, 11 a.m.
  • Regular Gallery Hours:
    • Monday & Wednesday: 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m.; 3:30-5 p.m.
    • Tuesday & Thursday: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Art Talk and Gallery/Exhibit are open to the public; all invited.

Hardee Center for the Arts September Exhibit
Artist Statement:

Time spent in nature awakens our connection to all life.

As a child, I walked in the forest with my father who was a Lutheran Minister and saw nature as evidence of a divine plan. My maternal grandparents, both artists and writers, helped my mother and uncle survive World War II by leaving their city home to live off the land in the Alps. For many years I have camped, hiked and kayaked to observe flora and fauna in their natural settings. I make sketches and poems on the trail to help me remember special experiences. I consider the Apalachicola National Forest and (North Florida region) to be my art studio, where I am so lucky to walk and work almost every day. My work in Japan reinforced my appreciation for nature as inspiration.

I consider my three plus years of artistic apprenticeship in Japan to be my second Master’s degree in Fine Arts. This effort translated into a consciousness of quality and integrity in all aesthetic efforts. I worked as a clay sculptor’s apprentice, and in a pottery factory, plus studied calligraphy and ink painting. Asian art often combines poems and paintings, each enhancing the other. I extended this feeling by carving or painting poems on sculptures and vessels. For example, the practice of carving poems into wet clay increased my sensitivity with the brush.

My method is to draw and write detailed observations directly from life. Then, in my home studio, I re-create these experiences in drawings, poems, sculptures, and paintings. Sometimes the spontaneous and direct initial sketch is worthy in and of itself. Likewise, a simple poem created to temporarily hold an experience often contains more of the essence of it than an elaborate creation the poem inspires later.
I find that I see more clearly by drawing a subject. Not just noticing the way things are and how to depict them, but realizing that light falls without judgment on all things. I have 133 sketch books so far, each page a significant experience, most pages thoroughly rendered. Only through consistent practice do I get beyond an intellectual understanding that every dark stroke reveals light -- and a realization that a perception of shadow must be simultaneous with consciousness of light.

I hope to convey the spirit of nature, encouraging people to see and support the wonder of the world through plants and animals in their real habitats. Art can inspire us to experience and protect our vital natural resources. Nature also holds the keys to solutions and awareness.