Currently on Exhibit at the Library
Folly Farm Nature Preserve
Folly Farm is a 9-acre nature sanctuary and nature wildlife refuge located in beautiful Safety Harbor. This oasis offers free amenities: mile hiking trail, community and butterfly gardens, a Little Free Library, tree huggers and spinners. All are welcome - hikers, dog walkers, joggers, bird watchers, families with children. This piece of paradise was donated by George and Lucille Weiss and is open to the public dawn to dusk.
Eighty-five years ago, the first federal duck stamp was issued, beginning an era of conservation, collaboration, and - in at least one family – fraternal competition. Every migratory waterfowl hunter age 16 and older in the United States must purchase a $25, 1 ¾ x 1 ½-inch duck stamp to be properly licensed. The stamp also serves as a free admission pass to National Wildlife Refuges. Over 1 million stamps are sold every year, most of them slipped into waterproof bags and unceremoniously shoved into pockets and glove compartments. However, a rising number of stamps are purchased by non-hunters who stick them on cars and laptops; some even frame them.
Why do people buy these stamps if they don’t hunt? It’s for the birds, of course.
In 1934, during the Great Depression, conservationists and naturalists became concerned about the increasing destruction of wetlands vital to the survival of waterfowl. At the considerable encouragement of Jay “Ding” Darling, a cartoonist, artist, and conservationist, Congress passed and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, aka the “Duck Stamp Act.”
This act made the possession of a stamp mandatory for hunters of migratory waterfowl and created a fund for the proceeds of those stamps. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar raised from the sale of duck stamps is used to purchase and conserve waterfowl habitat. The program has raised over $800 million and protected over 6.5 million acres of wetlands since the passing of the Duck Stamp Act.
Currently On Exhibit at City HallShawn Dell Joyce painted and drew all her and was raised on her family’s citrus farm in the Rio Grande Valley. She worked on the farm most of her life, and thought she would take over from her grandparents when an unseasonable freeze killed off her family’s orchards and the farm was sold. The young woman moved North and studied painting and drawing at the University of North Texas. After graduation in 1986 she began her career as an artist’s apprentice in NY’s SoHo area, and worked in the studios of many prestigious artists including Jeff Koons, Mark Kostabi, and Ronnie Cutrone. Working for other artists was a greater education than college, so Shawn Dell began to look for other artists to apprentice.
Her love of the landscape called her North to the Hudson Valley, where she studied the work of Hudson River School artists from the 1800s. Shawn Dell began teaching a series of plein air painting classes in 2000 throughout the Hudson Valley. Her classes became so popular that she hired other artists, and founded a plein air school with an Arts and Agricultural mission based on the historic Hudson River School. Almost twenty years later, her nonprofit has grown to encompass a beautiful historic home with 5 classrooms, three galleries, 25 teaching artists and 40 represented artists. During this period, she was executive director of the Wallkill River School of Art, a nonprofit arts organization with a mission of preserving agricultural history while creating economic opportunity for local artists. The Wallkill River School continues to bring cultural tourism to the Hudson Valley region through plein air painting workshops and events on local farms, historic sites and open spaces. She is still honored as founder and on the board of directors.
Shawn Dell's Website
Currently on Exhibit at the Museum
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For more information about the City Galleries, email Christine McWilliams or call 727-724-1562 ext. 1504.