About the Exhibit

This exhibit was first shown in the University of Florida’s Reitz Union Gallery as part of the Florida Food Summit hosted at UF in April 2010, and was intended to provide a visual and artistic expression of the mission of the event – to think critically and discuss our food system in Florida.  It further represented the mission of the program through the teamwork that went into developing it, as the summit brought together leaders from diverse backgrounds to discuss the opportunities and challenges of working together to develop better food security in Florida.  The exhibit was one of the highlights of the Florida Food Summit and it will continue to reach audiences as it is now being prepared for exhibit in the Gallery for Innovation and the Arts in Tallahassee.

Carlton Ward, Jr.

Carlton Ward Jr. is an environmental photojournalist from Clearwater, Florida, with graduate training in ecology and anthropology.  Through his photographs, he aims to promote conservation of natural environments and cultural legacies.  At home and abroad, Carlton seeks stories where he can use photographs to make a difference. 

Carlton’s passion for nature was born from the Florida landscape, where eight generations of family history have anchored his perspective.  He sees cultural heritage and the natural environment as two of society’s greatest yet most threatened resources.

He regularly produces stories for newspapers and magazines including recent features in Smithsonian, National Wildlife, Africa Geographic, and Outdoor Photographer.

For his first book, The Edge of Africa, Carlton spent eight months in the tropical rain forests of Gabon, documenting the unseen wonders of life at the edge of the African continent.  He participated in 5 different multi-taxa bio-diversity research expeditions with the Smithsonian Institution – the most intensive bio-diversity research yet conducted for Gabon.  Using custom-made studio and camera techniques, Carlton documented over 400 different species of living plants and animals.  Many species he photographed for the first time and several were new to science.

Beyond the value for scientific record, Carlton recognizes the power of photographs to influence public perceptions and inspire change.  He seeks pictures that capture the essence of subjects in a way that will engage readers and help carry the science-based messages to broader audiences.

Carlton continued that tradition by photographing endangered desert elephants in the Sahel region of Mali, at the edge of the Sahara near Timbuktu.  He worked closely with researchers and conservationists from the WILD Foundation and Save the Elephants to raise awareness for this special herd – the last population of elephants in the Sahel of West Africa.

While at home in the US, Carlton turns his attention toward Florida conservation issues and is engaged in a number of long-term projects aimed at celebrating the state’s vanishing natural heritage as a tool for protecting it.

In 2004, Carlton founded the Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture (LINC), a non-profit organization for conservation communications.  LINC’s mission is to raise awareness for natural environments and cultural legacies, educate them about important connections between human societies and natural ecosystems, and promote conservation of natural heritage.

Carlton is a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and wrote Conservation Photography, the first thesis on the emerging field.

His 2009 book, Florida Cowboys, won a silver medal in the Florida Book Awards and Popular Photography Magazine featured him as one of three photographers working to save vanishing America.

Working with a team of conservationists, Carlton founded the Florida Wildlife Corridor initiative on Earth Day 2010 with a goal of connecting landscapes between the Everglades and Georgia.

Dr. Kelly Wacker

Dr. Kelly Wacker, the curator, is an art historian and the gallery director in the Art Department at the University of Montevallo. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Colorado State University, a M.A. in Art History from Bowling Green State University, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Louisville.  While her teaching expertise spans the period of the Baroque to the Contemporary, her special interest is in Land Art and ecologically oriented art. Her research over the last seven years has examined the transformation of this modernist movement from its inception in the 1960s and 70s, typified by massive earthworks emphasizing the role of the individual, into the ecological and social-activist art that represents the current period. She has wide-ranging interests and has recently edited an anthology, Baroque Tendencies in Contemporary Art (2007) and has written essays on diverse topics including David Bowie’s reflections on postmodern contemporary art trends, geo-politics in the work of Mel Chin, and social and political issues reflected in contemporary wood sculpture in Zimbabwe.

As the daughter of a Colorado farmer and great-grand-daughter of a pioneer family, she is sensitive to agricultural issues and has strong personal interests in sustainability, conservation issues, bio-diversity, and is an avid gardener with chickens and worms living happily in her backyard to complement her organic garden.  She specializes in the study of land and environmental art and is currently working on a number of projects concerning “eco-art,” the intersections of art and civic agriculture, and is curating an exhibition on artists as naturalists.

Katerie Gladdys

Katerie Gladdys is an assistant professor of digital media in the University of Florida College of Fine Arts, School of Art and Art History.   She serves as a collaborator, providing input on this exhibit from an artist’s perspective.  Katerie holds a B.A. in Art and Design with a concentration in sculpture from University of Chicago, a M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and an M.F.A. in Narrative Media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Recent honors include a Human Dimensions of Environmental Science Fellowship and a Brody Grant at UIUC.  An Illinois Arts Council grant allowed her to do research in Indonesia. She has taught in Pakistan and Japan as well as the US.  She employs a variety of tactics to apprehend her surroundings. She believes personal narrative is important as a way to relate an experience and to establish her role as a participant in the work. Storytelling also allows her to engage the audience in a familiar modality providing an entrance into the more abstract aspects of her practice.

Anna Prizzia

Anna Prizzia is the Director of the University of Florida’s Office of Sustainability, another collaborator in this exhibit.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Master’s of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a Certificate in Tropical Conservation and Development from the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has experience in natural resources management, habitat assessment, volunteer coordination, facilitation in the areas of education and the environment, and program development in education and marketing.

Prizzia worked as UF's Sustainability Outreach Coordinator from March 2007 through May 2009, and before that she was Watershed Action Volunteer Coordinator for Alachua County, Florida, implementing community water education programs. Previously, she worked with the St. John's River Water Management District and the City of Gainesville to craft water education campaigns. She has also worked in private environmental consulting and was a Peace Corps volunteer who worked in the Melanesian Republic of Vanuatu on community based natural resource management and small business skills.

Prizzia serves on the boards of Sustainable Alachua County, Sustainable Florida and Slow Food Gainesville. She has also worked on a number of field biology projects throughout Florida, and was involved with developing the Community Education Program for the University of Florida.

Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources

The UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (PIE Center) provides trusted communications research on current and emerging issues within agriculture and natural resources. Through its research, the PIE Center can more clearly determine how people form and act on opinions about these challenging issues and provide strategies and recommendations for making strong messages.

Ultimately, the PIE Center promotes effective communication and provides research-based solutions that focus on enhancing public understanding and informed decision-making.