Photo courtesy of CHRISTOPHER STILL STUDIO OF FINE PAINTING
“Come What May,” by Christopher Still, 2013, oil on canvas, is part of the “La Florida” exhibition opening Nov. 23 at Christopher Still’s gallery.
TARPON SPRINGS – Artist Christopher Still will present his new exhibit “La Florida” beginning Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Christopher Still Studio of Fine Painting, 324 E. Lemon St.
“La Florida” features new paintings available for collectors as well as the first public opportunity to view his modern masterpiece “La Florida.” Guests will be in awe of his grand landscapes, still-life depictions of historic Florida treasures and sparkling views of the Gulf Coast.
“La Florida” will feature more than 40 never-before-seen works of art including preparatory sketches for his new painting created specifically for the state’s Viva Florida 500 celebration titled “La Florida.” “La Florida” is on loan from a private collection.
This modern masterpiece is a painting every Floridian must see. It was unveiled at the Hotel Ponce de Leon at Flagler College in St. Augustine and was at the center of the state’s Viva Florida 500 celebration at the Florida Governor’s Mansion. This exhibition will mark the first time “La Florida” has been on display in the Tampa Bay area.
Still has spent the past four years traveling from Tallahassee to the Keys and from Cuba to Spain capturing symbols of our state’s unique history and natural beauty and creating a visual poem of Florida treasures.
The artist’s paintings can be found in museums and private collections including the Smithsonian Institution, Governor’s Mansion of Florida, Tampa International Airport and the Chambers of the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee. He was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2010 and is the Artist in Residence for the Florida Legislature.
There will be opportunities to meet the artist throughout the exhibition. Private showings for collectors and group tours are available by appointment.
Born in 1961, Still is a native Floridian who received a full scholarship through a national competition to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and continued his studies with courses in human anatomy at Jefferson Medical School and apprenticeship in traditional techniques in Florence, Italy. After returning to the Pennsylvania Academy, the artist earned awards for outstanding accomplishment in painting, a European Travel Fellowship, and the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for outstanding accomplishment in Fine Art.
Still returned to Tampa Bay in 1986 to explore his home state through his art with "the new eyes he had received through education." Locally his work can be seen at the St. Petersburg City Hall, Tampa International Airport, Sandpearl Resort and Ruth Eckerd Hall.
In 1999, the selection committee of the Florida House of Representatives began a national search for an artist to create murals for the newly renovated House Chambers under the leadership of House Speaker John Thrasher.
Still was selected for the task. The original idea was that Still would paint eight landscapes, each to include some historic artifacts symbolizing Florida’s history. The project was to be completed within a year.
Painting in his studio in Tarpon Springs, the artist realized the scope and complexity of the project exceeded the original commission. The committee agreed to postpone the deadline. After more than two years, Still had completed 10 murals in which he depicts Florida's historic and natural beauty.
Still offers a glimpse into his creative process in his artist statement found at his website.
“Unexplainably I have always felt more comfortable in the world with a brush or pencil in my hand,” Still writes. “Thankfully, my love for art has been supported through the years by generous teachers and patrons. An illusive painting in my dreams keeps me hard at work. The marvel that the world is calls me to passionately express what I see. The gift that this career gives, is to slow me down and require time to look at what is before me. It is extremely difficult to both employ the craftsmanship to paint a good painting and succeed in portraying how deeply personal and beautiful the artist finds his subject. An artist must paint alone, but it his family and community that enables him to see the beauty of life. And I am most grateful that I have found the love and support of both. I am grateful that someone would take time from their life to look at my art.”