Crealdé's St. Augustine at 450 documentary project opens in St. Augustine
November 3-January 21, 2016
Rotunda Gallery, St. Johns County Administration Building
500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Crealdé's newest documentary project celebrates the oldest city in the United States. Ten photographers captured the oldest city in the nation on the occasion of its 450th anniversary, exploring St. Augustine's history, preservation efforts and place as a tourist destination. Led by Peter Schreyer and Sherri Bunye, a master class produced the project from January to April 2015. Featured photographers: Laura Barthle, Sherri Bunye, Vaughn Dunham, Dennis James, Holly Manus, Jennifer Pereira, Marsee Perkins, Peter Schreyer, Cynthia Slaughter and Kucku Varghese.
The St. Johns Cultural Council will host an opening reception for this exhibit on Tuesday, November 2nd, beginning at 8:15 am, just before the Board of County Commission meeting. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The St. Johns County Administration Building is open to the public from 8 am until 5 pm Monday through Friday.
From Peter Schreyer, Senior Faculty in Photography and Executive Director of Crealdé School of Art:
The idea to do this project first came to me when touring the beautiful El Galeón, an exact reproduction of Ponce de Leon's ship handmade in Spain, docked in the marina of St. Augustine almost
two years ago. I immediately texted my colleague Sherri Bunye and announced the idea, and asked her to partner on this new class project for Crealdé. Of course, she enthusiastically said "yes," and a few weeks later we started planning for this new master class in documentary photography. It was an obvious choice for a new Crealdé project. When were we ever going to geographically be so close to another such important historical milestone - and such a visually beautiful one!
Between January and April 2015, Sherri and I had the pleasure to work with a group of eight advanced Crealdé student photographers to create and produce this exciting project. Before the start of the on-site fieldwork in St. Augustine, the participants learned about the important history of documentary photography, toured local historical archives and learned about project planning and caption writing for a contemporary documentary project. Our objectives were to capture in classical black-and-white images and accompanying oral histories, the city of St. Augustine as a living historic community, a model for historic preservation, a tourist destination, college town and home to a diverse population. Students were assigned specific topics, but also were given the freedom to add their own themes to the project.
During numerous field sessions, day trips and overnight stays in St. Augustine, all of us grew closer to this beautiful city, and discovered many fascinating elements of its history and most recent challenges. By the time Jamestown in Virginia was founded by European settlers in 1607, St. Augustine was already a thriving city, having been established more than five decades prior and inhabited by Spaniards, Native Americans and Africans - both free and enslaved. Years later, events in this town's Civil Rights struggle had an influential role in the passing of the Civil Rights Act by U.S. Congress in 1964.
The St. Augustine project team thanks the St. Johns Cultural Council and the St. Augustine Historical Society for their assistance with our project. We also are grateful to have been named an "official ally" of the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration by Mayor Nancy Shaver and her commissioners. My special gratitude not only goes out to the talented participating photographers, but to my colleague and co-instructor Sherri Bunye, who also acted as the logistical coordinator and produced the digital exhibition prints for the show. Without her talent, dedication and commitment, this project simply would not have come to this successful fruition.
About Peter Schreyer and Sherri Bunye:
Peter Schreyer is an internationally exhibited, award-winning photographer who has documented America's cultural landscape for over three decades. He has received a wide range of public art commissions, research grants and recognition awards for his black-and-white photography on Florida communities, including a Visual Arts Fellowship from the State of Florida. He was named Arts Educator of the Year by United Arts in 2009 and a Neighborhood Hero by Bank of America in 2010. He has served as Executive Director of Crealdé School of Art since 1995, and in 2007 founded the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park, a unique cultural facility that celebrates community heritage through documentary photography, oral history and public art.
Sherri Bunye teaches film and digital photography classes to adults and children at Crealdé School of Art, as well as instructing the Storytellers Teen Documentary Program. She has exhibited work throughout Central Florida. Her photos have been accepted into public art registries and purchased for both personal and private collections. In 2011 she was awarded a United Arts Professional Development Grant and in 2012 was Crealdé's Artist of the Year.
"Winter Morning on the Bayfront," photographed by Peter Schreyer
The 140-year-old Avenida Menendez Seawall stretches along St. Augustine's Bayfront area, connecting Castillo de San Marcos with the historic St. Francis Barracks, now the headquarters of the Florida National Guard. Beautifully illustrated in many vintage photographs from the Victorian era, the scenically situated seawall continues to entice residents and visitors for a stroll along the water. While the style of dress has changed, the morning fog still romantically wraps the Bayfront landscape and the Bridge of the Lions.
"St. George Street at Night," photographed by Sherri Bunye
Downtown St. Augustine is centered along pedestrian-only St. George Street. During the day, the street fills with life, as visitors and locals travel the thoroughfare. In the final hours of the evening, the street becomes unusually serene with very few guests on the footpath.
The St. Johns Cultural Council would like to thank the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners for their continued support of this Art in Public Places project. The Cultural Council is funded in part by a grant from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and with the support of the Florida License Plate Fund.
About Crealdé School of Art:
Crealdé School of Art is a community-based nonprofit arts organization established in 1975. It features a year-round curriculum of over 125 visual arts classes for students of all ages taught by a faculty of more than 45 professional artists. Crealdé's main campus offers two galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden. Crealdé's second campus, the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, pays tribute through its permanent collection to contributions of Winter Park's historic African-American community, as well as hosting visiting exhibitions. A limited number of classes are also held at the Jessie Brock Community Center in Winter Garden.
Crealdé School of Art is supported in part by memberships; United Arts of Central Florida; the City of Winter Park; Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program; the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs; The Florida Arts Council; The National Endowment for the Arts; and various private foundations.