Animals: Fact and Fable

This juried awards exhibition is all about animals. Artists are invited to deliver their artwork on October 27 or October 31 for the jury process. The Exhibition Juror and Awards Judge is Ehren Gerhard. The exhibition will be on view in the Elizabeth & William Barrick, Millicent & Charles Marshall and the Minnesota Lobby Galleries.

We share the world and our lives with animals. They take many forms and have different personalities from friendly to ferocious. Domesticated animals like dogs and cats can be our most cherished companions while wild animals are best left alone. There is great diversity in the Animal Kingdom. So much so that the line between real and imagined creatures has always been a bit blurred. Greek legends tell of the hydra, pegasus and gryphon. Ancient mariners kept a keen eye on the horizon for mermaids while some people today are still looking for Big Foot or expecting to enter a meadow and happen upon a grazing unicorn. Artists in the ancient world portrayed the animals they revered and witnessed in the landscape. In Southwestern France the Lascaux Cave has Paleolithic period paintings of bulls, bison, horses and deer. In Central America the jaguar is a prominent figure in the art of the ancient Mayans. Egyptian art is rich with animal images and especially felines, falcons and Nile river dwellers like crocodiles and hippopotamus. In Asia artists paid a great deal of attention to tigers, elephants, monkeys, oxen and birds of all varieties.

Today there is much greater range of animal art and more opportunities for artists to create it. Artists can observe wildlife at the Naples Zoo and in the Everglades while domesticated animals can be readily observed in homes and parks. With the ever increasing popularity of Science Fiction, there are movies and online examples of fictional animals to spark the imagination. In science fiction, and other forms of fiction such as fairy tales, animals have the fundamental role of helping humans to understand themselves. Regardless of their actions, fictional creatures point toward a wide-ranging future with an even more diverse animal kingdom.

Ehren Gerhard will serve as juror and awards judge. Gerhard is a Fort Myers based arts administrator and educator. He is the Art Exhibitions Director for the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs where he strives to increase appreciation for the arts and encourage open discourse around art objects. Since 2014, he has overseen exhibitions on the Visual Arts campus and assisted in the management of the Centers’ large outdoor festivals. In addition, he now manages and curates art exhibitions on the Centers’ second campus dedicated to the Performing Arts. Gerhard received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Gulf Coast University where he is now a Professor of beginning and intermediate drawing. In 2013, he and his wife Julie lived and worked in Southern Spain as cultural ambassadors and language assistants for the Spanish government.

For information on exhibiting, please visit our Call for Artist page here

*Best in Show artwork “HRM Young Henry of Febbodom” by Nancy Smythe

The event is finished.



10:00 am - 4:00 pm