Monday, October 29, 2012

Bradenton's South Florida Museum displays community nature photos with compelling stories

'Skyway Sunrise' from Robinson Preserve by Paul Bayard, Bradenton.

On the second floor of the South Florida Museum you'll find a Bradenton backyard where countless adventures began.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is there, too, awash in a brilliant sunrise.

It's also where you'll locate the "hugging trees" adored by a 13-year-old girl.

Many more special scenes and stories are there, shared by your friends, neighbors and folks who travel from across the state to enjoy the Museum in downtown Bradenton.

The photos, about 50 total, were submitted by members of the community and visitors to coincide with the museum's current exhibit, the critically acclaimed "Preserving Eden: Clyde Butcher's Florida Photographs."

The community photos comprise the "Walk Far. Look Deeply" exhibition that runs through the end of the year.

To celebrate the event, a private reception was held for the photographers at the museum Thursday.

"There has been a lot of energy," said Samantha Sprague, curator of education at the museum. "To have something directly respond to the (Butcher) exhibit is very exciting."

The "Walk Far. Look Deeply" images include a short explanation of why the place matters to the photographer.

Sara Vaught invites museum attendees to visit her Bradenton "Backyard." It's her favorite place in Florida, a place that reminds her of going on numerous adventures with her father, who lost his battle with cancer three years ago. Father and daughter would explore the greenery, the creek and search for "little critters."

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