Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse

Expanding Waters

March 17 – June 13, 2021
The Gallery at Creative Pinellas | 12211 Walsingham Rd., Largo
Gallery Hours: Wed. – Sun. 12 – 5pm

Continuing their exploration of water, Expanding Waters creates a story in 2 and 3 dimensions about the current state of our waters. Our waters are rising and getting warmer. They fuel the intensification of hurricanes and the flooding of our lands. Mickett and Stackhouse’s paintings and large-scale installation, Breath of Influence, shed light on the issue of climate change and offer ways to mitigate the warming and, hence, expansion of our waters. In addition to the visual art, Expanding Waters provides a space for performances, scientific discussion, and social engagement.

Expanding Waters explores ways to mitigate the warming of our waters and atmosphere by the reduction of heat trapping CO2.  The show’s participants will find many honorific images of trees, specifically The Mangrove and The Live Oak.  These ubiquitous trees are key absorbers of CO2 and, hence, essential to reducing our carbon footprint.  Planting trees is one way we, in our lives, can help mitigate the warming of our waters.

Throughout Expanding Waters, one will find the image of an ice cube tray.  Afterall, if you want a cold glass of water, you add ice.  This show asks the participants to consider what would happen if they added ice to our waters.  How could this be done?  What would be the consequences?  The ice cube tray also functions as a visual metaphor for mitigating the warming, and hence, expanding of our waters.

Expanding Waters also includes a Thought Experiment room.  This room will contain drawings exploring human practices and natural phenomena that contribute to the increase of CO2 in our environment, and also drawings exploring creative ways, at time fanciful, to mitigate this growing disaster.  Those attending the show will be provided a space to share their thoughts and renderings of their observations and solutions.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the new large-scale installation Breath of Influence. Rows of long paper strips radiate from a 12-foot metal ring at the center of the gallery. As you step through the ring and walk by the strips of paper, the strips sway and rustle in the slight breeze that follows you. It suggests how even small and seemingly banal actions have effects on the environment around us, and the air that brings the installation to life is the same air behind the primordial rhythm of our own breath and the rhythm of the “breath” of the Gulf itself.

Dr. Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse of Mickett-Stackhouse Studio in Tarpon Springs, FL, have been making art collaboratively for over twenty years.  They make two-dimensional and three-dimensional place-appropriate art that is collected and commissioned by museums, private collectors, commercial developers, and state and local governments.  Mickett comes to the collaboration from a background in philosophy, film, radio, poetry, and theater.  Stackhouse followed a traditional visual arts path.  His individual work is in museum collections around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and The National Gallery of Australia.  Both hold PhDs:  Mickett in philosophy and Stackhouse an honorary doctorate from University of South Florida in art.  They and their work have received many honors including being the 2020 Creative Pinellas Artist Laureates.

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