Florida Museum’s Earth Day panel discussion focuses on state’s springs

Published: April 17th, 2013

Category: Announcements, Happenings, InsideUF

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History marks Earth Day with a special program Saturday.

The artists represented in two current exhibits that celebrate Florida’s natural springs will participate in a panel discussion at 11 a.m. moderated by journalist and author Cynthia Barnett.

John Moran, Lesley Gamble and Rick Kilby will explore past history, document current threats and discuss Floridians’ role in the springs’ preservation.

Families are welcome. Children and adults alike will have the opportunity to question the artists and find out what they can do to help protect Florida’s springs.

The “Springs Eternal: Florida’s Fragile Fountains of Youth” exhibit is a 30-year retrospective of Florida nature photographer Moran’s love affair with the springs of Florida. Mixing beauty and joy with heartbreak and shame, the exhibit is a visual celebration of the springs.

Based on the forthcoming book by Kilby, the “Finding the Fountain of Youth” exhibit examines how the legend of Ponce de Leon’s quest for restorative waters shaped the state’s image as a land of fantasy, rejuvenation and magical spring-fed waters. Rich in images, this exhibition shows how the myths surrounding the discovery of “La Florida” influenced perceptions of the state that still echo today.

The “Springs Eternal Project” exhibit is part of the larger project reaching beyond the museum walls. Gamble’s Urban Aquifer bus project and SpringsEternalProject.org website will soon lend additional public engagement including two Regional Transit System buses to bring stunning visions of Florida’s springs to the streets of Gainesville.

During the panel discussion, the artists will display some of their favorite images, talk about the role of art in saving natural places and engage the audience in a lively discussion about the springs.

The exhibits run through Dec. 15.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is located at 3215 Hull Road in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza.

The Springs Eternal Project is a project of Alachua Conservation Trust. To view a sampling of photos from the Springs Eternal exhibit, visit http://www.johnmoranphoto.com.

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