Almost as swiftly as the world shut down in 2020 leaving us all in a surreal state of shock and horror, a bright beacon of light appeared—Dunedin Fine Art Center’s group Facebook page, “DFAC – One World: I’ll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Yours – Daily Photos.”
Quickly the blank canvas became populated with content contributed by wildly talented artists, faculty and friends, creating a community from an otherwise isolated state. Additional themed pages cropped up from the same fertile garden of thoughtfulness and inspiration synonymous with DFAC.
“We created these Facebook group pages initially during the pandemic to remain connected as best we could,” explains Curatorial Director Catherine Bergman. “We have a page for sharing drawings called ‘Drawn Together’, and for the great cooks who want to share their culinary feats, there’s ‘Incredible Edibles’.”
I love losing myself in “Express Yourself”— a group for sharing self-portraits too but as Catherine points out, “The group page of daily photos has been the most popular.”
Henry Kuck III is happy to be a part of it. “It’s such an honor and a privilege for the invitation to be in this group,” he says. “Everybody here does such wonderful work.”
Everyone is welcome on these pages and spending time with the people found here (strangers, friends, strangers who have become friends) has, in the midst of epic chaos, sprinkled our lives with purposeful, inspirational and uplifting moments. And most important, with connectivity.
Picture this: You’re perched at home dazed and confused, scared and/or sad, certainly stressed out and possibly totally over it. On autopilot, you scroll Facebook and land on the One World page. Suddenly you are transported to the shores of Lake Rhonda, welcomed by group member Mikell Herrick’s prose and equally poetic nature photography:
“Good Sunday morning from the Church of Lake Rhonda…where overnight rain ended up in sunny early skies for the parishioners who were showing up for worship….Pastor Anhinga and her altar ducks were patiently gathered around the pulpit…while other congregants mingled on the shore…a Great Egret choir member was practicing hymns on the far shoreline…a Wood Duck drake was just arriving in the sanctuary and Ms. Red-bellied Woodpecker was calling for her mate to come relieve her at their nest…but she would probably have to attend later services because he was nowhere to be found.”
So, even on lockdown, feeling very much trapped inside, you may have participated in a magical morning nature walk (from the comfort of your couch), found freshly picked heirloom vegetables, peeked behind the scenes of an artist’s studio, caught a glimpse of someone’s work in progress or freshly finished painting, contemplated Ron Rampolla’s intimate, thought provoking portraiture, smiled at Crystal Love modeling her latest floral crowns or chilled out with Luis Gottardi’s landscape photography. We won’t tell if you’re wearing pajamas the whole time. We’re just happy you are here.
Story by Leslie Joy Ickowitz