A Natural Focus

ART

Florida photographer Clyde Butcher has spent innumerable hours schlepping through the mud and the muck to capture the sublime natural beauty of our state's rapidly disappearing wilderness, particularly the Everglades and Big Cypress regions that he's called home for the past 20 years. Butcher has won numerous awards for his creative vision and ongoing commitment to preservation, and has been compared to the likes of Ansel Adams.

Gulf Coast Museum of Art opens its fall/winter season with an exhibit of 37 of Butcher's large format black-and-white images in The American Wilderness; landscape scenes of Florida, and places like Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park and the Pepperwood Redwood Forest in California are featured. In conjunction, the museum also debuts Collectors of Clyde: Selections from Private Tampa Bay Collections, and welcomes Ikebana International-St. Petersburg, which displays a series of three-dimensional Florida foliage art forms inspired by Butcher (Nov. 10-12). Finally, Les Fauves — GCMA's young professionals group — celebrates Butcher at a museum benefit, LaFauves in the Wilderness, at which guests enjoy fare with a Floridian flair as well as a floral art demonstration by Ikebana, a silent auction, and Florida folk music by James Hawkins (7-10 p.m. Sat., Nov. 11, $60 per person/$100 per couple). On display Nov. 10-Jan. 28, Pinewood Cultural Park, 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo, $8 adults/$6 seniors/$5 students (free for members and children 10 and younger), 727-518-6833, www.gulfcoastmuseum.org.

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