From the series: South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, 1983
|"To take photographs means to recognize - simultaneously and within a fraction of a second - both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis."
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Faculty Focus exhibitions present photographic works from faculty of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, a consortium with Daytona State College and the University of Central Florida. This year’s featured Faculty Focus is Gary Monroe, an artist-educator and an established photographer. Over the years, Mr. Monroe has photographed all over the world: from Brazil to Israel; Poland to the Caribbean. He has also created many significant bodies of work in his homestate of Florida, with topics varying from Haitian immigration to tourism and sex offenders. This exhibition serves as a retrospective, spanning Mr. Monroe's 35 year career as a documentary photographer.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
A native of Miami Beach, Gary Monroe returned home in 1977 after graduate school (MFA, University of Colorado at Boulder) to live in and to document, through photographs, the vanishing old world culture of the elderly Jews who then populated South Beach. A few years later, he became interested in Haiti and Haitian culture. He photographed immigrants at the INS Krome Resettlement Camp before they were released into the Miami area; subsequently Mr. Monroe made 25 trips throughout Haiti by 2000 to photograph their homeland. After relocating to DeLand in the late 1980s, for nearly a decade he authenticated on film the “rite of passage” of Disney World vacationers, while often traveling and photographing around the world, to Brazil, Israel, England, Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Cuba, India, Trinidad, Poland, and Egypt. In Florida he photographed new corporate-driven architecture while depicting the defunct tourist attraction Splendid China and, among other involvements, capturing portraits of roller derby fans, visually impaired individuals, mentally ill people, and sex offenders.
As a faculty member of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, Gary Monroe is an integral artist-educator who leads by example. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Humanities Council, and the Fulbright Foundation to support his photography. His long-time interest in “outsider” and vernacular art spurred his research about the Highwaymen; his book The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters was published by the University Press of Florida. The first edition, written about in the New York Times, sold-out within four months and launched a cultural phenomena. As a lecturer for the Florida Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau, Mr. Monroe has brought the Highwaymen story to the citizenry of Florida. He has written Extraordinary Interpretations: Self-taught Florida Artists, a book that surveys contemporary folk artists that UPF published along with six other of his books about Florida art.
"There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.
This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough - there has to be vision,
and the two together can make a good photograph."
|Wakulla Springs, Florida, 1978
||Disney World, Florida, 1988||Bogota, Colombia, 2011|
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Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.
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